07/03/2012 06:02 GMT | Updated 07/03/2012 08:03 GMT

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

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.