David Cameron MP

7 Mar 2012 14:23:02

Cameron's tribute to the Queen: "While the sands of culture shift and the tides of politics ebb and flow, Her Majesty has been a permanent anchor"

By Matthew Barrett
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PMQs 7th March 2012

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12 Dec 2011 16:50:13

David Cameron's statement on the European Council to the House of Commons

David Cameron addressed the House of Commons about his decision to veto the EU Treaty. Here is his statement in full: 


With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on last week’s European Council.

I went to Brussels with one objective: to protect Britain’s national interest. And that is what I did.

Let me refer back to what I said to this House last Wednesday.

I made it clear that if the Eurozone countries wanted a treaty involving all 27 Members of the European Union we would insist on some safeguards for Britain to protect our own national interests. Some thought what I was asking for was relatively modest. Nevertheless, satisfactory safeguards were not forthcoming and so I didn’t agree to the Treaty.

Mr Speaker, let me be clear about exactly what happened, what it means for Britain what I see happening next.

Mr Speaker, let me take the House through the events of last week.

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24 Nov 2011 17:00:18

Feltham and Heston by-election set for 15th December

By Matthew Barrett
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Keen AlanThe writ for the Feltham and Heston by-election was moved in Parliament today by Labour's Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Angela Eagle. The by-election will be fought on the 15th December, and follows the death of Labour MP Alan Keen (right), who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month. Mr Keen had been the MP for the seat since 1992. His wife Ann was also an MP until 2010, in the neighbouring seat of Brentford and Isleworth - which was a Conservative gain last year.

At PMQs this week, both David Cameron and Ed Miliband paid tribute to Mr Keen:

David Cameron: "I am sure that the whole House will also wish to join me in paying tribute to Alan Keen, who sadly died after a courageous battle with cancer. He was a popular constituency MP who served Feltham and Heston for nearly 20 years. Before entering politics, Alan was a scout for Middlesbrough football club and continued to be a great advocate for sport, not least through his chairmanship of the all-party parliamentary football group, which grew to be one of the largest in the House under his stewardship. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, Ann, who is a friend to many here, and to his family and all his constituents. He will be missed by Members on both sides of the House."

Ed Miliband: "I also want to pay tribute, as the Prime Minister rightly did, to Alan Keen, the former Member for Feltham and Heston. He was, as the Prime Minister said, somebody who had friends across the House. He was somebody who believed in young people, in opportunities for young people and, most of all, in the power of sport to change people’s lives—and, as I heard at his funeral yesterday, he certainly had an unusual idea for his first date. He took his future wife, Ann, to the Orient, which turned out not to be a Chinese restaurant but to be Leyton Orient, who were playing that day. He was a great and lovely man, and he will be missed by all of us, but most of all by Ann and by his family."

Two quick bits of news on the by-election from this afternoon:

12 Nov 2011 17:04:33

British and Spanish conservatives unite to condemn FIFA's attempt at a poppy ban

By Matthew Barrett
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Cameron - Morgas Poppy

At Prime Minister's Questions earlier this week, two backbench Conservative MPs asked David Cameron to condemn FIFA's attempt to stop the English and Welsh national football teams from wearing poppies on their shirts during international matches this weekend. 

The Prime Minister did condemn FIFA's stance, writing to Sepp Blatter, the governing body's President, to appeal against the move. Blatter accepted the strength of feeling in Britain, and allowed poppies to be worn on black armbands during the two matches.

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8 Nov 2011 17:33:57

Eurosceptic Tory MPs grill Cameron following G20 statement

By Matthew Barrett
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Yesterday afternoon, David Cameron made a statement to the House on his recent G20 meetings. Given that the Prime Minister described the main topic of debate as "instability in the eurozone", one could have predicted Eurosceptic members would turn up in force - as indeed they did. Douglas Carswell, Bill Cash, and Peter Bone were amongst the MPs asking questions. 

Bill Cash posed the first challenging question of the session:

CASH WILLIAM"Mr William Cash (Stone) (Con): Given that the single market, including the City of London, is governed by qualified majority voting, how does the Prime Minister propose to achieve a majority to protect our interests in the context of the fiscal union that he advocates?

The Prime Minister: First, we need to disconnect the issues that my hon. Friend raises. The issue of the single market and the threat to the City of London and Britain’s financial services is a real threat. We have to work extremely hard to build alliances in the single market and in the European Council to stop directives that would damage our interests. I think it is extremely important that we do that work. Financial services matter hugely to this country, and this is one of the areas that I want to ensure we can better safeguard in future."

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4 Nov 2011 11:55:33

Cameron pays tribute to the "passionate" and "no nonsense" outgoing Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie

By Joseph Willits 
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GoldiecameronWith the results of the Scottish Conservative party leadership elections expected later today, David Cameron has paid tribute to outgoing leader Annabel Goldie, and her contributions to both Scotland and the party.

