LiveCorbyn's first PM's questions

Summary

  1. New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has faced his first Prime Minister's Questions
  2. He asked David Cameron questions sent to him from the public saying he wanted it to be less "theatrical"
  3. Cameron said no-one would be happier than him if PMQs was to be less confrontational
  4. Mr Corbyn tells the BBC he will not campaign for the UK to leave the European Union
  5. After Corbyn faced criticism for not singing the national anthem, Labour sources said he would at future event
  6. Theresa May has been delivering a Commons statement on the EU's migration situation

Live Reporting

By Alex Hunt, Tom Moseley and Adam Donald

Wednesday's recap

Here's a summary of what has been a memorable day in politics. It's been dominated by one man - new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who went head to head for the first time with David Cameron at PMQs.

  • Mr Corbyn asked questions emailed to him by members of the public about tax credits, housing and mental health
  • Mr Cameron welcomed a focus on "substantial issues"
  • The Labour leader tells the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that he cannot envisage campaigning to leave the EU and also questions whether he should have to join the Privy Council
  • The Labour leader has also addressed criticism over his failure to sing the national anthem at a Battle of Britain memorial
  • An investigation is under way after a BBC cameraman was injured while filming Mr Corbyn leaving his home.
  • In non Corbyn news, official figures show UK average earnings growing at the fastest rate since 2009 while there was a slight rise in unemployment  

 

What I learnt from Corbyn interview

Laura Kuenssberg

BBC political editor

BBC

Well we’re only four days in and an awful lot has happened. Not only was there a totally new PMQs this lunchtime, tonight Jeremy Corbyn gave his first proper interview since winning the leadership and had some extremely interesting things to say, and some surprises.

Read Laura's full blog

Corbyn 'won't back EU exit'

BBC

This from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg after her interview with Jeremy Corbyn,

Jeremy Corbyn has told the BBC that he will not campaign for Britain to leave the EU. The Labour leader said this is a "developing position" but that he could not foresee a situation where Labour under his leadership would campaign for "Brexit". On his decision not to sing the national anthem he said it was, "very strange" that his decision had attracted so much interest. On his shadow cabinet disagreeing with him publicly he said there will be discussions ahead, that he asks colleagues to respect his mandate and that the final decision on policy will be his. 

Novelty value

BBC News Channel

Pundits have been discussing Jeremy Corbyn's PMQs debut. Anne McElvoy, of the Economist, says his tactics weren't bad, but:

The difficulty is that novelty is not the same as successful impact."

The Guardian's Polly Toynbee says it was Mr Corbyn's chance to say "here I am, this is me" and he did that to good effect. She adds: "He didn't have that look of panic that poor Ed Miliband often had."

'Hush' in Commons

BBC News Channel

Shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy also backs Mr Corbyn's approach.

BBC

There was a hush in the House of Commons today, and as someone who loathes PMQs and always has...I think it was really exciting."

Lisa Nandy Shadow energy secretary

PM 'wrong-footed'

BBC News Channel

BBC

Former Labour foreign secretary Margaret Beckett says Jeremy Corbyn "wrong-footed" David Cameron with his Prime Minister's Questions tactics. But she says it is difficult for the questioner to switch from one subject to the other, as he did today, suggesting other former leaders of the opposition had tried it with little success.

Labour and Northern Ireland

BBC Radio 4

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker has distanced himself from remarks made by shadow chancellor John McDonnell in 2003 when he called for IRA terrorists to be "honoured". Mr Coaker told PM:

I speak for the Labour Party in Northern Ireland. We are committed to a bipartisan approach and that's an absolute guarantee for us with the policy we adopt towards Northern Ireland."

Vernon Coaker Shadow Northern Ireland secretary

Alexander on the run

Shadow health secretary tweets...

New shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has invited Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine to join her on a 5k run this weekend after the journalist wrote in the paper that the MP "looks like she needs to lay off the hobnobs". Ms Alexander, who admits on her twitter account that she is "not great at twitter or diets but currently trying my best at both", responded:

 

twitter: https://twitter.com/heidi_mp/status/644165063440498688

Carney on 'people's QE'

BBC

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has been asked, in a round-about way, about the new Labour leader's policy of "people's quantitative easing" - that is his idea of effectively asking the central bank to print money to pay for investment in national infrastructure. At a meeting of the Treasury select committee, Tory MP Steve Baker criticised the Bank's existing policy of QE - focused on helping stimulating consumer spending and boosting the economy - saying it had skewed asset prices, widened inequality and led to a situation where the "political radicalism" of the new Labour leader was seen as a "credible strategy". Mr Carney, giving what he said was a personal view, said there were a number of "fundamental structural drivers" behind income inequality in advanced economies. These, he said, should be dealt with through a "concerted" range of policies but that "monetary policy is not part of that response". The goal of monetary policy, he insisted, was about keeping prices "low, stable and predictable". He added:

Redistribution of income beyond that, reinvestment in talent, change in the structure of the economy - that is a host of other government agencies are required."

Hereditary peer wins Lords place

PA

In one election that may have escaped your attention, the ninth Duke of Wellington has bagged a place in the House of Lords. When one of the remaining hereditary peers leaves the Lords or dies, their place is filled by a by-election of other hereditary peers, with the votes cast by the remaining hereditary members. In this case it was a vacancy for a Conservative peer, and the Duke of Wellington got 21 votes, with his nearest rival getting six. Read full details of the result here.

