David Cameron recites stream of Shakespeare puns at PMQs after Tory MP hails 'greatest living bard'

The Prime Minister said Jeremy Corbyn's reshuffle turned out to be 'Much Ado About Nothing'

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 06 January 2016 13:28
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David Cameron quotes Shakespeare in PMQs

David Cameron unleashed a stream of Shakespearean dad jokes at today’s Prime Minister’s Question Time, after one of his MPs hailed the poet as the “greatest living” playwright.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Conservative MP for Statford-upon-Avon, had called for the country to “unite” in marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

“Can I invite my Right Honourable friend, the whole House and the world to come and celebrate the greatest living bard,” he concluded.

2016 will mark the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

There was little time for members to register the gaffe before Mr Cameron’s swift response, which quickly devolved into rapid-fire puns after he thanked Mr Zahawi for his “soliloquy”.

“I find that Shakespeare provides language for every moment,” he continued. “There was a moment when it looked like this (Labour) reshuffle could go into its Twelfth Night.

“It was a revenge reshuffle so it was going to be As You Like It. I think though we can conclude it’s turned into something of a Comedy of Errors, perhaps Much Ado About Nothing?

“There will be those who worry – Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

Tory MPs cheered and clapped at the stream of jokes as the Prime Minister sat down chuckling, looking at his notes.

Members of the Labour frontbench could be seen calling over to Mr Cameron as he spoke, as Opposition MPs jeered, but Jeremy Corbyn did not get a chance to respond before the next question.

The reaction to the Prime Minister's puns was mixed on Twitter:

Twelfth Night, which marks the night before the Christian feast day of Epiphany, fell on Tuesday, as the Labour shadow cabinet reshuffle continued.

It is the title of a comedy Shakespeare is believed to have written to mark the close of the festive season in around 1601.

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