PMQs: Who Is Asking the Questions

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

Q2 Caroline Flint (Don Valley) 

Q3 Andrew Bingham (High Peak) 

Q4 Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) 

Q5 Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)

Q6 William Wragg (Hazel Grove)

Q7 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)

Q8 Phil Wilson (Sedgefield)

Q9 Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East)

Q10 Dr Tania Mathias (Twickenham) 

Q11 Chris Davies (Brecon and Radnorshire) 

Q12 Crispin Blunt (Reigate) 

Q13 Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)

Q14 Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) 

Q15 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)

Comments in the comments…

The Councillor Who Came in from the Cold

Jeremy Corbyn began PMQs today with a damning tirade against patients waiting “up to 13 hours and 52 minutes to be seen” at the Royal Blackburn A&E department: a frustrating delay that is coincidentally is the exact same amount of time it takes to get a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn during a reshuffle. Before he could get into his stride however a cacophony of sedentary chuntering threatened to drown him out completely. In response the Labour leader pressed on with his hectoring but tempered it with aggrieved glances towards the speaker, rather in the manner of a footballer who had been fouled but wanted to signal his displeasure whilst gamely playing on nonetheless. “Speaker! ‘Ave a word!”

As it happens the ref did intervene. Damning the taunts as “a discourtesy to the House of Commons”, the Speaker loftily reminded the Chamber of its duty to allow honorable members to be heard. Quite when notorious cuckold and self-promoting dwarf John Bercow acquired such respect for the dignity of Parliament is anyone’s guess. It must have been some time after his wife appeared on Celebrity Big Brother 8 and then decided to shack up with a gypsy bareknuckle fighter for a Channel 5 documentary. But then again it must also have been subsequent to his recent decision to summarily disregard 400 years of Parliamentary convention concerning the Speaker’s neutrality by attacking the US President, all in order to bask in the reflective glow of his own virtue. Perhaps over the last few days Mr. Bercow has had a Damascene conversion, and we can in future expect him to act like a man aware of  the gravity of his office. Continue reading

PMQs: Who’s Asking The Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 8 February

Q2 Johnny Mercer (Plymouth, Moor View)

Q3 Patrick Grady (Glasgow North)

Q4 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)

Q5 Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen)

Q6 Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet)

Q7 Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South)

Q8 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

Q9 Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

Q10 James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton)

Q11 Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)

Q12 Karl McCartney (Lincoln)

Q13 Julian Sturdy (York Outer)

Q14 Chris Green (Bolton West)

Q15 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)

Comments in the comments…

Lucky Donald Trump is a Calm and Forgiving Man

This week has been a political wet dream for Jeremy Corbyn. Lefties angry? Check. Popular protests? Check. US President to blame? Check. Hasn’t spilt Cup A Soup down himself on the News at Ten or participated in some other colossal screw up in front of the entire nation? Check! The Labour leader and Seumas Milne were no doubt rubbing their hands in glee preparing for today’s session:

“So, Seumas, let me get this straight. All I’ve got to say is Trump is racist; Muslims are our friends; and call on the Prime Minister to publicly shun the most powerful country in the world and our principal ally and trading partner? And I win? But isn’t that insane? Isn’t what I’m asking for literally insane Seumas?”

“It may be insane but that’s beside the point, Comrade! Look, the PM can’t really disagree because it’s hate speech. And the Guardian and BBC will laud it as a “brave” and “principled” intervention, even though really we’re just beta-males that would happily plunge our economy off a cliff to safeguard our own demented worldview. But don’t worry no one will mention that. It’s a win-win situation!”

