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David Cameron and Gordon Brown exchange accusation and counter-accusation on spending at an unedifying PMQs

Jonathan Isaby's verdict: Speaker Bercow intervened a number of times to call for order, citing that the public don't like it, which suggests that he intends trying to clamp down on cat-calling and disorder during PMQs. The public probably will not have found today's exchanges between David Cameron and Gordon Brown especially edifying either, as they exchanged statistics and accused each other of not telling the truth...   

12.28 Speaker Bercow intervenes on a Labour MP trying to attack Tory spending plans by reminding the House that the Prime Minister is not responsible for Opposition policy.

12.20 Labour MP Martin Salter (who was unofficially in charge of Bercow's campaign for his Speakership) prefaces a question by emphasising the need for the whole House to get behind him.

12.17 Daniel Kawczynski accuses Brown of insulting the President of Poland by attacking the Polish Law and Justice Party of which he is a member; Brown says he has good relations with the man and that the Tories should question the policies of some of their partners in Europe.

12.15 James Duddridge asks specifically if Brown has had contact in any way with Damian McBride; Brown (as last week) says no.

12.14 Clegg accuses Brown of dressing up spending as "investment".

12.14 The Speaker calls for order for a third time.

Picture 1 12.13 Nick Clegg talks about Brown's climbdowns on a number of issues - "the only gear left for the government is reverse" and asks when we will hear he is wrong on public spending. Brown says Labour would increase public spending, Lib Dems would cut it.

12.12 The Speaker warns Michael Fabricant to calm down on the grounds that it is "not good for your health".

12.11 Cameron says that the public won't like the fact that Brown refuses to admit when he has misled the House. Brown refuses to accept that he has.

Picture 3 12.10 Speaker Bercow admonishes the House (principally Tories) for making too much noise; "The public doesn't like it and neither do I"

12.08 Brown refuses and again talks about Tory cuts; Cameron responds by quoting media reports of a difficult Cabinet meeting on the issue: "He wants to be a teacher - it sounds like he has lost control of the classroom".

12.07 Brown accuses Cameron of "evading his responsibility" by wanting 10% cuts. Cameron quotes the Red Book again says that Brown has nowhere to hide and that what he told the Commons last week was wrong.

Picture 2 12.06 Brown says the Tories would spend less every year... Cameron says Brown is being untransparent and needs to apologise for giving the wrong figures previously.

12.04 Brown says it will still rise until the Olympics and then fall - and brings Cameron's advising Norman Lamont into it. Cameron responds by listing the figures showing reductions in capital expenditure over the coming years and asks Brown to correct his claim that is it is rising.

12.03 David Cameron takes Brown to task over rises in capital expenditure in the years running up to the Olympics.

12.00 PMQs starts on time under the new Speaker!

Jonathan Isaby


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