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The Full Story: PM's questions

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Prime minister's questions in full

By Justin Parkinson

1301 So that ends our coverage of a fairly quiet prime minister's questions session. The economy dominated, and it will no doubt continue to do so as the coalition government prepares to unveil its emergency Budget next Tuesday. Please join us again then.

1258 They are discussing MPs expenses on The Daily Politcs. The new system for claiming them has caused some concern and anger among MPs. Veteran Labour MP David Winnick says he knows of no colleagues who have abused Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority staff, as has been alleged.

1249 Labour's Andrew Love says the government's financial regulation proposals will cause greater uncertainty. The chancellor replies that the debate needs to be resolved by an independent commission.

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1247 Surely blaming the previous administration for the current economic issues is valid given they were in power for 13 years and the current government has not been in power for two months? As for linking cuts to unemployment - well if the jobs are wasteful and unnecessary in the first place (which seems to be the case in many instances) then what's wrong with getting that?
Kevin, Bromley

1244 Mr Osborne says the decisions on disposing of the nationalised banks, and shares in part-nationalised banks RBS and Lloyds, will take "some time".

1243 Conservative Sir Peter Tapsell, the Father of the House, congratulates the chancellor on "getting rid" of the Financial Services Authority. Mr Osborne says the government must learn from previous mistakes.

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1240 How stupid was I to think that the promised 'new politics' might mean a reduction in the insufferable rally of insults and historical blame rhetoric...
James, Croydon

1240 Mr Darling accuses the coalition of cobbling together its policies on financial regulations in an attempt to create dividing lines with Labour. Mr Osborne responds to Mr Darling's attack by saying Labour's system was the one which was a "dog's breakfast".

1238 Alistair Darling calls for more clarity on which organisation - the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority - is responsible for which job when scrutinising banks. He fears a "dog's breakfast" may be created.

Mike Sergeant
1237 From BBC political correspondent Mike Sergeant: It was back to fighting over the economy. That's probably what you would expect just a few days before a Budget which could define politics for months (maybe years) to come. David Cameron gave a potted version of the economic arguments we'll hear so much of next week. The government's narrative - "Labour messed things up, we've got to sort it out" - is pretty clear. From today's evidence, Labour's attack (next week) will be two-pronged - accuse the government of scaremongering about the economy, and link every spending cut/ tax rise to real people who may lose jobs and services. Interesting also to see a number of challenging questions coming from Mr Cameron's own benches - some Conservative backbenchers seem more than willing to get stuck in to this new government.

1236 The country cannot ignore the debate on the future of banking, the chancellor says. The coalition is prepared to "learn the lessons of what went wrong" under Labour.

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1235 Sean: Labour were Thatcherite in terms of policies. It shouldn't be about particular people or governments, but the policy/role of government trajectory, which did not change under Labour, nor under this new government (which puts to bed any idea that they represent a new era). That is the issue that Cameron is avoiding.
Euan, Ulverston

1234 Mr Osborne says the coalition will hand the Bank of England some of the powers it "should never" have lost.

1233 Prime minister's questions is over. Shadow chancellor Alistair Darling asks what the government's proposals for financial regulation are. Chancellor George Osborne says Labour's system failed "spectacularly".

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1233 cameron is a thatcher clone,what disappoints me is the failure of the libdems to reign him in.it is a coalition or have they veered to the right as well
philip, south shields

1232 Tory Harriet Baldwin invites Mr Cameron to visit a new hospital. He says yes. Not exactly rough and tumble. Speaker John Bercow responds by saying it is a government backbencher's duty to support the government. Mr Cameron jokes that this is what Mr Bercow himself once did so well. Much laughter.

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1231 Now is the time set the agenda the counrty needs and wants. We voted in the Government knowing there would be hard financial decisions, now is time to deliver.
Andrew Kyle, Dundee

1230 Labour's Luciana Berger asks for reassurances that cuts to higher education will not reduce course places. Mr Cameron says more people will enter university under this government.

