Cameron: I failed on PMQs

By Ian Dunt

The nature of PMQs crippled David Cameron’s attempts to get rid of the ‘Punch and Judy’ of British politics, he has admitted.

The Tory leader told the Today programme that the way PMQs was structured prompted an conflict-led approach to politics.

“I would say we’ve tried to politics in a different way,” he said.

“I’ve tried to be more cross party and more practical. But on the issue of Punch and Judy I have to admit prime minister’s questions is a bear pit and you can’t change it.

“There’s an element to PMQs that’s the Coliseum and the Christians being fed to the lions, and you’re either the lion or you’re a Christian.”

The Tory leader began his leadership of the Conservative party with pledges to change the nature of British politics, but his performances at PMQs quickly veered towards the traditional.

One of his early jibes at Tony Blair – “you used to be the future once” – entered the national consciousness, and he managed to win most, but not all, of his weekly bouts against Gordon Brown.