PMQs 19/07/2017

PMQs 19/07/2017

Olivia Crawford

If today’s PMQs is anything to go by, the Prime Minister is looking at a long, difficult summer ahead. Pagefield’s newest recruit Olivia Crawford watched it so you don’t have to.

 

Issue of the Week

In a relatively uneventful pre-recess PMQs, Corbyn and May covered familiar territory on the public sector pay cap, income inequality and the ongoing post-election dissent amongst the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

 

Who Won

Corbyn came out on top this week – his line of attack on the Prime Minister was quite impressive as he continued to exploit tensions within the cabinet. May’s defence over public sector pay was, again, significantly weakened when Corbyn aptly reminded the Prime Minister that although she may preach public spending restraint she didn’t “seem to have any problem finding money to pay for the DUP’s support”.

Still bolstered from his election ‘victory’, Corbyn’s anti-austerity platform continues to chime well with both his party and the public. Whilst a slogan-heavy May argued that a strong economy and job creation is the best route out of poverty, Corbyn effectively used recent statistics from the Institute of Fiscal Studies on income inequality and in-work poverty to counter.

Yet, considering May’s tenuous position, Corbyn failed to make this the uncomfortable session for the Prime Minister it should have been. She was helped somewhat from the rest of her party who largely asked supportive questions, and she did even manage to rouse her benches at times, but ultimately it will take numerous stronger performances before she is forgiven for her election failures. One thing is for sure – May is still looking at a long, difficult summer ahead.

 

Rowdiest Party

Perhaps Bercow may be regretting his recent relaxation of the House of Commons dress code, as SNP International Trade spokesperson Hannah Bardell MP (SNP, Livingston) wore a Scotland football shirt in the Chamber ahead of tonight’s Women’s Euro 2017 finals in the Netherlands. Although this was not widely discussed in the House, #shirtgate has received a lot of attention in the Twittersphere.

 

Rising Star

Tory MP Helen Whatley (Con, Faversham) gave an impassioned speech in the House today celebrating the NHS’ new number one ranked healthcare system. According to research form the Commonwealth Fund, (BBC, 14.07.2017) the UK came top of 11 countries examined across the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, France and Germany.

The former member of the Health Select Committee used this as an opportunity to attack Labour for using the NHS as political football.

 

Best Joke

Fresh from his maiden speech last week, newly-elected Labour MP Paul Sweeney (Lab, Glasgow North East) used his question to mock Theresa May’s tenuous leadership position. He joked, “the Prime Minister will now know what it is like to have a job, but lack security…”