After attempting to show strength in the stumbling coalition government by drawing comparisons between his leadership and a can of DIY varnish, David Cameron struggled to paint an impression of an 'in control' leader as PMQs kicked-off for 2013.
Sure, he was punchy, confident, even (well, sometimes) likeable in his Flashman-style distain – we expect all of that from Cameron. But it’s less what he said and more how he reacted which revealed what the PM is really thinking right now.
“The only little red pests I pursue these days are in this House,” said Cameron in answer to a question on fox hunting, rage bubbling under the surface.
Commentators noted the PM's anger on this first encounter of the year
Miliband had plenty of ammo to fire at the PM including details of how Patrick Rock, Mr Cameron’s political adviser, was seen carrying a “restricted” document warning of “broken pledges” in the coalition.
Maybe it was the tired, but effective, accusations from Miliband of Cameron heading up the “nasty party” or Ed’s claim the PM is ‘just a PR man who can’t even do a relaunch’ or the questions about whether the PM rated women or not – either way, Dave wasn’t on his game.
He spent most of the session as puce as Ed Balls’ tie.
Eds Balls and Miliband found a reason to smile - how long will that last?
The comment he made right at the end that “I’m closer to all Conservatives than I am to anyone from any other party” probably tells us all we need to know about how the next few years of the Ronseal coalition will go.
Neither man landed a killer blow. Instead today was more a case of running off the Festive season flab.
Yet it was Cameron’s bizarre comment “I’ve never broken the law” mid-way through the session which had most people talking afterwards.
There’s plenty of people on social networks who seem to think they can prove differently.
QUOTE OF PMQs
This goes to the PM, who often makes his most revealing comments when trying to swipe his way out of a corner in a fit of rage. When quizzed about fox hunting he responded: “The only little red pests I pursue these days are in this House.” Boom.
WORST OUTFIT OF PMQs
Without a shadow of doubt it was Theresa May – that 1970s Clothkits look must end.
Harlequin gone wrong: What is Mrs May wearing? Suggestions below, please
WEIRD QUESTION DELIVERY OF PMQs
Chris Evans MP *purses lips* hmmmmmmmm
You had one chance, young man, ONE CHANCE! And you fluffed it!