PMQs 7th March 2012 - Sombre Mood As Afghanistan Attack Hangs Over Commons

07/03/2012 11:02 | Updated 07 March 2012

Prime minister's questions got off to a sombre start this lunchtime. following the the grim news coming from Afghanistan of the apparent deaths of six British soliders in an explosion.

It's one of the worst single losses of life for UK troops in many months, and both David Cameron and Ed Miliband paid tribute to them in the Commons.

"Our mission in Afghanistan does remain vital to our national security. Our task is simple, it is to equip the Afghan government with the capability and capacity to take care of their own national security," the prime minister told MPs.

However having asked two questions on the war, Miliband then returned to the Despatch Box to hammer Cameron on benefit reforms.

The Labour leader accused Cameron of breaking his per-election promise not to change child benefit payments for middle income families.

However the prime minister said he had not choice given the budget deficit. "Government is about difficult decisions, It's a pity he [Miliband] is not capable of taking one," he said.

Cameron could also not resist, as predicted, poking fun at the Labour leader for the tough time he was given by callers during a radio phone in yesterday.

"When people dial up a radio phone in and they work out who he is, they say the same thing, 'he's not up to the job'," he joked.


07/03/2012 12:34 GMT

Another overrunning PMQs.

Not sure why the Speaker has recently decided it's now up to forty minutes long. Quality would be better than quantity.

07/03/2012 12:26 GMT

Is the PM rude?

@ NickiBrooksx :

Cameron ruder than usual today #PMQs

07/03/2012 12:25 GMT

Cameron dismisses Nadine Dorries' criticisms as 'nonsense'

David Cameron responds to a question about Nadine Dorries' criticisms of him as a public school boy as "nonsense" - in a not so subtly disguised response to a Labour MP.

07/03/2012 12:24 GMT

Sharon Hodgson on the Nadine Dorries quote...

The Labour MP quotes Dorries on her earlier "two public schoolboys" comment about Cameron and Clegg. Cameron says it's nonsense.

We know that Nadine is not in the chamber. She opted to watch it on the telly in her office.

07/03/2012 12:23 GMT

Is Douglas Carswell turning the knife?

@ JessicaFWilkins :

Douglas Carswell gives a ripple of Coalition discontent. The end always comes from your own party, Dave. #PMQs

07/03/2012 12:22 GMT

@toadmeister and Pamela Nash behind Ed Miliband.

@ toadmeister :

Serious cleavage behind @Ed_Miliband's head. Anyone know who it belongs to? #pmqs

07/03/2012 12:21 GMT

Cameron pokes fun at Miliband's BBC 5 Live disaster

Cameron raises Miliband's troubled radio appearance: "When people dial up a radio phone in and they work out who he is, they say the same thing, 'he's not up to the job'".

07/03/2012 12:20 GMT

Labour disappointed with Mark Pritchard...

They we hoping that resignation would lead to a searing attack on the coalition. Instead it was a question on circus animals. Maybe the Speaker wasn't expecting that when he called the Tory MP.

07/03/2012 12:18 GMT

Miliband accuses Cameron of breaking his promise on child benefit

Miliband accuses Cameron on breaking his promises to middle income families not to change it.

Cameron says people earning £25,000 should not have to pay child benefit to the rich.

"Government is about difficult decisions, its a pity he is not capable of taking one," he says.

But Miliband says the prime minister said before the election he would not take child benefit away from people.

07/03/2012 12:18 GMT

Labour tweeters coming to Ed M's defence...

@ Jos21 :

The PM clearly has no handle on the unemployment crisis - As EdMili says 5 people chasing every vacancy. Just trots out deficit #pmqs

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