Ed Miliband is determined to talk about the NHS as much as possible at PMQs while David Cameron wants the economy to be Topic A. The result: Miliband asks about the NHS and Cameron replies by saying that you can’t have a strong NHS without a strong economy. At the moment, there is no sign of either side being able to break this PMQs stalemate.
With the leaders stuck in a groove, the backbench questions are now where the action is. The SNP’s Pete Wishart previewed one of the SNP’s 2015 lines of attack, warning of a Ukip-UK as the main parties try and catch up with Nigel Farage. Cameron’s reply wasn’t bad though; he said that the SNP and Ukip were linked by their desire to divide people. Nadhim Zahawi got off the obligatory question about white vans and England flags which Ed Balls ostentatiously nodded throughout.
Then, Mark Reckless, who had sat nervously twitching his hands throughout the session, was called. He was met, predictably, by a wall of noise which gave Bercow the chance to deliver one of his lectures. The question was about the local hospital which gave Cameron a chance to attack Ukip for not believing in the NHS, which united the Tory and Labour benches in cheers. In the current war of the weak that is British politics, both the Tories and Labour seem more worried about Ukip than they do each other.
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