Jeremy Corbyn (JC) had to brave howls of laughter when he accused the Prime Minister of a ‘long answer’ at PMQs on Wednesday. Corbyn had previously provided a quite long question himself which the house had barely tolerated. When he accused the Prime Minister (PM) of being long-winded the Conservative benches immediately sensed the irony and burst into a chorus of laughter, putting Cobyn off his stride.

PM: ...
    I’ve got plenty of material in here
Chamber: ((shouts of support))(2.0)     
SP: Jeremy CORBY::::N
JC: m- mister speaker
    that was a very long answer
    when he could of sim-
Chamber: ((howls of laughter & noise))
JC: when he could (1.0)
    when he could have s- (6.0)
Chamber: ((noise continues))
JC: when he could have quite simply said (.)
    mister speaker (.)
    he could have quite simply said
    whether or not

Laughter and noise are strategic tools at the disposal of an audience in order to show their approval or disapproval of the current speaker.

PMQs – 11th May 2016