Jeremy Corbyn was praised by Labour MPs for putting Theresa May on the ropes today - in what many saw as his best performance at PMQs since becoming party leader this time last year.
An overwhelming majority of Labour MPs want Corbyn ousted as leader. And one backbencher once branded his performance at PMQs a “fucking disaster”.
However today even so-called moderate MPs praised Corbyn for putting May under pressure over her plan to re-introduce grammar schools.
Powell and Greenwood both quit the shadow cabinet and heaped criticism on Corbyn’s leadership style and electability.
May’s plan to re-introduce grammar schools has united the Labour benches against it. The prime minister also faces opposition on the Conservative benches - including from former education secretary Nicky Morgan.
David Cameron, who announced his resignation as an MP earlier this week, has also been highly critical of grammar schools and refused to lift the ban on expanding them while he was in Downing Street.
Both May and Corbyn went to grammar schools as children. And she accused Labour of wanting to “take the advantages of a good education for themselves and pull up the ladder behind them for other people”.
But Corbyn said opposing new grammar schools was “not about putting up ladders” but “about providing a ladder for every child”.
The Labour leader told the prime minister:
“The two things the prime minister and have in common is we can both remember the 1950s and we can both remember going to a grammar school.
“My point is simply this every child, every child, should have the best possible education they can have, we don’t need and never should divide children at the age of 11 a life changing position where the majority end up losing out.”
Corbyn also quoted Cameron’s past criticism of grammar schools back at May.
The former prime minister had said: “There is a kind of hopelessness about the demand to bring back grammars, an assumption that this country will only ever be able to offer a decent education to a select few. I want the Conservative Party to rise above that attitude.”
May responded to Corbyn’s questions with prepared jokes about his troubled leadership of the Labour Party.