Conservative Diary

« A job description for a BNP-beating Conservative | Main | David Cameron should not abuse his powers of patronage »

A sombre and subdued first PMQs of the new term

Jonathan Isaby's verdict: A very subdued first PMQs of the term, although David Cameron made important points about the potential reduction in training for TA members going to Afghanistan - something of which I doubt we have heard the last...

Highlights, not verbatim:

12.33 PMQs overruns somewhat and concludes with 1922 committee chairman Sir Michael Spicer asking the PM if he will be soldiering on until the end. Brown insists so, saying he has a programme for government.

12.24 Tory MP Peter Bottomley asks about the secret injunction against the Guardian from reporting certain parliamentary proceedings. Brown says that he hopes progress can be made to clear up an "unfortunate area of the law".

12.23 Left wing Labour MP Dave Anderson calls on Lord Mandelson to stop attacking the CWU over the proposed Royal Mail strike.  

Picture 312.19 Clegg repeats his concerns about the legitimacy about the flawed election and calls on Karzai to form a government of national unity if he is declared President.

12.16 Nick Clegg echoes the tributes to the fallen and says many people in the country question our presence in Afghanistan and wants Brown to explains clearly why we are there backing the Afghan Government. Brown replies that no-on can be satisfied with what happened in the elections there and says that a million votes are being examined and suggests Clegg waits until the Electoral Commission has made a pronouncement. But he says it was a tribute to our forces that the elections took place and ads that we are in Afghanistan to protect the streets of Britain.

12.13 Cameron expresses concern that basic training for TA members is being cut and says that it has to stop. Brown say that the Defence Secretary was reassuring him that the TA was properly resourced when Cameron caught them chatting during his question.

Picture 212.12 On the TA, Cameron raises the case of a TA officer who will only be paid for half of his training days and asks Brown to agree that insufficient training would be "totally unacceptable". Brown says he will look into it.

12.11 Cameron then raises mental scars of veterans and wants to see regular long term contact with them. Brown says that there is a minister for veterans whose job it is to oversee this.

12.09 Cameron wants to know more about helping injured servicemen as they grow older and the role of and support for recovery centres. Brown pays tribute to their work and says he has seen at first hand the work at Selly oak and that he wants to see more investment at Headley Court.

12.06 David Cameron reiterates the PM's tribute to the fallen servicemen and asks for a fundamental re-examination of the military covenant. Brown says it has been an especially difficult summer for the armed forces, but says that he will be shortly announcing extra measures to protect troops in Afghanistan in his statement at 12.30pm. He say he is happy to look at any further suggestions which are forthcoming.

12.04 Tory MP Ann Winterton asks about the Lisbon Treaty and whether it is right that Brown would have to adhere to promoting European interests over British interests if it comes into force. Brown says not.

Picture 112.00 Gordon Brown begins by calling for a pause to pay full respects to those servicemen who have died in Afghanistan during the recess and proceeds to name all 37 or them. A sombre opening to proceedings.

Jonathan Isaby


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.