Labour’s lunchtime leader.

It was when Tom Watson smirked that the size of the seismic shift became clear.

Smirking is not a pursuit normally associated with the deputy leader of the Labour Party.

Indeed if there was a degree in inscrutability there would be another Doctor Watson.

But smirk there was because Jeremy – at last – came good.

Let us repeat that for the momentarily stunned; Today, just after 12pm, the leader the Labour Party became the leader of the Labour Party – at least for lunchtime.

The day had not shown any early signs of significance as MPs gathered for Prime Ministers Questions.

They were looking for a bit of fun as Parliament shuts down for the aptly named party season following a tough two weeks back in the office.

With Jeremy due to be re-elected Labour leader by popular demand – apart from his MPs – in ten days, jollity was forecast.

Prime Minister May swept in to the sycophancy expected for a new Tory leader.

Jeremy entered to an equally energetic welcome – also from the Tory side – and traditional silence from his.

It should be immediately reported that in recent days Labour’s leader has started to show signs that the fashion police are on his case.

Either Oxfam Islington has closed or donations from the better end of the borough have improved.

But even that cannot explain what was to happen.

Jeremy asked a question about grammar schools. That in itself was an interesting opening to PMQs since he often asks questions not relevant to the day, week or even month.

Theresa dug into her bag of prepared insults, found one threw it at Jeremy and took her applause.

Traditionally the Labour leader would now move on to another irrelevant subject, Labour MPs would stare at the ceiling in despair

and everyone would talk amongst themselves.

Instead Jeremy asked another question about grammar schools.

Theresa May first looked bemused and then a little rattled. Tom opened one eye.

Students of Mayology should note that fish-like gulping are early indicators.

Back into her bag of tricks she found an insult planned for later and tried that out.

It didn’t quite work and there was a murmur of alarm on the Tory benches.

Theresa May was suddenly cheered in the way Manchester United was cheered by their fans after City scored. Labour MPs, not quite knowing what was happening, sat forward.

Jeremy asked another question abut grammar schools, Tom had both eyes open, Boris Johnson had stopped talking.

Mrs M, her insults now out of order, slipped into a rictus grin and unsheathed an ad hoc finger.

Her back benchers, sensing calamity, went into full whoop.

Michael Gove, his back sensibly firmly to the wall, donned his pixie face.

Jeremy was back on his feet again about grammar schools. Even he knew he was winning.

Theresa pleaded they had both been to grammar schools. Jeremy ignored her.

Labour MPs almost cheered but remembered who it was.

Question six – and yes, you are right. Theresa tried, failed and subsided like a spent barrage balloon.

Jeremy and his smart suit sat down.

The smirker smirked.


“Victory!” flickr photo by Marcela McGreal shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Peter McHugh Written by:

Political satirist, media commentator, renowned journalist, Peter McHugh uses his extensive and award-winning (RTS Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award) experience as an acclaimed and applauded journalist to comment and observe on the latest current events. Satirical posts on Prime Minister Questions every week as well as other key events.