Andy Hayman moans about select committee treatment

"There was cat-calling, there was loud laughter from the wings of Chris Bryant. It was an appalling

Poor old Andy Hayman. He might give the impression of being a hard-as-nails, Sweeney-style copper, but actually he's a sensitive soul, easily hurt by the cat calls of the notorious bully Chris Bryant (a former priest). Here's what he told LBC Radio this morning (via Andrew Sparrow at the Guardian).

I've been through the mill several times in court, in journalistic interviews. I've never been treated like yesterday. There was cat-calling, there was loud laughter from the wings of Chris Bryant. It was an appalling display from them. The irony really is that they don't like being treated in this way disproportionately and yet they're prepared to put us through that.

I think all four of us were up for tough questioning, but not on that sort of basis. And to be accused, as I was, of being a dodgy geezer, which is probably on the basis on my accent, I think that's a really poor show ...

Despite trying to actually be helpful to them, all they want to do is score points and most of that is political and with this sort of lynch mob mentality. Bring on the formal inquiry with a respectable judge, when we can actually get some sense out of this. But what we've actually got here is a very, very senior, I guess you could call it a court. It's non-negotiable to be able to go there and when you go along there, you're treated like a bit of dirt.

I'm not asking for special treatment, I just ask for a little bit of respect and not to be [treated] basically as a product because of the way in which you speak.

Bless!

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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn turns "the nasty party" back on Theresa May

The Labour leader exploited Conservative splits over disability benefits.

It didn't take long for Theresa May to herald the Conservatives' Copeland by-election victory at PMQs (and one couldn't blame her). But Jeremy Corbyn swiftly brought her down to earth. The Labour leader denounced the government for "sneaking out" its decision to overrule a court judgement calling for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to be extended to those with severe mental health problems.

Rather than merely expressing his own outrage, Corbyn drew on that of others. He smartly quoted Tory backbencher Heidi Allen, one of the tax credit rebels, who has called on May to "think agan" and "honour" the court's rulings. The Prime Minister protested that the government was merely returning PIPs to their "original intention" and was already spending more than ever on those with mental health conditions. But Corbyn had more ammunition, denouncing Conservative policy chair George Freeman for his suggestion that those "taking pills" for anxiety aren't "really disabled". After May branded Labour "the nasty party" in her conference speech, Corbyn suggested that the Tories were once again worthy of her epithet.

May emphasised that Freeman had apologised and, as so often, warned that the "extra support" promised by Labour would be impossible without the "strong economy" guaranteed by the Conservatives. "The one thing we know about Labour is that they would bankrupt Britain," she declared. Unlike on previous occasions, Corbyn had a ready riposte, reminding the Tories that they had increased the national debt by more than every previous Labour government.

But May saved her jibe of choice for the end, recalling shadow cabinet minister Cat Smith's assertion that the Copeland result was an "incredible achivement" for her party. "I think that word actually sums up the Right Honourable Gentleman's leadership. In-cred-ible," May concluded, with a rather surreal Thatcher-esque flourish.

Yet many economists and EU experts say the same of her Brexit plan. Having repeatedly hailed the UK's "strong economy" (which has so far proved resilient), May had better hope that single market withdrawal does not wreck it. But on Brexit, as on disability benefits, it is Conservative rebels, not Corbyn, who will determine her fate.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.