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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Point-by-point: Question time
The main points from Gordon Brown's first prime minister's questions in the House of Commons.

  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown began by welcoming the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who he said was a "fearless journalist whose voice has been silenced for too long".

  • The first question was about moves towards unitary local authorities in Shrewsbury. Mr Brown said he could not comment on a judicial review that was underway but would meet local Tory MP Daniel Kawaczynski after it had concluded to discuss the issue.

  • Tory leader David Cameron also hailed the release of Alan Johnston, saying it was "fantastic news" he was going back to his family.

  • Turning to the terror alerts in London and Glasgow, he asked Mr Brown when a Privy Council review of phone tap evidence would be carried out.

  • Mr Brown said he hoped cross-party progress could be made on phone tap laws and said a Privy Council review would go ahead.

  • He said the government will also expand the worldwide "watch list" of potential terrorists to help warn other countries and there would be an immediate review of NHS recruitment after the discovery that several doctors had been arrested in connection with the bomb plot.

  • New agreements would also be signed with countries around the world to ensure a co-ordinated response to the terrorist threat.

  • "I hope that right across the House as right across the country there can be unity in our determination to fight terrorism," Mr Brown said.

  • Mr Cameron asked when Hizb ut-Tahrir would be banned, as the government had promised two years ago, saying: "I think people find it hard to understand why an organisation that urges people to kill Jews hasn't been banned."

  • Mr Brown said evidence was needed to ban a group, which could not be just "one or two quotes". He said: "I think the leader of the opposition forgets I have been in this job for five days." He pledged the government would proceed in a "calm" way and look at the evidence in detail.

  • Asked about Tory calls for a border police force, Mr Brown said he was prepared to look at the proposals but ID cards had to be part of the solution. He said Lord Stevens, who is carrying out a border security review for the Tories as well as advising Mr Brown, and Lady Neville Jones, the new shadow security minister, had both said ID cards were necessary.

  • Mr Cameron quoted the new Chancellor, Alistair Darling, who has said ID cards were not necessary.

  • Mr Brown said comments made about identity cards in the past "have to take into account what is happening now". He said more people had come to the view they were now needed as did many on the Conservative benches.

  • Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell also hailed the release of Alan Johnston.

  • He called for the immediate withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, an inquiry into allegations of corruption over arms sales and a renegotiation of the "one-sided" extradition treaty with America.

  • Mr Brown said his door was "always open" to the Lib Dem leader but on Iraq he said the UK had obligations to the United Nations and the Iraqi government. "We are not going to break those obligations at this stage," he told him.

  • Sir Menzies hit back: "When I look at his door, it is more perhaps of a trap door than anything else."

  • He called on Mr Brown to abandon his "headlong rush" to new nuclear power stations, to link tax to pollution and to scrap the council tax.

  • Mr Brown said a new generation of nuclear power plants were the only way to secure supply and make sure Britain was not reliant on "one or two countries". He said the Lib Dems got very little support when he went to the electorate with local income tax.

  • Former Home Secretary John Reid praised the "cool and steadfast way" Mr Brown and the new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith had handled the terror crisis.

  • He said Hizb ut-Tahrir had been reviewed and it had been decided there was not enough evidence to ban it.

  • He urged Mr Brown to "stick by the law and evidence and not by any arbitrary political advantage".

  • Mr Brown said there would be "no panic reactions" from the government.

  • Responding to a Tory question about defence secretary Des Browne, who has also been made minister for Scotland, Mr Brown said he was doing a "full time job" as defence secretary.

  • On the recent floods, Mr Brown said he would do everything possible for the people moved from their homes. And he said the government was spending additional money on flood defences.

  • Responding to a question from Labour MP George Howarth, a former Northern Ireland minister, Mr Brown said he wanted to fund the development of inter-faith groups and would talk to other party leaders on how this could be taken forward.

  • Answering a question from DUP MP Gregory Campbell on building national unity, he said work was underway to move the United Kingdom "closer together".


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