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David Cameron taunts Brown about his relationship with Alistair Darling at PMQs

Jonathan Isaby's verdict: A rowdy session of PMQs in which David Cameron successfully taunted Brown about those extraordinary comments made last night by Alistair Darling.

Picture 2712.03 Gordon Brown begins by paying tribute to the seven soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan since the last PMQs.

12.06 David Cameron echoes the tribute to the fallen soldiers. He raises the report into Stafford hospital (the constituency in which he stood in 1997). Does the PM understand that victims are not content with a private inquiry and that there is a clamour for a public inquiry?

12.07 Brown blamed a failure in management for the problems. Cameron says death rates were far too high for years before investigations began. Don't we need a better way of publishing results and more transparency to stop it happening again?

12.10 Cameron: We also need openness at the heart of government, referring to Darling's statement last night. He asks Brown to stand up with a straight face and support the Chancellor.

12.11 Brown: This is the closest Cameron has got to talking about the economy.

1Picture 292.12 Cameron: We can talk about trebling the deficit and bringing the country to its knees... but now with a record deficit, why are the PM and Chancellor at war with each other? Why did Darling talk about the forces of hell??

12.13 Brown wants to ask about Tory policy on the economy and says Cameron has no substance.

12.14 Cameron: Brown put character at the heart of the election. Why is it that the moral compass always points at some one but him. He quotes more from Rawnsley's book.

12.14 Bercow instructs the House to be calm else he may have to phone some kind of helpline. Cameron continues: Did Brown know nothing about the briefing against Darling? 

12.15 Brown says Cameron isn't doing well and that Darling has been right about all policies. Cameron asks why he was trying to get rid of him and then asks about the new GDP figures showing that people are poorer now than 5 years ago.

12.16 Brown says that GDP is higher than it was in 1997.

Picture 32 12.19 Nick Clegg goes on the increase in the gap between the richest and the poorest. Brown replies parroting lines about tax credits.

12.20 Clegg repeats his substantive point and says Labour's slogan should be "Tax injustice for the many, tax breaks for the few", rather than the reheated Future Fair For All from 2003.

12.26 Tory MP Stewart Jackson asks if Tony Blair meant the phrase "big clunking fist" literally when he used it to describe Gordon Brown. Brown says that he should be able to ask a question other than a plant from the front bench.

12.30 Tory MP Richard Benyon wants Brown and the Government to articulate better the value of the work our troops do in Afghanistan. Brown reiterates they they are their to help prevent terrorism on the streets of Britain and to train up the Afghan forces.

12.33 Bercow interrupts Brown and makes him sit down when answering a question from a Labour MP designed to make an attack on Tory policy on inheritance tax.

Jonathan Isaby


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