PMQs LIVE: National Interest Test Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mel Stride (Central Devon)

Q2 Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) 

Q3 Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North) 

Q4 Margot James (Stourbridge) 

Q5 Paul Burstow (Sutton and Cheam) 

Q6 Andrew Griffiths (Burton)

Q7 David Rutley (Macclesfield) 

Q8 Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South) 

Q9 Neil Carmichael (Stroud) 

Q10 Chris White (Warwick and Leamington) 

Q11 Mr Simon Burns (Chelmsford)

Q12 Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) 

Q13 Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park)

Q14 Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) 

Q15 Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: What Did Axelrod Make of That?

“Guys, we’re going to need money. And a message. Attractive people would be good. Not you. Or you, you or you. And a leader, who’s the leader? You got a leader? The one down there now with the teeth and the finger jive? The eight-year-old? Okay, we’re going to need the army as well, does that work over here? Can we get the army? We’re going need the army.”

There are some out there hoping the American will make Ed Miliband into Obama. He made a start today. In the tributes to fallen troops he pronounced lieutenant as lootenant.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single stumble.

Oh, it’s a long way to go. Obama has a gift for elevated sentiments, if nothing else. That’s what got him into the White House. The audacity of soap. Big language. Soaring thoughts. Ed Miliband lacks the audacity of soap.

The Royal Mail sale, for instance. “Everything about this privatisation stinks,” he said. Stinks. Everything stinks. It’s the language of a disappointed child.

He had some debating points, including a joke – the man who ran the lucky hedge fund which got 20 times the shares of anyone else – he’d been George Osborne’s best man. How was it decided who got what?

It’s a good question, and would have gained purchase with a cool manner and forensic pauses. But Miliband prefers to go through his question-cycle in a fixed crescendo heading for his great climax: “Everything stinks.”

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PMQs LIVE: Back to School Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West)

Q2 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) 

Q3 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden) 

Q4 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) 

Q5 Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith) 

Q6 Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West)

Q7 Mark Hendrick (Preston) 

Q8 Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)

Q9 Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran) 

Q10 Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East)

Q11 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley) 

Q12 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)

Q13 Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) 

Q14 Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Ed, the Final Victim of Miller’s Resignation

Six questions on Maria Miller’s resignation, or five questions and a peroration.

Is that what’s meant by “holding the Executive to account”? It’s just as well Recall isn’t in place, Ed’s feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

He fired five blanks, got two potshots off and finished with a summary of his discontent in four disjointed sentences. Viz:

1) “He just doesn’t get it.” (Did someone shout Bingo?)

2) “He needs to learn profound lessons about how he runs his Government.” (Does he? From this, the passing zephyr of an insignificant minister?)

3) “The Culture Secretary went not because of her bad conduct but because of her bad press.” (This must have been a line left over from the pre-PMQs planning session.)

4) “He promised in Opposition to be an apostle for better standards and he’s spent the last week being an apologist for unacceptable behaviour.” (It was the big line. Apostle/apologist. Ed put the ass in assonance.)

It wasn’t an easy topic, and while friends and foes will have different reactions, objective observers will agree the Leader of HM’s Opposition made a complete **** of himself. Too strong? A complete @£$% of himself.

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PMQs LIVE: So Long, Farewell Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Nia Griffith (Llanelli)

Q2 Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) 

Q3 Sir Peter Luff (Mid Worcestershire) 

Q4 Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) 

Q5 John Glen (Salisbury)

Q6 Simon Danczuk (Rochdale) 

Q7 Mr William Bain (Glasgow North East) 

Q8 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) 

Q9 Naomi Long (Belfast East) 

Q10 Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) 

Q11 Paul Flynn (Newport West) 

Q12 Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin) 

Q13 Jenny Chapman (Darlington) 

Q14 Mr Mike Weir (Angus) 

Q15 Mr David Lammy (Tottenham)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Titanic Fights in the Commons

Cosy capitalism against Socialism, sir. Public versus private ownership. Primrose Hill versus the Playing Fields of Eton. Tax cuts versus the Collective. Labour bellowing versus Tory barrage.

My niche interest is the fight between Better Bercow and Bad Bercow.

The new iteration – I-Don’t-Hate-Tories – is a success. We should pay tribute to it, celebrate it rather than carp.

But Better Bercow can’t keep Bad Bercow in its kennel.

