David Cameron has just completed his first PMQs.
Some of his key leadership campaign themes were in evidence…
- Consensual Cameron: His first question was all about his willingness to support Labour’s education reforms if they included satisfactory freedoms for schools. DC described education as the "first issue" on which "we" are going to working together. Tony Blair said that he welcomed DC’s support but challenged him to match Labour’s investment commitment to schooling. In a sign of how Labour intends to caricature DC’s ‘sharing the proceeds of growth’ formulation, he implied (without evidence) that ‘sharing’ meant half spending increases and half tax cuts.
- No-Punch & Judy Cameron: In a reminder of the way he took on Paxo during the leadership election DC singled out Labour Chief Whip Hillary Armstrong MP as MPs jeered at him. He accused her of "shouting like a child" and said that that behaviour was one of the reasons the public didn’t respect politicians anymore.
- Green Cameron: His second set of questions focused on climate change. Confirming his positioning during the leadership election as a Kyoto devotee Mr Cameron encouraged the Prime Minister to recommit himself to Kyoto Mk II. Tony Blair has recently been moving closer to the Bush/ John Howard position on the environment which emphasises technology. TB’s response to DC was similar to that on education. He said that he must embrace Labour’s Climate Change Levy if he was serious about the environment.
I think I’m right in thinking that DC asked only five of the permissible six questions?
The best soundbite of PMQs came in the first question. Tory Stephen O’Brien put a question to the "outgoing Prime Minister"!
The best question came from Tory backbencher Shailesh Vara on Darfur. What did the continuing genocide in that part of Sudan mean for the government’s commitment to stop ethnic cleansing? TB’s non-answer was almost as bad as DC’s non-answer to ConservativeHome’s questionnaire on the subject.
The balance of emailers to BBC’s Politics Show gave David Cameron the victory. Nick Robinson said that DC exhibited extraordinary confidence. He liked the "You were the future once" jibe at TB. "I want to talk about the future," the new Tory leader told the Commons.