Westminster Times

David Cameron has finally answered the question about who can crack the worst joke in the Commons.

Answering a question from Tory Anne McIntosh about pig meat and China (don't ask) the prime minister waffled a bit then revealed that on a previous visit to that country he had promoted a deal for the export of pig semen.

Backbench MPs weren't sure whether to squirm or laugh. Cameron added that the press release accompanying the event had talked about the "pig society".

At least he had the courtesy to apologise. Only for the joke mind you, not for raising the matter in the first place.

Still, the prime minister thought this was such a (spare) rib tickler he repeated it later that evening at a summer party in Westminster at which he also branded Michael Gove's former adviser Dominic Cummings a "career psychopath".

When he then got to the bit of his speech about tackling extremism in schools he was greeted with a chorus of boos.

Apparently the disapproval came from boys at the neighbouring Westminster School who were hanging out of their dormitory windows to jeer. Allegedly.

Eagle owl
An eagle owl REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

Pulling the plug

When the gods have got it in for you they don't let up, as Ed Miliband is discovering.

The Labour leader has recently suffered a series of setbacks from poor poll ratings, bacon sandwich incidents and photo opportunity gaffes. So he planned a big policy announcement in East London to get back onto the front foot.

But no more than two minutes into his address there was a crackle of interference and TV screens went dead as the live link collapsed, leaving studio presenters desperately filling in and hoping the link would be restored (it wasn't) and viewers on the edge of their seats wondering what he was attempting to tell the nation.

Hoot of the week

Within minutes of Ed Miliband's big policy speech twitter was ignited by a Labour party press release declaring they were promising everyone their own owl. As usual there was no detail to this policy – barn, little, or snowy?

Sadly it was a case of a hacked account rather than an election promise that was certain to be broken.

But it showed twitter at its best with scores of jokes about "a government of all the talons", "owl woman shortlists" and so on. Even John Prescott got in on the act pointing out he had always been Owl Labour.

Labour quickly announced their account had been hacked and said it was now "out of the woods".

Enough already. Just go to #owls.

Blair Middle East Speech
Blair faced impeachment call Reuters

Impeach the premier

It can't be much of a life for Tony Blair. He can barely go out in public anywhere in the UK without someone leaping out of the bushes attempting to arrest him for launching the "illegal" Iraq war in 2003.

Just for a moment, those protesters will have believed their dreams might come true when the longest-serving MP in Westminster, Father of the House , Tory Sir Peter Tapsell said it was time the ex-prime minister was finally brought to book.

Hauling himself to his feet during prime minister's questions, he suggested that, as the long-awaited Chilcot report into the war was still unpublished, MPs should use their ancient rights and impeach Blair for allegedly misleading the House on necessity for invading Iraq.

They won't.

State of confusion

MPs and staff entering the Palace of Westminster via the underground station gate have this week been presented with a sign on entry headed in large red type: "What is going on".

Says it all really.

In fact it is a note explaining why the gate isn't working properly.

Quote of the week

George Galloway, with no apparent irony, after watching Boris Johnson on Newsnight: " Is Boris actually mad? How could such a preposterous popinjay be elected Mayor of a great city like London?"