A few days ago, one would have expected the first PMQs of term to be a rowdy affair as Labour went for Cameron over the Carswell defection. But the recent, hideous events in Iraq have changed all that and today’s PMQs was instead a sober, statesmanlike affair which reflected well on both Cameron and Miliband.
The Labour leader led on ISIL’s murder of a second American journalist. As Cameron and Miliband discussed, and I use that word advisedly, the matter, the House was silent. After ISIL, Miliband turned to the government’s proposed new anti-terror measures. Interestingly, Cameron stated that relocation powers would happen. So, it seems that he is confident that he can carry the coalition on this.
Carswell’s defection did surface when the Labour MP Karl Turner asked what other birthday surprises Cameron was expecting, a reference to the by-election being on the PM’s birthday. But Cameron defused the barb with humour, saying that he was hoping for lots of surprises but he didn’t want people to spoil it by saying what it was.
The real drama, though, came at the end of the session when Tory MPs lined up to stick the knife into John Bercow, openly attacking the Speaker in an unprecedented way. Here’s more from Isabel on what all that means.
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.