Nick Clegg backs 'eminently sensible' EU benefit changes

 
Nick Clegg Nick Clegg cautioned that any changes must be made in conjunction with other European states

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It is "sensible" to consider further curbs to the benefits EU migrants can claim, the deputy prime minister says.

It comes after Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said he was talking to other EU governments about trying to restrict access to welfare.

Nick Clegg told BBC Radio 5 live it was right to insist migrants "jump through hoops" before claiming benefits.

A three-month ban on EU migrants claiming UK out-of-work benefits came into force earlier this month.

The ban came after restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK were eased at the beginning of the year, prompting the debate surrounding so-called benefit tourism to resurface.

'Committed to country'

Mr Duncan Smith said the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland wanted to change EU law.

He told the Sunday Times there was "a growing groundswell of concern about the [immigration] issue" and Britain was "right in the middle of a large group of nations saying enough is enough".

He said he had been working with the other countries to bring pressure on Brussels to allow individual EU member countries to make their own rules stricter.

Mr Duncan Smith said the UK should require migrants to demonstrate they were "committed to the country" and they were "contributing".

"It could be a year, it could be two years, after that, then we will consider you a resident of the UK and be happy to pay you benefits," he said.

Sources close to Mr Duncan Smith stressed he was expressing an aspiration for the future rather than spelling out a policy.

Latest quarterly migration figures from the Office for National Statistics

Mr Clegg told Pienaar's Politics on BBC Radio 5 live: "That is eminently sensible to say that if we can come to an agreement that says you have to jump through certain hoops before you can claim benefits, having moved to a different European Union country, fine."

But he cautioned changes must be made in conjunction with other European states or there would be a "danger" of tit-for-tat changes made by other governments.

"The idea that somehow we can apply new criteria to Germans, Fins, Dutch, Austrians you name it, but somehow no new conditions would apply to Brits living in other European Union countries is fanciful," he said.

But he said he was not in favour of "pulling up the drawbridge, making us poorer, increasing joblessness and making us less relevant in the world by yanking us out of the European Union".

Labour is "in favour" of government efforts to work with other countries to curb benefits for EU migrants, said shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves.

"If they come up with concrete proposals that are workable, that are practical, that protects our social security system, that protects that principle that you have to pay something in before you get something out, we would support that," she told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News.

'Take back'

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has called for migrants to be barred from receiving benefits until they have been living in the UK for five years, while London Mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling suggested it should be two.

Start Quote

It goes against people's sense of fairness that the EU want an EU migrant to be treated in exactly the same way as a Brit when it comes to out-of-work benefits”

End Quote Matthew Pollard Executive director, Migration Watch

"There should be an assumption in the way our migration system works that before you move from one country to another, before you can start to take back from that country's social security system, you should have made a significant contribution," Mr Grayling told the BBC's Sunday Politics.

European commissioner Laszlo Andor insisted migrant workers were "net contributors" to the UK economy.

"They take out much less in the form of benefits or welfare services than what they contribute in the form of taxes or contributions to the system," the employment and social affairs commissioner told BBC Radio 4's The World this Weekend programme.

Economics professor Christian Dustmann said there was clear evidence about who was claiming more benefits.

"We have looked at the overall receipt of transfers and benefits, which of course include child benefit, housing benefit and other forms of benefits, and what we find is that migrants from EU countries are 33% less likely than UK natives to claim any form of benefits," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Prof Dustmann said there was "very little concern that immigrants from EU countries are free-riding on the UK's welfare system".

Matthew Pollard, executive director of Migration Watch UK, a think tank that supports tighter immigration controls, accepted EU migrants claimed less than UK nationals in out-of-work benefits but said it was "still right for the government to restrict access".

"It goes against people's sense of fairness that the EU want an EU migrant to be treated in exactly the same way as a Brit when it comes to out-of-work benefits. This undermines confidence in the welfare system as well as the EU in general," he told 5 live.

Meanwhile, more than 90 Conservative MPs have written to David Cameron urging him to give Parliament a national veto over current and future EU laws.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 211.

    @160. I am amazed. Clegg is actually supporting a sensible policy.

    Every so often politicians will support sensible policies.

    Usually when these policies align with their own political ends.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 210.

