PMQs as-it-happened

Ian Dunt By

11:48 - I'd be dreading going into the Commons chamber if I was Ed Miliband. Official figures show a big rise in employment and recent polls have finally put the Tories ahead of Labour. Some even warn the party could be heading for third place in the European elections. The opposition leader will need to bring his A-game, because he's about to step into a room of braying Tories. Usual caveats apply: I'll make plenty of mistakes but will probably clear them up later. Can't say fairer than that. Well, you could but I wouldn't listen.

11:57 - It's Wales Office questions at the moment but they're well on their way. MPs are cramming themselves onto the green benches.

11:58 - This is the last PMQs for four weeks by the way - after this it's off until July 11th. George Osborne is faced by resolute Theresa May and William Hague on the front bench, so he can only sit when Justine Greening shuffles off to the side. For one akward moment he seemed to sit on her leg.

12:00 - And we're off, right on time.Jonathan Edwars (Plaid, extremely so) asks about whether Cameron is "intensely relaxed" by the growth  of millionaires. Cameron says the richest 1% pay more income tax than under Labour. Sir Roger Gale (Con, taking a break from lunch at the golf club) has questions about an airport buy out. The question drones on and MPs become vocally uninpressed.

12:03 - Cameron puts it politely, but points out that really this is all the decision of the airport owner. Miliand is greeted by an ironic roar from the Tory benches. He starts by welcoming the fall in unemployment. Cheer from Tories. He was wise not to avoid it. He asks about further assurances from Pfizer on their takeover. Cameron welcomes him welcoming it. "These are jobs he said would never come to Britain," the PM adds. Seems mealy-mouthed given Miliband headed him off a bit.

12:05 - Cameron adds that Bulgarian and Romanian jobs went down "which I think is notable". MPs shout: "Ahhhhh". Cameron mocks Miliband for turning down a meeting with Pfizer. Miliband replies: "Pfizer doesn't need a PR man, they've got the prime minister" Has the PM got an assurance there won't be R&D cuts? Cameron doesn't really give it, although he pledges to do the best for the British interest. "We'll do everything we can to make those guarantees as firm as possible. We're an open economy that encourages investment.

12:07 - "His assurances are useless" Miliband says. He brands them "vague". Miliband says Pfizer admits there will be job cuts. Will it be in the UK? Cameron says there's assurances on R&D. "Do we want more assurances? Yes we do. The only difference between us is how do you do those things. I say fight for Britain. He says put politics before the national interest." Miliband counters: "On R&D he has no answer. Now lets ask about the possible carving up and sell off of the company." Are there assurances? Cameron avoids it and attacks Labour's track record failing to  get guarantees in similar circumstances.

12:10 - Miliband says the last time Cameron got assurances he sold Royal Mail at a knock down price. "He should have a proper test of the public interest and if the deal doesn't pass he should block it." Cameron: "Which party, which government, which individual got rid of that test? It was the right honourable gentleman. He will try any trick rather than to talk about what's happening in our economy." Miliband: "He may think it's not important to talk about a company that accounts for 2% of national expports. He's not powerless. He's the prime minister. No-one is convinced of his assurances. Why won't he intervene? Because he's falling back on the old idea that the market knows best. His ideology means he can't stand up for the national inerest." Cameron: "If it's so important why didn't he meet with them? We will take no lectures from the people that brought this economy to its knees."

12:13 - Snap verdict: Cameron: 2 Miliband: 2. Cameron has the wind in his sails and he delivered a confident performance. Miliband couldn't turn the tables on him but neither did he buckle. His argument about Cameron's loyalty to the market was strong and much more in line with national sentiment than Cameron, but he was very vulnerable over having turned down a meeting with Pfizer. A draw.

12:16 - Mark Harper is out of government but does No10's bidding with a question on problems with the NHS in Wales. This is a recurring theme for PMQs. Kevin Brennan, Lab, strong, makes a better case for "calling in" the Pfizer bid better in 30 seconds than Miliband did in 15 minutes. But Cameron says his quotes from a select committee hearing yesterday were not accurate.

12:19 - Kerry McCarthy, Lab, colourful, asks why Cameron won't condemn Gary Barlow's tax avoidance schemes. "We want your money back for good," Cameron says. Cameron says we've offered Nigeria more surveillance aircraft for the missing girls. "The world is coming together not just to condemn it but to help them find these girls."

12:22 - Moment of red-faced fury from Cameron there on the NHS. It's remarkable how quickly he loses and then regains control. Terrible look. Richard Harrington, Con, not good with his hands, is talking about the economic success of Watford. He goes on and on and ends just before MPs shout him down.

12:26 - The Twitterati akward squad is getting agitated. Plenty of Blairite journos are raising questions about whether Miliband can make it through to the election. Is there time for Alan Johnson to take the reins? The mechanism is uncertain. It almost certainly won't happen, but the fact it is being discussed suggests Miliband could be in for a tough summer. Nigel Evans asks a question and is met with respectful silence in the chamber.

12:28 - Andrew Percy, Con, imposing, says many of his constituents are still out their home since the tidal surge. He wants the Humber to be treated as a special case due to its high risk from flooding. Cameron says they've had their meetings. He doesn't give him much. Tom Clarke, Lab, says the Nigerian government didn't lift a finger to protect its citizens from Boko Haram. Cameron says he has considerable knowledge but won't accept that description of the Nigerian government. The PM has a major problem with the name Kirkcald. He has a proper moment stumbling over it. Good to know he literally can't bring himself to say the name of Gordon Brown's constituency, even after all these years.

12:33 - And we're done. Well that could have been worse. Nice rest for a month then we'll see if things are improved in July. Who knows? Maybe it'll be another Labour leader by then. See you then.

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