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PMQs sketch: the unedifying image of David Cameron in Speedos

Those of a nervous disposition should look away now but an image was conjured up at PMQs, which had most of us rushing for the smelling salts - David Cameron in his Speedos. I warned you.

This, how can I put it, unedifying picture was placed before us after the PM recalled  how on a business trip to China he had been promoting a British company which made the skimpy beachwear and "pushing Speedos as hard as we could".

Pamela Nash, the Labour MP for Airdrie and Shotts, who appeared to be blinking heavily under mild sedation, told MPs to laughter: "I'm afraid I might have nightmares this evening about the Prime Minister modelling Speedos on his world tour."

As an embarrassed smile crossed the face of the shiny-headed premier, he stood to try to remove any psychological damage done to Ms Nash and others, saying: "Let me reassure you that Speedos do actually make shorts as well as Speedos so if I can clear that picture out of your mind."

Earlier, Ed Miliband rose to a loud ironic cheer from the Tories, the question was - given there had been a record rise in employment - whether or not the Labour chief could bear to mention the good news.

He tackled the PM on extremism in schools and then moved onto the backlog at the Passport Office, urging Mr C to "get a grip" and stop being distracted by trying to sort out the spat between Education Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May.

The Tory chief sought to put the passport problem down to a surge in applications, tried to reassure MPs more staff were being drafted in to cope and accused Red Ed of trying to "frighten" people.

But he also could not let pass that the Labour chief, quite remarkably, had failed to mention the jobs figures. Funny that.

"Not a word about the unemployment figures. He simply cannot bear the fact in our country we've now got 2m more people in work in the private sector...He is absolutely allergic to good news."

And to the Tory roars, the PM added: "Because he knows as our economy gets stronger, he gets weaker."

Elsewhere, the delicate subject of the World Cup was raised with Blue Dave launching Question Time by wishing the England football team "the very best of British" before their first game this weekend in Brazil.

Intriguingly, the first MP to respond was North Ayrshire MP Katy Clark, who began her question by saying: "I wish every football team in the World Cup every luck."

As Tory MPs echoed Mr C's sentiment, Labour's Mike Kane suggested that given the splits in his own side - Gove, May, etc - he should be "picking up the phone to Roy Hodgson and asking for some tips on team discipline".

Cannily, the PM turned the question on its head and said he would not want to give the England manager too much advice but the barbed question gave him an opportunity to score a major political point, saying: "We've had the same Chancellor for four years and we've got record growth in our country. We've had the same Home Secretary and have record falls in crime in our country. We've had the same Education Secretary and we have got 250,000 fewer children in failing schools.

"I say if you've got a strong team with a strong plan, stick with the team, stick with the plan and keep putting it in the back of the net." The Tories roared with glee.

Labour looked as though they had just lost on penalties.

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