PMQs today was bad for David Cameron, but nowhere near as bad as it could have been. No permanent damage was done to him.
Ed Miliband did not, to my surprise, come with a set of reforms to the expenses regime that he wanted Cameron to agree to there and then. Instead, he chose to concentrate on what this said about Cameron’s judgment. ‘This is about him’, Miliband thundered. I was, though, surprised not to hear Miliband making more of his usual line that Cameron ‘stands up for the wrong people.’
Cameron knew he was on a sticky wicket and many of his lines didn’t land well this week. But he got through the session and his insistence that this House of Commons is an honest one full of hardworking people will have won him some credit with MPs. Though, it is also a bit of hostage to fortune. One can imagine this being quoted back at him if there are any more scandals.
The cost to the Tories of the Maria Miller scandal is that the scab has been knocked off the expenses scandal and that the good economic news, including the IMF declaring that Britain will grow faster than any other G7 economy this year, has been obscured. The Tories cannot afford anymore self-inflicted wounds.