Published: 00:00, 20 July 2016
| Updated: 15:54, 20 July 2016
If it wasn’t exactly a rout, Theresa May managed to swat away Jeremy Corbyn in their first encounter at PMQs in a manner that suggests she could be a formidable opponent.
Of course, she was up against a man whose support among his own MPs is virtually non-existent which can’t be a comfortable position to be in when you are in the political cauldron of the Commons.
A fact which she mercilessly exploited during an exchange over unscrupulous bosses with the kind of withering putdown that the first female Prime Minister of the country could have made.
Fixing Corbyn with a steely glare she responded to his question with a quip that proves that humour is often the most effective way of disarming a political foe.
“I suspect that there are many members on the Opposition benches who might be familiar with an ‘unscrupulous boss.’ A boss who doesn’t listen to his workers. A boss who requires some of his workers to double their workload. Maybe even a boss who exploits the rules to further his own career.”
The punchline? “Remind you of anyone?”
At which point Conservative backbenchers were in delirium and Labour MPs looked on in dismay.
In the manner of a TV chef, this gag was probably one she had prepared earlier but it showed a previously unknown side of her personality.
There will be tougher encounters to come but with the summer recess underway and Labour distracted by its own leadership woes, the new PM looks like enjoying a longer than expected political honeymoon.
More by this authorPaul Francis