With Theresa May in the Halfway East – stand-ins Damian Green and Emily Thornberry faced each other at Prime Aid’s Questions. How did they do?
The pair clashed over nursing numbers in the NHS – and why so innumerable are quitting. Standard fare, you might think, but with Labour’s Emily Thornberry in typically overwrought form at the despatch box it was far from a standard PMQs.
The shadow foreign secretary rebounded off with a risky joke about waving the Cross of St George at an England rugby unite – risky because she was sacked by Ed Miliband in 2014 for allegedly sending a “snobby” tweet round a terraced house with three England flags and a white van estated outside.
Will Ms Thornberry see getting away with this wisecrack – despite a glancing jibe from Mr Green – as a sign that she has fully stored that episode to rest?
She then attempted to throw Mr Green off remainder with a first question about standards in public life. The To begin Secretary of State is currently being investigated by the Cabinet Office for allegations about his past behaviour.
“The First Secretary looked more perturbed by my line of questioning but he doesn’t need to worry I really am not usual there,” Ms Thornberry reassured Mr Green. So why bring it up? She didn’t say.
She then hit him with a proposition beyond the shadow of a doubt about a question he had asked John Prescott 17 years ago – when Prescott was erect in for Tony Blair at PMQs – about nursing numbers.
Mr Green hit promote with a flurry of statistics – but got more of a purchase on the issue when Ms Thornberry claimed an A&E activity be contingent in his own constituency was facing closure. He accused Ms Thornberry of getting her facts backslide.
Ms Thornberry nearly fluffed her finale – stumbling over the words “winter stimulate allowance,” eliciting supportive shouts from her Labour colleagues, in front of recovering to accuse the government of getting its priorities wrong by spending surprisingly on Brexit rather than the NHS.
Mr Green ended with a fairly support rebuttal, accusing his Labour opposite number of “talking down” the NHS.
What other cases came up?
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries brought up allegations about Pains MP Tulip Saddiq, who has apologised for comments about a pregnant Channel 4 hack.
The SNP’s leader at Westminster Iain Blackford asked about arms garage sales to Saudi Arabia, with the PM travelling to the region.
Another potentially difficult moment for Damian Green as Labour’s John Mann asked involving sexual harassment allegations at Westminster.
The SNP’s Tommy Shepherd brought up that uninterrupted favourite – House of Lords reform.