Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Prime Minister of refusing to properly answer questions at PMQs on important topics every week.
Ahead of this Wednesday’s clash the Labour leader said David Cameron had given “no answers” on issues ranging from housing, to the NHS, to tax credit cuts and flood defences.
He said the Prime Minister regularly refused to engage on important issues – and instead appeared to enjoy “Punch and Judy politics”.
“David Cameron once said he was ‘fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster’ but the experience of the last six months would suggest he has come to rather enjoy it,” Mr Corbyn wrote in a comment article for the Independent.
“When given the chance to defend the record of his Government he has instead chosen to engage in petty attacks, avoid the substance of the issue, and ignore some of the real problems facing the country.”
The Labour leader made the claim on the day marking his 100th question at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Corbyn has attempted to reform PMQs since he became leader – at least initially adopting a more sober style, and relaying crowd-sourced questions from the public.
Dave Brown on Jeremy Corbyn
Dave Brown on Jeremy Corbyn
1/8 30 December 2015
2/8 4 December 2015
Corbyn and the Syria bombing vote
3/8 15 October 2015
Corbyn asks questions from the public at PMQs, meanwhile backbenchers plot to oust him
4/8 9 October 2015
Corbyn is unavailable to attend the Privy Council
5/8 1 October 2015
Conference rejects Corbyn’s call to debate Trident
6/8 29 September 2015
At Labour conference Corbyn and McDonnell press for a Robin Hood tax
7/8 19 September 2015
Corbyn’s hopes for a ‘new politics’ look optimistic in the face of a media barrage
8/8 16 June 2015
Corbyn enters Labour leadership race
The Labour leader has adapted his approach in recent months but still retains some of his new ideas.
The new approach has not always stuck. Last month Prime Minister’ Questions devolved into a battle between the two leaders attacking each other based on each other’s mothers.
Mr Corbyn’s office were keen to highlight an exchange that same week when Mr Corbyn asked about the state of the NHS – and Mr Cameron responded by telling the Labour leader to “put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem”.
A video of that episode was shared on Mr Corbyn’s official Facebook page and garnered 3.3 million views and 40,000 likes.
The response to Mr Corbyn's new approach has been mixed. A YouGov poll conducted in October found that the public in general believed PMQs was now less aggressive, and featured less party political point-scoring, than in a similar poll conducted in 2013.
Some commentators have suggested that the Labour leader's approach has made it difficult for him to pin Mr Cameron down on specific topics, however.Reuse content