Jack Blanchard: Parliamentary sketch

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It’s been a grim week for Ed Miliband, with Labour’s poll lead evaporating after his turgid response to the Budget.

If only, Ed must have thought wistfully, I could rewind the clock to last October, when my wonderful plan to freeze energy prices for 20 months was all anyone talked about.

What joy, then, in the heart of Doncaster’s finest, when he awoke to the news that SSE had decided to, erm, freeze its prices for the next 20 months.

Energy prices! At PMQs! The clock struck noon, and Ed practically leapt to his feet.

“Would we be right to assume the PM believes this price freeze is unworkable?” Mr Miliband asked sarcastically, quoting the PM’s 2013 words back at him.

David Cameron seemed happy to lapse into 2013 mode, deciding to quote directly from an SSE Press release.

He did this last year, too. It didn’t work then, either.

“He’s not the Prime Minister, he’s the PR man for the energy companies!” Mr Miliband crowed, precisely as he did in 2013.

And on it went.

How on earth could we get back to the present day?

Happily, a Labour backbencher dragged things back to 2014 with a question on the hottest topic of the day – last week’s cut in bingo taxes.

“I am sure that the Right Hon. Member for Doncaster North enjoys a game of bingo,” Mr Cameron grinned.

“It is the only time he ever gets close to Number 10.”