ANDREW PIERCE: Corbyn must hand over the reins at PMQs as performances go from bad to worse


Even by Jeremy Corbyn’s low standards, his performances at Prime Minister’s Questions since the election have been dire.

As he plods painfully through his six questions, there is an embarrassed silence on the Labour benches. Some Labour MPs say there is a way out.

The four leadership contenders Emily Thornberry, Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long Bailey could take it in turns to stand in for Corbyn at PMQs.

‘It’s the perfect audition for the job of Leader of the Opposition,’ says one Labour source.

Even by Jeremy Corbyn’s low standards, his performances at Prime Minister’s Questions since the election have been dire. As he plods painfully through his six questions, there is an embarrassed silence on the Labour benches

Even by Jeremy Corbyn’s low standards, his performances at Prime Minister’s Questions since the election have been dire. As he plods painfully through his six questions, there is an embarrassed silence on the Labour benches

‘We can’t go on for another two months with Jeremy Corbyn asking the questions until the new leader is in place on April 4.’

Corbyn, unsurprisingly, is showing no interest in the idea, which is gaining support among Labour benches.

Is that because he fears his preferred candidate, Rebecca Long Bailey, would also bomb at the despatch box?

Could the former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft be about to come to Labour’s rescue? 

He’s due to publish a major report — based on extensive polling of Labour Party members and a cross-section of voters — on what the party needs to do to get back in the game.

Again, it could be bad news for Long Bailey.

Don’t expect a ringing endorsement for Sir Keir Starmer from Ed Balls.

‘It’s not good the Conservative Party has had two women Prime Ministers, and Labour is yet to have one,’ says the former minister and Strictly performer.

‘Labour has had two short-lived [acting] female leaders, but never elected, and never as PM. So, let’s hope.’

Sadly, Balls’s wife Yvette Cooper, hated by Lefties, ducked out of the contest.

Stewart’s dawn patrol ambition

After his off-beat tilt at becoming Tory leader last summer, Rory Stewart’s campaign to become London Mayor is more on the beat

After his off-beat tilt at becoming Tory leader last summer, Rory Stewart’s campaign to become London Mayor is more on the beat

After his off-beat tilt at becoming Tory leader last summer, Rory Stewart’s campaign to become London Mayor is more on the beat.

Independent candidate Stewart, 47, who is hoping to oust Labour’s Sadiq Khan, told LBC radio’s Nick Ferrari that he wants to help patrol the streets of the capital.

‘If I’m lucky enough to be Mayor, I would like to train as a Special Constable.’

What was really strange was Stewart’s rationale: ‘Former Met Commissioner Lord Stevens led from the front, and famously was there at 2.30am having breakfast with police officers.’

Who on earth wants breakfast that early?

Quote of the week: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage on Remainers such as Labour’s Lord Adonis boycotting the use of the commemorative Brexit 50p coin: ‘Lord Adonis is a fully paid-up member of the Flat Earth Society.’  

ITV’s political editor Robert Peston marked the clock striking Brexit by tweeting a quote from T.S. Eliot: ‘We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.’ 

A risk quoting literature after colleague Alastair Stewart’s Shakespeare tweet tragedy! 

Rory’s U-turn

Rory Bremner is heeding the advice of Tony Blair to now back Brexit: ‘Right. Time for a little humility on my part. Leave won. Let’s see what Boris has got. Buckle up, it won’t be dull.’

Rory Bremner is heeding the advice of Tony Blair to now back Brexit. Mr Bremner is pictured above in November last year

Rory Bremner is heeding the advice of Tony Blair to now back Brexit. Mr Bremner is pictured above in November last year

The headline says ‘The only thing leaving the EU guarantees is a lost decade in British business.’ 

So who’s the author? Michael Heseltine? A Lib Dem? No. Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, who wrote it before the referendum. It still has pride of place on his website. 

Lording it in the best care home

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is a breath of fresh air as Speaker after the toxic John Bercow. At a lunch last week, he pledged to look out for peers as well as MPs. 

‘That nursing home next door matters to me,’ he said.

‘My dad is in there.’ 

Lord Hoyle, 89, a former Labour MP, rarely misses a day’s sitting. 

‘It’s the only nursing home where you get reverse fees,’ said the Speaker. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle (pictured above) is a breath of fresh air as Speaker after the toxic John Bercow. At a lunch last week, he pledged to look out for peers as well as MPs

Sir Lindsay Hoyle (pictured above) is a breath of fresh air as Speaker after the toxic John Bercow. At a lunch last week, he pledged to look out for peers as well as MPs



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