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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 19:27 GMT
Cameron calls Brown a 'weak' PM
Mr Cameron responding to the Queen's Speech
Mr Cameron said many policies had been 'recycled'

Conservative leader David Cameron has said the Queen's Speech shows Prime Minister Gordon Brown is "weak" and cannot be the "change Britain needs".

"When it comes to real substantive change... (the PM) is not capable of offering anything new," he told MPs.

He said some bills had been "recycled" and others proposed by his own party.

He also warned against pushing party funding proposals through, saying people would see it as an attempt to "fix" the next election's outcome.

'Lack of vision'

In his response to the Queen's Speech in the Commons, Mr Cameron said: "Say what you like about Tony Blair, at least he was decisive.

"Isn't the only change we've had is to swap a strong prime minister for a weak one?

The difference between his policy and our policy is that we thought of it and he stole it
David Cameron

"Mr Speaker, this lack of vision, this weakness wouldn't matter so much if they were halfway competent.

"But this is a government that is letting 2,000 prisoners out of jail early every month, this is a government that allowed 8,000 people to die from hospital infections, this is a government that somehow lost track of 300,000 migrants inside a week."

The Conservative leader said some proposals, like the Climate Change Bill, had come from the Tories and said others, like the Crossrail Bill, had been "recycled".

Speaker intervenes

He said the Conservatives would continue to push for a referendum on the EU reform treaty, as well as giving MPs representing English seats the "decisive say" on matters affecting only English constituencies.

On the counter-terrorism bill, he said the Conservatives would press the government to allow intercept evidence to be used in court and for a "proper" border force.

But he said state funding for political parties could not be justified without caps on all donations - including those from trade unions, something strongly opposed by the Labour Party.

Gordon Brown and David Miliband
Mr Brown said Mr Cameron was good on jokes, bad on policy

"What I fear we are likely to see is a one-sided bill. I have to say to the prime minister, people will conclude, if that happens, having put off the election once, he's now trying to fix its outcome," Mr Cameron said.

Speaker Michael Martin stepped in to calm MPs down, as Mr Cameron challenged the prime minister to say whether he had stolen Tory proposals to raise inheritance tax thresholds - the policy credited with the Conservatives' recent revival in the opinion polls.

He asked Mr Brown to "look me in the eye" and say he was planning to reform inheritance tax before the announcement at the Conservative Party conference.

Mr Brown replied: "the answer is 'yes'. Unequivocally, yes," adding "all the records will show it, under whatever rules they are released".

'Deep clean'

Mr Brown said the difference was that the Tory policy would benefit the rich more, Mr Cameron replied: "The difference between his policy and our policy is that we thought of it and he stole it."

He also criticised the government's plans to "deep clean" hospital wards as a "complete shambles" and said ministers were "slamming on the brakes" on the City Academies programme.

He questioned Mr Brown's conference speech pledge for "British jobs for British workers", saying it would be illegal under EU law and said there would be nothing to stop Polish or Italian workers living in Britain applying for the jobs themselves.

The leader of the opposition flunked the test when it came to his Clause Four moment on grammar schools
Gordon Brown

In a reference to Mr Brown's decision not to call an early election, Mr Cameron said: "He knows how to talk about change. But the trouble is he can't deliver change. That is what the whole country discovered this autumn.

"Yes, he can do the gestures. He can wear the blue tie. He can speak in front of the blue background. He can even get Lady Thatcher round for tea. But when it comes to real, substantive change, this prime minister is not capable of offering anything new."

In response Mr Brown said the Tory leader was good on jokes, but bad on policy, accusing the opposition of "spending promises that cannot be met" and of risking economic stability.

He said on Europe, tax, spending and education Mr Cameron had "failed to face up to the big challenges ahead".

And he called on the Conservatives to back government education policies, saying: "Why can't they give full support to a minimum one day a week training for 16 to 18 year olds in work?"

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