James Forsyth James Forsyth

Cameron tries to turn Miliband’s microscope off

Having been stumped by Miliband’s focus on detail in the past two PMQs, Cameron came prepared today. He was determined to highlight the fact that the Labour leader wasn’t asking about the big picture.

So after Miliband had asked a series of questions about the nuts and bolts of NHS reforms, Cameron used his final answer to launch into Miliband. ‘He can’t ask about strikes because he is in the pockets of the union’, he started. He rattled off a series of other great issues of the day on which Miliband was silent, building up towards his conclusion with the line‘ he has to talk about the micro because he can’t talk about the macro.’ Then, the Speaker cut the Prime Minister off. For half a second, Cameron stood there disbelieving, hand on hip, staring at the Speaker before he resumed his seat.

This was not the only clash of the session between Bercow and Cameron.  In answer to one of the final questions, Cameron gave a long answer detailing all that was being done to tackle crime in London only for Bercow to remark, in a rather snippy tone, that PMQs is ‘principally for backbenchers’. I suspect that we’ll soon, again, hear Tories muttering about what to do with the Speaker. 

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