Battle of the soundbites at Prime Minister’s Questions

Cameron in the Commons.

Cameron in the Commons.

Whose jibe hit home hardest?

In today’s PMQs, David Cameron failed to answer a question by Jeremy Corbyn about the fact that his government is failing in its promise to provide 30 hours’ free childcare to too many parents and children.

Instead, he wandered off up a disputational back alley to discuss the announcement that former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is Mr Corbyn’s latest financial adviser.

Wrongly claiming that Varoufakis had ruined the Greek economy, Cameron went for a knockout punch by hooting that Corbyn’s economic policy was “Acropolis now”.

Did it connect?

Not in This Writer’s opinion.

It was a claim based on a falsehood – or at least, a matter that is debatable. Cameron built his castle on sand and it won’t stand up attack.

So, what about Corbyn’s response?

Attacking Conservative education policy, he pointed out that too many schools are having to hire ‘agency’ teachers, in the same way as the health service – on which he has commented in a previous PMQs confrontation.

Are we living in “agency Britain”? He asked.

A hit?

Again, not really.

The facts may be accurate but the words themselves lacked bite.

We’re probably going to have to put this down as a no-score draw. In any case,with the EU referendum campaign continuing, Cameron’s hardest critics were sitting behind him.

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7 thoughts on “Battle of the soundbites at Prime Minister’s Questions

  1. mohandeer

    So why didn’t Corbyn request of Speaker Bercow if he could direct the PM to answer the question he was asked. It’s called PMQ’s for a reason. So why are so many parents and children still not receiving 30 hours free childcare?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He would have used up another one of his questions if he did as you suggest; it would have been treated as a separate question.

  2. Barry Davies

    Cameron never answers any question he is asked so the whole idea of PM’s questions has been undermined, the speaker should actually ask him to answer the questions put to him but for reasons only known to himself does not.

  3. Michael Broadhurst

    the reason is that Bercow is a Tory,which is wrong the speaker should be neutral.

  4. hayfords

    The Speaker has no power to make a PM answer questions. He acts as a sort of referee. He has no power over the content of questions or answers only their length. Gordon Brown and virtually all PMs have been accused of not answering questions. It degenerated into a knockabout years ago. I know there are many people who wished it was more polite and business like, but polls show a majority like the noisy PMQs. There is no chance of it changing.

  5. Terry Davies

    the speaker is a tory supporter and incapable of impartiality. regulation about removal of the speaker and replacement of the speaker during each 3 years should be enacted urgently.

  6. Dez

    PMQ is not a television debate where it is totally normal to never answer a direct question….that is an expectation to avoid adding another lie to countless other public statements. This is supposed to be the heartland of democracy where you are supposed to answer the question without all the bull and obvious avoidance.. The speaker is exactly what he has always been totally useless and if this carries on I really cannot see the point of wasting everyones time…..this is not democracy.

Comments are closed.