Mrs May survives. That’s the sensational news from today’s PMQs which was conducted in a remarkably sedate and leisurely atmosphere. The Tory leader came under little pressure from Jeremy Corbyn. And she got no grief at all from her own back-stabbers, sorry, back-benchers who seem to have decided to delay her dethronement until Hallowe’en, or possibly Bonfire Night.
Jeremy Corbyn challenged the government’s promise that austerity is over. The Labour party love austerity. They need austerity. Without austerity they can’t promise to ‘end austerity’ at the next election.
Announcing the loosening of Whitehall’s financial corsets, Mrs May said this. ‘People need to know that their hard work has paid off, and there are better days ahead.’ What a load of toffee-nosed twaddle. She sounded like Supermac at his most condescending. People don’t work full-time for ten years in order to rescue successive governments from their own incompetence.
Mr Corbyn tried clobbering Mrs May with statistics but she threw every figure back in his face. When he said ‘less’ she said ‘more’, when he said ‘cut’, she said ‘rise’. If he’d said ‘cake’ she’d have said ‘biscuit’.
He asked her to cancel the £1.3 bn cut for local councils.
Mrs May: ‘We’re making £1.3bn more available to councils in these next two years.’
He referred to Esther McVey’s admission that welfare claimants will lose out under Universal Credit. Mrs May instantly announced ‘three billion pounds in extra protection’. It was the same with the cops. Mr Corbyn brought up cuts to budgets and Mrs May said she’d bunged the police an extra 460 million quid.
This will come as news to West Midlands. Their chief constable has let Jeremy Corbyn know that he’s ‘struggling to deliver a service to the public’ and that, ‘criminals know how stretched we are.’
Rather unwise of a leading cop to share info that might lead to a crime wave. Even sillier of Jeremy Corbyn to repeat the admission of weakness on live TV. Perhaps Jezza and his uniformed chums have a long-term plan to unleash a wave of anarchy across the West Midlands and blame the arson attacks and bank-heists on the Tories.
Labour's Judith Cummins joined in. She announced to the world that West Yorkshire police is 400 officers below full strength. ‘It’s a national scandal’, she whimpered. Too right. An MP telling muggers and burglars to get mugging and burgling now, before the cops arrive, is an outrage. But still Parliament wasn’t finished.
David T.C. Davies asked about changes to transgender rules that will jeopardise women. Mrs May said, ‘it’s right we’re making these proposals,’ and the ‘government’s equality office is leading on this.’ It seems that this vexed battle is about to be won by the trans-activists.
It may seem fair that men who believe they are women should be free to use women’s facilities. But gender is determined by individual whim, or ‘self-identification.’ And the policy of self-ID will open female-only spaces permanently to all men. Since the category ‘all men’ includes the sub-category ‘violent men’, it follows that violent men will enjoy easier access to their victims. Well done, parliament. Another crime wave guaranteed.
Now watch Katy Balls and James Forsyth's PMQs debrief in this week's Facebook Live. Join every Wednesday lunchtime at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSpectator where James, Katy, and Isabel answer your questions.