Peter Hoskin

PMQs live blog | 1 December 2010

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VERDICT: A freewheeling, swashbuckling sort of performance from Cameron today, that was encapsulated by a single line: "I'd rather be a Child of Thatcher than a Son of Brown". Sure, that may not go down too well with lefty Lib Dems nor, indeed, many Scottish voters. But, in the context of PMQs, it was a rapier response to Ed Miliband's sclerotic lines of questioning. Why the Labour leader chose to completely ignore today's Mervyn King quotes, and sift unpersuasively through the footnotes of the OBR report, I'm not sure. In any case, the plan didn't work at all. This was yet another PMQs which generated more heat than light, but Miliband was the only participant who got burnt. 

1233: And that's it. My quick verdict shortly.

1229: Priti Patel asks how far the government has progressed towards a British Bill of Rights. Cameron is clear that he would prefer one to the Human Rights Act.

1228: Cameron says that Israel must abide by international conventions, and that a settlement will only be achieved if both sides work towards it.

1225:
Cameron enjoys having a dig at Labour over their connections to the Unite: Labour should speak out about the "irresponsible" BA strikes, he says.

1223: Is there a U-turn on the cards? Cameron hints that the government may change its position on cuts to school sports partnerships. An announcement soon, apparently.

1221: More "Labour don't have a plan" rhetoric from Cameron. Ed Miliband does not look amused.

1218: Cameron stresses that the government is working to have foreign national prisoners moved back to their home countries.

1217: Cameron's on sparky form today. Lindsay Roy takes a potshot at the government's happiness index, and the PM says he could do to "cheer up a bit".

1215: It's all gone much quieter as backbench questions begin. Tobias Ellwood, whose brother was killed in the Bali bombing, asks about compensation for victims of terrorist attacks abroad.

1213: Ed Miliband raises the Wikileaks revelaton that senior Tories see themselves as "children of Thatcher". The Labour benches cheer as he does so, but they're soon drowned out by Tory cheers as Cameron responds without equivocation, "I'd rather be a child of Thatcher than a son of Brown."

1212: This fiery encounter is taking a familiar shape: Ed Miliband is calling the Tories "complacent," Cameron is responding by asking, "what would Labour do?"

1210: David Cameron on Miliband: "He's been doing this job for two months, and people are beginning to ask, 'when's he going to start?'"

1207: Ed Miliband is trying to paing David Cameron as "complacent", suggesting that this is "one of the slowest recoveries" in history. That doesn't quite chime with the two quarters of growth that we've just witnessed, and Cameron rounds on Miliband. Miliband mentions the VAT hike, but Cameron points out that Labour's last Chancellor backed this policy.

1205: Cameron hits back with a favourite Tory attack: "I know he's eager to talk the economy down." And then another: "Has he got something to say on [the deficit]? Or is it another blank page?"

1203: Ed Miliband also mentions the football, before swinging round to his attack. The government sold this week's OBR figures as encouraging, he says, but what of their forecast for rising unemployment next year? Cameron focuses on the positive economic growth figures.

1201:
Here's Cameron now. First question from Glasgow's Margaret Curran. Laughter as she gives her best wishes to England's World Cup bid, adding that "I'm being completely sincere". The question has a bit more venom behind it: why was the coalition misleading over tution fees. Cameron is blunt in response. "Let's concentrate on the substance of this issue rather than the process," he says, and follows up with the benefits of the government's policy that Nick Clegg highlighted yesterday.

Stay tuned for live coverage from 1200.