    Its good to know that the Government considered this before signing up to EU enlargement. Thanks Tony.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 209.

    We need to impose a ban on immigrants claiming any kind of benefit (including health and schooling - and certainly not provide endless translations of documents) for at least three years. The immigrant's home country should pay schooling and healthcare fees.

    The same, of course, should apply to Brits abroad.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 208.

    Cameron, then Miliband and now Clegg are now all talking about immigration and benefits. But ONLY after UKIP's rise in popularity at the local elections last year. They might not like it, but the message is loud and clear. people have had more than enough. UKIP's star will continue to rise all the time there is all talk and no action.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 207.

    It's not only EU migrants we should be discussing here. What about all those who have flocked here from Africa, Asia and South America. How did they get in and why should they be supported. All they seem to do is breed then claim they cannot be sent back to their countries of origin as their offspring are British.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 206.

    The real problem though is our benefits system. I fully agree that we should have a benefits system, it must change now as we cannot afford it. This must apply to everyone though including us Brits. Job seekers allowance for a max of 6 months. After that, all benefits cut unless you work ie Cleaning streets, work on flood defences, railways etc. Would love EU to go back to being EEC though

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 205.

    We are on a collision course with the EU over this. They want federalist harmonisation and full integration of social systems. We and the other principal wealth producers within the EU wish to achieve some autonomy over who we admit to our countries and what we pay them in welfare. The only viable solution is for the key protagonists to join forces in outright revolt against the EU Commission.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 204.

    19. Will. This is not a huge problem. You just think it is following the relentless, demonising media campaign. There is plenty of money for bailing our casino bankers, celebrating aristocrats, 'defence' - fighting wars in the Middle East, commemorating WW1 (£55 million) and sundry mad schemes. Our 'debts' are not 'our debts' at all. The poorest in society did not cause them.

  • Comment number 203.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 202.

    And let's make sure also that UK migrants e.g. pensioners to Spain can't benefit from their health system for free. Overall, we will have to pay more tax but that is fine because fairness is more important to British people than money...

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 201.

    We can't just expect to let every person who walks into our country have unlimited access to public services and benefits that they don't pay for. The amount we could save from limiting benefit tourists might even be enough to reduce some of the necessary public sector cuts.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 200.

    IDS is taking the right approach here.

    Maintain free movement, but restrict access to benefits, though this has to include the NHS and State Education, for which migrants should pay.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 199.

    Oh la la, people come to UK from East Europe for £71pw!
    They could go to Denmark and get 70% of the pay for their type of work.
    If I had known I was going to be unemployed this long, I would have moved to Denmark or France at 70% of my previous pay.
    con-dems/ukip want to use the cost of living differential, what was the difference when we imported en mass entire villages of the British RAJ?

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 198.

    Far too late Clegg you're history pretty soon fella! You should have listened to the people & complied with their wishes from the start!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 197.

    I'm not 100% convinced politicians are taking the right approach on this one, IMHO more people would be interested in them saying that any migrant who gets convicted of any crime gets deported immeditely after conviction with no right of appeal on any grounds (ECHR included). Not sure how they'd tackle the increasing numbers of 'crime day-trippers' though, that'd be trickier.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 196.

    #115 For a start, you can't get benefits unless you have been in the country for three months, and employed, anyway. Same applies to all EU countries. Beyond that point,tax/benefit rules of individual countries apply,not EU rules (sovereignty protected!).Strangely, some aspects of this can be regarded as a constraint on trade. But generally, if you've worked, you should be entitled to benefits.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 195.

    The E. European governments must love the EU. Get rid of your citizens to somewhere else. Therefore NO benefits to pay and reduce pressure on services, health, education etc literally over night. Reduce expenditure = more money to spend on self.
    That's right the idiot British tax payer will pay for it all and suffer the consequences...NOT ANY MORE, mate. Sling your hook!!!

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 194.

    99. The big flaw in the welfare system is that is not based upon human needs but is a political football when it should be about morality and justice. Also we have failed to introduce both a health and welfare insurance policy for all adults at 18 lasting for life. We expect people to be able to afford massive hikes in the cost of living from privatisation however.
    We have got it wrong here.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 193.

    I would not trust Clegg or any of his cronies.But it would appear hes taken on board the threat of the majority in this DEMOCRATIC country.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 192.

