James Forsyth

Cameron repulses Harman’s misdirected assault

Cameron repulses Harman's misdirected assault
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The PMQs attack No 10 was expecting from Labour on the Coalition’s planned spending cuts did not materialise and today’s was another relatively quiet affair. It started with a minute’s silence in memory of those who died in the shootings in Cumbria. Harman asked one question on gun laws before moving on to the electoral roll and whether it is fair to redraw the boundaries on a roll that does not include three and a half million people. Harman would be on quite strong ground here except for the fact that the boundaries were redrawn under the last government using this electoral register, a point Cameron made.

When Harman moved on to CCTV there was an amusing moment when she said that she had been talking to Theresa on Friday which drew ‘oohs’ from the Tory benches who thought she was referring to the Home Secretary by her first name, only for Harman to then say that she was talking about Theresa from a council estate in her constituency who wants more CCTV not less. But overall, Cameron had the better of the exchanges.

There were a few planted questions on the Tory side on Labour’s mismanagement of the public finances that would have made even New Labour MPs in 1997 blush. I know that both sides do it, and that Labour MPs were serial offenders on this front for 13 years, but it really is a regrettable practice.

Towards the end of session, Cameron confirmed that the flag of St George would fly over Downing Street for the duration of the World Cup. I suspect that what Cameron really meant was that the flag of England would fly over Downing Street for the duration of England’s involvement in the World Cup.