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An assured first PMQs for David Cameron

Jonathan Isaby's verdict: An assured first performance at PMQs by David Cameron. A good emphasis on the positive things the Government intends doing with a sprinkling of attacks on the failures of the outgoing Labour government.

Picture 23.02pm David Cameron begins by paying tribute to the soldiers who died in Afghanistan over recent days. He also reports on the shooting in Cumbria this morning. Interesting to note Nick Clegg having moved to Cameron's right rather than left this week.

3.04pm Douglas Carswell wants an elected House of Lords in the next 12 months. Cameron says there will be a draft motion by December when the Commons will be able to vote on this issue.

3.05pm Harriet Harman echoes Cameron's tributes and asks for an update regarding the situation in Gaza. Cameorn says what hppened was "completely unacceptable" and all must be done to ensure it doesn't happen again. he says that 42 British national are caught up in the situation. He says he counts himself as a friend of Israel but that the blockade strengthens Hamas's grip on Gaza.

Picture 33.07pm Harman then asks about giving anonymity to rape suspects. Cameron says it's a scandal that rape convictions are so low but that he had looked at the issue when on the Home Affairs Committee and that the Coalition will bring forward proposals for the House to examine and debate.

3.10pm Harman wants the Government to reconsider the tax allowance for married couples. Cameron says he is an unashamed supporter of marriage - pointing out that many Euroepan countries do just that. He says that the Lib Dems will retain their right to abstain on it.

3.11pm Harman says Cameron is only doing it to keep his backbenchers on board and that it will do nothing to cut the deficit. Cameron responds that family breakdown is a cause of increasing welfare spending and highlights that it will apply to gay couples too.

3.12pm Harman retorts that on this issue "Nick agrees with me". Cameron points out that the IHT changes introduced by Labour recognise marriage in the tax system for the well off and that less well-off couples will benefit too.

3.15pm Chris Bryant wants a promise to back a defence training establishment in South Wales; Cameron says he does not want to prejudice the Strategic Defence Review.

3.17pm In answer to a question from Tory Adam Holloway, Cameron highlights a number of ways in which the previous government wasted public money, including vast amounts on flowers and pot plants.

3.19pm Interesting to note the Labour Left winger returning to the Commons at this election, John Cryer, has taken his place next to Dennis Skinner on the Opposition front bench below the gangway

3.20pm New Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi asks if Cameron was surprised by the number of civil servants earning more than him. Cameron says that no-one at the top of a public sector organsiation should earn more than twenty times the lowest paid person in that organisation.

3.22pm Peter Bone asks about excessive pay among managers in the health service (he is running for chairman of the Health Select committee).

3,24pm Cameron gives new Stroud MP Neil Carmichael a reassurance that the Stroud maternity unit should be able to "breathe easily" under the new administration, which was under threat previously.

3.26pm Cameron says in reply to Julian Lewis that "Afghanistan is my top priority".

3.28pm Labour's Ian Davidson calls Cameron "Comrade Premier".

3.31pm Philip Davies wants Cameron to scrap the Human Rights Act. Cameron says he is examining looking at a British Bill of Rights, but that most important when it comes to deporting terrorist suspects is having agreements with individual countries.

3.33pm Answering the new Labour MP for Gateshead, Cameron says that Local Enterprise partnerships would be better than RDAs in many areas.

Jonathan Isaby

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