Mike Sergeant
1229 From BBC political correspondent Mike Sergeant: The Cameron-Harman clash felt like a rehearsal for the Budget debate next week. The prime minister tried to seize another opportunity to rubbish Labour's economic record. Rarely has a government been so determined to highlight bad news. Blaming the previous government, of course, can only be credible for so long - that may explain why Mr Cameron is spending so much time now talking about Labour's "record of failure". There's a lot of pre-Budget softening up going on. But, of course, Labour can then attack the PM for pessimism and "talking the economy down" - which Harman did. Interesting to see the link she made too between unemployment and cuts - we will surely hear much more of this from Labour. They hope it will be a potent line of attack when the really big "savings" come.

1228 Labour's Barry Gardiner asks about discrepancies in education funding across the country. Mr Cameron argues that the planned "pupil premium", with money following the children deemed most in need, should be welcomed by those concerned about such problems.

1227 re-bhamlabour: I think asking DC to stop blaming everything on the last 13 years is a bit hypocritical from a party who still blame everything bad on Thatcher!
Sean, London

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1226 David Cameron has 13 years before he can stop blaming the previous government ... Just like Labour
Matt,

1227 A friendly question. Conservative Adam Holloway asks for details of the level of debt per household in the country. The PM gratefully responds that Labour has left every person with £22,000 owed.

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1226 We have all got to take our fair share of the pain according to this government. Why don't we just scrap the replacement Trident scheme which according to Green Peace will cost £130 billion pounds. Before Mr Cameron makes any assumptions about me being a namby pamby leftist. I would just like to point out that I worked in the Aircraft industry making and testing Missiles.
Harold, Merseyside

1225 Tory Ann McIntosh urges the PM to look at the "postcode lottery" in hospitals discharging patients or keeping them. Mr Cameron says it is essential that when people leave hospital, it is at the "right time" to provide the best possible care.

1223 Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd says bringing the troops home from Afghanistan will save £7.2m a day. Mr Cameron says such a policy would mean terrorist training camps return to the country.

1221 The NHS spends too much time treating symptoms rather than causes, Mr Cameron says. he adds that people suffering from addictions need more help.

1220 Tory Douglas Carswell asks why the government is proposing a referendum on electoral reform, which was not in the manifesto, but not one on further European integration. Mr Cameron says the electoral reform referendum was part of the coalition agreement between the Tories and Lib Dems.

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1218 Its about time cameron stopped blaming everything on the past 13 years and started answering questions with answers looking to the future. Get over the past 13 years
bhamlabour, birmingham

1218 Mr Cameron gives a list of what he deems excessive spending by regional development agencies.

1217 It is right the UK has a defence review, the PM argues, in response to a question from Barrow and Furness's Labour MP John Woodcock.

1216 The PM says knife crime must be tackled and says he is not convinced current powers for the attorney general to review sentences thought to be too lenient are used enough.

1214 Back to spending again. Mr Cameron says some announcements made by Labour before the election must be reviewed. He adds that "fiddled" grants, put in place for "political reasons", must end.

1213 Tory Sir Alan Haselhurst, who stood down recently as a Deputy Speaker, gets a big cheer when he asks a question about expanding Stansted airport. Mr Cameron welcomes the backbenches and says he will look carefully at the issue.

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1212>I wish they'd answer the questions instead of insulting each other
Rosie, Loughborough

1212 Ms Harman says Mr Cameron's attitude to Labour's spending plans has been "less magic numbers than a magic roundabout". Some laughter, some mocking among the MPs. Mr Cameron responds that Labour's leadership race is becoming like a "Star Trek convention", adding: "Beam me up." Another dig about the deficit and the Harman-Cameron clash is over.

1210 Ms Harman accuses the PM of talking the economy down and hurting business confidence. Mr Cameron replies that Labour "did the economy down" when in power. There are a few more cheers and jeers in the Commons.

1209 The atmosphere is quite subdued as the exchanges on unemployment continue. Ms Harman urges the PM to welcome Labour's efforts when in power. Mr Cameron responds that former Chancellor Alistair Darling's growth figures were a "complete fiction".

