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Hague_1Party leaders’ topics:  William Hague on Abu Hamza and "glorication of terrorism" law, then on the power of the people to choose to retain district and county councils. A nervous Menzies Campbell was also critical of the "glorification of terrorism" offence, and suggested that phone-tapped evidence should be used in anti-terror trials. A seemingly confident Simon Hughes questioned the housing record of the Labour government.

Best joke: In Hague’s first sentence: "It’s the first time in history that each party has been represented by a stand-in leader".

Best line: Hague expressed his hope that Blair would have a "deathbed conversion to democracy."

Biggest cheer of the day: There was much cheering and laughter on the Tory benches when Hague first stood, and for his starting line.

Best behaved person of the day: Labour backbenches were generally quiet, despite a few dissenting questions.

Best putdown of the day: Blair tried a prepared line that Hague’s "jokes were good, but judgement not so", it didn’t work. His simple belittling reply of "I think the Hon. Gentleman makes his point very well" to a critical question from a Labour MP is worth noting.

Missed topic of the day: Smoking ban.

Blair tried to bat away various questions on health, three questions from Conservatives wanting more funding (!), and, of course, the wit of William Hague – but his answers were very unconvincing.

Deputy Editor

42 comments for: PMQs: Hague gives confident performance

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