The House of Commons has reconvened for the first time since the election and Theresa May was not given an easy ride.
While her opponent Jeremy Corbyn was greeted with applause as he arrived to take his seat for the election of the Speaker, the PM’s entrance was more subdued and those on the benches behind her looked decidedly glum.
Things got worse when she rose to speak following John Bercow’s unopposed re-election to the Chair before the Royal Mace had been replaced - a breach of Parliamentary protocol - but managed to save face by joking: “At least someone got a landslide”.
Talks between the Conservatives and the DUP were paused this afternoon while the Commons sat - and Jeremy Corbyn was quick to make clear Labour were ready to offer “strong and stable leadership in the national interest” should an agreement not be reached.
In paying tribute to Tory MP Ken Clarke, who took up his position as Father of the House following 47 years of service on the Commons benches, Corbyn said:
“He has had a very long and distinguished career in this House, punctuated this year by his speech in the Brexit debate during which he lamented that his party opposite had become ‘mildly anti-immigrant’.
“How new a development that might be is open to debate, but I am sorry to note it’s also, to put it generously, at best mildly anti-worker, anti-disabled people, anti-pension and anti-young person as well.
“I’m sorry to be so divisive here today.”
The Labour leader, wearing a large red rose on his lapel, also joked about once seeing the Parliamentary stalwart smoking a cigar and drinking ‘extra-strength beer’ while taking a break from a debate on healthy eating.
Taking up his position as Speaker for the eighth consecutive year after being customarily dragged to the chair by Labour MP Alison McGovern and Conservatives Helen Grant and Peter Bottomley, Bercow said he would be ‘honoured’ to preside over a Parliament which is “more richly diverse than any of its predecessors”.
He paid tribute to the 87 newly-elected members, adding: “I look forward sooner rather than later, and frequently rather than infrequently, to hearing their voices heard.”
Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn also paid tribute to the record number of female, black and minority ethnic, disabled and LGBT MPs who now form part of the House of Commons.