Continue reading

May on Corbyn: “He Can Lead a Protest, I’m Leading a Country”

One of Corbyn’s better outings and yet the well-prepared PM brushed him aside with consummate ease. She’s getting more confident…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 1 February

Q2 Stuart Andrew (Pudsey)

Q3 Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde)

Q4 Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

Q5 Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet)

Q6 Chris Elmore (Ogmore)

Q7 John Nicolson (East Dunbartonshire)

Q8 Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Q9 Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth)

Q10 Will Quince (Colchester)

Q11 James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend East)

Q12 Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

Q13 Mr Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow)

Q14 Mr David Winnick (Walsall North)

Comments in the comments…

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Karl Marx famously remarked that history repeats itself, “first as tragedy, and then as farce”. He was right. So right in fact that even his own ideological movement would be subject to the same principle. We had the famines, and the massacres, and the icepicks in the skull of the twentieth century: Marxism as tragedy. And now we have the farce, of which there is of course no finer a proponent than Jeremy Corbyn.

In this spirit, the Labour leader decided to come to PMQs today dressed in the most lurid brown suit known to man. One can only imagine the conversation in Holloway Road market:

“Morning Sir, how can we help you?”

“Oh hello there, I was wondering if you had any tailoring in the shade of human excrement? Preferably oversized too, of the sort a Uzbek goat herder would wear at a funeral? You know, a real statement piece?”

“Why you’re in luck Sir”, the merchant would say, his eyes lighting up, “we have this exquisite lounge suit right here, hewn from the very finest turd-brown Soviet polyester sent straight from Vladivostok. It’s going to set you back a grand though I’m afraid. Currency fluctuations post Brexit, you see sir, they really hit us humble artisans hard”.

Continue reading

May Hits Corbyn With Killer Sadiq Quotes

Theresa May reads out Sadiq Khan’s quotes spoiling Corbyn’s main attack line on workers’ rights, as reported by Guido this morning. Another happy reader…

Corbyn Buries Northern Ireland Police Officer

At the beginning of PMQs Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to the police officer who was shot in Northern Ireland this weekend, offering his condolences and telling the Commons he “lost his life”. The police officer in question is still alive, he was shot in the arm and his injuries are not thought to be life threatening. Amateur hour.

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Helen Jones (Warrington North) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 25 January

Q2 Chris Philp (Croydon South)

Q3 David Warburton (Somerton and Frome)

Q4 Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton)

Q5 Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire)

Q6 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

Q7 Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Q8 Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith)

Q9 Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)

Q10 Peter Grant (Glenrothes)

Q11 Patrick Grady (Glasgow North) When she will next meet the First Minister of Scotland.

Q12 Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

Q13 Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East)

Q14 Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)

Q15 Dr Lisa Cameron (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Comments in the comments…

Labour Benches Googling “Museum Directorships Near Me”

Now that the single market and the customs union (in its current trade-deal restricting form) are out of the question, just what are the Europhiles going to moan about? One half-expected Jeremy Corbyn to start today by earnestly inquiring if the Prime Minister will keep the glorious EU flag on our driving licenses and make sure butchers don’t start selling meat in pounds and ounces to the carnivorous, Brexit-voting xenophobes of the nation. It’s a sweet irony that arch-Remainers are now in the position of nitpicking about irrelevant minutiae of the European project, a criticism traditionally reserved for veteran Eurosceptics.

In the chamber today it quickly became clear that Jez, bless him, doesn’t seem to have quite cottoned on to the implications of the PM’s speech, and so instead decided to continue his established line of questioning. “Last year the Prime Minister said that leaving the single market could make trade deals “considerably harder”” he moaned. “The Chancellor said after the referendum that to lose single market access would be “catastrophic””, he cried. Getting desperate he wailed at Theresa May about the need for “frictionless access to the single market”, before finally demanding to know “will we have to pay for access to the market or not?” May and Hammond chuckled to themselves as they sat and watched the leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition valiantly flog a long dead horse.

This sort of meltdown is what happens when you force poor Jeremy to think on his feet: he malfunctions and naturally reverts to mindlessly regurgitating his standard single market moan-fest. The nadir came when the Labour leader attempted to crack a gag, “Restoring parliamentary democracy while sidelining Parliament”, Corbyn quipped, “is not so much the Iron Lady as the Irony Lady”. Dennis Skinner, surely an expert in the matter of poor political jokes, delivered his verdict in the form of a glum thousand mile stare into the middle distance. On the backbenches some Labour MPs momentarily stopped Googling “Museum Directorships near Me” and sighed in Corbyn’s general direction.

