MPs piled into the Chamber expecting a blood and thunder affair. But instead it was rather subdued. Ed Miliband chose to ask six questions about the Syrian situation concentrating on the humanitarian and diplomatic situation and Cameron had to respond in measured tones. Though, one could sense that Cameron would have loved to have gone for Miliband.
The most needle came in their finale exchange when Miliband declared that last week’s vote had not been about Britain withdrawing from the world but ‘preventing a rush to war’. Cameron witheringly replied that his regret was that Miliband had chosen ‘to divide the House on a vote that could have led to another vote’. I suspect that the mixture of hatred and contempt that Cameron and his circle now feel for Miliband will lead to some particularly viscous exchanges in future.
In terms of substance, the most interesting thing was Labour’s determination to push for Britain to engage more with Iran. The news that Cameron had written to the new Iranian president was not enough for the Labour side who want Britain to treat Iran, the author of so many of the Middle East’s problems, as a partner for peace.
One other thing worth noting was a rather awkward exchange between Cameron and the Tory backbencher Jesse Norman who was, as Isabel reported, relieved of his role on the party’s policy board this morning. It was another reminder that party management continues to be a real problem for this Prime Minister.Tags: David Cameron, Ed Miliband, PMQs, Syria