PMQs today was a typically bad tempered affair. The Tories have responded to David Cameron’s mauling two weeks ago, by upping the aggression in Cameron’s answers and the noise levels.
Today, the Tories wanted to talk about Unite. At every opportunity, Cameron sought to bring Unite the union, who donate millions to Labour, into his answers. He floated the prospect of new laws to combat the aggressive and unpleasant ‘leverage’ tactics that Unite had used at Grangemouth. He likened Ed Miliband to the mayor of a Sicilian town who had been put in by the mafia and was afraid they would take him out if he took them on.
Miliband led on the NHS. But the exchanges were far from enlightening. They, essentially, consisted of Miliband saying that the ‘NHS isn’t safe’ in Cameron’s hands and Cameron pointing to the NHS problems in Labour-run Wales.
But, perhaps, the most significant aspect of PMQs today was that relations between Cameron and Bercow have pretty much broken down. Bercow again interrupted Cameron mid-stream and upbraided him for not answering a question. But when Bercow moved to cut Cameron off again, Cameron responded that he was answering the question and ploughed on. Straight after PMQs, the Tory deputy chief whip tweeted:
#PMQs getting like Old Trafford. 5 minutes extra time in the hope that the Reds can score a late equaliser.
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) November 6, 2013