It was nothing flashy, but Harriet Harman came out of PMQs having achieved much more than it first appeared.
The acting Labour leader is waiting – seemingly forever – for someone to take over. She can barely hide the fact she doesn’t want to be there anymore. Harman is a very capable public speaker and politician, but she’s just not into it at the moment. She radiates exasperation, like a teenager in the back of a car on a long journey. Cameron always seems to like and admire her, so it’s all fairly respectful, if a little dull.
He dealt with her pretty well and will be perfectly satisfied with his performance. There were certainly no knock-out blows. But Harman did pin him down on tax credits, a benefit paid to people in work but on low wages. Her party – which still seems in shock, incidentally – should be grateful to her for it. There’s potential here to carve out a political space on benefits which satisfies Labour’s soul and the public mood.
Cameron’s speech on benefits and incomeRead More »from PMQs verdict: Harman struggles, but pins Cameron down on tax credits