POLITICS
27/06/2012 09:58 BST | Updated 27/06/2012 10:22 BST

PMQs Sketch: Cameron Finds He Has No Fuel In His Tank Over Petrol Tax

"Isn't it stupid to vote?" asked Tory MP Helen Grant, kicking off PMQs. This was not how she'd intended to start proceedings but immediately Labour were jeering so loudly she lost her train of thought. It's a question many among the great British public have probably asked themselves more than once, though.

"Isn't is stupid to vote for House of Lords reform but against the programme motion?" asked Grant, finally. Yes, replied Cameron, it is stupid of Labour to try to undermine my authority, risk the government losing control of the House of Commons and generally distract ministers from reversing negative growth. Why would anyone want to do that?

The PM at one point almost sounded like he was pleading with Labour to back the programme motion on Lords reform. "If they don't get out there and back it then it won't happen," warned Cameron, hoping perhaps that Labour dislikes him slightly less than they do the unelected chamber. Fat chance.

For those not paying attention at the back, the programme motion is the vote which determines how long MPs will spend chatting and voting on the Lords reforms. If the government loses that, the Commons will drop everything it's doing in favour of talking about constitutional tinkering, perhaps indefinitely.

Most of PMQs was spent talking about taxes. Ed Miliband had a good run at the PM, using all six of his questions to pick holes in previous government statements. "What went wrong?" asked Miliband, when the government was defending a planned 3p rise in fuel duty, only to declare it unnecessary less than a day later.

"The fuel duty increase was a Labour tax rise. It cannot be a U-turn to get rid of a Labour tax increase," said Cameron. It was a fairly lame response but at least the PMs face managed to retain a peachy glow rather than the Florida grapefruit we've become used to.

"What people hate about this government is the double standards," insisted Ed Miliband, having forgotten about the Lords programme motion. "It's one rule for comedians on the stage and another rule for the comedians in the cabinet," said the Labour leader - arguably the best line on a day when good jokes weren't in rich supply.

Cameron's parting shot was to talk of double standards by electing Ken Livingstone to Labour's national executive committee. Not the strongest because most people have forgotten who Ken Livingstone is already.

The PM seemed sluggish and clearly wanted to be elsewhere. He was quick to flee the chamber as soon as the 30 minutes were up.

Final verdict:

Ed Miliband - VW Golf (standard model, not GT Turbo)

David Cameron - Peugeot 307 (urgently in need of a service)