James Forsyth James Forsyth

Ed Miliband makes the best of a bad situation at PMQs

Today’s PMQs was never going to be easy for Ed Miliband. The latest polls have put a spring in the Tories’ step and made Labour MPs jittery. And today’s job numbers — with employment hitting record levels — gave Cameron the perfect springboard from which to argue that the government’s economic plan is working. But, given all this, Miliband did relatively well.

The Labour leader went on Pfizer again, attacking its planned take-over of Astra-Zeneca. The issue suits Miliband as it allows him to make his big argument that the Thatcher/Blair consensus kept politicians and the markets too far apart. By contrast, Cameron is constrained in what he can say on the matter. He tried to make capital out of the fact that Miliband had turned down a meeting with Pfizer because he was too busy campaigning but this line of attack lost force with every repetition.

There are now no more PMQs for five weeks. The next time the leaders meet, we’ll have had the European Elections and the Newark by-election. These will do far more than today’s session did to determine the political mood.

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