Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 10:56 UK

Key exchanges in the prime ministerial debate

The First Election Debate courtesy of ITV

The first prime ministerial TV debate has now taken place, with all three parties claiming that their leader came out on top.

But what exactly did Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg say when they answered the key questions?

Below are some of their central quotes.

IMMIGRATION

Brown: "We are a tolerant, we are a diverse country, but the controls on migration that I'm introducing - and I will go further - are the right controls, the right policy for Britain."

Cameron: "We need to have not just a points system, but also a limit on migration when people are coming from outside the European Union for economic reasons."

Clegg: "Let's have a regional approach, where you only make sure the immigrants who come go to those regions where they can be supported."

CRIME

Cameron: "We've got to get rid of the paperwork and the bureaucracy, and we've got to get the police out on the streets."

FIRST DEBATE

Clegg: "What we've got to do is stop the young offenders of today becoming the hardened criminals of tomorrow."

Brown: "Although crime is falling - official crime figures show it's falling, and violent crime is falling - I feel that we have got to do far more."

EXPENSES SCANDAL

Clegg: "I think you deserve the right to sack your MPs when they're corrupt, but you also deserve a politics where we finally get the big money out of politics altogether."

Brown: "If your MP is misbehaving, and is guilty of corrupt practices, and Parliament doesn't act, you should have the right to recall that MP."

Cameron: "We're going to make your politics better value for money as well as cleaner, I think that is part of the apology we really badly need to make."

ECONOMY & PUBLIC FINANCES

Cameron: "What we say is save £6bn in the coming current year in order to stop the jobs tax which we think will derail the recovery."

Clegg: "We all know we've got this great black hole in our public finances... We all know we're going to have to save money, we all know we're going to have to make cuts."

Brown: "You cannot afford to take money out of the economy now because you will put jobs at risk, businesses at risk, and you will put the whole economy at risk."

DEFENCE

Clegg: "[British troops] are under-equipped and they are under-paid."

Brown: "I would not send our troops into battle unless I was absolutely sure that they were properly equipped for what they're doing."

Cameron: "We must make sure that if we get involved in these conflicts in the future, we don't have the situation where we have the troops on the ground without enough helicopters."

NHS

Brown: "I want people to know that public services are personal to people's needs, and that's why we need to give these guarantees to individual patients, and that's what we're going to do from now on."

Cameron: "My vision is that we improve it, we expand it, we develop it, we make sure that it's got more choice and more control for the patient."

Clegg: "We're closing A&E departments and maternity wards and wasting money on computer systems and bureaucracy. I want to turn that on its head so we can protect the NHS we all rely on."



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