What must be going in that inner court of his, where he remonstrates with himself: “Your constant interruptions are just prolonging the proceedings. Your attention-seeking behaviour is childish, you need to grow up and the sooner the better. And the way you call Andrew Selous – the public detest it! Your electorate hate it! If you go on like this they’ll have you out after the next election!”

Good Bercow has been prevailing, but when provoked, Bad Bercow slips the leash.

We can thank Simon Burns for that. Or that corner where he sits with Alec Shelbrooke in a supporting role behind him. Anna Soubry, Tim Loughton and Keith Simpson, are all there or thereabouts, each of whom have had complex relations with the Speaker.

So, when Czaibhaggan MacDonagh fluffed her line about the “Bobby Tax”, it prompted heckling from the Burns Corner.

Out Bad Bercow slavered, fangs bared, to savage them as he only savages Tories: “Braying, and sneering and making rude remarks is the sort of thing the public despise!” he barked at them.

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Muppet Miliband and Balls

“You know what Mr Speaker, I will take a lecture from almost anyone in the country about the sale of Royal Mail, but not from the two muppets who advised the last Chancellor on selling the gold.”

An attack lined ruined only by the manifesto blunder by the PM – Dave claimed Labour promised to privatise the Royal Mail – actually they were going to part privatise it and keep the majority shareholding in the government’s hands.

PMQs LIVE: Leadership Rumbles Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
Q2 Chloe Smith (Norwich North)
Q3 Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central)
Q4 Mr Jamie Reed (Copeland)
Q5 David Rutley (Macclesfield)
Q6 Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Q7 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Q8 Jim Dobbin (Heywood and Middleton)
Q9 Chris Kelly (Dudley South)
Q10 Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Q11 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)
Q12 Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute)
Q13 Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)
Q14 David T. C. Davies (Monmouth)
Q15 Guy Opperman (Hexham)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Ed Enters Valley of Death

Reactions vary, but that looked to me like slaughter.

“A total demolition,” Ed Miliband said, and it was surely that.

His “energy price freeze” collapsed on itself like a factory chimney.

This morning, a power company announced it was holding its prices for 20 months.

That’s good news, they thought on Planet Ed. There wasn’t time to go through the consequences.

Ed led on it. Here it is, he cried, the very price freeze Labour has proposed.

His features took on a life of their own. He started to look like Tory Rory Stewart, who looks like a pre-op Miliband. It’s really not what prime ministers look like.

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PMQs LIVE: Sniff Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire)

Q2 Stephen Pound (Ealing North) 

Q3 Derek Twigg (Halton) 

Q4 Jenny Chapman (Darlington) 

Q5 Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West) 

Q6 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) 

Q7 Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough) 

Q8 Mel Stride (Central Devon) 

Q9 Mrs Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) 

Q10 Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay) 

Q11 Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate)

Q12 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) 

Q13 Clive Efford (Eltham) 

Q14 Mr Adam Holloway (Gravesham)

Q15 Karen Lumley (Redditch) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs LIVE: Warm Up Edition

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Harriet Harman is Grooming the LibDems

Questions to the Prime Minister weren’t to the Prime Minister, nor were they questions.

Nick Clegg was denounced, castigated, mocked and accused by Harriet Harman, Toby Perkins, Kevin Brennan and many others of crimes against lapdogs, of shameless, spineless capitulation to the Tories, of kicking apprentices in the teeth, evicting widows, starving children, killing constituents, and (worst of the worst) “electoral self-interest” (gasps from a shocked Labour movement).

This wasn’t Harriet Harman “holding the executive to account” this was “grooming”.

This was making sure the Lib Dems know what’s expected of them when Ed Miliband needs a coalition partner after the general election.

They want to be sure that the Libs will spinelessly kick apprentices in the teeth for Labour.

There won’t be a problem.

Clegg counter-denounced Harriet for the mess she’d left behind. The deficit. Bankers. Poverty.

Clegg assumes he will be standing at the same despatch box next year counter-attacking Tories for the mess he and Labour are clearing up (the deficit, bankers, poverty).

But then he’s assuming it will be he who is the kingmaker and not Lord Biro of the Bus Pass Elvis Party who famously thrashed the Libs in Clifton recently.