Cameron said: 

“Annabel did a great job in her six years of leadership of the Scottish Conservatives.  Throughout, I found her a complete pleasure to work with: straightforward, hardworking, passionate about her politics and packed full of common sense. I also really appreciated the strong support she gave me.

“Annabel has been a no nonsense breath of fresh air in Scottish politics, and I pay tribute to the way she fought the campaign for the Scottish Parliament. She will continue to be a formidable presence as an MSP and I know she will carry on fighting for causes close to her heart, like supporting families, tackling drug abuse and keeping Scotland in Britain”.

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25 Oct 2011 13:44:26

Gove says he "respected the passion" from backbenchers, stressing consensus in the Tory party over the EU

By Joseph Willits 
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Screen shot 2011-10-25 at 13.40.58Michael Gove was the man responsible for hitting the airwaves the morning after 81 Conservative MPs voted in favour of a referendum on the EU. Gove said that despite the significance of numbers, differences in policy were being "exaggerated", and that there was a consensus between backbenchers and the Cabinet "to change our relationship with the European Union".

Gove stressed his appreciation for differing points of view. He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, that despite not being in agreement with the rebels, he "respected their passion" and that "people like Adam Holloway, who resigned last night, did so as a matter of principle, and I respect them doing so". Rather than being a humiliating experience for the Government, and for Cameron personally, Gove said the debate had run contrary to a belief, and lack of faith about politicians "that people are always looking to see if they can shin up the greasy pole". Gove slammed Nick Robinson's assessments, who he said had "used all kinds of justifications to do with the vote; boundary reviews, and promotions" as examples of the rebellion's humiliation for the party.

On Cameron himself, Gove stated that the PM's desire "to refashion our relationship with the EU" was an issue of heart, not simply because it "was wrung out of him". He denied that the implementation of a three-line whip was embarrassing for Cameron, citing the fact that under a coalition dynamics change, and "parties need to compromise in the national interest".

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11 Aug 2011 13:26:39

Labour MP Rob Flello speaks in the Commons without a jacket

By Matthew Barrett
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RobFlelloShirt3 I don't seek to trivialise the debate, or the subject of debate that Parliament was recalled for today. 

However, as well as the content of today's debate, there was an important procedural/sartorial development. 

Rob Flello, the Labour Member for Stoke-on-Trent South, was allowed to speak in the Chamber without a jacket. 

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18 Jul 2011 10:23:48

Parliament "may" be extended in order for Cameron to answer questions about phone-hacking

By Matthew Barrett
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It seems there will be another PMQs this year, as David Cameron has just said, during a press conference in South Africa, that it:

"may be right for Parliament to meet on Wednesday so I can answer questions"

The Prime Minister will also be making a statement on Wednesday. 

13 Jul 2011 13:38:41

David Cameron's statement on the inquiry into phone-hacking

By Matthew Barrett
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A statement by the Prime Minister on the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal immediately followed a heated Prime Minister's Questions.

Much of the atmosphere of the exchange between Ed Miliband and the Prime Minister at PMQs was gone and the House was more settled.

The Prime Minister started off by condemning "an episode that is frankly disgraceful". Cameron urged that we think of the victims who have been targeted by the press.

Cameron moved on to the current, on-going police investigation, which he said has looked through thousands of names and telephone numbers, contacted 170 people, made 8 arrests and "conducted numerous interviews". Cameron then covered the inquiry the Government is now setting up. He said the inquiry will be composed of two parts: firstly, a full investigation into the wrong-doing of the press and police, including the failures of the current regulations, and secondly a review of the regulations of the press.

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11 Jul 2011 18:15:05

Cameron under fire for not coming to Commons to answer questions on Hackgate

By Tim Montgomerie
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David Cameron is likely to face another rough press tomorrow after sending Jeremy Hunt to the House of Commons to update MPs on 'Hackgate'. While Mr Hunt was able to tell the Commons that he was now referring NewsCorp's BSkyB bid to the Competition Commission he was unable to answer all questions from Ed Miliband and other Labour MPs on, for example, the extent of David Cameron's recent contact with Andy Coulson and other senior NewsCorp executives. The Leader of the Opposition said Cameron should have come to Parliament to answer MPs' question - just as he answered journalists' questions last Friday. Both Christopher Hope of The Telegraph and Tim Shipman of the Daily Mail (ie not the usual suspects) tweeted agreement...

Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 18.09.05

Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 18.08.46

Jeremy Hunt gave a robust defence of the Coalition's position and said that a fiery Ed Miliband had set the wrong tone. The Culture Secretary said Labour had had ample opportunity to investigate hacking when they were in power and had been asked by the select committee covering the brief to do so. Not only had Labour failed to act Mr Hunt attacked Ed Miliband for double standards in employing Tom Baldwin; a former Times journalist accused by Lord Ashcroft of dirty journalism.

The news continues to get worse for News International. The Guardian has now accused other Murdoch titles of foul play against Gordon Brown. The former Prime Minister was it appears targeted by The Sun and The Sunday Times:

  • Scotland Yard has discovered references to both Brown and his wife, Sarah, in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialised in phone hacking for the News of the World;
  • Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a "blagger" acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account;
  • London lawyers, Allen & Overy, were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times;
  • Details from his infant son's medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child's serious illness.

More in The Guardian.


28 Jun 2011 14:44:32

Which former Foreign Secretary got slapped down by David Cameron yesterday for declaring a Greek default to be "inevitable"?

By Jonathan Isaby
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David Miliband 2010 Answer: David Miliband, now merely sitting on the Labour backbenches as MP for South Shields.

During the questions to David Cameron on his statement on the European Council, the immediate past Foreign Secretary and beaten Labour leadership contender opined in a rare Commons intervention:  

"The Prime Minister mentioned the stability of the banking system in advance of what I believe is an inevitable Greek default. In that context, is it not the case that future European Councils will be discussing whether to use the European financial stability facility or the European stability mechanism to shore up and recapitalise the banking system, rather than throwing good bail-out money after bad?"

David Cameron refused to accept the premise:

"Of course the Greeks have a debt and solvency problem as well as a liquidity problem, but they have decided that they want to use liquidity to give themselves some time to deal with their debt problem. That is the choice they have made—and that is the choice the eurozone members are supporting—and I can quite see why they want to do it in that way. Let me also just make the following point, as I think a number of colleagues will ask similar questions: we must be very careful not to speculate about the financial situation faced by a fellow member state of the European Union."

9 Jun 2011 07:53:27

David Cameron pays tribute to the "remarkable" Duke of Edinburgh's service of our country

Yesterday the Commons paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, ahead of his 90th birthday.

The Prime Minister's tribute:

Six decades of service to the Crown: "This week we celebrate the 90th birthday of a remarkable man who has given years of service to our country. Someone who has defended his nation in time of war. A man who has stood alongside Her Majesty the Queen for more than six decades. A man who has given his time, effort and passion to many great causes up and down the country, across the Commonwealth and indeed around the world. I refer, of course, to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Since the time of William the Conqueror there has never been a consort who has served for so long at the side of a monarch and, as such, Prince Philip has seen extraordinary events in life from the end of rationing to man landing on the moon, and from the end of the cold war to the beginning of peace in Northern Ireland. Of course, along the way he has had to put up with listening to the views of no fewer than 12 Prime Ministers. Through it all he has been there for Her Majesty the Queen as a constant companion and source of rock solid strength. Throughout it all he has served us, the British people, with an unshakeable sense of duty. He has conducted more than 300 public engagements a year and delivered more than 5,000 speeches. Over those years, he has also made more than 600 visits to more than 140 countries. In most of those, he is heralded and much respected as the consort of a monarch, but, of course, there is one—Tanna, part of Vanuatu—where he is treated slightly differently. In fact, no public event in that far off part of the Pacific Islands is complete without the islanders holding aloft pictures of Prince Philip, who they worship as a god."

Courageous service in WWII: "Of course, His Royal Highness served this country long before his royal duties began. The Duke of Edinburgh spent 14 years on active service in the Royal Navy. During the Second World War he served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets. He was awarded the Greek war cross of valour and was mentioned in dispatches when he manned the searchlights during HMS Valiant’s triumph at the battle of Cape Matapan. In a fitting tribute to his outstanding abilities, the late Lord Lewin, the First Sea Lord, said he would most certainly have gone right to the top of the Navy."

A patron of 800 causes: "Today the Duke of Edinburgh is a patron of more than 800 organisations. Looking through that long list, one passion shines through: supporting young people by giving them the confidence to stand on their own two feet. It was this passion that led him to initiate the Duke of Edinburgh awards, recognised around the world as the gold standard in leadership for young people. Since 1956, about 6 million young people in 120 countries have won awards by building skills for work and life and proving that they can take responsibility for themselves and their communities. To all of us in this Chamber who believe in the value of helping to change people’s lives for the better, that is an inspiration. His is a huge achievement for which this country and many others owe the Duke a deserved debt of gratitude. He also has an extraordinary passion for wildlife, nature and the environment. As president of the World Wildlife Fund, he helped to save many of the world’s most beautiful creatures from extinction, including the snow leopard and the black rhino."

