PMQs as-it-happened

Ian Dunt By

11:45 - Hello and welcome back. Ed Miliband is having his cript written for him by Tories this week. He's got John Major's comments on an energy company windfall from the press gallery luncheon to use this morning. It is highly inopportune, from David Cameron's point of view. I don't believe a word of this argument that Major is acting as an outrider for a Tory policy shift. Why conspire to make yourself look weak? Miliband is pretty much guaranteed to bring it up, given he has focused on energy prices in the last two PMQs. As if that weren't enough, he's got Boris singing the praises of his land-grab policy as well. Kick off is at 12:00 BST. The usual caveats apply: I am liable to make many spelling and grammatical errors, and a few of political judgement as well. It'll all be cleared up later, apart from the political misjudgements, which will be left for all to see.

11:55 - Labour MP John Mann is wearing a purple tie/striped shirt combo which is an affront to the very human rights he claims to defend.

11:56 - Justine Greening, international development secretary, is currently fielding questions. Cameron has sat down beside her. The chamber is full. Mary MacLeod, Con, tries valiantly to make herself heard on female foeticide. Cameron is looking particularly unimpressed and nonchalant today. Red-faced anger seems a distinct possibility.

11:59 - Cameron shifts over to sit next to Hague, probably on the basis that there may be questions on yesterday's negotiations. Osborne looks up at the ceiling, lost in monstrous daydreams. Theresa May nods repeatedly at nothing in particular.

12:00 - And we're off. Cameron pays tribute to a soldier who died in Afghanistan.

12:01 - He also celebrates the christening of baby Prince George. Julian Brazer Con, lost in a strange new world, asks if regional branches of the Police Federation need to apologise for plebgate - and maybe Miliband should too.

12:02 - Cameron celebrates the polices' hard work, but says Mitchell clearly did give a full description of what happened and we need a full apology. "It is a moment for all of us to consider what we said at the time and I hope the leader of the opposition will do the same."

12:03 – Miliband asks how Cameron feels now the "red peril" has overtaken John Major? Nice. Cameron says he does believe "in intervening in the energy market – that's why we're legislating to put customers on the lowest tariff". He says Major was right to say bills have reached an unacceptable level. "We need a very frank conversation about what it is that's putting bills up." Miliband: "Major was a Conservative PM who won a majority, unlike this one."

12:05 - Cameron says he wants to roll back some of the green regulations and charges. "We all know who put them in place," he says. Bercow tries to wrestle control back of the House. "He talks about Major winning an election. That's right. He beat a weak and incredible Labour leader. Isn't that rather familiar? Major also said Labour's policy was unworkable."

12:06 - Cameron says he will introduce a proper competition test to see if the market can be more competitive. "Yes, we also need to roll back the green charges." Miliband: "He really is changing his policy every day of the week. It's absolutely extraordinary. His energy secretary says it's nothing to do with green charges. Who was the man who said 'vote blue to go green'? It was him." Cameron shouts back: "Who created the big six energy companies?"

12:08 - Cameron reads from Labour backbenchers' briefing. Huge noise the Commons. Labour shouts. Cameron says "let me share your briefing with you." Cameron is not doing well here. He can barely be heard over the Labour roar. Miliband: "When I was energy secretary energy bills went down. Since he was prime minister, they went up. He says he wants to act. He is prime minister. I mean, heaven help us, but he is. So he should implement Labour's price freeze. We can amend the energy bill. Two parties working together in the national interest. Let's do it." Miliband is absolutely trouncing Cameron here. Cameron: "He knows perfectly well, it's not a price freeze, it's a price con. It's a cynical ploy from the energy secretary who wrecked the energy market in the first place."

12:11 - Miliband mocks Cameron for suggesting people switch, given they're all putting their prices up. Cameron is really struggling here. He sounds confused and desperate as he chants: "We'll deliver for hard working people." Miliband: "Major said what we all already know. We have a prime minister who stands up for energy companies." People are choosing between heat and food. "These are people the prime minister will never meet." Cameron says Major was a "good man, not a con man". Ouch, That was heated.

12:13 - That was as convincing a Miliband victory as we've seen in some time. Snap verdict: Cameron: 1 Miliband: 3.

12:14 - Cameron has been struggling to find a decent response to Miliband's energy policy for weeks now, but managing to survive fairly easily. Today, he didn't have his mojo, and Major had made it difficult for him to sound convincing. He is in a dangerous place. With more and more figures from across the political spectrum demanding action on energy pills, Miliband's line that he 'stands up for the powerful' sounds increasingly convincing.

12:16 -  Brian Binley, Con, asks Cameron to cut green bills on energy prices. Pretty clearly planted question there. "The honourable gentleman is absolutely right," Cameron says. Yes David, that's because he asked whatever you told him to. Cameron is still floundering. Bercow slaps down Cameron: "I let it go the first time. The word 'con man' is unparliamentary. It's a bit below the level." Tory complaints. That will do no good for the Bercow-Cameron hatefest.

12:18 - Cameron is really looking bad right now. His body language is quite vulnerable, like he can't wait to be out of there. It's taken weeks, but it does seem that Miliband's price freeze policy has damaged him.

12:20 - In a sign of bad a day Cameron is having, the Beast of Bolsover is sat right on the edge of his seat, smiling violently.

12:22 - Tom Watson, Lab, raises fixed odds betting machines, turning local bookies from places for a flutter on the horses into addictive casinos, apparently. He wants a ban. "I do think it's worth having a proper look at this issue."

12:24 - George Osborne is smiling, blissful, seemingly in nirvana.

12:29 - Henry Smith, Con, asks if the PM believes the way to raise living standards is to continue policies of economic growth. Sorry. Just another planted question. Cameron rattles off the standard answer. Nothing to see here.

12:31 - There's a groan in the House as Kevin Barron, Lab, asks about Lynton Crosby's influence on public health policy. "This question will be heard with some courtesy," Bercow demands. Why won't Cameron reply to his letter, the MP asks? "Public health responsibility is for the Department of Health. Lynton Crosby's responsibility is to destroy the Labour party," Cameron thunders.

12:33 - And with that, we're done. That was revealing. Of course, Cameron's had off days before and been fine the next week. But more pertinently, the Conservatives now find themselves in a problematic position with energy policy. Cameron has opted to target green fees, although that doesn't have the same simplicity as Miliband's pledge and will confront severe opposition from the Lib Dems. It will also be used against the PM given all his promises to make this the "greenest government ever". PMQs often provides more heat than light. This one had plenty of heat - it was the loudest I've heard for some time - but it was very revealing as well. See you next week.

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