PMQs as-it-happened

Ian Dunt By

11:49 - Hello and welcome back to PMQs after a week off for recess. While we were away the subject of PMQs has been debated in anguish, with Ed Miliband throwing in his two cents. Turns out the public don't like it when a bunch of obsolete, witless public school boys shout at each other over the most trivial of differences. Who'd have thought? Will we see a change today? Miliband will be tempted to present a more responsible, grave attitude to the session if he wants his walk to match his talk. Usual caveats apply: there will be spelling mistakes aplenty. Kick off is at midday.

11:56 - Theresa Villiers, Northern Ireland secretary, is answering questions in a much lower voice than usual. Not entirely sure what's happened there. John Bercow just gave her a little telling off for not speaking loudly enough. Bercow also has something to prove. He's been extremely vocal about his irritation with MPs' behaviour.

11:58 - David Cameron is wearing his glasses again. Always confuses me when he does that. Mercifully, he removes them. Debbie Abrahams is trying to summon her spiritual mission about young people in poverty, but struggles to recall it.

12:02 - Andrew Robathan, N. Ireland minister, couldn't convince a child to eat candy, but he presses on regardless. Luckily, he only has Stephen Pound to deal with. Easy pickings. Cameron's up. Off we go.

12:03 - Graeme Morris wants congratulations to team GB for its performance in the Winter Olympics. He then asks about the EU bonus cap. Cameron also congratulates them. He insists bank bonuses are well down from where they were under Labour. He says pay and bonuses should be controlled, not just one or the other.

12:05 - Alan Beith wants Cameron to talk about what can be done to correct poverty with church leaders. The Lib Dem gets big cheers from the Tory benches. "There's nothing moral about running up huge benefits," Cameron says. Miliband's up.

12:06 - Harman is sat prominently next to Miliband on his left. She smiles self-consciously. Miliband leads on flooding. The committee on climate change say government investment in flood defences has fallen. Will the PM revisit investment plans?

12:07 - Cameron says he'll review when the waters subside. Miliband says the figures the PM is quoting are wrong and he knows it. He's coming very close to suggesting the prime minister is misleading the House. "They've cut flood defence spending and he's been caught out." Cameron says that during his period as PM there was more spending than in the previous four years. "Those are the facts. But I think having this debate is pointless. The country should unite. He's completely misjudged the mood of the country."

12:09 - Miliband says the public will believe the UK Statistics Authority rather than him. Now he quotes Cameron on green issues before the election. "What is the truth about climate change?" Miliband asks. Cameron says the government plans to reduce carbon use across the economy. Again he goes stat crazy, saying emissions are down under the coalition.

12:10 - Cameron says a zero-based spending review, as adopted by Labour, won't let them match flood defence spending. "What total nonsense and he knows it," Miliband replies. "Someone who in opposition wanted to talk as much as he could about climate change now is desperate to get off the topic." Cameron: "I believe man made climate change is one of the most serious threats this world faces."

12:11 - Cameron looked livid right then. Miliband remains calm. "Excellent," he says, "we're getting somewhere. There are people in the most important positions in his government questioning climate change." He cites the environment secretary and the energy minister. "Is he happy to have climate change deniers in his government?"

12:12 - Cameron says Miliband is praising him. "I like this new style. I thought I'd miss Punch and Judy." Miliband: "The whole country will have heard he cannot answer the question about whether you need to believe in man made climate change to be part of his government. It used to be the thing he claimed was his passion above all else."

12:13 - "If we're going to properly protect the British people we cannot have doubt in the government. Get real on climate change." Cameron: "You can measure commitment by acts in government. He talks a good game but he didn't achieve anything in office. " He brands Labour "reality deniers".

12:15 - Snap verdict: Miliband 3 Cameron 2. The Labour leader struck a slightly authoritarian, censorious mode by demanding ideological compliance in exchange for Cabinet positions. But he found an issue where Cameron was split from many of his backbenchers and some ministers. He twisted the knife well enough. It was not some genius trap - Cameron has said all this before. But Miliband will have managed to worsen splits in the party. A good showing, if not entirely appetising.

12:20 - Tessa Jowell wants long-term support to victims and survivors of terrorism. The House listens in absolute silence while she describes the potential closure of services to victims of 7/7. Cameron gives a vaguely reassuring answer without offering actual assurances. Julian Smith, Tory, meat puppet for the whips, reads out whatever it was that Tory HQs told him to say.

12:23 - He did use the word "stonking". Everyone seems very excited about it.

12:24 - Richard Bacon, Tory, expansive, wants Cameron to discuss with Merkel a grand coalition - giving 'red meat to them and red meat to us'. A contorted and unfunny addition to the schedule. "There are many things from her I would like to copy," Cameron says, "not least getting elected." Jim Shannon, DUP, looks physically indistinguishable from Michael Fish says the National Crime Agency doesn't have free rein in Northern Ireland. Cameron signs its praises and says it should be able to properly operate there.

12:26 - Nadine Dorries is up. Lots of murmurs, particularly after she congratulates the Speaker on some role he's got in some university or other. She calls for anti-stalking legislation. "Very grateful," Cameron says. He is careful with her, since his attempt to humiliate her in PMQs blew up so severely in his face.

12:27 - Helen Jones, Labour, battery operated, asks about bedroom tax. She says the PM's comments about protections for disabled people were false. Cameron issues the rent-a-kit defence, about how it's only fair to impose same rules on public sector as private sector. Jessica Lee, Tory, looks proud of herself for reading out whatever it was Tory head office told her to say. She even fits in a "stonking" for good measure. Cameron says whatever it is he wanted to say when he got his guys to tell her what to say.

12:29 - Michael Connarty, Labour, looks like Kevin Rudd, criticises Atos. "We do need in this country a way of determining whether people are fit for work or not," Cameron says.

12:31 - Luciana Berger, Labour, much admired, says she met a young man who went through tips to find food. Why won't the PM offer him (Labour's) jobs guarantee. Cameron says he is offering 'Billy' "hope". The red mist descends on him. He gets livid. Big cheers from Tory benches. They seem to like it. Mark Pawsey, Conservative, positively excited to be there, says local pupils asked him why the government passes so many new laws - so what are the Conservatives doing to reduce regulation> Cameron answers with the lack of grace and wit which you would expect.

12:34 - So far not a single question about Ukraine, by the way. Remarkable really.

12:36 - OK, we're done. Not the best session. That was really quite tedious. Cameron makes a joke about trade union masters at the end just to make it even less inspiring. See you next week.

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