Fraser Nelson

Blair’s penultimate PMQs

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Blair was good today, buzzing, contemptuous and articulate. Cameron was better. He was on top of the facts and ready with sound bites ("he'll release more prisoners this year than the entire prison population of Australia"). Just the skills he'll need for fighting Brown.

Ken Purchase (former PPS to the late Robin Cook) denouncing Lord Harris for "owning" City Academies showed how emboldened the left is ahead of Brown's arrival. Blair immediately counterattacked. I wonder how Brown will respond to such interventions from the left on academies, foundation hospitals and the Iraq war. We'll find out in a fortnight.

PS... Brownites (Ian Austin, Jim Murphy, Nick Brown) were all standing at the back of the chamber, unable to find a seat. There is no seating plan, and the chamber only sits two thirds of its members. I presume Blairite backbenchers will be ousted come the revolution.

UPDATE: I've just bumped into an excited Blairite minister, who pointed out (I missed it) that Gordon Brown nodded vigorously when Blair defended City Academies. "That's more significant than anything Tony said," he reckons.

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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