John McDonnell jabbed a bony digit at the PM… HENRY DEEDES sees another Labour flop

That might have been the most bizarre PMQs from Jeremy Corbyn we’ve ever witnessed.

For those not required to sit through these sessions week in, week out, I should point out this is no small feat.

Consider, for example, those early days following the Corbyn putsch when he’d read out concerned emails purporting to be from members of the public. 

Jeremy Corbyn (centre) and Boris Johnson trudged back to the Commons with the country back in Brexit limbo

The first time it happened, I thought David Cameron might get the giggles.

Yesterday, Corbyn and Boris Johnson trudged back to the Commons with the country back in Brexit limbo.

The PM’s defeat the night before on the timetable for his deal means yet another delay looks inevitable. 

The prospect of a December election hangs tantalisingly in the air.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell jabbed his finger in the PM's direction

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell jabbed his finger in the PM’s direction

One might think that the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition would regard such matters as mildly pressing. 

At the very least, worth asking the Prime Minister about.

But Jezza had other ideas, and chose to focus on the NHS and the Union. The resulting exchanges? Instantly forgettable.

The two leaders were strongest when paying tribute to the 39 people whose bodies were discovered in a shipping container in Essex.

Rupa Huq (Lab, Ealing Central and Acton), who had been called first by the Speaker, aligned herself with the Prime Minister’s tribute. ‘I do not usually do that,’ she added unnecessarily.

Sadly, this is the sort of sour remark we’ve come to expect from Dr Huq’s corner of the chamber.

To be fair, Corbyn was good, offering sympathy to the emergency service workers who had to deal with such an awful discovery.

Oddly, this was only Boris’s second PMQs, what with party conference season and Parliament’s prorogation. 

Labour’s backbenches were determined to rile him, yelping and gurning.  

Twice that excitable ferret, Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Lab, Brighton Kemptown) had to be told by the Speaker to pipe down.

Even John McDonnell got involved. 

The Shadow Chancellor rarely attended PMQs during Theresa May’s dying days, and when he did he adopted an air of detachment, often scribbling away as though filling out his pools coupon.

Yesterday, he was transformed into a Millwall intellectual, perched forward, jabbing a bony digit in the PM’s direction. ‘Where’s our dosh?’  ‘You’re making it up!’

This was only Boris's second PMQs given the party conference season and Parliament's prorogation

This was only Boris’s second PMQs given the party conference season and Parliament’s prorogation

SNP leader Ian Blackford, resplendent in one of his Fat Controller three-piecers, bellowed: ‘Call an election!’

‘Weeeeellll,’ said Boris, who’s been begging the SNP for one for weeks. ‘What an exciting development! Perhaps the Right Honourable Gentleman might pass some of his courage down the line.’

Corbyn gave his whiskers a little considered rake of the fingernails.

It was left to Sir Kenneth Clarke to raise the dreaded Brexit timetable. 

He informed the PM that having secured backing for his deal, there was no reason he couldn’t get us out of the EU before the end of the year, adding: ‘So long as he proceeds in the statesman-like way I would hope for.’ 

Ken’s admirers on the opposition benches hooted their delight. How they love it when he speaks down to the PM.

The Father of the House is a wise owl but I wonder if this patronising tone becomes him. It suggests a resentment over his own repeated failure to lead his party, which surely isn’t the case.

For one brief moment, I thought we’d been spared Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson for the week. But it turned out John Bercow was just saving her for last.

She cockily suggested, voice scratchier than a detuned viola, that the PM thank all those helpful Labour members who had voted for his deal the evening before (translation: Lib Dems are the only real Remain party).

Boris happily obliged, adding he’d be equally grateful if she’d stop travelling to Brussels and consorting with the EU.

La Swinson emitted a cannibal-toothed growl. Hansard failed to record her words but we can be sure they were not kind.