Ed Miliband’s first few questions to David Cameron today were about the various inquiries into child abuse. Miliband wasn’t interested in creating controversy: he didn’t ask about whether Lady Butler-Sloss was the right person to run the inquiry given that her late brother was Attorney General when Geoffrey Dickens handed his file to the Home Secretary. But then Miliband turned to the NHS and the atmosphere in the House flipped.
Cameron defiantly defended his use of statistics from last week. But it was once Miliband had asked his last question that Cameron went into full attack mode. He started denouncing Labour and Andy Burnham for Mid Staffs; the frequency with which he now does this is a belated recognition that it was a political mistake to absolve them of blame for it on the day that the Francis Report came out. He then turned to Miliband denouncing him as not up to the job. It might have been fairly simplistic stuff but the Tory benches loved it and Labour MPs shifted uneasily in their seats during it. This sixth question attack is becoming such a feature of Cameron’s pefromances that Miliband really should mix things up, occasionally only asking five questions.
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.