Tech troubles prove biggest drama as Commons seems distracted by events elsewhere

Maybe everyone knew that all eyes were on Washington. Both to watch out for any last-minute hissy fits or dodgy pardons from Donald Trump and to follow the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Or maybe Keir Starmer has finally got fed up with never having his questions answered by Boris Johnson and has given up trying. Whichever it was, this was one of the more low-key and least satisfying prime minister’s questions.

Even the tech seemed to be having a day off in sympathy. The SNP leader, Ian Blackford, had his second question delayed as his Zoom connection died. The Tory MP Nicola Richards couldn’t work out how to unmute herself, and by the time she did, she was unable to hear what was going on in the chamber. She wasn’t missing much. Neil O’Brien couldn’t work out how to switch off his phone, and the sound of children shouting could be picked up on at least two other remote questions. These were the biggest dramas of the day, missed only by the increasingly affected Desmond Swayne, who appeared to remain unconscious for most of the session.

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