David Blackburn

PMQs Live-blog | 7 July 2010

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11:45: Stay tuned for live coverage from 12:00.

12:03: Cameron opens by marking the victims of 7/7. For the second week running, Cameron has not read the butcher's bill from Afghanistan.

12:05: Labour backbencher Alan Michael praises Somiland's recent fair and democratic election. Cameron seconds that.

12:06: Here's Harman. She begins with a tribute to the victims of 7/7. Now she's off with domestic violence and segues into Ken Clarke's sentencing review which is likely to reduce short-term sentences. Will wife-beaters be immune?

12:08: Cameron assures her it won't - Clarke's review will not 'favour the recividist'.

12:09: Harman's rather perky, saying that Clarke looks down in the dumps and urges Cameron to listen to his mother, not his new partner.

12:10: Cameron replies that Clarke is very perky in all their counsels and says that one of his mother's most frequent problems, other than himself, was naughty CND campaigners behaving badly down the road.

12:12: Now Harman is on to cuts and their effects on police numbers. Cameron quotes Alan Johnson speaking to Andrew Neil before the election. Neil: Can you guarantee that police numbers won't fall? Johnson: No.

12:14: Harman keeps attacking - cuts will put crime up. This is strong stuff from Harman and Cameron's response is mostly bluster about the fact he won't be visiting his constituency in a bullet proof vest. Cameron points to Labour's record on gun crime and violent crime (the statistics are debatable either way) and vows to clean up the mess. That exchange was a high scoring draw.

12:18: Nigel Dobbs, the DUP's leader at Westminster, wants the RESPECT agenda to be introduce in the regional assemblies. As Cameron points out, this is a bizarre request as the agenda is a Westminster issue.

12:19: Good news for Equitable Life policy holders: Cameron will get on with implementing the finding of the ombudsmen.

12:22: With Sangin in the news today, a question about Afghanistan and 'doing the job'. Cameron says that the 'pressure must be maximised now'. He is planning for a dignified exit at the first available opportunity but of course can guarantee nothing. In terms of Britain deployment away from Sangin, Cameron's comments suggest that the move is a concentration and command re-structuring.

12:24: Chukka Umanna, Labour MP for Lambeth, asks an important question about still escalating knife crime in London. It's a tragedy and a disgrace to the capital. This government must arrest it.

12:26: James Clappison wants assurances that the UK Budget will be shown to the UK parliament before it is shown to Brussels. Cameron, Hague and Clegg have already secured such assurances.

12:28: A preposterous question from Labour benches about the 'disgraceful insult' the government has delivered to the Sheffield Forgemasters. An incredulous Cameron responds that there has been no insult, it's simply a question of which fine companies deserve public funds.

VERDICT: A placid affair. Cameron and Harman scored hits but neither was decisive. Liam Fox's statement on Sangin to follow.