UK & World News

  • 2 July 2014, 10:11

PMQs 'Big Turn-Off' As Mums Call For Shake-Up

More than 56,000 people have signed a petition calling for changes to Prime Minister's Questions.

The petition was launched by parenting forum Mumsnet.

It comes after the behaviour of politicians was likened to that of preschoolers during the weekly debate in the Commons when MPs and the opposition leader grill the Prime Minister.

They describe PMQs as "one of the biggest turn-offs", saying "we want our children to grow up proud of that and eager to engage".

"At the moment, worrying numbers struggle to find the will to vote," the petition said.

"PMQs should be about holding power to account - not about planted questions, scripted answers and 10-second soundbites for the TV news."

A recent survey carried out by the group found 76% of mothers think PMQs is "unprofessional and outdated" and 80% think it is "ineffective".

Mothers in Swinton, Greater Manchester, told Sky News they were shocked at some of the behaviour they witnessed in PMQs.

Nicola Turner, mother of four-year-old Lily, said: "I think they're quite immature in a lot of respects, quite inconsiderate of each other.

"They need to allow time for each person to speak and show the respect and consideration of allowing those people to speak without interrupting them."

Vicky Barton, who has a one-year-old son William, agrees.

She said: "The fact that the speaker had to stand up several times and tell them to be quiet and calm down, you get that in nursery or in primary school, you certainly don't expect adults to have to be told more than once."

Mumsnet users have taken to their online forum to air their views.

One wrote: "We should be very embarrassed about this pantomime. It's got nothing to do with adult debate about any subject."

Another posted "Would be nice to not see whatever party is speaking not all grinning/laughing like bullies when the speaker makes a point belittling the other side."

However, some didn't want to sign the petition.

One commented "it's a tradition. And quite amusing. Though I can quite see why people want it changed.

"But it does give a chance to see our so called leaders at their worst. So maybe that's a good thing."

Today, PMQs will be streamed live on the Mumsnet website at 12pm.

Users will be able to take part in a live webchat before and afterwards with Sky News' political correspondent Anushka Asthana to share their views.

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