1208 Mr Cameron says Labour's plans to cut unemployment were not properly costed. Ms Harman says putting more people on the dole will not help cut the deficit.

1206 The prime minister promises a programme to cut unemployment, arguing that the government has inherited a "record of failure" from Labour. Ms Harman again urges him not to include anything in the Budget which will cause a rise in worklessness.

Harriet Harman
1205 Stand-in Labour leader Harriet Harman also pays tribute to those killed this week in Afghanistan. Moving on, she argues that UK unemployment is too high and urges the government not to increase jobless totals in next week's Budget.

1204 Conservative Philip Davies urges the PM to take away Sky TV from prisoners rather than cutting the number of those in jail. Mr Cameron thanks him for this "helpful suggestion " and says the "failures in the system" must be addressed.

David Cameron
1202 Prime Minister David Cameron begins by paying tribute to service personnel killed in Afghanistan.

1200 Speaker John Bercow calls for a "bit of order" among MPs, and David Cameron gets to his feet at the start of prime minister's questions.

1158 Many of the big names are in their Commons seats, including William Hague and Nick Clegg.

1157 Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude says the Conservative Party's arguments against joining the euro, made in the 1990s, have been "amply" justified by the current eurozone crisis.

Yvette Cooper
1155 Just five minutes to go until the main event on this blustery, fresh day at Westminster. Labour's Yvette Cooper tells Daily Politics there is a serious danger that Germany is leading the whole of Europe into an austerity drive which could restrict economic growth.

1152 Before prime minister's questions gets under way, it's Scotland Office questions. Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Michael Moore is fielding inquiries for the first time. The chamber is pretty busy, but the front benches on both sides of the House are sparsely populated as yet. Mr Moore's Labour shadow Jim Murphy jokes that he hopes he will stay in place for longer than predecessor Danny Alexander, who lasted 16 days before moving jobs.

Mike Sergeant
1150 From BBC political correspondent Mike Sergeant: The Prime Minister's statement on Bloody Sunday yesterday was heard in near silence - and the occasion was one of the most poignant in recent times at Westminster. Today, at PMQs we can expect normal House of Commons service to resume. Though the Saville report (and the question of prosecutions of soldiers) will doubtless come up. Otherwise, we might see some economic battle-lines drawn ahead of next week's Budget. Harriet Harman likes to ask about equality matters too. The acting Labour leader wants to use her time in the spotlight to raise issues that are often ignored.

Francis Maude
1148 On BBC Two's Daily Politics, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says Labour is on its own in failing to have a plan to cut the deficit. But Labour's Yvette Cooper accuses the coalition of short-termism in its economic measures.

1146 Among the MPs listed to ask a question of David Cameron are Tory Philip Davies, and Labour's Andrew Miller and John Woodcock. Conservative Ann McIntosh, who recently took the Thirsk and Malton seat following a delayed election caused by the death of a rival candidate, is also on the ballot. She should raise a cheer from the coalition benches - the Tory members, at least.

1144 Some news just in. Shadow chancellor Alistair Darling has secured an urgent question in the Commons on the regulation of financial services. It comes as Chancellor George Osborne prepares to announce major changes to the Financial Services Authority in his Mansion House speech tonight. Mr Darling will ask his question at about 1230 BST, just after prime minister's questions.

1141 Might there be questions about BP's handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and President Obama's continuing criticism of the company?

1138 So, what's likely to come up today? The economy is something of a no-brainer, given the proximity of the Budget and the ongoing row about cuts. The findings of the Saville Report into the Bloody Sunday killings is also likely to get at least a mention. It would be difficult to rule out some questions on Afghanistan, as the government continues its defence review.

1135 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of prime minister's questions, the last before next Tuesday's Budget. My colleague Mike Sergeant will be providing his expert analysis, while Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and shadow work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper will give the Westminster view, courtesy of BBC Two's Daily Politics.



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