James Forsyth

Straight out of the Brown textbook

Straight out of the Brown textbook
Text settings

What was probably Brown’s last PMQs performance as Prime Minister was classic Brown. He answered questions that hadn’t been asked, dodged ones that had, rattled off list after list of tractor production figures and mentioned Lord Ashcroft at every opportunity. But, as he has in recent months, he had some one liners to get off including the jab that Cameron ‘was the future once’, an echo of Cameron’s put down of Blair.  

But that line couldn’t disguise the fact that Cameron got the better of Brown. Cameron’s speed on his feet just makes him better in this setting. His response to the heckle that the business leader he was quoting was a Tory will look great on the news tonight: ‘Not a Tory but one of his [the PM’s] advisors. He’s probably a Tory now, so are half the country.’

As expected, Nick Clegg set about denouncing both parties. His line to the Labour bench, ‘You failed. It’s over, it’s time to go’ was particularly well-done, reinforcing the Lib Dems’ anti-Labour and anti-politics credentials.