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PMQs: Leaders trade dull insults as Andrew Mitchell holds court

9 January 2013

1:37 PM

9 January 2013

1:37 PM

No one could call today’s PMQs illuminating. Ed Miliband led on the whole embarrassment of a Downing Street aide being snapped with a memo about whether to release a full audit of the coalition’s performance. There followed some not particularly sharp PMQs knock-about. Miliband claimed the ‘nasty party is back’ while Cameron bashed Labour for having no policy and took his usual shot at Ed Balls.

There was a brief flurry of excitement when David Cameron declared, unprompted, that he had never broken the broken the law. Lots of the press are now pointing out various incidents when we know that he has. But in the Chamber it was clear that Cameron was talking about the hunting ban, the subject of the question, rather than more generally. It is, though, another reminder that the Prime Minister’s undisciplined approach to language can get him in trouble.

One new feature of PMQs at the moment is Andrew Mitchell holding court at the bar of the House. He stands there, looking visibly better than he did six weeks ago and Tories come over to welcome him back to the political land of the living. Today, it was Jeremy Hunt, one of the Cabinet Ministers who always believed Mitchell, doing so. It’ll be interesting to see if those ministers who helped push Mitchell out make their way over to him in the coming weeks.

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Show comments
  • realfish

    I thought that Miliband was dire. His performance was contrived, he was weak, he looked immature and out of his depth.

    Today, you can get 4/1 on him not leading Labour into the next election. Now that the spectre of his brother has returned (who, yesterday, showed Labour MPs what they were missing), it might be worth a punt before the odds shorten dramatically.

    • telemachus

      Ah but Ed Balls made up for him
      Again he had Cameron rattled

      • EJ

        YAWN

        • telemachus

          No
          The last thing Ed does is make people yawn
          We’re we only to have him running the economy

          • coffeehousewall.co.uk

            I thought that the Spectator said it would be preventing trolls from posting? Why then is telemachus still here?

        • Russell

          Perhaps Disqus could incorporate a feature which allowed posters to simpy select a poster (such as telemachus) and allow an automatic down rating to all their comments, as this one particular poster is obviously a troll or an Ed Balls unpaid student worker.

    • HooksLaw

      Labour will exchange one Miliband for another? Hardly.
      Labour are stuck, barring death or scandal. Diving into a new election now would expose splits and be massively divisive. D.Miliband equals ‘Blairite’ and the mass of the Party hate Blair more than – well anyone you care to name, Dr Crippin for one.

  • Julian Kavanagh

    An interesting comment here: ‘It is, though, another reminder that the Prime Minister’s undisciplined approach to language can get him in trouble.’ One of DC’s international colleagues, John Key of New Zealand, has similar issues with language and a certain casualness that looks very sloppy. This problem has returned again and again for Key despite the fact that, like Cameron, he is taking tough and politically sound economic decisions after years of over-spending. Cameron would do well to take note and realise that the problem he and Key has is not over newspaper-generated ‘gaffes’ but around looseness of language and discipline.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Nonsense. The problem isn’t Cameron’s sloppy approach to language; it is the fact that he has lost the trust of too many Conservatives. I could say ‘trade unions are great’ my friends would think I am joking. If Cameron were to say the same thing, people would think it was just another example of how left wing he really is.

      • Chris lancashire

        As an example of nonsense that beats anything you think Julian Kavanagh wrote (which was actually very sensible).

        • ScaryBiscuits

          And what do I think that Julian Kavanagh wrote? Please tell, O wise one.

          • Chris lancashire

            I believe you described it as nonsense, O stupid one.

        • HooksLaw

          Correct. Its an expression of sheer stupidity. The fact that these hysterics talk themselves into believing their twaddle speaks volumes for their sanity.

      • telemachus

        You would like to think
        Cameron is dangerous as he showed on Marrs on Sunday
        He beguiled all by how reasonable it was to screw the poor on benefits
        He then went on to tell all the Ukip folk how reasonable it was to take his line on Europe
        We must not let our guard down this man is after the 2015 prize

        • Julian Kavanagh

          Telemachus. I suspect you know even less about New Zealand politics than you do UK politics.

    • telemachus

      On Tuesday, Patrick Rock, Mr Cameron’s political adviser, was seen carrying a “restricted” document that warned that the full version of the Mid-Term Review would contain an annex identifying “problematic areas” and lead to “unfavourable copy” identifying “broken pledges”.

      • coffeehousewall.co.uk

        Note to Spectator: I thought you were removing telemachus?

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