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Coffee House

Today’s PMQs fails to interrupt the mini-Tory revival

24 April 2013

1:39 PM

24 April 2013

1:39 PM

There has been a distinct shortage of PMQs recently and after today, there’s only one more until June. This will add to Ed Miliband’s disappointment that he didn’t shift the political mood today, nothing happened to interrupt the mini-Tory revival. Though, tomorrow’s GDP figures will be crucial in whether it continues.

Miliband went on the NHS, one of Labour’s strongest subjects, only for David Cameron to counter that if Labour got in again there would be another Mid-Staffs. This was a distinct change of tone from Cameron’s initial response to the Francis Report, when he went out of his way to avoid trying to blame the previous government.

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The questions planted by the Tory whips were, tellingly, nearly all about benefits. The Tories clearly intend to keep focusing on this. Cameron mocked Labour as ‘the welfare party’ in response to a question from one Labour MP. By contrast, the planted Labour questions were nearly all about the cut in the 50p tax rate and whether Cameron would benefit personally. If the Tories think benefits is Labour’s Achilles heel, Labour thinks the Tories is the sense that they are for the rich.

One thing that might rumble on from PMQs is Cameron dodging the question of whether he played any role in blocking Tanni Grey-Thompson as a candidate to head Sport England.

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