Nick Clegg does PMQs in style

Nick Clegg did Prime Minister’s Questions today while David Cameron is schmoozing his way round the Middle East. He was so assured, confident and natural and spoke completely without notes. He even answered the question he was given and not the one he wanted to answer, too. He made David Cameron look like a complete amateur, to be honest, and Gordon Brown, too.

My Liberal Democrat Voice colleague Nick Thornsby reminded us on Twitter this morning that four years ago, two days after Barack Obama was elected the first time round, Nick, then a humble third party leader, questioned PM Gordon Brown, who put him down quite snidily. And the subject of his questions? Taxing the wealthy and cutting taxes for the poorest. Nothing if not consistent. Have a look here.



It was quite a contrast to see Clegg in Brown’s position today.


There was one irritation, though. In fact, two. Alan Reid and Simon Hughes both got up and asked the pathetically toadying soft ball question that always seems to come from the Government side in both Holyrood and Westminster. I can’t stand it whoever is doing it. I don’t know what Alistair Carmichael had on those two, whether they’d stolen his orange Clubs or something, but seeing grown liberals toadying is so not a good look. And it’s completely unnecessary. Nick didn’t need it as he’d already peppered references to the same points throughout the proceedings.

I think my favourite bit was when Peter Bone asked a really friendly question. Nobody could ever have expected that and Nick looked quite surprised about it. Mrs Bone didn’t get a mention, though. He will probably be in big trouble later. During the exchange, Nick got his obligatory Nadine Dorries joke in, saying that when he’d heard she’d gone off to the jungle to eat insects, he assumed it was a punishment from the Chief Whip. As if the gentlemanly Sir George Young would ever do anything so, well, naff.

I have put a selection of tweets from the occasion into a Storify story which you can read here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Nick has also been impressive at the last few DPMQs too. And since the apology video seems to have had a bit of a weight lifted off him. I think he’s in a good place and more the old Nick,

    He showed today that he certainly has fire in his belly, which I find somewhat contagious. LOL Long may it continue.

  • Richard Dean 7th Nov '12 - 8:05pm

    Nick always sounds a bit grumpy!

  • I think it shows up how bad Cameron is at PMQ

    I thought both sides did okay today and it was far better behaved than normal.

    I wouldn’t pin any hopes on it changing attitudes to Clegg thug – noone really cares how he does as a stand-in at PMQ, apart from the activists.

  • Yes unfortunately the narrative around Nick seems to have stuck and it’s going to take some unpicking! The overwhelming vilification and characterisation of the man means that people cannot judge him fairly even when presented with the truth. It’s very sad! It’s that mob thing again. Everyone feels they have to feel the same way about him to be part of the collective club. The hatred is so bad that people are almost wishing the worst with relish.

  • Jamie Matthews 9th Nov '12 - 8:03am

    Not to put a dampener on it but you mentioned in 2008 he was a humble third party leader… He still is, in fact we have less seats now and on a consistent 8% in the polls. Let’s not get over-awed by the trappings of government and remember we’ve still got a lot of work to do! All that said, he’s still a good performer

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