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GIMSON Andrew Krieg

Do not shoot Jeremy Corbyn. He is doing his best, and was today slightly better than usual.

After a feint toward the Chagos islanders, he chose the right subject, which is Brexit. Mr Corbyn wanted to know what the Prime Minister thinks of Boris Johnson’s remark, made in the Czech Republic, that Brexit probably means leaving the customs union.

Here were dangers for Theresa May. She could be tempted into making a joke about Mr Johnson, in which case she would be accused, as he so often is, of a lack of seriousness.

Or she might get drawn into discussing the actual issue, which she is not yet ready to do.

She avoided both mistakes, and kicked her opponent instead: “We’re getting on with the job. He’s not up to the job.”

The Leader of the Opposition adopted the Pooterish tone of wounded dignity which comes so naturally to him: “We need a better answer than she’s given us.”

Mr Pooter is one of the most loveable figures in English literature, and Mr Corbyn does him to perfection. Let him week by week express the severe misgivings which would be aroused in Mr Pooter by Mr Johnson.

Such solemnity, respectability and stupidity would suit the Leader of the Opposition, and become rather wearing for Mrs May.

Angus Robertson, for the Scottish Nationalists, also asked about Brexit and the single market. She retorted that only a couple of years ago, the Nats wanted to take Scotland out of that market, which was an inaccurate enough account of their view to annoy them.

Richard Bacon (Con, South Norfolk) raised a question which has been troubling a number of us: “Following the election of Mr Trump and given the very welcome progress made in our society both by women and by those from ethnic minorities, what message of reassurance does the Prime Minister have for fat middle-aged white men who may feel that we have been left behind?”

Mrs May might have said she still finds room in her Cabinet for the odd token fat middle-aged white man, such as Mr Johnson. But instead she flirted with Mr Bacon, who is if anything even fatter: “Perhaps the honourable gentleman would like to come up and see me sometime.”

Mae, or May, West is alive and well and living in Downing Street, where she is enjoying being Prime Minister.

 

28 comments for: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Corbyn channels his inner Pooter and is worried about Brexit…

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