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Corbyn's First Prime Minister's Questions Was Sidetracked By Tigers And Rhinos

At the most eagerly anticipated PMQs for years, we also learned that Corby is the birthplace of the DVD case.

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The House of Commons was packed on Wednesday for the first Prime Minister's Questions since Jeremy Corbyn was crowned leader of the Labour party.


It was a day to tackle the big issues. But some in the chamber – such as Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner – had some other concerns to raise.

He said the Isle of Wight zoo had been unable to import a tiger who had been "cruelly treated in a circus", and said the animal had been kept in isolation in Belgium for nearly two years.

The Speaker, John Bercow, intervened when MPs began restlessly murmuring during the tiger question, telling them: "I think the house wants to hear about the tiger!"

The prime minister confirmed: "I do want to hear about the tiger."

BuzzFeed News can reveal that this is the tiger in question, called Simi.

Isle of White Zoo

Cameron then upped the ante with his own animal-related story about the Cotswold Wildlife Park wanting to import a rhino that was then named after his daughter, Nancy.

Cameron confirmed that the rhino has been "breeding" since it came to the Cotswolds.

This is the actual rhino in question.

Nancy and second calf John born Aug 2015 #PMQs

And the most awful joke of the day came from the MP for Corby, Tom Pursglove.

It was a joke so bad it lingered long in the memory.

Still pissed off about that Corby/Corbyn joke. Think it has wrecked my day. #pmqs

Purseglove went on to add, for some reason, that Corby is the birthplace of the DVD case.

As for Corbyn, he probed David Cameron on mental health provision, the housing crisis, and this week's vote to cut tax credits.


He used some of the 40,000 questions that had been sent to him by Labour party supporters in the past week after he appealed via email for things to ask Cameron at the dispatch box.

Stephen and Marie were two of the lucky correspondents.

Is #Marie trending yet? Is #Stephen trending yet? #PMQs

There was sniggering all round at this novelty.

Tories sniggering every time Corbyn mentions a member of the public's name. At least they are real people, unlike those the DWP made up.

Including from Labour MPs.

A few Labour backbenchers laughing at the format of introducing questions by name of person who asked them.

And more or less everyone on Twitter.

Well this is a fucking unmitigated disaster.

fair play jeremy corbyn absolutely smashed #pmqs

So this was PMQs in a nutshell.

#PMQS TOP LINES: -- A tiger is stranded -- Nancy the rhino "is breeding" -- Corby "gave the world the DVD case" MFL

Who knows which animal-related crisis will be highlighted next time?

Isel of White Zoo

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at

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