Wednesday 14 January 2009

Real questions please

The Prime Minister seemed to get stuck in a rut on his first answer of PMQs today.

Like an old, scratched piece of vinyl that refuses to move on he repeated the words “real help” no less than eight times in a matter of seconds.

The mantra was in response to a question – about today’s business aid package – from former-whip Liz Blackman that was so shamelessly set up even the Erewash MP herself looked embarrassed.

I’d hoped Blackman’s first PMQ since rejoining the backbenches might be meatier, but she obviously still has her eye on future opportunities.

Cameron stood up and said: “Planted question, copied policy.”

He must have been peeved because he said it even before giving thanks for the soldiers that had died in Afghanistan.

The first PMQs in 2009 also offered up further evidence of an imminent return to the shadow cabinet for Ken Clarke.

In the to and fro Cameron had attacked the Government’s 2.5% VAT cut, which Brown then responded by saying that the Rushcliffe MP had supported it.

The Conservative leader pulled out a piece of paper and performed a carefully planned answer which amounted to a defence of Clarke.

Such forethought must mean the Tory team has been anticipating the lines of attack the former Chancellor’s comeback will invoke.

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