POLITICS

PMQs 14 December 2011

14/12/2011 11:18 | Updated 14 December 2011

PMQs exchanges between David Cameron and Ed Miliband were dominated by sharply rising unemployment and the ongoing row about Europe, but it ended up being a fairly disastrous lunchtime for Ed Miliband, who was bested by the PM on gags and substance.

It didn't help him that everyone knew exactly what Labour's plan of attack was going to be, after their media strategy was leaked to The Times earlier this week.

Ed Miliband attempted to criticise the PM's failure to curb unemployment, but didn't really offer a substantive alternative. But the real problems came when the Labour leader switched tack and started on the coalition gripes over Cameron's veto of the European treaty to stabilise the Eurozone.

It's true that Nick Clegg - in the chamber for PMQs after failing to turn up for the statement on the veto , looked miserable, but David Cameron came back with better gags against Miliband, saying, "it could be worse, at least we're not brothers." to huge Tory cheers and jeers.

Despite another terrible set of jobs figures out this morning, David Cameron's had a boost for the Tories in the opinion polls and waning popularity for Ed Miliband. Despite things remaining bad in the economy, the Labour leader appears to be failing to win the trust of voters with his alternatives to the Tory plan.

Cameron's finale against Miliband - suggesting that every backbench Labour MP wanted a new leader for Christmas, was stinging and clearly annoyed the Labour leader. Ed Miliband doesn't seem to be able to muster the kind of roaring support among his MPs
that Cameron can, and this is telling for anyone sitting in the House of Commons for the weekly PMQs session.

Here's a recap of some of the highlights from today's PMQs:

-

14/12/2011 12:34 GMT

And it's all over. Merry Christmas Ed Miliband!

General consensus of the Twitterati seems to be that Cameron thumped Miliband soundly this week, with better gags and a flaying narrative of what Labour has been saying on the economy and Europe.

The only thing that can comfort Ed Miliband is that Nick Clegg is clearly even more miserable. The Deputy Prime Minister looks despondent and apprehensive.

Ed Miliband needs to go away and rethink how he comes at PMQs over Christmas. He should be doing better and the whole House of Commons knows it.

14/12/2011 12:27 GMT

@ j_freedland :

No Xmas cheer for Labour. A clear win for Cam in PMQs, and polls showing Tories ahead.

14/12/2011 12:27 GMT

@ IanDunt :

Standard anti-sexism formation of three women behind Cameron for #pmqs http://t.co/4hF1DpAI

14/12/2011 12:25 GMT

Cameron can't count.

He says the Labour policy can be summed up in four words - Let's bankrupt Britain again.

That's four. Worrying.

14/12/2011 12:24 GMT

@ paulwaugh :

Clegg finally smiling as Cam sticks it to EdM with Scotland and Santa jibes. But swiftly returned to sombre grimace. #PMQs.

14/12/2011 12:24 GMT

@ petersbeaumont :

PMQs today like a bleeding panto but with worse jokes

14/12/2011 12:24 GMT

@ benedictbrogan :

Every EdM sally rebuffed by Dave. 'Born to rule' line flops. PM gets last word with Labour wants new leader for Xmas #leadershipcrisis #pmqs

14/12/2011 12:23 GMT

@ MirrorJames :

Panto season at #pmqs - and its a belter

14/12/2011 12:23 GMT

@ IanDunt :

Cameron: 2 Miliband: 1 http://t.co/4hF1DpAI #pmqs

14/12/2011 12:23 GMT

@ SophyRidgeSky :

Three women positioned behind PM for #pmqs and three women in row behind too - in line of TV cameras?

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