This week saw yet another eventful round of PMQs. Alice Hawken watched it so you don’t have to.
Issue of the Week
An innuendo filled start to PMQs today led to a session which covered everything from Peter Bone’s wife to Green Day. But the prevalent issue of the day was mental health and the NHS. Following last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Corbyn was prepared to take May and the Government to task on their record on this issue. Much like when pressed on grammar schools last month, this is a subject matter May seemed unsure of the Government’s record – and it showed.
Building on his marginal win last week, Corbyn delivered a strong and robust performance today, effectively scrutinising May on mental health and NHS funding. The Labour Leader was focussed, clear and confident when criticising Conservative cuts. By producing analysis from the Care Quality Commission and a letter from a mental health sufferer, Colin, he was able to add a human element, bring the message to life and expose the lack of detail within May’s answers.
Corbyn successfully exposed May’s vulnerability on the NHS as she retreated and repeated a refrain we have heard many times before; “There is only one party who has cut NHS funding: the Labour Party in Wales”.
May was notably more comfortable on her old turf, speaking about the police and the issue of mental health patients being held in cells which did offer an element of counter attack, but ultimately Corbyn was the winner today, undoubtedly leaving May a tad unnerved.
Both sides of the house today were lively, particularly as the PMQs got off to a rather humorous start when Peter Bone asked the PM to sing him Happy Birthday. However, overall Labour were the rowdier of the two, especially when encouraged by an unusually reactive Corbyn, who emotively accused the government of forcing the “NHS to its knees”.
Although he didn’t name any names, Nigel Adams seemed to allude to online secondary ticket selling sites today, when revealing he was unable to purchase tickets to see his favourite band: Green Day.
Purely for his theatrical delivery (Brian Blessed-esque), this week’s rising star (he’ll be delighted with this accolade) was Stephen Pound, MP for Ealing North, who hailed the ‘high street heroes’ that are community pharmacists.
In a slightly risqué move, which sent the House into a fervour, the best joke goes to the PM, who whilst wishing Peter Bone a Happy Birthday, added that she “hoped Mrs. Bone would treat the occasion in the appropriate manner…”.