Peter Hoskin

PMQs live blog | 22 April 2009

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Kicking off any minute now...

1201: And we're off.  First question from David Simpson, asking what scrapping the Barnett Formula would mean for the regions.  Brown says spending allocations "based on need" and that he thinks that's right.

1203: Derek Twigg pushes Brown to "ensure" that all information relating to the Hillsborough disaster is released as soon as possible.  Brown says "we will look very carefully at what we can do". 

1205: Cameron leads on today's unemployment figures.  He asks Brown to confirm whether what "we've seen this calendar year is the fastest rise in unemployment in our history."  This keys into the "Labour isn't working" theme.  Brown responds "That's why we are prepared to invest..."

1206: Here it is: "The schemes aren't working," says Cameron.  Asks Brown to confirm how many young people are NEETs.  Brown declines to answer the question.

1208: In repsonse to Cameron's next question, Brown returns to young people - he says that there are more young people in jobs now than in 1997.  There are some Brownies here...

1210: Cameron asks Brown to confirm whether this is a worse recession than those of the 70s, 80s and 90s.  Brown cites the high interests rates in the early 90s, and points out Cameron was an adviser to Lamont.

1211: Great repsonse from Cameron: "If he wants to, we can discuss what some of his advisers have been up to ... not only has the PM brought the country to economic bankruptcy, but he's grought the government to moral bankruptcy."

1213: Interesting wording from Cameron, saying that on this "Day of Judgement" Brown should admit he was wrong to say that there was no more boom and bust.  Brown waffles abour "investment" and "do nothing".

1215: Good lead question from Clegg.  Points out that Brown has promised around 1 million new jobs over the past few months, then says how many of those jobs have actually been filled.  Brown: "Thanks to the action we have taken, 100,000s of people have kept their jobs..."

Am I just imagining it, or does Darling look nervous?

1217: Clegg's getting angry, and the Labour benches are making "oooooo" noises. A pity, as the Lib Dem leader is making an important point - just how many of those 1 million jobs have been filled?  Brown's reponse: wait for the Budget...

1219: Backbench questions now.

1221: Questions on the IMF, Sri Lanka and Gaza.  Brown says that the Government is working with their Israeli counterparts.

1222: Nadine Dorries now: "Would the PM like to take this opportunity to apologise, personally, to me for what happened."  Brown says that he has already apologised and sent a letter to Dorries.  He adds: "There is no place in politics for what happened."  Pity he encouraged the culture of intimidation and smears, then...

1225: Margaret Moran talks Luton...

1226: Same old dividing lines: Brown says that "helping people" is "what this Govenrment is about.  But to do that you've got to make a decision to invest rather than cut."

1227: Brown pushed on expenses, as backbencher (I missed which) asks whether the PM's proposals yesterday were only to cover up his inability to sack ministers who had fiddled the system.

1229: Questions on asbestos and further education colleges.

1230: Ed Balls is in gurning mode.

1231: Ah, here's Brown's new attack.  He says that the Conservatives MPs who aren't standing to ask questions are just proving that they're "part time MPs".  Eh?