PMQs Twitter round-up: Grammar schools, Brexit and Christmas

The second PMQs session of the new Parliamentary season saw Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn question Theresa May in his final session before the opposition's leadership election.

May began the session by paying tribute to David Cameron and his legacy as prime minister, after he announced he would leave Parliament earlier this week.

After paying tribute to a police officer wounded in the line of duty yesterday, Corbyn chose, unusually, to use his questions to raise a subject the majority of voters are talking about this week: Grammar schools and selection in education.

The result was a calm and assured Corbyn, sticking to his subject and genuinely holding May to account.

Corbyn asked May if there were any experts in the field of education who agreed with her stance on reintroducing grammar schools but May accused Corbyn of living in the 1950s and highlighted the fact that both she and the Labour leader had attended one, adding that he was guilty of pulling up the ladder behind him.

But Corbyn was not to be put off and continued to hammer the prime minister on the subject, telling her that delivering equality of opportunity for children was unlikely if you segregated them by ability at the age of 11 and he quoted Cameron's opposition to them while in office.

Even when May huffed that Corbyn had not welcomed today’s unemployment figures, which show a slight fall, Corbyn retorted that one million ‘employed’ people were on zero-hours contracts before returning to the subject of grammar schools once again. 

Most commentators agreed that Corbyn had enjoyed one of his best PMQs ever as Labour leader, a further boost to his re-election chances. 

Then it was Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader in the Commons, to ask his questions and he returned to last week’s theme of the effect on Scotland of Brexit and asked May his second yes/no question in a fortnight, enquiring whether she favoured visa-free travel in the EU.

May told him that people had voted against free movement in the referendum and that that decision must be respected.

Later in the session, Conservative backbencher Shailesh Vara called on councils not to dilute the idea of Christian festivals, such as Christmas, out of political correctness and May agreed with the sentiment.

According to Brandwatch, there were 13,000 tweets around today's PMQs, with key topics including grammar schools and David Cameron. Tweets about May were 52 per cent positive, while for Corbyn 51 per cent of tweets were positive and for Robertson, just 20 per cent of tweets were positive.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in