Continue reading

WATCH: Corybn’s “Irony Lady” Gag Bombs at PMQs

The irony was nobody laughed…

PMQs: Who’s Asking The Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 18 January

Q2 Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)

Q3 Chris Bryant (Rhondda) If she will visit the Rhondda

Q4 Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)

Q5 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)

Q6 Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)

Q7 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

Q8 Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside)

Q9 Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley)

Q10 Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan)

Q11 Karl McCartney (Lincoln)

Q12 Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South)

Q13 Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch)

Q14 Richard Fuller (Bedford)

Comments in the comments…

Pressures of Ageing Population at PMQs

“Last week Mr. Speaker”, boomed Jeremy Corbyn, “four hundred and eighty five people in England spent more than twelve hours on trolleys in hospital corridors”. “SHAME!” (for once justly) heckled one backbencher. The Labour leader then inquired if the Prime Minister thought “fiddling the figures” would be the best way for her to manage such a crisis. Not a bad start at all from a newly rejuvenated Corbyn: someone clearly had a happy Kwanzaa.

Facing such a serious accusation of bureaucratic indifference to the plight of the ill, Theresa May decided to grace us with her best impression of an ill-tempered Soviet apparatchik discussing peasant fatalities after a particularly bad harvest: “There are pressures on the NHS”, she intoned stonily, “There are always extra pressures during the winter. But we have at the moment the added pressures of the ageing population and the growing complex needs of the population”. Finally solace for those serfs lying in their own filth for the best part of a day: if only their needs weren’t so complex and they weren’t so damn old then maybe they could be seen a little earlier!

Continue reading

Corbyn’s PMQs Inspiration

Guido might have detected David Prescott’s turn of phrase from Corbyn today – the Labour leader now has Prezza Jnr working on his PMQs prep team and hit the PM with the archetypal Labour attack line: “Our NHS is in crisis but the Prime Minister is in denial”. A better Corbyn line was his mockery of Theresa May’s “shared society”: “More people sharing hospital corridors on trolleys”. Inspired by Morten Morland’s cartoon in today’s Times?

The BBC had a similar line on the News at Ten on Monday as well. Neither May nor Corbyn is a strong PMQs peformer, the best lines are borrowed from elsewhere. Becoming a challenge for sketch writers…

H/T @paulwaugh, @joeyfjones, @bbclaurak, half of Twitter.

First PMQs of 2017: Who’s Asking The Questions

Oral Questions to The Prime Minister

Q1 Chris Law (Dundee West) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 11 January.

Q2 Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)

Q3 Mark Menzies (Fylde)

Q4 Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

Q5 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) What recent assessment she has made of the (a) performance of the economy and (b) adequacy of provision of public services in Staffordshire; and if she will make a statement.

Q6 Tracy Brabin (Batley and Spen)

Q7 Norman Lamb (North Norfolk)

Q8 Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)

Q9 Richard Fuller (Bedford)

Q10 Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West)

Q11 Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)

Q12 Edward Argar (Charnwood)

Q13 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q14 Dr James Davies (Vale of Clwyd)

Q15 Chris White (Warwick and Leamington)

Comments in the comments…

Caroline Lucas Fails to Declare Her Interest

At PMQs Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, asked the PM if she would sack Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over Southern Rail. The PM retorted that the unions are the ones responsible for the unnecessary strikes. Shouldn’t Ms Lucas have declared her £7,000 donation from the RMT?

The rules state that “it should be a matter of honour that a financial interest is declared not only .. in debate in the House and its Committees but also whenever a Member is attempting to influence his fellow Members…” Wasn’t Caroline trying to influence the PM on behalf of her RMT sponsors?

