Killer blow, no plan B needed

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When Ed Miliband was role playing PMQs before the big battle, he must have safely assumed he was onto a winner.

The Chancellor had refused to rule out a VAT rise, repeatedly, the Tories had a bit of a budget black hole and Ed had just authorised a massive poster warning of a VAT threat from David Cameron.

What could possibly go wrong? As he gathered his team in his office under the clock tower, probably no one thought to say, “hey, boss, what if Cameron just comes out and promises no VAT rise?”

“Rubbish,” would have come the reply. “ He never gives a straight answer. Where have you been? There is no plan B on this question friend, it is dynamite.”

That plan lasted for as long as it takes to ask one question.

Ed had five more questions, and there was probably something about not trusting Dave in there, but no one was really listening by even the second question.

Instead, in a very Miliband way, the Labour leader found himself having to refuse to raise National Insurance.

Osborne was beside himself with laughter, and there is even picture evidence that Theresa May smiled in the House of Commons.

Throughout this, Ed Balls sat quiet, as did a fair few Labour backbenchers, seeing their game plan collapse from the front with barely any defence.

Smiling and cheering though were two of the Cameron children, who apparently were allowed out of school to watch with mum as dad avoided the name calling he normally goes in for and instead answered the question. Perhaps the school could release the Cameron children every Wednesday?

This was, as Mr Cameron pointed out, the 146th of his PMQ sessions. Quite a while to go without a straight answer, but worth it in the end.