In what was his weakest performance at PMQs since the General Election, David Cameron struggled to answer successive questions, both from the opposition and his own party. After the announcement that he and Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, had agreed to a deal for the renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU, he was grilled by several MPs, including SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson.
Jeremy Corbyn was his calm and collected usual, with an air of geography teacher about him, setting out to critique the PM using the NHS as his tool. He asked Mr Cameron about the state of his 62 day target, with his figures suggesting that the target, designed to get cancer patients treated quickly, has been missed for 19 months at least. Jeremy Corbyn also referenced a man called Martin, and despite laughter from Government benches, told the House about his friend with breast cancer, who faces having her ESA (employment and support allowance) cut by £30 a week because she has been diagnosed. The PM confirmed that despite these cuts being rejected by the House of Lords previously, the government would be pressing ahead with them. Attention was also placed upon the decline in funding for radiologists by Corbyn, who suggested that a 5% reduction in radiologists across England would be disastrous, and asked the PM to pledge to curb the reductions. Cameron retorted by reminding the House of the ailing Welsh NHS, and the cuts that the Labour Party have made to it.
Angus Robertson, Westminster leader of the SNP, used his questions to quiz the PM on the impending EU referendum. He asked for a possible date for it, and if the PM would allow it to be held near the Scottish and London Mayoral election, as he was concerned the referendum would overshadow the Holyrood elections. He also stated his concern for the uncertainty of not giving a date for the referendum, leading to instability and speculation. Another highlight was when Labour MP Stella Creasy criticised the Government’s policy on PFI contracts, saying their existence is damaging the NHS in England. This was met with much outcry in the House, and the Prime Minister very quickly pointed out that it was the Labour government that introduced the policy, and this was accompanied by criticism and laughter from Labour benches as well as Tory ones.