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WATCH: Daily Politics Guide to Heckling

DPMQs LIVE: EU Love-in Edition

Q1 Naomi Long (Belfast East)

Q2 Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Q3 Andrew George (St Ives)

Q4 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Q5 Mr John Whittingdale (Maldon)

Q6 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q7 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

Q8 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

Q9 Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)

Q10 David T. C. Davies (Monmouth)

Q11 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q12 Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch)

Q13 Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs Sketch: Miliband's Improvement

An unsketchable PMQs kicked off by Peter Bone (soon to be holding the executive to account from Wormwood Scrubs).

It never got going, limped home, and will be considered a victory for Leveson-lovers and the Vegan Internationale known as “grown-up politics”.

Ed Miliband led on and finished with the Ukraine. He consensualised. He joined the top table. He looked (and I say the things that others daren’t think) pretty good.

One barb he left, quoting Cameron on the invasion of Georgia – Russian shoppers shouldn’t be allowed in Harrods while Russian troops were violating borders.

He then called for assets to be frozen.

But Putin would be delighted if his troublesome oligarchs had their assets frozen abroad. You might have thought the Labour leader understood the mind of the Kremlin better than anyone in the Commons.

Cameron repeated the costs and consequences of Putin’s aggression.

Exports of Marmite to Moscow suspended. Block voting by democracies against Russia’s Eurovision Song entry. The Poet Laureate to satirise post-imperial Slavic aggression in a 500-canto lyric.

The only point of interest might be Miliband’s improvement. He’s better than he was six months ago and dramatically better than a year ago. He’s stopped touching his face and stroking his lips. He’s got a nice, relaxed register in his voice as he tails away at the end of his sentences. When not ululating he doesn’t look ridiculous any more.

If the Tories think he’ll look unelectable in a year’s time, they should rethink.

PMQs LIVE: Rock Bottom Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Q2 Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

Q3 Stephen Mosley (City of Chester)

Q4 Mr Brooks Newmark (Braintree)

Q5 Mark Menzies (Fylde)

Q6 Mr Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness)

Q7 Mr David Heath (Somerton and Frome)

Q8 Jenny Chapman (Darlington)

Q9 Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside)

Q10 Mr Michael Thornton (Eastleigh)

Q11 Ian Lavery (Wansbeck)

Q12 Dr Thérèse Coffey (Suffolk Coastal)

Q13 Mr Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East)

Q14 Grahame M. Morris (Easington)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs LIVE: Crackerjack! Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Graeme Morrice (Livingston)

Q2 Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Q3 Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)

Q4 Lorraine Fullbrook (South Ribble)

Q5 Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington)

Q6 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)

Q7 Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon)

Q8 Ms Margaret Ritchie (South Down)

Q9 Jim Shannon (Strangford)

Q10 Helen Jones (Warrington North)

Q11 Jessica Lee (Erewash)

Q12 Sir Bob Russell (Colchester)

Q13 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q14 Bob Blackman (Harrow East)

Q15 Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Beast On a Leash, Parliament Behaves Itself

They could at least have brought in visual aids to express solidarity, to raise awareness, to promote resilience among the nation’s flood victims. Fabricant in flippers. Hancock in a wetsuit. Dromey with his big black periscope.

No, they played PMQs like it was Lent.

All the Tories wanted to do was express their joy at Miliband in wet weather gear – you can’t do that under Storm Force Eight.

The Leader from Primrose Hill pretending not to have wellington boots filled with black, freezing water – that could only be honoured with Tory thunder.

When Miliband stood, they started to crank it but some sense of propriety, or possibly a Whips’ choke chain silenced them.

It was like watching drunks nearly throwing up.

All MPs realized how their natural effusions would come across on TV. The storm-tossed public out there in the plashy fens – they didn’t want to see their representatives enjoying themselves.

And Miliband without the mockery doesn’t do as badly as Tories think. He asked about “money no object” – what did that actually mean?

Sandbags.

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Women, Women, Everywhere

A frontbench full of female ministers and four more women sitting directly behind Dave at PMQs:

Responsive government in action…

Via @generalboles

PMQs Live Chat: Drowning Street Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion)
Q2 Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)
Q3 Andy Sawford (Corby)
Q4 Mr David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds)
Q5 Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Q6 Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View)
Q7 Neil Carmichael (Stroud)
Q8 Mr William Bain (Glasgow North East)
Q9 Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth)
Q10 Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)
Q11 Stephen Timms (East Ham)
Q12 Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield)
Q13 Graeme Morrice (Livingston)
Q14 Mr David Amess (Southend West)
Q15 Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)

Comments in the comments please…[…] Read the rest

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