If there is one session of Parliament that is simply unmissable for MPs, Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ’s) is it.
It provides many subtle signs for the sophisticated observer to interpret. Rothpol always amuses himself by looking out for Denis MacShane and as importantly where he was sat.
Since Denis MacShane was relieved of the Labour Whip in October 2010, when it was announced that a Police investigation into his expenses claims had been launched, Denis has frequently inserted himself on the Labour benches as though he wasn’t suspended! Sitting there as bold as brass despite being cold shouldered!
Labour Whips have had great difficulty over the last 16 Months in controlling their suspended, and therefore for the moment Ex-Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) member, Denis MacShane. He insists on sitting amongst Labour MPs on the opposition benches, confusing the casual observer.
The Speaker normally obliges us, by calling Denis MacShane. This week the Speaker couldn’t call Denis because he wasn’t even there!
One hopes that the investigation by the Metropolitan Police concludes very soon, it has been 16 Months so far.
Even if the Met Police and the special CPS group recommend no prosecution, Denis MacShane is still the subject of a, currently suspended, Parliamentary investigation. The report of the Standards and Privileges Committee, Chairman one Kevin Barron, will be published in due course and thought to be so damaging, that suspension of the whip would then be made permanent.
How did Miliband do? Not much better than a score draw. Monday was just a flash in the pan if today’s exchanges are anything to go by?