Tory backbenchers are in an odd mood after PMQs. They weren’t happy about the leaders agreeing so readily on their pay, but their stances were hardly a surprise, and Labour MPs looked just as flat as Ed Miliband and David Cameron skirted around a possible cross-party deal on pay.
But what’s striking is that while Tory MPs who do think they deserve a pay rise are angry that the leaders and ministers such as Philip Hammond have made it so clear that it cannot happen, they are not angry with Cameron specifically. Instead, they are angry with the executive in general, muttering darkly that this is another sign that ‘those at the top of the parties have no idea what it’s like’. This is a significant shift: only half a year ago many MPs would have read this as a sign that their Prime Minister doesn’t love them and sunk into despair. Now at least they are declaring a plague on all houses, rather than picking a fight with their leader.