Are Punch and Judy dead?

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

AFP/Getty

Did today's PMQs mark the end of the "Punch and Judy politics" once denounced by David Cameron? Have a listen to Conservative Amber Rudd and Labour's Kerry McCarthy discussing it and see what you think.

Labour conference

In two weeks' time, Labour's annual conference will be in full swing. But according to the New Statesman's George Eaton, shadow ministers have yet to be told who will be speaking and when. He says next week's shadow cabinet meeting has also been cancelled. Here's his analysis of what is happening behind the scenes. 

Why do people not sing the national anthem?

PA

Jeremy Corbyn faced questions about his decision not to sing the national anthem at yesterday's Battle of Britain memorial service. What reasons do people give for not joining in? BBC Magazine has been taking a look

PMQs verdict: Both sides happy

Laura Kuenssberg

BBC political editor

Jeremy Corbyn's team are pleased because it was a serious attempt to change the brutal knockabout and present the Commons, and the public, with something different. That happened, and it was not a disaster.

The prime minister, for today at least, accepted Mr Corbyn's framework without jibes at his expense. He answered the questions as asked without insult, or any full throttle political attacks.

A source close to the new leader told me "it was a good result". They wanted a way of connecting the grassroots campaign that propelled him to his position with what happens at Westminster - bringing new voices into the debate and junking the rough and tumble. So far so good for them. And this kind of approach might be precisely the thing that people who are fed up with political slanging matches appreciate.

So why is the PM's side happy too? A No 10 source tells me they'll be "quite happy if he goes on like that".

Read the rest of Laura's PMQs verdict

Does Corbyn need a spin doctor?

Evening Standard

Getty

Roy Greenslade says the first few days of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership have "exposed the limitations of social media" and that he needs a strategy for dealing with the mainstream press.

Although he can never expect to get a sympathetic hearing from the majority of the national press, which is staunchly pro-Tory, he needs to understand how Britain’s mainstream media operates and create a communications team to deal with it."

Tiger question

Andrew Turner

PMQs wasn't all about Corbyn V Cameron. It also featured a plea to the prime minister to help a badly-treated tiger. It came from Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner on behalf of a zoo in his constituency. The full story is here:

'Utterly unambitious'

The Daily Telegraph

PA

James Kirkup, the Telegraph's executive editor, politics, thinks Mr Corbyn's PMQs strategy is "ultimately limited":

By neutralising PMQs as something that can do significant harm to its leader, the new approach may be effective defensive politics. But it’s also utterly unambitious."

Education bill

BBC

In the Commons, MPs are debating the Education and Adoption Bill. There was a flurry of excitement a bit earlier about an amendment put forward by Tory MP Graham Brady calling for new academies to be allowed to adopt a selective admissions policy if the local education authority or forum requested it. London Mayor Boris Johnson is among 35 Tories to have backed the amendment. But Mr Brady has now said he will not push the amendment to a vote, so the prospect of a Tory rebellion is off the table for the time being.

McBride: Corbyn has steadied ship

BBC News Channel

BBC

Jeremy Corbyn has "stabilised" the ship after a difficult few days with a strong Commons performance, according to former Labour spin doctor Damian McBride.

Mr McBride says posing questions from the public was a masterstroke as David Cameron could not "swat them away". Having "established the technique", he suspects that Mr Corbyn could use it again but advises him to focus on one particular issue in the future. If people think they have a chance of getting their questions put to the PM, he predicts that Mr Corbyn could get 200,000 responses in the coming weeks.

More generally, Mr McBride - Gordon Brown's former political director - acknowledges that the new Labour leader has made "avoidable errors" in recent days but will now have time - with the conference season about to begin - to go ahead and develop a communications strategy for the future.

Corbyn approach 'too scattergun'

BBC

The SNP's leader in Westminster Angus Robertson says he respects Mr Corbyn's different approach to PMQs but suspects such a "scattergun" strategy might not last the course. It will take more than Mr Corbyn to "change the culture of the Commons", he says, and he believes that it "will be back to business before too long". 

Facebook Q&A on Corbyn

Rob Watson, the BBC World Service's UK political correspondent, is doing a live Q&A on the World Service's Facebook page over the next half an hour. He's taking questions on Jeremy Corbyn's performance at PMQs and the Labour leader's eventful first few days in office. 

Marie on Corbyn's performance

The woman who reputedly supplied Jeremy Corbyn's first question at PMQs has praised the Labour leader's debut performance. Marie from London, who urged Mr Corbyn to ask the PM a question about housing shortages and rent costs - which he duly did as part of his "crowdsourcing" approach to questions - told LBC that Mr Corbyn had been "calm and collected" in the Commons.  

I liked the way he (Mr Corbyn) looked at him (the prime minister) over the top of his glasses, I thought that worked very well and it was very calm. The prime minister had to change his way of doing things for Corbyn, so surely that's a massive mark-up for Corbyn to begin with?"

Corbyn 'finding his feet'

BBC News Channel

BBC

Former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw suggests Mr Corbyn's inexperience was to blame for some of the mistakes of recent days, citing "anthem-gate", pulling out of TV interviews and a "chaotic reshuffle". The Labour leader is "finding his feet" and should be "given a choice" as it is a big leap from being a "backbencher and peace protester to becoming leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition". But in time, he says there will need to be much more "clarity" on key issues, such as the Europe.