Starmer gloats over election results as the dad jokes keep on coming – POLITICO


Prime minister’s questions: a shouty, jeery, very occasionally useful advert for British politics. Here’s what you need to know from this week’s session in POLITICO’s weekly run-through.

What they sparred about: Keir Starmer used the opportunity to gloat after last week’s local elections drubbing for the Conservatives. The Labour leader claimed Rishi Sunak intends “ignore the message” he was sent by the voters — and that the prime minister thinks the troubled U.K. economy is doing just fine. Sunak dusted off some PMQs classics — pointing to Starmer’s habit of U-turns, his previous support for extra coronavirus lockdowns, historic anti-monarchy views … and (deep sigh) that Liam Byrne note from 2010.

It’s all in the delivery: Starmer came armed with some jokes of, well, questionable quality. How about these classics from the Labour leader? “Sunak lost a beauty contest to [Liz Truss], who then lost to a lettuce.” … “He said he’d lose 1,000 council seats and then he managed it — after thirteen years a Tory promise they haven’t broken.” … “The prime minister keeps entering a two horse race and somehow finishing third.”

How did they land? Some … half-hearted chuckles were certainly had. Guess you had to be there.

It’s all in the delivery part II: “He’s not … just a softy! He’s a flaky too!” Sunak jibed back. Does anyone know what that means? Either way we really want an ice cream.

Helpful intervention of the week: In the latest edition of what is apparently LMQs (London Mayor Questions), Tory MP Gagan Mohindra urged the prime minister to condemn the Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan for extending ultra low-emission zones in London. Sunak happily obliged, obvs.

Totally non-scientific scores on the doors: You could tell which of the leaders had the better night in last week’s local elections.

Sunak 5/10 … Starmer 7/10 … Ability of senior politicians to deliver even one passable joke 0/10.

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