New Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn broke tradition during his first Prime Minister’s Question time by crowdsourcing questions from voters — a move that earned him unexpected points from the media.
Normally, the prime minister takes questions directly from MPs during the weekly, 30-minute sessions. This results in lots of shouting and heckling from both sides.
Instead of coming up with the questions himself, he emailed Labour party members to ask what questions they wanted him to pose to Cameron. Corbyn received 40,000 suggestions and read some of them aloud. Cameron listened to the questions thoughtfully and gave respectful answers. Most people think Corbyn “won” the debate by changing the tone of the meeting and creating a more civilised atmosphere.
Interestingly, it turns out this tactic, which has been one small highlight for Corbyn during a very rocky week, was actually Ed Miliband’s idea, according to The Evening Standard.
Miliband resigned as Labour leader in May after his party suffered a massive defeat to Cameron’s Conservatives.
According to the Evening Standard, Miliband “coached” Corbyn on how to handle PMQs in a 45-minute phone call and suggested crowdsourcing questions. It’s not clear why Miliband never used the strategy himself, seeing as it was such a hit.
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