Ed Balls succeeded in getting David Cameron to lose his rag at PMQs today. The shadow
Chancellor sledged the PM throughout the session, apparently asking him how many glasses of wine he had had today and the like. Towards the end of the session, Cameron snapped and called Balls
‘the muttering idiot sitting opposite me’. The House erupted. Ed Balls looked even more pleased with himself than usual while the Tory benches cheered the line.
The exchange will put Cameron’s temper up for discussion which is Downing Street’s second least-favourite topic after the PM’s work-rate. But I suspect that there’ll be
limited cut through to the public: politicians insulting each other in the House isn’t exactly new.
In the medium-term, the most politically significant line at PMQs today was Cameron declaring that Parliament had made its mind up on prisoners voting and he agreed with it. After the Strasbourg
judgment yesterday declaring that a blanket ban on prisoners voting was illegal, this puts Cameron on a collision course with the European Court of Human Rights.