Weak Cameron hands PMQs victory to Corbyn – again

That’ll be another PMQs win for Jeremy Corbyn, then – marking a clean sweep in 2016 so far.

Cameron seemed distracted and confused – stuttering over his pre-prepared statements and reverting to his now-rather-pathetic soundbite attacks in attempts to score anything like a hit before having to sit down.

His reference to the health service in Wales missed the target by a mile. Everyone knows by now – don’t they? – that the Welsh NHS was initially hit hard by cuts to the grant from Westminster to Cardiff Bay, and the Labour Welsh Government has had to adjust its budgets over time to cope with the deficit without harming other services.

In consequence, Welsh health policy has been to prioritise life-threatening conditions, which is why cancer treatment here is ahead of the rest of the UK. Hip operations – the example quoted by Cameron – are not life-threatening issues and that is why waiting times are longer than in England. As the system re-balances, that will change.

In answering the question on ESA, Cameron fell into the same trap as he did on student grants. While the example quoted to him was of a person currently claiming ESA (or at least, who will claim under current conditions), there will undoubtedly be people with the same health problem claiming ESA in the future. His reassurance that they will be put in the support group rings hollow, as there is plenty of documented evidence to the contrary.

And why should future claimants in the work-related activity group receive less money than the current cohort? Will their living expenses be lower? Of course not. Cameron gave no reasonable explanation for the change.

All things considered, Cameron was lucky Corbyn’s allotted number of questions ran out. Cameron had mentioned the “people with the broadest shoulders” paying the most tax. If he’d had another question, Corbyn could have mentioned the amount of tax being paid by Google – now officially the world’s most profitable company but paying a ludicrously low amount of tax on its profits in the UK.

That being said, Corbyn’s earnest delivery made for a low-key confrontation that did not take advantage of Cameron’s clear weakness. He won – but he could have won more decisively.

Corbyn challenged Cameron over his government’s record on cancer treatment spending, and in particular the reduction of funding for radiologists despite the government’s own taskforce warning last year that they were essential.

Cameron hit back by claiming that the health service in Wales – run by a Labour government – was lagging behind England.

[This was] one of Cameron’s weakest PMQs performances for some time. On NHS radiologists his initial non-answer was more blatant than normal, and his jibes at Corbyn – “crazy” plans, and the reference to his “cogs” turning slowly – felt particularly inappropriate given the subject at hand and Corbyn’s earnest and sombre tone.

Cameron was better when handling the question about employment and support allowance (ESA), but it was probably “job done” for Corbyn.

Cameron’s repeated references to Wales and Scotland also felt rather off-topic although, as an insight into how the Tories will campaign between now and May, his repeated attack on Labour’s tax-raising agenda in Scotland was very revealing.

Corbyn called out Tory backbenchers who have taken to heckling his citing of constituents’ letters in his questions. Referring to Martin, a constituent struggling to help a friend with cancer, Corbyn said: “He doesn’t think it’s very funny.”

Source: PMQs verdict: one of Cameron’s weakest performances for some time | Politics | The Guardian

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


7 thoughts on “Weak Cameron hands PMQs victory to Corbyn – again

  1. NMac

    From what I have seen of Jeremy Corbyn, he certainly seems to show Cameron up as the lightweight he is, and it seems that Cameron can only come back back with cheap sneering insults.

  2. Terry Davies

    Cameron knows he is pissing against the wind. No one likes or believes him. truth be known tories await the EU referendum then the declaration by the SNP that scotland wants independence to have more tax control. After this the stalking horse will be in motion to prevent a vote of no confidence in the tory government.
    Cameron is looking to blame the EU referendum for division of the UK.
    Acknowledging his lack of sincerity publicly will be avoided if at all possible.

  3. John

    Camerons default format just seems to be not answering the question, followed by cheap insults. I’ve been questioning for a while just exactly what the point of PMQs is? The Tories just seem to be getting away with all the LIES and the fact that the media in general are just supporting them. I wonder whether the viewing figures for PMQs is still roughly the same as it was when Corbyn became the leader? I find the Tories just completely repulsive, and find that a number of them seem to come across as bullies not only in the way that they behave, but the way they respond in interviews also. However, having said all that, I have noticed an increase in the frequency with which Cameron becomes red faced, and sometimes has some rather odd expressions on his face at times. I really hope he’s starting to crack!

  4. Michael Broadhurst

    the time will come when CaMoron will forget whether hes telling lies or the truth haha.
    to be a good liar you’ve got to have a good memory,and we know how CaMoron
    conveniently ” forgets ” things dont we.

  5. mohandeer

    Unless I’ve missed something, does Wales have it’s own Parliament and it’s own tax laws and it’s own economic policy and it’s own autonomy and it’s own way in how the UK is governed?
    If I haven’t missed all the above, then I think it’s fair to say that Wales is under the Tory thumb like the rest of Britain. We already know the allocation of NHS funding from Westminster is not adequate for Wales or Scotland so the blame lies squarely with the Tories.
    Why does Cameron and the various stand up comics who jump up to make false claims about the jobs creation and fall in jobless(probably from being sanctioned) get away with the perpetual and blatant lying?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Wales has control over devolved matters and, I believe, limited tax-raising powers.
      But it is indeed under the Tory thumb with regard to the rest, including the amount it gets in central government funding.
      So, while Wales controls what it does with the government grant that covers the NHS, it doesn’t control the amount it receives.

Comments are closed.