Post-conference PMQs was an intriguing affair. Here is the Pagefield take on a much-improved Jeremy Corbyn, and a much-improved debate…
Who won? – A score draw.
Difficult to draw a clear winner between Corbyn and Cameron this week. Corbyn triumphed on tax credits and had the PM on the ropes, but was unable to press home his advantage and let the PM level the score with his responses on affordable housing.
Whilst there was no winner between the two main parties, the SNP was categorically the loser. Poorly-worded questions on Syria and Scottish apprenticeships drew derision from across the house. With Jeremy Corbyn flying the flag for the left, the Nationalists agenda is undoubtedly under threat and they’re in danger of falling into irrelevance.
Issue of the week – Tax credits.
Corbyn continued to read questions from his parliamentary inbox and condemned the Conservatives’ cuts to tax credits. He challenged the Prime Minister to attend an Opposition Day Debate on the issue next week so he can “explain why it’s such a good idea to make so many people so much worse off.” In other news, Cameron also took this opportunity to mock Labour for its U-turn on the Government’s fiscal charter, which came a close second.
There were flashes of the rambunctious behaviour of the past from the Tories; however, under the ‘new’ format the latest competition appears to be who can be the most respectful within the chamber. Thus, we have an adversarial vacuum that lends itself perfectly to sanctimonious exchanges between the party leaders – that’s the new PMQs for you.
Rising Star – Jeremy Corbyn.
The new Labour leader looks a lot more comfortable at the despatch box, post-conference. Clearly, the only way was up after his first outing, but Corbyn successfully managed to corner Cameron on the consequences of cutting tax credits. He needs to know when to press home his advantage, however. He had some solid lines on the potential damage tax credit changes will make, but still lacks the killer instinct to finish off the PM on the issue.
Joke of the week
Karl McCartney gets the crown this week. Not only did the Lincoln MP buzz the Tories ‘long term economic plan’, but he also addressed Jeremy Corbyn as the ‘Honourable’ (not Rt Hon) leader of the opposition – lest we forget Corbyn choosing the Highlands over her Highness, last week..
A special mention however must be given to Corbyn also; whose schoolmasterly put-downs will hopefully become a PMQs fixture.
#PMQs in 140 Characters
Creditable effort from Corbyn – who is clearly adapting to the game – but still too many open goals for the PM. SNP an irrelevance