[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Point-by-point: Question time
All the main points from prime minister's questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday 17 May, from 1200 BST.

  • Tony Blair sent condolences to the families of the two soldiers killed in Iraq.

  • The prime minister said it was possible to reform the human rights act if it was being interpreted wrongly.

  • David Cameron quizzed Mr Blair about his suggestion two weeks ago to have an "automatic presumption" that foreigners convicted of an imprisonable offence should be deported.

    The prime minister said the plan applied to the vast bulk of cases. Mr Cameron argued that was a shift from the initial plan for it to apply to all.

  • Mr Cameron went on to accuse the prime minister of constantly announcing reviews of the Human Rights Act but never actually changing it - another example of the government's "paralysis".

  • The Conservative leader then went on the offensive over the admission that there was no figure for the number of illegal immigrants in Britain.

    Mr Blair said there was no official estimates of illegal immigration into Britain because they were by definition difficult to estimate and read out a statement from Michael Howard, from when he was Conservative home secretary, explaining why a figure could not be given.

  • The prime minister also challenged Mr Cameron over his voting record, saying the Tory leader was not prepared to back measures to tackle immigration and to identify who was coming into the country, including identity cards.

  • Mr Cameron said Mr Blair was "rattled". He asked why, if the problems with the Home Office were systemic, did the prime minister sack Charles Clarke.

  • Mr Blair said much had been improved under Labour but there was much more to do. He also added that crime had doubled under the Conservatives. He accused Mr Cameron of trying to talk tough but not putting "his vote where his mouth is" when it came to government crime initiatives.

  • Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, who is under pressure for his PMQ performances since taking over from Charles Kennedy, asked if British troops would be out of Iraq - and whether the issue of Guantanamo Bay would be sorted out - by the time the prime minister leaves office.

  • Mr Blair said he was not responsible for the timing of the closure of the US-run centre which he regarded as an "anomaly that should be closed". On Iraq, British troops would stay "until the job is done".

  • SNP MP Mike Weir asked a question about Mr Blair's indication he would back nuclear power. The prime minister said it was important the UK should avoid becoming entirely dependent on foreign imported gas.

  • Mr Blair pledged to lend his support to workers who manufacture HP sauce.

  • The prime minister paid tribute to Vauxhall workers who are facing the loss of 900 jobs at the Ellesmere Port plant. He said the job losses were "deeply disappointing".

  • DUP leader Ian Paisley asked for extra police man power in Northern Ireland in the wake of the murder of Michael McIlveen whose funeral is taking place today. Mr Blair said he would give police every support in the work that they do.

  • SDLP MP Mark Durkan said young people's reactions to Michael's death were an example to older generations who had tolerated sectarionism when they should have fought it.


    Gordon Brown The Full Story
    All the action with key points, analysis and reaction from Gordon Brown's weekly grilling

    June 2008 -


    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific