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PMQs Sketch: Rishi Sunak's attack falls on deaf ears after rows over migration and marbles

A hapless few days for Rishi Sunak was summed up by the moment in PMQs when he shouted into the Commons microphone: “Britain isn’t listening.”

Trouble was, the microphone had been switched off by the Speaker as he called for order. So anyone listening to the exchange on TV will have struggled to hear the Prime Minister’s attack on Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Sunak had gifted plenty of attack material to the Labour leader leading up to this week’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

The PM this week snubbed Greek leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a rather bizarre diplomatic incident surrounding the Elgin Marbles.

Sir Keir remarked on “ancient relics - but enough of the Tory party” before going on to describe Mr Sunak as having the “reverse Midas touch”. The PM, he said, had “lost his marbles”.

The 5ft 6 inch PM was indulging in “small politics” by refusing to meet the leader of a NATO ally, and was waging a “one-man war on reality”, the Labour leader added.

But Mr Sunak was most vulnerable on migration statistics last week that showed a record net inflow into Britain of 745,000 people. The figures have sparked a mini-civil war among the Conservatives and led to ministers contradicting each other on the Commons front bench.

Inside the chamber on Wednesday, Tory MPs shifted uncomfortably and Labour ones jeered as the PM vowed to be “crystal clear” in his response.

He recapped his well-worn insistence that action is being taken already on student dependants, but admitted the benefits in terms of falling numbers are “yet to be felt”.

Mr Sunak turned to attack in trying to portray Sir Keir as being in league with the European Union, down to the recent revelation in an interview with Classic FM that the Labour leader - a schoolboy flautist - is rather partial to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (the EU anthem).

The attack hit the wrong note, however, with plenty on the Tory benches waiting in vain to hear how the PM intends to tackle the migration crisis.

MPs were wearing red ribbons in tribute to World AIDS Day. Tireless HIV campaigner Sir Elton John was due to appear at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday evening. He’s still standing, while the PM is reeling slightly after a tricky few days.