Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Rev Paul Flowers tops the agenda – not to Labour a point

 

A new Prime Ministerial human shield is born! Len McCluskey is so last week! Enter the colourful, substances-prone, Labour-friendly Rev Paul Flowers, lately of the Co-op. Allotted the first question at Prime Ministers Questions, Conservative Steve Brine declared: “MPs across the House will have grave concerns about the nightmare unfolding at the Co-operative bank.” This was not quite accurate, since Tory MPs were ecstatic.

David Cameron got the statesmanlike bit over first – promising an enquiry – to make way for the stand-up. Asked by Ed Miliband about the PM having campaigned against the closure of a cuts-threatened Chipping Norton children’s centre in his constituency (“We all wish [him] luck in his fight as a local MP. Imagine what he could achieve if he were Prime Minister of the country!”) Cameron declared that Labour had “spent its bank levy ten times over” to fund its pledges. “It’s not a policy, it’s a night out with Rev Flowers.” Boom, Boom.

Miliband then cited the “nearly £5m from Michael Spencer, whose company was found to be rigging Libor” and much else, before gleefully quoting the Tory minister Nick Boles’ suggestion that Conservatives were “seen as the party of the rich”.

But when Labour’s Michael Meacher announced that “according to the Economist, Britain is now 159th lowest in the world in terms of business investment, just behind Mali, Paraguay and Guatemala”, Cameron’s less than Prime Ministerial suggestion was that Meacher had enjoyed “a night out on the town with Rev Flowers and the mind-altering substances have taken effect”. This provoked righteous Labour indignation with Ed Balls mouthing “Have you taken cocaine?” – a reference to Cameron’s rumoured past.

Asked by Labour’s Karl Turner to congratulate Hull on becoming City of Culture, Cameron cited its artistic icons from Larkin to the Housemartins, recalling the latter’s “great” London 0 Hull 4. Predictably, ex-Housemartin Paul Heaton was quick to tweet his dismay at Cameron’s namechecking an album that urges purchasers to “take Marx”. Ah, the perils of being a Tory PM who actually had a youth.

All in all, not much sex but a lot of drugs. And a bit of rock and roll.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'