Tories jubilant in final PMQs

By Ian Dunt

John Bercow struggled to control jubilant scenes among Tory backbenchers during the last PMQs of this parliament.

Conservatives shouted “bye-bye” to their Labour counterparts in a stormy session during which David Cameron launched an all-out attack on Gordon Brown’s record.

The prime minister came in for criticism for misleading the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, for cutting defence spending and saying branding business leaders who backed the Tory plans on national insurance had been deceived.

“As this is the last PMQs this parliament it is the last chance for this prime minister to show he is accountable for the decisions he has made,” Mr Cameron said.

When being attacked on the subject of pension funds, Mr Brown shot back that the Tories would take away pensioners’ subsidised travel on public transport – a policy the Tory leader has previously shot down in no uncertain terms.

He was forced to do the same today, shouting: “That, Mr Speaker, is the sort of deception we’re going to rebut at this election.”

He added: “This prime minister would wreck the recovery by putting a tax on every job. This government would wreck the recovery.”

Mr Brown argued Labour had made the right decisions at the right time and poured cold water on Mr Cameron’s claims to Downing Street.

“To think he was the future once,” the prime minister joked, to laughs from the Labour benches.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was equally tough on Labour, branding both main parties failures for failing to deal with the issue of party funding during the Hayden Phillips review.

“Look at them now,” he said, pointing at the Labour benches.

“You’ve failed. It’s over. It’s time to go.”

Today’s session marked the last time Westminster would be the focus of political attention before the general election, with party leaders visiting locations across Britain and MPs fighting for their seats.

Parliament will, however, be in a flurry of activity until late on Thursday evening, as the wash-up period sees the government desperately try to get its bills onto the statute book.

Labour will be hosting a ‘people’s PMQs’ in the afternoon in which member of the public can send in the prime minister questions via social networking sites.