This PMQs was always going to be a very different affair for Theresa May. Post-election, her aura has gone and, for the first time, Jeremy Corbyn now has his benches behind him. Given the circumstances, Theresa May turned in one of her best PMQs performances. She has never been a natural at the despatch box, but she was solid today. Her performance will have reassured Tory MPs that she is able to keep going.
Jeremy Corbyn began on the Grenfell fire. At first, his questions were detailed and precise. He got May to admit that her understanding is that the cladding on Grenfell tower was not compliant with building regulations. But then Corbyn went uber-partisan, blaming Grenfell on austerity and ‘disregard for working class communities’. May then pointed out that the problems exposed by this fire involve government and local authorities of all political stripes. She too then went very political, highlighting how fire regulations had changed under the last Labour government.
The SNP’s new Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, is no Angus Robertson and May got through his questions with relative ease. May was also helped out by largely friendly questions from her own side, with the exception of Philip Davies. She got off one good jibe at Corbyn’s expense, saying that on Trident he says one thing to the many, the voters, and another to the few, the organiser of the Glastonbury Festival.