And finally, the Labour MP Chris Bryant remembers the time Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda was teased by Prince Philip...

"Parmjit Dhanda, when he was the Member for Gloucester, was invited in 2001, as I think was the current Prime Minister and others elected that year—it was our 10th anniversary yesterday—to Buckingham palace, and the Duke of Edinburgh went up to Parmjit and said, “So, what did you do before you got this job?” Parmjit said, “I worked in a trade union.” The Duke immediately replied, “Bugger all, then.” Parmjit, somewhat offended and thinking that he would retaliate with force, asked, “Well, what did you do before you got this job?”, to which the Duke replied, “Fought in the second world war.”

More in Hansard.

21 Mar 2011 16:04:25

Cameron explains the purpose and operation of the Coalition in Libya

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2011-03-21 at 15.40.06

Highlights, not verbatim, from the Prime Minister's speech at the beginning of today's Commons debate on imposing a No Fly Zone over Libya. Mr Cameron took a large number of interventions - notably from opponents of the policy such as Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Caroline Lucas and John Baron. His speech was notable for the number of times he explained why this intervention was different from Iraq.

A bloody massacre has been averted in Benghazi in the nick of time. A historic and proud city has been protected from destruction.

Gaddafi lied to his people and the international community when he declared a ceasefire that he had no intention of fulfilling.

David Cameron reiterated his own British government belief in regime change but said that the Coalition was only committed to establishing (1) a No Fly Zone and (2) protecting the civilian population of Libya.

Spain, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Qatar have joined the Coalition in terms of supplying aircraft, airfields or other military equipment.

PM says Britain won't use uranium tipped munitions or cluster bombs in Libya.

Responding to Tory MP John Baron - who suggested (as in his ConHome OpEd) that Arab states should implement the NFZ - Mr Cameron said that speed was of the essence and without speedy intervention there could have been massive loss of life in Benghazi.

He confirmed that there would be no invading force but did not dissent when a backbench Conservative (Dan Byles) said that there would need to be a "robust search and rescue" force should an RAF pilot go down in Libya.

He said he was disturbed by events in Yemen but pressed on why the UK wasn't intervening in other parts of the Middle East he repeated his line that because we can't help every nation we shouldn't help anyone at all.

Coalition is currently operating under US leadership but will soon operate under NATO and through its established machinery.

Mark Pritchard asked a question about the safety of journalists in Libya (Roy Greenslade has listed those missing and detained). The Prime Minister sympathised and also urged broadcasters to regularly remind the public that journalists in Tripoli were operating under severe reporting restrictions.

There is a long way to go, Mr Cameron said, but many lives have been saved so far by Coalition action. Britain has acted in the best traditions of the nation.

18 Mar 2011 11:18:35

David Cameron tells the Commons that UK forces are being deployed to enforce the UN Resolution in Libya and that MPs will have a debate on the deployment next week

Picture 8
By Jonathan Isaby

David Cameron has just made an emergency statement to the Commons in the wake of the UN resolution on Libya being passed last night.

He said (not verbatim):

There were hopeful signs that a better future awaited the Libyan people three weeks ago, but instead Gaddafi has opted to attack his own people.

The British Government has sought to isolate the regime, deprive it of money, shrink its power and hold those responsible for abuses to account.

Contingency planning was necessary. We only intervene in another country's affairs in exceptional circumstances and using force would always require three tests being met - a demonstrable need, regional support and a clear legal base. These have now all been met in full.

The UN resolution authorises and sets the limits of action - excluding an occupation force. That is right.

There is now a responsibility to respond. After advice from the Attorney General, the Government is satisfied there is a legal base for the deployment of UK forces. The Cabinet agreed that UK forces will play their part to enforce the Resolution.  The Chief of the Defence staff has been instructed to make the necessary military preparations, including sending Tornadoes, Typhoons and surveillance aircraft to the region. Those preparations have already started.

There will be a substantive motion for debate in the Commons next week [expected to be Monday]. but we need to move forward immediately on the basis of the UN Resolution.

We call on Gaddafi to cease the violence against his own people and we will issue a clear statement of what we expect from him later today.

We don't deploy British forces lightly or without careful thought. But it is right to do so here and right that we played a leading role in seeking the UN Resolution.

1pm update:

Sky News reports that the Libyan Government has announced an immediate ceasefire

3.30pm update:

The Government has published the text of the motion which will get a full day's ebate in the Commons on Monday:

"That this House welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; deplores the ongoing use of violence by the Libyan regime; acknowledges the demonstrable need, regional support and clear legal basis for urgent action to protect the people of Libya; accordingly supports the Government, working with others, in the taking of all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya and to enforce the No Fly Zone, including the use of UK armed forces and military assets in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; and offers its wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces."