Harriet Harman began at PMQs by asking about the situation in Tunisia. The mood of the House was appropriately sombre as this issue was discussed and there was much agreement between her and Cameron. But then she turned to the Davies’s report and its recommendation that a third runway should be built at Heathrow, and party politics was resumed.
Harman announced that Labour was now backing a third runway, and challenged Cameron to do the same. He dodged, hiding behind the threat of judicial review. Harman then cracked a series of good jokes at his expense, chastising him for ‘being bullied by Boris’ out of doing the right thing for the country. Harman leaned across the despatch box and mockingly declared, ‘He’s in a holding pattern above Heathrow and Boris won’t let him land.’
But I left PMQs today with the impression that Cameron doesn’t want to back a third runway. This wasn’t just because of his stonewalling of Harman on the matter but because of the way he ostentatiously nodded along as Zac Goldsmith asked his anti-Heathrow question. If Cameron is planning to go for a third runway, this was a very odd thing to do.
The SNP again demonstrated their discipline in today’s session. The four SNP MPs who were called, all asked the same question about English votes for English laws and claimed that it would make Scottish MPs second class—which it wouldn’t.
There was a bit of controversy at the end of the session when Cameron responded to a typically irate Dennis Skinner question by suggesting that he was a political dinosaur. There have complaint that this was ungallant of Cameron. But given the abuse Skinner has dished out over the years, he can hardly complain about others giving him a dose of his own medicine.