Today saw the last session of Prime Minister’s Questions of this Parliament before it being dissolved next week. This was Prime Minister David Cameron’s 146th appearance since taking the job in May of 2010. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
The PM was able to fight off what could be seen as rather lame questions by the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, on VAT, which won’t be rising, and Cameron’s retirement plans. This strategy backfired as Cameron was able to turn the tables and ask what the Leader of the Opposition’s plans were for NI contributions. Perhaps the PM’s greatest retort today was, what will no doubt become a sound-bite for the press, “Two Terms, Ten Years and One Kitchen!”
As PMQs went on it became evidently clear that the Conservatives were far more optimistic about their future than the Labour party. “Cheer up Labour!” shouted one Tory backbencher.
The SNP were also in a lively mood today as they taunted sitting Scottish Labour MPs with the geer “SNP Gain!” A rather relevant heckle given the fact that today the SNP delivered their “Ransom note” to Westminster. This ended with Miliband being described as “Alex Salmond’s Poodle” in response to the claim that Cameron was a “lame duck”.
The phrase ‘Long Term Economic Plan’ was also thrown around in the usual rehearsed way with a number of Conservative backbenchers making a game out of it. Clearly not a popular sound-bite on the backbenches.
Finally there were a few goodbyes… The Leader of the Plaid Cymru block announced that he was on his way out. But there are others who won’t be seeing PMQs from the drivers seat again. William Hague, a titan of the Conservative party is leaving. As is Gordon Brown who likely remembers the days when it was he who was at the despatch box. And then of course there are those who know that they haven’t got a chance in hell of retaining their seats come May 7th.
PMQs ended with the Conservative Party very much in high spirits and MPs exited into the uncertainty of the closest General Election since 1974. The next time they’re all gathered like that there will be a new Government.