Is it time to change PMQs?

Leon Emirali

Senior Political Counsellor

Rob Comba speaks to Joel Blackwell from the Hansard Society and PLMR's Leon Emirali about whether the new look PMQs should stay or go

Since Jeremy Corbyn’s become Leader of the Labour Party, he’s taken quite a different approach to his weekly showdown with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Gone are the theatrics of the usual PMQs and in its stead is a calmer affair, where Mr. Corbyn has even taken questions from the public to put forward to the PM.

Whether or not this will last, it brings about a question which has been asked of British politics for a long time: is it time to change PMQs?

To find out, we speak to Joel Blackwell from the Hansard Society – who have done extensive research into the public’s perceptions of PMQs – and PLMR’s Leon Emirali.

We ask Joel to explain Hansard’s resarch. He says:

67% of the public agree that ‘there is too much party political point-scoring instead of answering the question’ – 5% disagree

47% agree it ‘is too noisy and aggressive’ – 15% disagree

What about those who see PMQs as an invaluable opportunity to hold the government to account?

According to Joel because the only time they see what goes on in parliament is during PMQs, it creates a false image of what it is really like.

Do people like Jeremy Corbyn’s approach?

Joel says they do – Hansard did some research after Jeremy Corbyn’s first PMQs. They said they found it less noisy and aggressive and there was less political points scoring.

Leon likes PMQs as it is. We ask him:

Why do you like PMQs?

Leon says it’s the only time of the week where the Prime Minister is put on the spot and ‘made to squirm’

Is it important to continue with PMQs as it is?

Leon believes it is because you see the clashing of ideologies and it can be very entertaining.

Does this view go against the public?

Leon says ‘politics is boring’ and PMQs provides a little relief against that.

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