Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 12:55 UK

PMQs: Cameron and Miliband clash over welfare reforms

Prime Minister David Cameron has dismissed calls from opposition leader Ed Miliband to reverse welfare changes that Labour says will result in 7,000 cancer patients losing up to £94 a week in benefits.

At PMQs on 15 June 2011, Mr Cameron said Mr Miliband had got his facts wrong, arguing that the Labour leader was using the claim as a "smokescreen" to conceal divisions in his party on welfare reform.

But Mr Miliband hit back: "What an absolute disgrace, to describe talking about cancer patients in this country as a smokescreen."

He asked whether the PM had known that the cancer patients would lose out when he approved the plans, contained within the Welfare Reform Bill, which have been criticised by Macmillan Cancer Support.

"These are people who have worked hard all their lives, who have done the right thing, who have paid their taxes and when they are in need, the prime minister is taking money away from them," Mr Miliband said.

Mr Cameron replied: "All we see here is a Labour Party desperate not to support welfare reform and trying to find an excuse to get off supporting welfare reform."

He added: "We want to make sure those people are helped and protected."

SEE ALSO

Story Tools

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific