In attempts to capitalise on this week’s new found party unity, Corbyn took on May in today’s PMQ’s. Lewis Radstone-Stubbs watched it so you don’t have to.
Issue of the week:
Unlike recent weeks, where Corbyn took a more disciplined approach focussing on one issue, today there was no clear overarching theme. Questions were raised on funding for the NHS, Amber Rudd’s recent suggestion of companies listing foreign workers and a continued press from Corbyn on what form of Brexit deal the Government are pushing for.
Following Corbyn’s impressive display last time out, forensically questioning the Government’s plans on Grammar schools, today seemed somewhat of a damp squib. That being said, Corbyn covered some key issues in a week that has seen the emergence of an Opposition from Labour on the Government’s secrecy over Brexit, culminating in the release of 170 questions they want answered on the terms of the deal. Corbyn used this platform adequately, although the content was sometimes lost in the length of delivery. Gone are the days of short, sharp questions that leave little time for the Prime Minister to think. May largely saved the shots coming at her as Corbyn failed to translate Labour’s comparative Brexit momentum into an all-out winner.
Overall – a score-draw.
For PMQ’s standards today was a fairly meek display from all sides; however, the rowdiest moment came when Theresa May congratulated Corbyn on winning the Labour leadership election for the second time, delighting the Tory benches… Recent polling putting Labour on just 26%, explains why…
Reflecting the news of the last couple of weeks, there was a mention for Sunderland’s Nissan plant. This was in relation to the job security for those working for Nissan; following an announcement from Nissan that they have initial plans to reduce investment in the UK if trade deals are not to their satisfaction. Virgin healthcare was also slated by the Dewsbury MP, Paula Sherriff, for allegedly putting profits before patients in their out-sourced service for the NHS in her constituency.
The best joke came from Theresa May in relation to some Labour calls for a re-vote in the referendum: “The Labour Party can ask the same questions again and still get the answers that they don’t want”.
Sum up the debate in 140 characters: May saved points but Corbyn failed to score in a PMQs building on success from an opposition that is united, at least when it comes to Brexit.