When Ed Miliband started speaking at PMQs today you could tell straight away that he had a foul sore throat. Combine that with the promising unemployment figures out today and Miliband forgetting two key chunks of his conference speech, and there was clear potential for the session to get very tricky for him.
But Miliband had come to the Chamber armed with a series of hard questions for Cameron to answer about what Lord Freud, one of his welfare ministers had set at a fringe meeting at Tory conference. Freud apparently said that disabled people were not worth the minimum wage and that if they wanted to work for £2 an hour, that should be accommodated.
This instantly threw Cameron onto the defensive. Cameron was quick to disassociate himself from Freud’s remarks, and Freud’s position in government is in clear doubt. (Standby, for more from Isabel Hardman on Freud’s position). But from this point, Miliband was in charge of the session.
This PMQs was also notable for Douglas Carswell’s first question to Cameron as a Ukip MP. Carswell was clearly itching to be called, bobbing up and down after nearly every question. When it was his turn, his question wasn’t about Europe or immigration, but recall. Cameron’s tone in reply was strikingly inclusive, even if his body language suggested that he wasn’t feeling particularly inclusive towards his former MP – suggesting he was prepared to see the bill amended to go further.