Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Rainbows keep falling on my head

The clunking great fist appeared a little shaky at times as Gordon Brown enjoyed a nervous first question time as Prime Minister.

At one stage he even explained that he'd only been in the job five days - a remark that did little to win sympathy from his opponents.

Some commentators scored it a draw, I'd probably give it to David Cameron on points as he appeared to wrongfoot the new PM on the Government's failure to ban an extremist group it had promised to outlaw two years ago.

Welsh Questions preceded it and was an altogether quieter affair, as you might expect from parliamentary questions to Ministers with very few executive responsibilities.

Huw Irranca-Davies made a solid debut in his new role as Peter Hain's deputy. Half the questions appeared to be taken up by tributes to those leaving the stage (Nick Ainger, Lord Roberts of Conwy), congratulations for those staying put (Cheryl Gillan, Peter Hain) and those sort of moving on (Lembit Opik, Peter Hain).

Tory Stephen Crabb did disrupt the cosiness by pointing out that Peter Hain had previously ruled out a Plaid-Labour coalition to run the Welsh Assembly Government.

Remember this from March 1 when he was asked about the prospect of a deal with Plaid? "I'm ruling it out. There is no prospect of that at all. This is a matter for Rhodri Morgan and his fellow Welsh Labour Assembly Members. But I don't think Welsh Labour would accept that."


Stephen Crabb used a question to Mr Hain today to denounce the "grubby deal" between Labour and Plaid.

Presumably the deal done between his own party in the Assembly, with Plaid and the Liberal Democrats was squeaky clean and not at all grubby.

The three Welsh Tory MPs were not impressed by the deal struck by their Assembly leader Nick Bourne in Cardiff Bay, although Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan did tell us today: "It was a shame that what had appeared to be a good deal on the rainbow alliance was rejected by one of the other parties."

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