Punch and Judy Politics review – the unique ordeal of Prime Minister’s Questions

An invaluable study by Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton of the Wednesday PM quizzing tells of arrogance, fear and astonishing preparation

It is 11 years, to the month, since Tony Blair left Downing Street. Yet by his own account, before noon every Wednesday, wherever he is in the world, he still feels an icy chill – an instinctual reaction to the imminence of prime minister’s questions.

On paper, PMQs should not hold such terror. The prime minister needs simply to show up in the House of Commons once a week and answer 40 minutes of questions from MPs, half from their own side and half from the other, including six from the opposition leader. But as this new study makes clear, the event has a significance far greater than its parts.

Continue reading...

Punch and Judy Politics review – the unique ordeal of Prime Minister’s Questions

An invaluable study by Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton of the Wednesday PM quizzing tells of arrogance, fear and astonishing preparation

It is 11 years, to the month, since Tony Blair left Downing Street. Yet by his own account, before noon every Wednesday, wherever he is in the world, he still feels an icy chill – an instinctual reaction to the imminence of prime minister’s questions.

On paper, PMQs should not hold such terror. The prime minister needs simply to show up in the House of Commons once a week and answer 40 minutes of questions from MPs, half from their own side and half from the other, including six from the opposition leader. But as this new study makes clear, the event has a significance far greater than its parts.

Continue reading...