Peter Hoskin

PMQs live blog | 11 May 2011

VERDICT: An inconclusive sort of PMQs, where neither leader particularly triumphed, nor particularly sank. Ed Miliband was persistent, and more aggressive than usual, with his questions on the NHS — but failed, really, to properly discomfort the PM. Cameron dwelt lazily on the extra money going into the service, but it was enough to carry him through the session. Perhaps the most striking moment was when, during the backbench questions, Cameron pointed out that “[the Tories] were the only party at the last election to promise [real-terms spending increases for health]. If it wasn’t for us, it wouldn’t be happening.” This is, I suspect, all part of the new drive to distinguish the two parties of government. But it will have jarred with some listening Lib Dems nonetheless.

1233: That’s it. My quick verdict shortly.

1231: The military covenant appears to be gaining momentum as a political issue. In reponse to a question on the matter, Cameron says that he wants “a strong military convenant, debated in this House, and clearly referenced in law”

1228: Cameron: “whether it is good for patients — that should be the test of everything we do in the NHS”.

1226: There’s some half-serious speculation that the Tories wouldn’t mind too much about Scottish independence, but, if that’s the case, then David Cameron isn’t letting it show. He defends the Union, here, most vigourously.

1225: Laughter, as Cameron says that “one of the central planks of the Good Ship Balls” has been stripped away: Obama is following a deficit reduciton plan that is broadly similar to the coalition’s. (See our Coffee House post for a full comparison).

1224: Once again, Cameron defends the coalition’s record on health by pointing towards the money that is being spent on the NHS.

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