PMQs review: Miliband struggles to convince

The Labour leader failed to get the better of Cameron over the EU budget.

With Lib Dem and Tory ministers at war over wind farms, Michael Heseltine attacking the government for its lack of a growth strategy, and David Cameron facing a backbench rebellion over the EU budget, today's PMQs should have been an easy win for Ed Miliband. But, for the first time in weeks, the Labour leader struggled to land a blow.

Miliband challenged Cameron's refusal to support a real-terms cut in the EU budget , but with little conviction. Indeed, one wondered if he was entirely convinced by his party's new stance. After Cameron angrily declared that the nation would "see through" Labour's position, Miliband quipped, "It’s good to see the crimson tide back", but the line, last used the previous week, fell painfully flat. Instead it was Cameron who was greeted by cheers from his MPs as he vowed to use the UK's veto to block an above-inflation increase in the EU budget. His question - would Miliband really veto a freeze in the budget? - was an apposite one.

After chosing to split his questions, Miliband fared better when he turned to Heseltine's report. The confusion over the government's wind farms policy allowed him to highlight the former deputy prime minister's demand for a "definitive and unambiguous" energy policy, and Cameron's eventual retort - "he's no Michael Heseltine" - rather missed the point. But even in this instance, Miliband's long-winded questions meant the PM rarely looked uncomfortable. "I'm rather enjoying this, Mr Speaker," said Miliband at one point. But as with much of what he said today, one wasn't convinced.

Labour leader Ed Miliband walks through Hyde Park after addressing TUC members earlier this month. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland