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David Cameron asks about child care in Doncaster at PMQs

Jonathan Isaby's verdict:

An eminently forgettable PMQs, with Cameron asking two worthy but unpolitical questions about Haiti before going on the child care issues in Doncaster. Nick Clegg's pithy question on Cadbury's and RBS will probably end up higher up the news reports.

Picture 312.01 Gordon Brown begins by paying tribute to the latest soldiers to have died in Afghanistan and also says his thoughts remain with the people of Haiti.

12.05 Labour MP Tony Wright asks about Cadbury; Brown says that Kraft have given assurances of their commitment to the Cadbury brand and workers.

12.06 David Cameron echoes Brown's tributes and says we can be proud of the British response in Haiti and seeks an update on what Britain is doing in Haiti now, and Brown replies accordingly that we are sending a boat to help unload supplies. He also namedrops a conversation with Obama about what Britain can do.

12.08 Cameron says Haiti will need external help for years to come and wonders what consideration has been given to UN-supported joint structures to help get the country functioning again. Brown repeats that he has spoken to Obama and also Ban-Ki Moon about these matters. He agrees that there are lessons to be learned for the future.

Picture 4 12.10 Cameron says there is great agreement for a well-organised response. He then goes on to raise the abuse of young children in Doncaster - following the deaths of seven children in that city in the last decade. Why were the warning signs missed?

12.11 Brown says that it is important that the lessons are learned and that there will be a serious case review.

12.12 Cameron: Why did so much go wrong before action was taken? Serious case reviews are not leading to the right action being taken, he said.

12.14 Brown doesn't want to prejudge the review, but syas the executive summary of the review will be published soon and the Tories should wait for the publication of the evidence before making judgments.

12.15 Cameorn complains that the review will not be published in full. The summary of the review into Baby P was completely inadequate, for example. Case reviews on murders are published in full - why not in these cases affecting children?

12.16 Brown says he hopes the Tories won't stand isolated from the views of professionals on the subject.

12.17 Cameron says that Michael Gove has discussed it with the NSPCC and that they say there are cases when the executive summary is not enough. He quotes the BBC as saying that the summary and the full review do not tally. Brown says it is important to protect the anonymity of children, hence not publishing the case review in full and attacks Cameron for asking questions when not even the summary ahs been published.

Picture 5 12.20 Clegg raises Cadbury's too and wonders why state-owned RBS is funding the takeover. Brown says that the Government cannot intervene in the way that Clegg appears to be suggesting - his liberal principles have gone to the wall.

12.21 Clegg says RBS money should be going to help British taxpayers and backing British jobs. Brown says that to put the words liberal and prinnciple together seems very difficult now.

12.23 Labour MP Michael Meacher wants a debate and free vote on the Wright committee's proposed reforms to the Commons. Brown says the Government will make time available for a debate and backs electing chairs of select committees and other measures to empower backbenchers. But he doesn't say when it will happen.

12.26 Angus Robertson of the SNP wants Brown to give evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry before the election. Brown says he has written to Chilcot saying he will do so whenever he is asked.

12.27 Labour MP Emily Thornberry raises encouraging couples to get married, in order to allow Brown to tease the Tories over the issues, quoting Ken Clarke from his previous life on the backbenches when he said that a married couples' allowance would be social engineering.

12.31 On the issue of the AV electoral system, Brown says there will be a referendum on the matter "early in the next Parliament". 

12.34 Tory MP Andrew Rosindell wants an annual limit on immigration. Brown says the points system is working.

Jonathan Isaby


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