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Coffee House

John Bercow presided well over a stormy PMQs

20 November 2013

2:00 PM

20 November 2013

2:00 PM

Both sides came to PMQs today armed with prepared lines. David Cameron had the ‘nightmare’ emails and the whole Reverend Flowers and the Co-Op scandal. Ed Miliband had Nick Boles’ admission yesterday that the Tories are seen as the party of the rich.

These jibes were duly hurled across the despatch box. But it was evident that Cameron was enjoying the exchanges rather more. When Miliband called Cameron a ‘loser’ he seemed to be trying a touch too hard.

Cameron’s relaxed attitude was also because he knows that there are serious problems coming down the track for Labour. He announced that the government is now looking at an inquiry into the Co-Op and how Reverend Flowers came to be running the bank. Combine this with the inquiry into Unite’s ‘leverage’ tactics and you have two inquiries which will report before the next election which could embarrass Labour.

One other notable thing about today’s PMQs was how much more restrained Bercow’s chairing of it was. When the Labour benches, rather humourlessly, started raging about Cameron saying Michael Meacher sounded like he had taken mind-altering substances, Bercow brought the House to order. When Meacher then made a point of order, Bercow simply let Cameron respond.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


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