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Why did Corbyn talk about buses not Brexit at PMQs?

4 July 2018

2:41 PM

4 July 2018

2:41 PM

Today’s PMQs could have been very tricky for Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn had an array of targets to choose from. He could have pressed for Brexit detail ahead of Chequers, mocking the Cabinet divisions on the topic. He could have gone on the National Audit Office excoriating Esther McVey over her claims on Universal Credit. Or he could have asked about the Electoral Commission finding against Vote Leave – a campaign that two of her Cabinet Ministers were at the heart of. If these options weren’t enough, he could have got her to respond to the US letter demanding that the UK spend more on defence if is to maintain its status as the US’s premier military ally, a tricky issue for May ahead of Donald Trump’s visit. But, no, Jeremy Corbyn went on bus regulation. Devoting all six of his questions to the topic.

Theresa May was visibly more comfortable at the despatch box than she has been in recent weeks when Corbyn has pressed her on Brexit. The front bench, who looked tense at the start of the session, visibly relaxed as it became clear that Corbyn was only going to ask about buses.

Now, I know some people will say that more people care about buses than Brexit detail. But PMQs offers the leader of the opposition a unique chance to put the Prime Minister on the spot, to change the political weather. Corbyn failed to take that opportunity today and in the process, quite possibly, missed out on forcing a Cabinet resignation.


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