THERE was no peace and goodwill, and very few tidings of comfort and joy, as Westminster wound up for the Christmas holiday. Indeed, it was more like a bear-pit, with MPs snarling at each other like wild animals.

"Christmas spirit?" said one MP. "Don't make me laugh. I have never seen anything like it."

On Wednesday, we were treated to what was undoubtedly the most vicious and ill-tempered session of Prime Minister's question time since Theresa May entered 10, Downing Street.

This gave rise to the now notorious "stupid woman" allegations, which transformed a bad situation into something infinitely worse.

So long as this bad behaviour persists at Westminster, the longer it will take to get any solution to the Brexit impasse. You cannot expect politicians to behave like little angels, but you surely should be able to expect them to act in a responsible way which produces the results for which the taxpayer pays them.

At the moment, they are betraying their paymasters. Perhaps a couple of weeks away from it all will teach them to be a little more reasonable when they get back in the New Year.

ONE thing the "stupid woman" row has taught us is that lip-reading is far from being an exact science. There was no 100 per cent consensus among the various "experts" assigned to work out what Mr Corbyn was muttering.

Yeas ago, a leading left-wing Labour MP Eric Heffer bawled "stupid woman" at Margaret Thatcher. No need of lip readers there and, as far as I can recall it, there was no massive outcry about it.

A different era!

I HAVE often wondered why intelligent people with spectacular jobs and rosy prospects should destroy all that – and their reputations, too – for the sake of a few measly points on their driving licences, or the payment of a speeding fine.

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya, a former whip, has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice in a bid to dodge a speeding fine. Her own prediction that she would become the first black Prime Minister now lies like dust at her feet.

She was close to Jeremy Corbyn and her future career as a politician and solicitor appeared to be glittering. Now she has thrown all that away.

Immediately after her conviction, Labour suspended her and wanted her to quit Parliament. This would cause a by-election in Peterborough, one of the most marginal seats in the country. Peterborough used to return MPs on a single-figure majority!

Why did not she heed the experience of the Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne who, along with his then wife, Vicky Pryce, was jailed for an almost identical offence?

Huhne was a member of David Cameron's coalition cabinet as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, and had been a serious contender for the party leadership.

Now, he is no more than a tarnished memory. I fear that Onasanya is heading the same way.

What a waste.

NICKY MORGAN, the former Tory Cabinet Minister who is no friend of Brexit, recently asked what would the great British public will think about politicians going off on holiday, while politics is in such turmoil?

Well, I can answer that question. The great British public will be as pleased as punch and much relieved.

We can at least look forward to two weeks without having to tolerate snarling and shouting emanating from the Palace of Westminster. A little blessed peace and quiet. As the feminists tend to say, we will all feel liberated – even if only for a short time.

So, there's you answer, Ms Morgan!

And while I am at it, may I offer a bit of patronising advice to our Prime Minister? She should ordain that "Brexit" is a banned word in her household throughout the Christmas break.