Fraser Nelson

And the winner of PMQs is ...  Boris Johnson

And the winner of PMQs is ...  Boris Johnson
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The best part of PMQs came just after it ended, in the form of an irate Boris Johnson. "I am sure the Prime Minister inadvertently misled the House when he said I want to cut spending on the Metropolitan Police".... Brown was walking out the door, to Tory roars. "I'm the only one who has to stay and listen to it" says Michael Martin. Boris had just done what the other Tories should do all the time: refuse to put up with falsehoods said by the Prime Minister.

There were plenty. Brown said the Tories opposed increases in education spending. Untrue. He told MPs recently that inflation is down from 10% in the early 90s to 2% today. Untrue. He told them Britain has the world's second largest defence spending. Untrue. Normally, Tories roll their eyes and let this pass unchallenged. But it took Boris to point out that while Brown may mislead in interviews, it is against the rules to do so in parliament. Brown has spent such little time debating in parliament that he forgets this. BoJo put the record straight. Bravo.

Anyway, to PMQs. Derek Conway wisely absented himself (as far as I could see). But maybe it would have been safe for him to go. Labour did not make one joke about Tories and nepotism. Both sides know they are in glass houses. I rather hoped Norman Baker would make a point, but he didn't. I rather fancied at least a third of the House is thinking "there but for the grace of God...". Robert Winnett, who broke the Conway story last May, works in parliament now.  So they shouldn't feel safe. 

I blogged last week that Brown has a succesful strategy for Cameron: to ignore the question, and make a wee speech. This time, Cameron had his own response: to lambast "People watching this will conclude that this Prime Minister cannot make a decision and cannot answer a question." etc.

But this week, Brown wasn't really trying. Last week, he was on the ropes and fought back, strongly. This week's PMQs had a downbeat feel to it. People were walking out towards the end, and little wonder.

Huge cheers for Killer Cable, and Brown almost cracked a joke. A "pleasure to see Cable back in the position", he said, "and.... and.... and.....". You feel like shouting out "and I'm sure it won't be long before he's back in the acting leader's chair again" or another payoff that would come naturally to Blair. Instead, it kind of petered out.

As ever, Cable had a great subject. 1m homes at risk (Brown has previously boasted that Americans face 2m repossessions, unlike Britain). Brown responded by saying how baaad things were under the Tories. He sticks to his theme, hammers it home. Unlike the Tories.

Brown's misleading stats get worse. Today he claims he led the first government since 1939 to see crime fall, down by 32%, violent crime down 31%. As Polly Toynbee rightly said (the words stick on my Blackberry), why are they building new Titan prisons if crime is not rampant?

In response to Clegg, Brown said defence spending fell by 20% between 1992 and 1997. I wonder if he thinks collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War might be connected to that?

Finally someone (Keith Vaz) mentioned the police march, which no MP did last Wednesday when thousands of them were outside. Daft of Tories not to say they'd stump up, in the same way they respected every independent pay arbitration panel in office. Brown again says he didn't pay the police to combat inflation. If he's so worried, why not act to cap the outrageous 4.4% average council tax rise on the cards?

So overall a 0-0-0 match won by Boris Johnson.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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