Jeremy Corbyn debut on the front bench of the Commons against David Cameron brought with it the promise of a new style of Prime Minister’s Questions.
It was derided sarcastically by Mr Cameron himself who, after some heckling from Labour MPs, chided: “I thought this was supposed to be the new PMQs?”
But the calm new way of doing things largely held throughout the exchanges between Mr Corbyn and Mr Cameron.
Part of the charm seemed to derive from Mr Corbyn keeping his promise to only pose questions put forward in emails from Labour supporters – it made it hard for the Prime Minister to rail against “Angela”, “Stephen” and “Marie” public.
The real problem, though, was that after 10 minutes of calm exchanges between the main party leaders, everything went back to the “yah-boo” of before.
Mr Cameron clashed angrily with the SNP’s Westminster Leader, Angus Robertson, telling him the SNP were “frit” and shouting “you” – momentarily forgetting the Commons convention of referring to members in the third person.
After that Corbyn section the rest of #PMQs looks even more awful than usual. Interesting.— Iain Martin (@iainmartin1) September 16, 2015
Whether Corbyn’s approach is wholly effective, the immediate contrast with Cameron’s treatment of the SNP is massive. #PMQs— amy cohn (@aimsetc) September 16, 2015
Interesting that Cameron went back to form on SNP questions. #PMQs— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) September 16, 2015
Cameron reverting to type — pink-faced & shouting at the SNP. #PMQs— Craig Ryan (@CraigA_Ryan) September 16, 2015
Fullest yet quietest Commons chamber for very very long time. Many MPs look utterly bemused by Jeremy Corbyn's new low key style at #PMQs.— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) September 16, 2015
PM right now will be trying very hard to restrain himself. He'll know he mustn't lose his rag... Or he'll help Corbyn. So far, so zen.— Allegra Stratton (@BBCAllegra) September 16, 2015
A welcome change to the tone of PMQs brought about by Jeremy Corbyn. It's the issues that people want addressing not pantomime.— Andy McDonald (@AndyMcDonaldMP) September 16, 2015
It's more dignified and less like a farm, but much easier for the PM. Cameron will welcome the change - so I suspect it won't last #pmqs— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) September 16, 2015
He said he would “try to keep calm” in keeping with the new style – but if today’s session was anything to go by, those efforts are going to become strained very quickly indeed.Reuse content