Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 12:47 UK

Point-by-point: Question Time

The main points from Gordon Brown's weekly grilling by MPs:

  • The prime minister opened the session by answering a friendly question from a Labour backbencher. He said the stability of the British economy was his priority and that unemployment was the lowest for 30 years.

  • Tory leader David Cameron asked the prime minister to admit he would have to make "major" concessions to Labour MPs to get them to vote in favour of extending detention without charge for terror suspects to 42 days. He quoted a Labour minister as saying the time-limit had been "plucked from thin air" and said the policy was a "political calculation" rather than in the "national interest". He asked twice if the forthcoming vote on detentions was an "issue of confidence" in the government.

  • Mr Brown said he would go ahead with putting the anti-terror proposals to the House. He said the Conservatives would be making a mistake not support the plans and should be "ashamed". The prime minister said the Tory leader would never look at the "substantial issue" and called him a "shallow salesman".

  • Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said low earners in Britain wouldn't support the Conservatives and asked why "any low earner should support his government". He also criticised the "grotesque chaos" of the policy of shutting thousands of post offices and urged Mr Brown to stop all further closures.

  • Mr Brown said people would vote Labour as the government had brought a million pensioners out of poverty and improved tax credits, and that his policies were getting people into work. He said the government had put 1.7bn into helping the post office network but that four million fewer people were using it.

  • Asked about the budget for the 2012 Olympics, Mr Brown said people should be "proud" that the Games are coming to London and that they will be a "great boost" to the UK's economy.

  • The prime minister said it was a "settled view of the public" that fox-hunting should be banned and that no bill should be moved for its reinstatement.

  • Mr Brown said it was his aim to get the Sudanese government and rebels together to discuss a ceasefire in Darfur, adding that London was a possible centre for talks.

  • The prime minister said Chancellor Alistair Darling had made it "absolutely clear" what the government was doing to help those low earners and pensioners under the age of 65 who have been hit by the abolition of the 10p starter rate of income tax.

  • Asked about the upcoming Varney report on the Northern Ireland economy, Mr Brown said it was important to bring new investment and "increase the attractiveness" to companies.

  • Mr Brown said he "knew nothing" of the loans to the Labour Party, which Tony Blair's former fundraiser Lord Levy said he had known about in his autobiography.

  • Mr Brown said he would look into the issue of licence price increases for disabled anglers.

  • The prime minister, asked about community policing, said it had cut the rate of crime in London.

  • The lively 30-minute session ended at 1230 BST with cheering from all sides.


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

June 2008 -

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