Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:43 UK

PMQs: Cameron and Miliband trade insults

The prime minister and the leader of the opposition have traded insults in the Commons amid sharply differing interpretations of the latest economic statistics.

At prime minister's questions on 12 September 2012, both David Cameron and Ed Miliband welcomed the recent fall in unemployment.

But Mr Miliband criticised the government for failing to cut public borrowing as quickly as promised, telling MPs that the recent rise in youth and long-term unemployment was "particularly troubling".

The PM countered that the government's programme to find jobs for young people was "20 times more cost-effective" than Labour's predecessor scheme, the Future Jobs Fund.

"If he's concerned about borrowing," Mr Cameron added, "why does he have plans to put it up?"

The prime minister then derided Mr Miliband's speech about "predistribution".

"I think that what that means is that you spend the money before you get it, and I think you'll find that's why we're in the mess we're in right now," he told MPs.

The term had been coined, he continued by the author of a book called The Road to Nowhere.

"He doesn't need to read it," Mr Cameron said of the Labour leader: "He's there already."

But Mr Miliband seized on an off-the-cuff remark the PM made at last week's exchanges, when Mr Cameron suggested that the Labour leader was insufficiently "butch" for bringing coffee to members of his shadow cabinet.

He said to the PM: "Let me compliment him on such a butch answer."

"What a week it's been for Mr Butch," he continued.

"He's briefed against [Justine Greening]. He was knocking back the claret while sacking the welsh secretary, and when it came to the environment secretary, she was sacked because she was too old and replaced by someone who was older.

"Very butch."

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