Prime minister’s questions: a shouty, jeery, very occasionally useful advert for British politics. Here’s what you need to know from this week’s session in POLITICO’s weekly run-through.
Housekeeping: With Rishi Sunak in D.C., it was the deputies’ turn to allegedly shine at this week’s prime minister’s questions.
BUT LET’S BE HONEST: The real news here is that Gene Simmons, the iconic co-leader of Kiss, turned up to watch PMQs from the Commons viewing gallery. No, we don’t really know why — although we’re told he was a guest of the DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr, who is taking the rockstar for dinner this evening, as you do.
Just to be absolutely clear: Gene Simmons really did turn up to watch half an hour of MPs grilling Britain’s deputy prime minister. And no, he wasn’t wearing make-up and didn’t stick his tongue out (that much).
WHAT THEY SPARRED ABOUT: Now onto the matters of real substance. Oh, who are we kidding, it’s PMQs … Labour’s Angela Rayner went straight in on the big row between the government and Britain’s COVID inquiry over access to ministers’ WhatsApps. She accused the government of blowing reams of cash on lawyers to make their case against disclosure. It wasn’t exactly rock and roll.
Shout it out loud: Deputy PM Oliver Dowden reached for the obvious in response to that, raising Rayner’s £139 Apple earphones which she initially tried to claim on expenses. We’re not sure anyone really learned anything but Dowden will be hoping it provided the political Kiss of death. Geddit?
Not a good look of the week: An audible groan greeted Lib Dem leader Ed Davey’s rise to ask a question. Lots of MPs then looked deservedly sheepish when Davey used the opportunity to raise an actually important case concerning his constituent Karen, a full-time carer for her husband who has Parkinson’s. Davey asked the government to recognize the value of Britain’s family carers. The groaning wasn’t a great look, especially in front of such a distinguished guest
TOTALLY NON-SCIENTIFIC SCORES ON THE DOORS: Both deputies were a bit more lively compared to their last dull sparring session. But today was Gene’s day.
Dowden 6/10 … Rayner 6/10 … Davey 9/10 … Simmons 666/10.
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