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David Cameron teases Brown at PMQs about Labour MPs' lack of confidence in him as the Prime Minister again fails to answer straight question on the economy

Jonathan Isaby's verdict:

"A narrow win for Cameron, with the Opposition Leader having opted to use two questions on consensual questions about the winter weather before going on the offensive. Brown has started coming up with better one-liners recently, but at the end of the day he is simply failing to give straight answers to straight questions from Cameron and others about the budget deficit, the state of the economy and what he is going to do about it."

Picture 512.02 Gordon Brown pays tribute to the latest soldier to die in Afghanistan and also pays tribute o the Mirror journalist killed in Afghanistan this week. He also says the Government will respond with emergency aid and finance to Haiti after the earthquake.

12.04 Tory MP Bill Wiggin asks if Brown regrets the huge budget deficit with which the country entered the recession. Brown denies this, saying it was the second lowest in the G7.

12.06 David Cameron echoes Brown's tributes. He praises the emergency services' response to the cold weather, but wants a reassurance that everything that can be done is being done to ensure that salt supplies get where they are needed.

12.08 Brown says the country is coming together as one to respond to the difficulties and says that one of the salt producers has said today they will be producing more and that more will be imported as well.

Picture 8 12.09 Cameron wants to know what will be done to review the response, involving those in local government and others.

12.10 Brown says there will indeed be a review of all the arrangements.

12.11 Cameron opts not to rise again, presumably aiming to ask some more combative questions shortly...

Picture 9 12.12 Nick Clegg also echoes the tributes of the other leaders. He raises the Chilcot Inquiry - and wants Brown to volunteer to give evidence before the General Election. Brown says he is happy to give evidence whenever he is called but that it should be a matter or Chilcot to decide. Clegg says it is a matter for Brown's conscience, having signed the cheques to send British troops into Iraq. What has he got to hide, says Clegg. Nothing, says Brown. He insists he will go to give evidence when called.

12.19 Cameron is back. He asks how Brown has changed the way he is governing after last week's call for a change in leadership. Brown says Cameron looks different from the poster he has seen. We have policies, he has posters, says Brown.

12.20 Cameron says that when it comes to pictures, how many Labour MPs will use his picture on their leaflets? Four put their hands up. He repeats the point made by Bill Wiggin earlier and says wants a concession it was wrong to claim boom and bust had been abolished. Brown does not give it.

12.22 Cameron: We now know what Douglas Alexander thinks of Brown. He uses an alleged quote of Alexander's attacking Harriet Harman. Then he starts listing how long it took for ministers to back Brown last Wednesday. He then asks Brown to admit the truth on spending cuts. Will he repeat Alistair Darling's words about them being the deepest for 20 years?

12.24 Brown claims the Tories are mixed up on policy and then retreats to attacking the inheritance tax pledge.

12.25 Cameron says that he won't change the way he governs and that the conclusion he can make is that the cabinet are too disloyal to support him and too incompetent to remove him. It's time for a general election.

12.26 Brown repeats Cameron's apology for "messing up" on policy on supporting marriage. He then concludes that the Tories' policies are those of the 1980s and not fit for 2010.

12.31 Tory MP Andrew Murrison asks the Prime Minister's view about "the situation in the Western Sahara". Brown seems unsure as to what specific issue he is referring to and talks in general terms about deterring terrorism.

Jonathan Isaby


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