Last PMQs of Term: FFS!

Peter Dowd got PMQs kicking today when he suggested pencilling “FO” next to our glorious Foreign Secretary’s name “should have been an instruction not a job offer”. Having not really bothered with popular culture since some time in 1979 (when leather trousers were “in”), Theresa May was stony faced as the House erupted with sedentary chortling. At this point Rudd should have leaned over and explained the joke so the PM could attempt a reasonable simulation of the human emotion of mirth.

No such help was forthcoming so Theresa was stranded. If you looked closely enough you could actually see the lightning-quick processor in her brain whirring as she tried to work it out. What could it mean? Feckless orator? Frizzled oaf? Franchised obscurant?

Still none the wiser, the PM clearly decided that if you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join ‘em, countering that Boris “is in short an FFS: a fine Foreign Secretary”. Completely oblivious she then sat down smirking. “Nailed it”, or more likely “jolly good show old bean!” she must have thought. 

Mrs. May also wished everyone a happy Christmas, going on to remark: “I will of course have an opportunity to do that again on Monday, when I am sure the House will be as full for the statement on the European Council meeting”. We can just be thankful it was a Monday debate or no doubt she would have cheerily told the House that she would “see you next Tuesday!”

Not satisfied that she had sufficiently displayed her complete ignorance of pop culture the PM then went on to implore the House and the nation to “download the single” commemorating the death of Jo Cox. At this point everyone was wondering if it was possible for Theresa May to get any more uncool.

But then again, maybe Theresa May is cool? She doesn’t know what FFS means, still doesn’t really understand what a download is, and has probably only just stopped referring to iPods as “walkmans”. Not only that but she wears £1,000 gold leather trousers and then demotes anyone who criticises them.

On the coolness scale naturally you have your F1 drivers and Keith Richards at one end, and your William Hagues and Piers Morgans at the other. But then there’s also a certain sub-set that are so consciously uncool they become cool: “The Clarksons”. The PM just may be one of them.

In other news Angus Robertson got up to moan as is his wont. But unusually for once this came as a source of comfort, making my post-Guido christmas PFL hangover really not so bad after all. I mean, it could be worse couldn’t it? I could be Angus Robertson, a walking bag of human misery.

Heidi Allen then rose to have a little cry about modern slavery: literally she cried. Obviously slavery’s bad and everything, but does every Commons debate have to be a sob-fest now? When did we become such a nation of wimps? Did Lloyd-George ever break down in the commons about how his impoverished Welsh upbringing? Did Joe Chamberlain weep when he sat in the Commons barely able to speak after having a massive stroke? Did Churchill break down when he addressed the House in a bombed out Parliament in 1940?

But there is one man in the House who understands this. And being Christmas time he deserves a special end of the year congratulations.That man is Tom Watson and he is a stoic. He sits through week after week of Labour getting BTFO in PMQs and doesn’t flinch: simply sucks it up and takes his punishment like a man. BTFO? Google it you uncool loser.

You can see it in his face. “God just see this one out and we’re done Tom. You can do it mate” he’s thinking. “Keep going Tom. Don’t crack. Don’t let them see you cry. Thirty minutes and you’ll be in Strangers double parked with a Peroni in each hand”. It’s hard not to like someone who perseveres like Tom does. Merry Christmas Mr. Watson.

Theresa May: FFS, Boris

“A Fine Foreign Secretary”, indeed…

PMQs: Who’s Asking The Questions

Oral Questions to The Prime Minister

Q1 Peter Dowd (Bootle)

Q2 Mark Durkan (Foyle)

Q3 Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)

Q4 Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase)

Q5 Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)

Q6 Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)

Q7 Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston)

Q8 Mike Weir (Angus)

Q9 Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

Q10 Naz Shah (Bradford West)

Q11 Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)

Q12 Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

Q13 Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion)

Q14 Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Q15 Helen Whately (Faversham and Mid Kent)

Comments in the comments…[…] Read the rest

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