Prime Minister challenges Lancaster MP to run for Labour leader

Cat Smith.
Cat Smith.

Will the new MP for Lancaster now be running for the Labour leadership?

David Cameron certainly thinks Cat Smith should, judging by his response to her first ever contribution to Prime Minister’s Question Time.

During Wednesday’s Westminster question and answer session, Ms Smith asked the PM when he expects the UK to regain its AAA (triple A) credit rating.

The question provoked a noisy response from MPs in the chamber and Mr Cameron seemed amused.

But he didn’t answer the question. After welcoming Ms Smith and congratulating her on her recent election success, the Prime Minister said: “The question is about fiscal responsibility and sustainability, I take that as a sign of progress. I would say to her, there’s a leadership election on, I’d throw your hat in the ring! In that one question she’s made more sense than all the rest of them put together. Go for it!” Then he sat down and the next question was asked.

Later, Ms Smith told the Guardian: “He didn’t answer it and it really wound me up. I’m wondering if I should just keep asking him, like Jeremy Paxman. There is really no answer he can give because (the UK regaining its AAA credit rating) really isn’t on the cards.”

Regarding Mr Cameron’s tongue-in-cheek challenge for her to run for Labour leader, Ms Smith said: “No, I’ve just got into office in Westminster.” The ratings agency Moody cut the UK from its top-line credit rating in 2013 for the first time since 1978.