A week in which everyone was focussed on the upcoming EU referendum saw the leader of the opposition focus instead on the 7-day NHS. Kashif Taher watched #PMQs so you don’t have to.
Despite having caught up on sleep over the weekend, you could see that the Prime Minister was carrying some residual stress from his recent negotiations. He has a party to hold together and is likely still smarting from Boris’ decision to support the ‘Leave’ camp in the EU referendum. It didn’t seem to impact his performance today though, as winning PMQs has become almost too routine for Cameron. He batted away questions from Labour with ease.
Issue of the week
Corbyn started out overly calm, and had some statistics on the NHS at the ready. It was arguably a strange topic to focus on after a weekend of tough negotiations with European leaders on by far the biggest political issue this year, and doubly so after a week when few seem to have discussed anything other than the upcoming referendum. Cameron struck down Corbyn’s arguments with strong rebuttals.
For all Labour’s faults, surely they can at least claim ownership over the NHS as an issue… Right? However, although the junior doctor strike action risks damaging the government’s implementation of a seven day NHS, Cameron managed to do a better job of praising NHS staff than Corbyn, calling them “world-class”, to Corbyn’s “brilliant”, and cited popular support for reform of NHS hours. Corbyn’s jabs on the NHS were weak, ill-timed and didn’t land.
Joke of the week
The issue of Cameron’s mum’s reported anti-cuts attitude was bought up, and Cameron delivered a laugh for the entire Chamber by claiming his mum would recommend that Corbyn wear a proper suit and do up his tie. Tom Watson, to Corbyn’s left, was visibly shaken, after straining very hard not to laugh.
Regardless of whether it actually matters, there is cross-party support for reform of Corbyn’s wardrobe.
After taking a question from the SNP, Cameron raised voters’ fears that Scotland might be becoming a One-party State. His face lit up as he had the opportunity to mention Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, who is vying for second place in the Holyrood elections in May.
Didcot A Power Station was mentioned in light of yesterday’s tragic events, although it ceased operations long ago.
Labour will need a reason to be rowdy before they can win this section. The ever-excited Tories win today with their vocal enjoyment of Cameron’s jibes at Corbyn.
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