Recap: Prime Minister's Questions and Syria statement

Key points

  • David Cameron and Ed Miliband clashed over bankers' bonuses and welfare reforms
  • Foreign Secretary William Hague says UK plans more support for the Syrian opposition

Live text


  • Ed Lowther 
  • Kayte Rath 

Last updated 6 March 2013


Hello and welcome to our coverage of Prime Minister's Questions on a pleasantly mild day at Westminster. Spring is in the air, but the chill winds of economic uncertainty still blow. Bank lending is down, but shares are up. The picture is confusing. Will the UK's political leaders discuss the situation in detail today or are other topics on the agenda?


Labour leader Ed Miliband may choose to taunt David Cameron about the Conservatives' third place in the Eastleigh by-election, won by the Lib Dems. But fourth-placed Labour's share of the vote hardly changed, while UKIP's soared into second place.


Perhaps Mr Miliband will raise the EU proposals to cap bankers' bonuses at 100% of their salary, or up to 200% if shareholders approve. "We have a welfare cap but not a bankers' bonus cap," Labour's Mary Creagh tells BBC Two's Daily Politics.


Meanwhile, the situation in Syria continues to worsen and is "spiralling towards full-scale disaster", according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. As the number of people fleeing the conflict reaches one million, will any MP raise the crisis ahead of a full Commons statement on the subject?


London Mayor Boris Johnson says the bankers' bonus cap will "damage the interests of the whole of Europe". Conservative minister Ed Vaizey adds: "If you cap bankers' bonuses, the remuneration will simply transfer to their salaries." But the UK is isolated in the EU after finance ministers for other member states vowed to press ahead regardless.


Labour argues that the EU bonus cap is "a sensible way forward". Mary Creagh says: "The bankers haven't understood the huge damage that they've caused to the economy." Fears of a banking brain drain are overblown, she believes.


How will Ed Miliband approach his questions to the PM? "The next big political event is the Budget," notes the BBC's Nick Robinson. "He'll look for another theme about whose side are you really on."

TWEET 1202

Robin Brant, Political Correspondent, BBC News

tweets Contingent from Middle East - understand Saudi Arabia - in ambassadors gallery for pmqs. Translation headphones on.


We are under way. The first is question is from a Labour MP on the "bedroom tax". It is not a tax, protests the PM.


The government is increasing funds for research on dementia, and looking at new ways to improve the lives of sufferers, Mr Cameron says.