Conservative Diary

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Low key PMQs with Hague quizzing Harman on spending

Highlights, not verbatim:

12.32pm: In a reply to a question from Richard Ottaway MP Harriet Harman is forced to concede - contrary to an undertaking from Gordon Brown a year ago - that this will be another Labour government that leaves office with unemployment higher than when it came to power (if, indeed, it leaves office next year). 

12.24pm: John Maples asks Harriet Harman to reassure his constituents that Afghanistan was still a winnable war.  The Leader of the House replies with general statement on the number of children in education and that troops are necessary to ensure August's presidential election is successful.

Picture 912.19pm: Vince Cable asks how the Government can expect lower paid public sector workers to accept pay restraint when two-thirds of senior civil servants are getting large bonuses.  In his second question he invites Ms Harman to say that bonuses in the state owned banks are completely unacceptable.  The Deputy Labour Leader dodges the question by promising that the Government will not tolerate wreckless behaviour among bankers.

12.15pm: Mr Hague accuses the Government of being "deeply out of touch" for denying that capital expenditure is being cut and unemployment is rising.  The blame lies, he says, with a "discredited" government that spent out during the boom years.  Ms Harman says Labour did not waste the good years but invested in school buildings and repaid debt.

Picture 8 12.10pm: In his second question Hague asks Harriet Harman to put the Prime Minister's 'zero % rise' remark into plain English.  Ms Harman attacks the Tories for wanting to cut spending now and pokes fun at George Osborne for his remark that he only spends 40% of his time on being Shadow Chancellor. Mr Hague says he regrets that the Honourable Lady isn't spending 100% of her time answering his questions.

12.07pm: William Hague asks if enough investment is going into Britain's armed forces.  Labour's Deputy Leader leads the investments that she says are being made.

With Brown at the G8 in Italy it will be Harman Versus Hague.


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