A common question in Westminster is ‘what is the point of the Liberal Democrats?’ The Lib Dems, it turns out, are asking their own existential questions: about PMQs.
Since taking over as leader of the party, Vince Cable has been oddly absent from a number of these Wednesday sessions. His office says he has been to three out of the six PMQs held so far this year, and tends to turn up when he has a question allocated, which is around once a month.
Tim Farron would make a great show of bobbing up and down to get Speaker Bercow’s attention at every PMQs, his face growing redder and redder from the frustrated effort. But to be frank, it’s a wonder that so many MPs still turn up to the session, given how unenlightening the exchanges between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn tend to be. Cable may actually be able to get more done as a result. He tells Coffee House:
‘There’s no point sitting there like a stuffed dummy every single week just to watch a Punch and Judy show when I can be doing more important work for my constituents and on policy. If there is a Prime Minister’s statement, then I always turn up because I get to ask a question.’