James Forsyth James Forsyth

PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn’s failings give Theresa May a way out

At first it looked like Jeremy Corbyn was going to go on the rights of Chagos Islanders at PMQs, but then he shifted tack to Brexit. Corbyn’s questions were quite tightly honed — using Boris Johnson’s comments in a Czech newspaper interview about Britain probably leaving the customs union to needle May.

But Corbyn’s own failings give May a way out each time, she just attacks him for not being up to the job. At the end of their exchanges today, you were left with the sense that a better opposition leader could have caused May real problems today, but Corbyn simply isn’t up to it.

May received a rare hostile question from her own side today when Alberto Costa asked her to guarantee that she would never make him vote against the rights of his parents — Italians who live here in the UK. May had the good grace to look uncomfortable as she said that she very much hoped that she would be able to guarantee the rights of EU nationals resident here.

I suspect, though, that a lot of the headlines will be about Theresa May refusing to rule out a peerage for Nigel Farage. Though, I suspect that we shouldn’t read as much into her answer as some people are doing.

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