Energy prices dominate PMQs


David Cameron and Ed Miliband have clashed over energy prices in a rowdy prime minister's question time.

Labour leader Ed Miliband led with the topic on 23 November 2013, after Conservative ex-prime minister Sir John Major's call for a windfall tax on energy firms' profits.

Quoting Mr Cameron as saying Labour's plan for an energy price freeze was the policy of someone living in a "Marxist universe", Mr Miliband noted that the "red peril" seems to have claimed Sir John Major.

He reiterated Labour's calls for a price freeze on gas and electricity bills.

But the prime minister dismissed the opposition's policies as "cynical ploys and gimmicks".

Sir John has said recent energy price rises of more than 10% were "unacceptable" and action was needed, advocating an emergency tax on the profits of the UK's top energy firms.

Mr Cameron said the former PM was right to say bills had reached unacceptable levels, and insisted that his government was acting to help consumers.

The PM announced that the government is to launch a "proper competition test" to establish whether the energy market can be made more competitive.

He also signalled he wanted to "get to grips" with "green" regulations which were driving up energy bills, blaming Mr Miliband for implementing these regulations as energy secretary in the previous Labour government.

But Mr Miliband accused him of standing up for the energy companies and not the "ordinary people" who "face a choice this winter between heating and eating".

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