David Cameron will take part in his last PMQs as Prime Minister on Wednesday. Cameron has been at the dispatch box answering questions most Wednesday afternoons since he became PM in 2010, although he spent several years asking questions as Leader of the Opposition before that.
Many commentators accept that Cameron has become a master of PMQs, much like his predecessor Tony Blair before him, with his ability to be witty, sharp and ruthless at times, although his appearences at the dispatch box have not always been without controversy. Here are five telling moments that reveal the Cameron style.
1. “Do up your tie”
Cameron famously told Jeremy Corbyn to “put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem” in a comment which was bolstered by howls of laughter from his own benches, much to the chagrin of Corbyn who had to endure the noise for a full 35 seconds.
2. “For heaven’s sake man, go!”
Another put down of Jermey Corbyn occurred recently when Cameron took advantage of Corbyn’s weakness in his own party to tell him to quit.
3. “Calm down dear!”
It has not always been plain sailing for Cameron. Occasionally his cockiness at Prime Minister’s questions has got the better of him, like the time when he told Angela Eagle to “calm down dear”. Many people perceived this to be patronising and he received strong criticism on social media and some parts of hte press.
4. “Diagnostic Radiophrakers”
Speaking at the dispatch box can take its toll and occasionally Cameron has stumbled over his words – sometimes to creative effect however when he generated this new terminology for NHS diagnostic radiographers.
5. Slip Squared
Subconsciously mistaking “employees” for “employers” can be glossed over once. But when the same slip occurs in quick succession one has to wonder whether the slip was intentional.
Theresa May, in contrast to Cameron, might be a saint at PMQs. I’ll be blogging regularly about her style at PMQs in the early days Check back to this site in the coming weeks.