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The Prime Minister won't answer David Gauke's question about his YouTube show

David Gauke MP Here's a bit of light relief.

David Gauke, who is a Shadow Treasury Minister, raised a point of order in the Commons yesterday:

"On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On a number of occasions, you have raised the requirement for Ministers to answer written parliamentary questions appropriately. I asked the Prime Minister a question, the answer to which was published in Hansard on 30 April 2009 at column 1415W. I asked him whether the recording of his statement on hon. Members’ allowances that was uploaded to his YouTube channel on 21 April had required more than one take. The response was:

    “The recording is available on the Downing street YouTube channel.”—[ Official Report, 30 April 2009; Vol. 491, c. 1415W.]

That clearly represents a failure—some might call it a lamentable failure—to answer the question. What can I do to ensure that the Prime Minister will answer this question?

Mr. Speaker: I think that the Prime Minister has answered the question in his own way, and I think that we could leave it at that."

Such a question could only have been posed in recent years. And there was a time when mocking the Prime Minister in this manner would have been scandalous. Even as recently as the 1960s Peter Cook caused great consternation with his impression of Harold MacMillan.

Times have changed. We can, for example, once again marvel at the unbridled awfulness of Gordon Brown's performance in the video below, and laugh ourselves hoarse. I think we've earned it.

Tom Greeves


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