Prime Minister's Questions in full: David Cameron v Ed Miliband

Key points

  • David Cameron rejects Ed Miliband's call to drop the NHS bill at Prime Minister's Questions
  • The PM has also announced the MOD would buy a new C17 plane
  • He also said "everything is being done" so Abu Qatada could be deported to Jordan

    What is likely to come up at Prime Minister's Questions today? Expect the NHS to figure prominently. The House of Lords is due to debate proposed concessions to the government's health reforms later and ministers are under pressure to drop the bill entirely. Ed Miliband raised the subject last week and could do so again.


    The issue of executive pay could also be raised after RBS boss Stephen Hester told the BBC that he considered resigning over the recent furore over his bonus and warned people against "demonising" the industry.


    On that subject, international development minister Alan Duncan has said Mr Hester is a "good guy" and the "vehement" attacks on him were unjustified. Mr Duncan tells the BBC's Daily Politics that the government must be "sensitive" over bonuses but that the "business image of Britain" was very important and rewards for success should not be discouraged.


    Will any MP bring up the case of Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who has just been found not guilty of tax evasion by a jury in London.


    Back to the NHS controversy. Alan Duncan is asked about comments reported to have been made by a No 10 official that Andrew Lansley had mishandled the bill and "should be taken outside and shot". Mr Duncan says he does not believe anyone in Downing Street would have said this and David Cameron certainly would not agree with the sentiment.


    Lord Owen, who has been a leading opponent of the NHS reforms, says David Cameron could stop the bill in its tracks - telling the BBC that he "did so with forestry". The former SDP leader says opposition to the bill is "unprecedented" and the NHS will "rally" if the plans are abandoned.


    The BBC's Nick Robinson says that health is likely to dominate Prime Minister's Questions with Ed Miliband expected again to list all the professional bodies opposed to the changes.


    David Cameron is on his feet in the Commons.


    David Cameron starts by paying tribute to the Queen in the week she marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne.


    The first question is from Labour MP Andy Slaughter on cuts to police officers. The PM says the number of officers "on the frontline" has risen since the election and violent crime has fallen in London.


    A question from a Tory backbencher on the "overthrow" of the leader of the Maldives. The PM says British tourists are advised against non-essential travel to the island and urges all parties there to respect the constitution.


    Ed Miliband also pays tribute to the Queen. Now he moves onto his first question. No surprises - it is on the NHS.


    The Labour leader says the PM vowed to take people with him on changes to the NHS and asks "what went wrong". But Mr Cameron says that 5O NHS trusts back the overhaul and cites former Labour MP Anne Campbell - now an NHS official - as one of its supporters.

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Ed Miliband is flanked by the shadow health secretary Andy Burnham and Labour deputy Harriet Harman who called for the health bill to be killed off yesterday - so it was unsurprising his first question was on health - he seems set to reveal further opposition to the bill from professional bodies.


    Noting that Andrew Lansley is in his seat - Ed Miliband says it is "good" that the health secretary is in the Commons but jokes he is sitting "some distance" from Mr Cameron.


    Mr Miliband says medical professionals believe the changes will "jeopardise" the future of the NHS. But Mr Cameron says he believes "passionately" in the future of the NHS and that Labour opposes not only organisational changes but increased investment in the health service.


    Ed Miliband notes that the Tory Reform Group does not support the NHS changes. He jokes it comes to something when the Tories don't trust the Tories on the NHS.

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Andrew Lansley has a Conservative whip sitting right next to him. Despite the negative briefings against him attributed to No 10 he will be pleased to see the PM defend his reforms - but so far there has been little explicit praise for the health secretary.


    Mr Cameron says there have been huge improvements to the NHS since the election, with more doctors and fewer hospital-acquired infections. In Wales, where there is a Labour government, the PM says waiting times have gone up.


    Ed Miliband says Mr Cameron's promises before the election to modernise the NHS are "coming back to haunt him". The PM thinks he "knows better" than doctors and nurses, he suggests.


    The coalition has cut \u00a34bn in bureaucracy from the NHS, the PM says. Under his leadership, operations are up and waiting lists are down, adding that "the NHS is improving and that is the way it will stay".


    The Labour leader defends the last government's record on the NHS and again presses the PM to drop the bill - saying it will save billions.


    The PM and Labour leader have been trading statistics on the NHS. Mr Miliband says the number of people waiting more than 18 weeks to be seen has risen by 43%. He calls the bill an "absolute disaster".


    Mr Cameron comes to the defence of his health secretary Andrew Lansley, saying his prospects are considerably better than Mr Miliband's. That ends a lively exchange between the two on the NHS.

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Health is one of the issues - unlike the economy - where polls suggest Labour is more trusted than the Conservatives so it's unsurprising that Ed Miliband devoted all his questions to the NHS reforms. He rightly identifies an achilles heel for the PM - his backing for the NHS did help 'detoxify' the Conservative brand and there is a danger that anything that goes wrong in the NHS will be attributed to reforms which few people fully understand.


    First hint that Andrew Lansley won't be reshuffled over the NHS reforms. Gesturing towards the health secretary the PM says his career prospects are better than the Labour leader's - it is only faint praise, but it's not damnation


    A question from Labour's Mark Hendrick on the UK's failure to land a contract from India for the Typhoon fighter jet. The PM says he is "very disappointed" by the decision but that "it is not out of the contest yet".


    The PM uses a question on cancer treatment to attack what he says is Labour's plan to place a 5% cap on private beds at NHS hospitals. He says this is a "crazy, left-wing" policy.


    David Cameron says the situation regarding radical cleric Abu Qatada - due to be freed on bail shortly - is "absolutely unacceptable". He says the government will do everything it can to get him deported to Jordan.


    Labour's Andrew Miller says four police authorities are buying patrol cars from South Korea, and mentions Olympic tickets being printed abroad before saying that the public sector should be buying British goods. David Cameron says what the public wants is for procurement costs to be reduced.


    The PM says the Ministry of Defence will purchase an additional C17 transport aircraft, which could be used to evacuate British nationals in an emergency situation such as in Libya last year.


    In response to another question the prime minister says the government takes the issue of stalking "very seriously" and there may be "opportunities" in the future for Parliament to consider tightening the law.

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Surprising that the Labour leader didn't make more of the faculty of public health's opposition to the NHS reforms, given that the timing of their announcement coincided with PMQs.


    Another question on Abu Qatada. Labour MP Stephen McCabe accuses the PM of being "complacent". The PM responds by saying that the cleric should have been deported "years ago" and he fundamentally disagrees with the European Court of Human Rights on the issue.


    On the typhoon contract, the PM is asked how many times he had spoken to the Indian prime minister over the bid. Mr Cameron said he had raised the issue "repeatedly" and accuses Labour of not supporting trade trips he had made to India and other countries.

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Clearly a second line of attack from Labour - after the NHS - is that the government isn't doing enough to stand up for British jobs. Topics from the party's backbenchers have ranged from the loss of a contract for military aircraft from India to the printing of Olympic tickets in the US.


    Labour's Barbara Keeley asks about the breast implants scandal and urges the PM to support women affected by faulty implants through the NHS. The PM says private clinics who carried out operations should feel "maximum pressure" to remedy the problem.


    Conservative MP Peter Bone notes the children's minister, Sarah Teather, failed to vote over proposed changes to welfare last week and asks why she is still in the government. The PM says Ms Teather "supports government policy as all ministers do".

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    That was a head-on attack from anti-coalition Conservative MP Peter Bone on Sarah Teather, the Lib Dem education minister


    A question from former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell on the situation in Syria. The PM says there needs to be "real engagement" with opposition groups and a strong "international alliance" to help get rid of what he says is a "dreadful regime".


    Another question on the NHS by Labour MP Alun Michael, asking for the bill to be withdrawn. Mr Cameron again attacks the state of the NHS in Wales, saying it is suffering from a lack of investment.


    Mr Cameron rounds off the session by answering a question on enterprise zones. The BBC's Andrew Neil notes that the session overran by six minutes.


    The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson says the Faculty of Public Health - which has about 3,000 members - has become the latest medical body to come out against the bill. He suggests, on Daily Politics, Ed Miliband did not have as much impact on the issue as two weeks ago but the PM still looked "pretty uncomfortable".

    Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Overall a confident performance from Ed Miliband but on a topic where Labour already has a lot of support - the main task he has is to convince voters Labour can be trusted on the economy as well as the NHS. The PM backed the health reforms more strongly than he appeared to back the health secretary, to whom he offered only faint praise on his career prospects.


    Alan Duncan tells the Daily Politics that the NHS cannot be "fossilised" and the proposed changes will actually "empower" GPs. But Labour's Liz Kendall tells the same programme that the bill can be stopped and the changes will "really start to bite" at a time when the NHS is already under severe pressure.


    On Sarah Teather, BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson says the Lib Dem minister had travelled to Sheffield on the day of the welfare votes but was known to have previously raised some concerns about the plans. For Tory MPs angry with coalition compromises, he adds, her absence from the Commons was another issue to raise their hackles.


    That concludes our coverage of Prime Minister's Questions for another week. The Commons begins a ten-day recess on Thursday so it will be two weeks before the party leaders square up again. Before then you can follow the NHS bill being debated in the House of Lords this afternoon on the BBC's Democracy Live website.


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