PMQs as-it-happened

Ian Dunt By

11:28 - And we're back. This season's PMQs have been quite intruiging, all told. Two weeks ago, Ed Miliband monstered David Cameron on energy. Last week, most considered it a very rough score-all draw, although I thought Miliband edged it. What was most interesting was the ferocity of the attacks from both sides. Miliband is desperate to keep control of what he thinks is a very profitable agenda on the cost of living crisis, as his speech yesterday showed. Cameron ineeds to dislodge him from an increasingly commanding position. This week Miliband is likely to challenge the prime minister on paying the living wage. Some Tories will be quietly siding with the leader of the opposition. As for Cameron, expect him to hammer away on the Falkirk row. If you're playing the PMQs drinking game, 'union paymasters' better be on your list. Kick-off is at midday. There will be plenty of typos, so forgive me but we'll clear them up afterwards.

12:00 - Ok, we're off.

12:02 - Steven Baker, Con, gets mocked for forgetting what he's talking about. The Commons is an unforgiving place and he has given them little reason to be generous. Cameron uses the planted question to attack "intimidation" by trade unions. He shows no signs of stopping his attack on trade unions. Miliband gets up.

12:03 - Can the PM guarantee there won't be an A&E crisis this winter? Hmm. Didn't see that coming.

12:04 - Cameron offers reassurances then says: "There won't be a winter crisis in NHS Wales, where Labour are in control, because there's a crisis every week in Wales." Miliband throws the reassurances aside, saying targets are being regularly missed. Confident start from the Labour leader, although he inadvertently parrots the jokey Cameron line about there constantly being a crisis. He says waiting targets are being missed. The PM stands. "Let me give him one simple fact. Today in our A&Es, the average waiting time was 15 minutes." It was over 70 minutes under Labour, apparently.

12:06 - "How out of touch can he be?" Miliband asks. He says A&E waits are up, patients waiting on trolleys also up. And it's happening because of his top-down reorganisation. Now Miliband asks how many NHS managers got a significant pay-off due to the reorganisation.

12:08 - Cameron dodges the question. "Here's the answer to the question he didn't answer," Milband says. 2,300 managers got six figure pay-offs apparently. For the second time Bercow interrupts to quieten MPs down. "P45s to nurses and six figure pay-offs for managers" Miliband says. How many have been fired, paid off and then re-hired? Miliband on a good wicket here. Cameron evading wildly, desperately trying to talk about Wales. He grabs his sheet of paper to refer back to it. He looks vulnerable here.

12:09 - Miliband: "Over 2,000 people have been made redundant... the hon gentleman days it's rubbish. It's absolutely true. A parliamentary answer." Miliband on good form here. "The PM says it's untrue. If he gets up he can tell me it's untrue." Cameron gets up. "I'm not going to take lectures from a government that ..." Bercow interrupts for order. Cameron: "Let me give him the facts about the NHS under this government." Cameron reels off stats, Brown style. "Labour never stand up for the NHS, "He shouts. Cameron looks rattled.

12:11 - Miliband: "He promised he'd protect the NHS. It's now clear the NHS isn't safe in his hands." Weak finish from Miliband, but he still looked more on top of his brief than Cameron. The PM lashes out with a final attack on the unions: "His job is to stand up to the bully-boys of Unite." Sigh. That's followed by a planted Tory question on Unite.

12:13 - Snap Verdict: Miliband: 2 Cameron: 0. The opposition leader looked far more in control, well briefed and genuine on that front, although it was nowhere near a slam dunk. Cameron's evasion forces Miliband to plough ahead with his line of questioning regardless of the PM's response. The planted questions from Tory MPs, which will probably go on for the next 15 minutes, just look cynical and dull.

12:15 - The SNP's Angus Robertson brings up BAE closures and is treated to this weird bit of Cameron logic: "If Scotland were independent, there wouldn't be any warships at all." Er... Is he threatening to scrap the Royal Navy? Was that a slip up or something important? Cameron seizes on another planted Tory question: "The leader of the Labour party is acting like the boss of a Sicilian family towards the mafia - 'they put me in and I don't want them to put me out'."

12:19 - Mark Reckless has asked a question which isn't about the unions. We may be out the danger zone.

12:20 - Pat McFadden says two terror suspects have used government given freedom to escape and wants the sunset clause on the remaining suspects revisited.

12:22 - Tom Blenkinsop (Lab) says someone named Councillor Azziz was at No10 with Cameron last week, even though he faces murder charges in Pakistan. "I'm looking carefully into this case and I will write to the honourable gentleman." Interesting. Appears Cameron is concerned.

12:25 - One Labour MP stands up to say: "I'm a trade unionist and I'm damn proud of it."

12:28 - Cameron replies by saying trade unionists are proud but their leaders are baaaaad men - the whole lions led by donkeys thing. David Winnick (Lab) says the chancellor and the PM never had any financial insecurity. And now they attack the hard working and the vulnerable. "What is happening is totally unacceptable and I find it contemptible."

12:30 - Cameron suggests the Uk is becoming a fairer and more equal place. Unfortunately, he says the word 'fact' after each sentence, making him sound like the office bore.

12:31 - Susan Elan Jones gets the last question. She points out how much faster bankers' bonuses rise than ordinary wages. "Why does the PM refuse to act, or is he just a bit useless at being prime minister?" That gets a laugh from the House. "If she wants to see someone who is useless, she should look at her own front bench". Classy way to end things. 

12:36 - OK, that's us done for another week. That was more low key than expected. We'll have the verdict up for you in a moment. See you next week.

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