PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS

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Indy Politics
SCORING THE EXCHANGES

Tony Blair

John Major

mocked Government over u-turns

7/10

6/10

accused Blair of "twisted distortion of the facts".

THEMES OF THE DAY

Beef, and the "New Science" - "Ministers are saying different things to different people in different places", Ieuan Wyn Jones (Plaid Cymru, Ynys Mon), became Tony Blair's main theme.

The Ridings School - raised by Sir Giles Shaw (Con, Pudsey)

Combat knives (Edward O'Hara, Lab, Knowsley S)

Air Traffic Control - Phil Gallie (Con, Ayr)

Corporal punishment -Jane Kennedy (Lab, Liverpool Broadgreen)

Disappearance of the trawler Gaul - Stuart Randall (Lab, Hull W)

BLAIR'S ATTACK

Started on incompetence over the beef cull and went on with u- turns on stalkers, paedophiles, confusion over beef, combat knives, and disagreement with Gillian Shephard over caning.

Major replied: "Everything the Right Hon gentleman has just said is a twisted distortion of the facts... in opposition he may be able to spend his life springing public relations stunts; but in government we deal with reality."

GOOD DAY... ...BAD DAY

BETTY BOOTHROYD

Speaker, who slapped down Chamber's start-of-term high spirits early during questions

EDWARD O'HARA

Long rambling question on combat knives "whose only practical purpose can be as instruments of violence, preferably before Christmas".

QUIP OF THE DAY

Jane Kennedy congratulated Major for showing "the smack of firm leadership" when he reprimanded Gillian Shephard on her mobile phone after she made her pro-caning remarks on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme

UNANSWERED QUESTION

Phil Gallie's (Conservative, Ayr) question on Air Traffic Control, Major appeared not to understand a (strongly accented) word. "Whatever it was that my Right Honourable friend might have said, it was well judged".

CREEP OF THE DAY

William Powell (Conservative, Corby) "Is it not clear that that visit [by PM to Korea] was one of the most successful, if not the most successful, visits by a British Prime Minister abroad in our history?"

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