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PMQs needs reforming but it shouldn’t be toned down

11 February 2014

To anyone in Westminster, Prime Minister’s Questions is terrific fun and a good measurement of how the leaders are doing every week. But what does the rest of the country think of this rip roaring event? The Hansard Society has released a new report Tuned in or Turned off? Public attitudes to Prime Minister’s Questions to find out whether the nation enjoys the session as much as the keen political watchers do.

The report suggests that PMQs are seen a ‘cue’ for wider perceptions of Parliament, most of which are negative. The public dislikes the pantomime atmosphere, the political point scoring and general behaviour of MPs — which is likened to a school playground. Polling from the report suggests that two thirds of the public think there is too much party political point-scoring instead of answering serious questions: