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The Full Story: PM's Questions

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Prime minister's questions in full

By Justin Parkinson

1255 OK, thanks for joining us for PM's questions. We'll be back again next Wednesday. Meanwhile, watch out this afternoon for more Budget reaction and fall out. The prime minister and his deputy, Nick Clegg, are to face questions from an audience in London, in a session chaired by BBC political editor, Nick Robinson. We'll have some of the best bits on the website from 1700 BST, with the programme being aired in full on the BBC News Channel at 1900 BST and BBC Two at 2230 BST.

1250 MPs are continuing the long process of debating the measures in George Osborne's first Budget. Shadow chancellor Alistair Darling says much of Labour's borrowing went towards building hospitals and schools.

Reeta Chakrabarti
1245From BBC political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti: Labour MPs continued the charge led by Harriet Harman on the effect of the Budget on poorer people. They were batted away on the whole by David Cameron with the accusation that Labour had run out of answers and had failed to do enough on child poverty. It was probably just the luck of the draw, but there were few Lib Dem backbench questions, so it was hard to gauge the mood post-Budget amongst them, although one, Julian Huppert, did signal unhappiness over not including Trident in the Strategic Defence Review. An intriguing side issue emerged from the prime minister's answer to DUP MP Willie McCrea about Sinn Fein, saying he wanted to see if there wasn't a case for Sinn Fein MPs, who don't sit in Westminster because they won't swear the oath of allegiance to the Queen, to take their seats in the Commons. Watch this space.

Sadiq Khan
1245 Labour's Sadiq Khan says the coalition is taking a gamble which could damage economic growth.

1243 BBC deputy political editor James Landale says the judgement of whether this is a fair Budget will be made over the next few years. The coalition will have to remain in place to implement the plans, he adds.

1239 There's also anger that the new committee to decide on what is debated in the Commons has five coalition MPs and just two Labour MPs and none from other parties on it. MPs from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not impressed,.

PMQ review with James Landale, Philip Hammomd and Sadiq Khan

1236 Backbench Labour MPs are clearly hopping mad about being called "dupes" by Mr Cameron. Two of them raised points of orders immediately after PM's questions. Speaker Bercow rejected their complaints, saying the use of the word was a "matter of taste". Kevin Brennan got his own back on the Tory leader by suggesting prime minister's questions should be known as "prime minister's tantrums" in future. Ouch.

1238 Shadow transport secretary Sadiq Khan says that, after 2012/13, it is uncertain whether some families will lose out as a result of plans laid out in the Budget.

Philip Hammond
1236 On Daily Politics, Tory Philip Hammond says the Budget managed to make a statement that there will be no increase in child poverty.

1234 As expected, it was Budget, Budget, Budget. The parties are honing their lines of attack. Labour is accusing the coalition of making unfair service cuts and creating more unfairness through tax changes. The coalition is blaming Labour for creating a financial mess.

1232 A Labour MP says the VAT rise will hit the poor harder than the rich. Mr Cameron answers that his policies are correct. That ends prime minister's questions for this week.

1231 The Budget again. Mr Cameron says there is unity between the UK, Germany and France to raise a bank levy, as happened in Tuesday's Budget.

1230 The PM promises to work to create a more stable Afghanistan. In reply to a question from a Tory MP Mr Cameron replies that military and civilian leaders have brought "great impetus" to the campaign, arguing that patrols in Afghanistan are needed.

e-mail sent in by reader
1228 I prefer the din from the vuvuzelas rather than the MPs shouting and boorish behaviour
Graham, Bushey, Herts

1228 The SNP's Angus Robertson says the pledge to ring-fence NHS funding will be a "broken promise" in Scotland. Mr Cameron says Labour would not ring-fence this part of public service spending.

1227 Mr Cameron says he wants to find a "new way" to ensure Sinn Fein MPs sit in Parliament, which they currently do not do.

1226 On to Trident. Lib Dem Julian Huppert says the missile defence system should be included in the defence review. Mr Cameron says there is a case for looking at costs but not at getting rid of Trident.

1224 Mr Cameron describes Labour backbenchers as "dupes", in response to a question about the deficit. Cue laughter, genuine and ironic, from both sides.

1223 Labour's David Cairns says that, whoever buys Sky News, it must not end up as "shouty propaganda" like US network Fox News. The PM says he will look closely at the issue.

1222 Tory Peter Bone urges the government to announce a date for an "anti-slavery day". Mr Cameron promises to do so.

1221 Tory Andrew Selous asks about talks with the Obama administration regarding BP. Mr Cameron replies that the oil firm wants to help the clean-up in the Mexican Gulf and that it is in the UK and US's interests that BP succeeds.

e-mail sent in by reader
1220 You're telling me that this new government will get things sorted out? Rubbish. You will see better behaviour in a classroom than you do at PMQs. Politicians are children. They're not interested in working for the better of the country, they are too concerned with one-upmanship against their opposition. It is utterly pathetic.
Lee, Norwich, UK

1219 David Cameron says all the candidates for the Labour leadership are not saying what public spending cuts they would make, making them seem less than credible.

1218 Labour's Pamela Nash, the youngest MP, asks about development funding. The PM says there is common cause across the House to keep support projects helping people in the world's poorest countries.

Reeta Chakrabarti
1217 From BBC political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti: Harriet Harman's strategy was to weave a theme of dishonesty about the effects of the Budget on ordinary people - pensioners, families receiving tax credit, and the public generally who she claimed had been misled over VAT. David Cameron was clearer on defending the government's plans for pensioners than on tax credits. Not quite the "three nil" verdict as yelled out by an enthusiastic Tory backbencher.

1216 Tory backbencher Chris Pincher thanks the Daily Mirror for pointing out unemployment has risen in his Tamworth constituency under Labour. Mr Cameron promises to work to create more jobs in the area.

e-mail sent in by reader
1215 Hear Hear speaker, some of those MPs need to hush down, like a bunch of jeering adolescents.
J. Nelson, Slough

1214 Open goal - David Cameron seeks to build a cross party consensus by wishing the England team well in their World Cup match against Slovenia later.

1213 Ms Harman accuses the government of breaking its promises on spending. Mr Cameron says Labour is focusing on "Greekanomics". That ends the leaders' clash.

1212 Speaker John Bercow tells MPs to keep quiet, saying the public "detest" raucous behaviour.

1211 Mr Cameron says child poverty has risen under Labour, but Ms Harman says some families on a joint income of £30,000 will lose their tax credits. The PM replies that Labour left the country in a "mess".

Football
1210 Harriet Harman says Mr Cameron is "not being straight", arguing pensioners will be worse off under the Budget. Mr Cameron jokes that the Budget Red Book will be the "unread book" when it comes to the acting Labour leader. A Tory MP shouts out "3-0" - a comment on the questions and answers so far. The first shameless football mention today.

1207 Ms Harman says the coalition hasn't set aside "one single penny" to give pensioners extra. But they will pay more in VAT following the rise from 17.5% to 20% next year, she argues. The PM says an extra £1bn will go to pensions over the course of the parliament.

1205
Harriet Harman
Labour leader Harriet Harman pays tribute to those killed in Afghanistan. She then moves on to the Budget. She asks about the plan to link the basic state pension to earnings, asking what money has been put aside. Mr Cameron says there is a "triple lock" in place to make the pension rise is as large as possible.

1203 Labour's Lisa Nandy asks about the future of industrial communities following the Budget. Mr Cameron says there will be more projects such as one starting in Ms Nandy's Wigan constituency.

1201 David Cameron gets to his feet, paying tribute to service personnel killed in Afghanistan.

1157 The prime minister is in his seat, reading through his briefing notes ahead of the main event.

Reeta Chakrabarti
1156 From BBC political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti: Harriet Harman has a rich seam to mine today, as the detail of the Budget is pored over. Withdrawing tax credits, capping housing benefits, and rising VAT to 20% are all potential points of attack. Watch too to see how much she tries to exploit discomfort amongst the Lib Dems at being part and parcel of a benefit-cutting, VAT raising agenda. She certainly went for it yesterday.

1154 Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan says the coalition has done more for Wales in five weeks than Labour did over 13 years.

1153 Just over five minutes to go now. It's Wales questions in the Commons. It's quite busy.

1152 Labour's Sadiq Khan warns that the Budget risks destroying economic growth, a line we can expect party leader Harriet Harman to take in the Commons a little later.
Sadiq Khan

1150 Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes says he thinks the Budget can be sold to his party's backbench MPs, although there is "unease" about cuts to some benefits. The cuts must eventually create a "fairer Britain", he continues, adding that he hopes his colleagues will all back the measures.

1147 Transport Secretary Philip Hammond tells BBC Two's Daily Politics it is unlikely that any single Whitehall department will have to make 25% cuts, with some losing more and others less. Civil servants already had a "pretty shrewd" idea of the savings needed before the coalition took power, he adds.

1145 Parliamentary observers will be watching for any signs of Lib Dem unhappiness over the Budget, particularly the rise in VAT, which is something the party campaigned against during the general election.

1142 On this gloriously warm and sunny day at Westminster, the MPs listed to ask a question of Mr Cameron include Labour's Lisa Nandy and Karen Buck and Tory Simon Hart.

1138 So, amid all the excitement about the Budget, will anything else come up? The Afghanistan war is bound to get a mention, but beyond that it is likely to be all about the VAT rise, funding of public services etc. Might a shameless backbencher or two attempt a mention of a certain association football match happening in South Africa this afternoon, perhaps shouting "Ing-er-land"?

1130 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of prime minister's questions, as David Cameron faces MPs for the first time since Tuesday's Budget. Expect some furious debate about proposed spending cuts and tax rises. My colleague Reeta Chakrabarti will be providing expert analysis. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and his Labour shadow Sadiq Khan will debate the issues of the day, courtesy of BBC Two's Daily Politics.



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