    You cant blame people from choosing to take an opportunity given to them. Hopefully in the long term the EU will improve living standards amongst all member states - not just provide cheap labour for the richer member states, I doubt many people will choose to leave their home and families just for job seekers allowance - would you?

 

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    14:43: PMQs reaction The Spectator

    The Spectator's political editor James Forsyth says that, with little of substance said between the party leaders, "at the end of PMQs, politics was in the same place as it was at the start" - and this suits David Cameron and the Conservatives, who are "now convinced that events are moving their way".

     
  49.  
    14:35: If I were PM... The Independent
    10 Downing Street

    The Independent is counting down the days to the general election by inviting one contributor every day to describe what he or she would do as prime minister. Political commentator John Rentoul was first up yesterday, saying he'd be like "a free-market version of Natalie Bennett".

    Today it's the turn of Frances Crook, the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

     
  50.  
    14:31: House of Commons Parliament

    Over in the House of Commons, the debate on government spending on the NHS is - quite predictably - proving to be a tetchy session. Health minister Dr Daniel Poulter is batting for the government, but there are lots of shouts being directed at him from sedentary positions on the Labour benches.

    House of Commons wide shot
     
  51.  
    14:25: Election battlegrounds The Daily Telegraph
    David Cameron and Ed Miliband

    Over at The Telegraph, James Kirkup provides a brief summary of the issues set to dominate the election - from the NHS and the economy to housing and "Dave vs Ed".

     
  52.  
    14:22: Auschwitz comments

    Comments made by Ex-Plaid Cymru leader Lord Wigley (pictured) comparing the Trident base in Scotland to Auschwitz concentration camp are branded "crass" and "offensive" by Conservative former Wales Secretary, David Jones. Mr Jones, Clwyd West MP, says it is right the peer apologised, albeit in a "mealy-mouthed" way. He says it was "not appropriate at any time" to use Auschwitz to make political points, "but to say it at Holocaust memorial time is even worse".

    Ex-Plaid Cymru leader Lord Wigley
     
  53.  
    @TimReidBBC Tim Reid, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Nicola Sturgeon says Europe at heart of SNP election campaign - party will seek future vote that EU exit only poss if all 4 nations agree

     
  54.  
    14:14: PMQs reaction The Mirror

    At the Mirror online, Sunday People political editor Nigel Nelson sketches a frustrating bout between David Cameron and Ed Miliband: "The PM has adopted a curious habit for these sessions of late. Whatever the Labour leader asks, Mr Cameron answers an entirely different question."

     
  55.  
    14:08: NHS major incidents BBC News Channel

    Commenting on the new guidelines given in the West Midlands, former NHS Trust chairman Roy Lilley says they are "sensible but... very tough". He says it is clear the timing is to do with the forthcoming general election "because the more hospitals that go in to declaring a major emergency the more embarrassing it gets for the government". But he says it puts hospitals in a "very difficult place" as the harder it becomes to declare a major incident, the greater the "risk" in delivering services.

     
  56.  
    13:58: PMQs reaction

    Something about today's PMQs seems to have got a lot of commentators rather frustrated. Mark Ferguson of the LabourList blog tweets: "I hate having to watch PMQs. Worst part of the job. Writing about this turgid nonsense is like drowning in nonsense." Mehdi Hasan, the Huffington Post UK's political director, is just as desperate in his tweet: "Completely pointless and childish #pmqs today. Seems to get worse each week. British politics at its most dire and unappealing."

     
  57.  
    13:56: Lord Wigley's statement Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    Lord Wigley has apologised for his remarks about Auschwitz. He said he was sorry if his remarks were open to misinterpretation. In a statement he said: "I am certainly sorry if my remarks were open to any misinterpretation and I apologise for any offence that has been caused. The point I was trying to make was that you can't have jobs at any cost and I reiterate that."

     
  58.  
    13:55: Apology for Auschwitz comments

    Plaid Cymru peer Lord Wigley has apologised for "any offence caused" after he compared the effects of a Trident submarine base to a Nazi death camp. Here's our story about his original comments which came on BBC Radio 4's World at One.

     
  59.  
    13:53: NHS strike in N Ireland

    A strike by NHS workers in Northern Ireland, including ambulance staff, is to go ahead tomorrow after the "failure" to match a pay offer in England, the GMB union has said.

     
  60.  
    13:48: TV debates The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Turning to the TV election debates, Lib Dem minister Simon Hughes predicts that they probably won't go ahead - but tells the World at One that the Lib Dems want them to. He says the situation has shifted from the initial proposition - which didn't allow the Lib Dems to put their case "equally" as a party of government - to a position where there are so many prospective players "it becomes a very difficult place". He adds that the Tories and Labour are now saying they're not happy unless the Northern Ireland parties are involved - but questions whether including a further three or four parties is realistic. "Honest judgement, money on it, I think probably they won't but we would like them to as long as there is fair treatment for us and others."

     
  61.  
    13:40: PMQs verdict New Statesman

    Over at the New Statesman, George Eaton judges David Cameron's "chutzpah" to have carried him over the line in this week's PMQs. "The session descended into one of the ugliest encounters yet between the two men," he writes, before notching up yet another defeat for Ed Miliband: "Most voters will notice Miliband's equivocation and the rhetorical exaggerations that Cameron provokes... the PM's ruthless form was testimony to his increasing confidence."

     
  62.  
    13:39: MoD... golf courses?

    Defence secretary Michael Fallon has raised eyebrows during his speech at the Institute of Government by revealing the Ministry of Defence owns 15 golf courses. After confirming his department needs to make more efficiency savings in the coming years, he suggested further cuts were essential. "How many cars and vehicles do we really need?" the Daily Mail quoted him as saying. "And does MoD really need to own 15 golf courses?"

    Michael Fallon
     
  63.  
    13:30: 'Weaponise the NHS'? The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Pressed over whether Ed Miliband said he wanted to "weaponise" the NHS, shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker says Labour will prioritise the health service because that, he says, is what the public wants.

     
  64.  
    13:28: Major incidents rules The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Asked about the guidance given to hospitals over when they call "major incidents", Lib Dem Justice Minister Simon Hughes tells Radio 4's World at One programme it seems "entirely sensible". Conservative minister Mark Harper says the document was issued by the NHS in West Midlands and ministers had nothing to do with it. He acknowledges there are "unprecedented pressures" on the NHS and says only a strong economy can deliver a sustainable NHS.

     
  65.  
    13:17: 'What is NHS England's involvement?' House of Commons Parliament

    Finally, Labour MP Clive Efford asks "what is NHS England's involvement?" in the guidance on major incidents. Jeremy Hunt says he is "quoting selectively" from the guidance. When a local health body makes a decision on a major incident, "it must make sure there isn't going to be a negative impact on the wider economy because patients must come first".

     
  66.  
    13:16: Conservatives reject 'war on Wales' charge Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    In the post-PMQs briefing, the Conservatives say Ed Miliband's claim the PM was mounting a "war on Wales" was an "extraordinary comment to make". PM was "absolutely right" to highlight problems in Welsh NHS, they add.

     
  67.  
    13:13: 'Rely on professionals' House of Commons Parliament

    Conservative MP Stephen Mosley says ministers should "rely on local health professionals to make the best choices". Jeremy Hunt agrees. "We don't want an NHS where every single operational decision is taken from behind the health secretary's desk," he tells the House, claiming that this approach will keep politics out.

     
  68.  
    13:07: 'My duty to weaponise NHS' House of Commons Parliament

    Labour MP Barry Sheerman says "it is my duty as a member of the opposition to weaponise" the NHS.

    He argues that Labour needs to win the election and stop the government's "disgraceful policies".

    Jeremy Hunt replies that "there are too many on the Labour side who think exactly like that".

     
  69.  
    13:04: TV debates Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Pollster Ben Page of Ipsos Mori, interviewed on the Daily Politics, says the televised election debates are "almost certain" to happen. He says voters aren't particularly bothered, "to be honest", about the to-and-fro over their exact format which is getting Westminster types so worked up. But he accepts David Cameron is doing well in negotiating to ensure the debates that suit him best.

     
  70.  
    13:03: 'One of the first' House of Commons Parliament

    Labour's David Winnick says Walsall Manor Hospital was "one of the first to declare a major incident" over demand in its A&E department. The Walsall North MP calls on the health secretary not to "minimise" the problems.

     
  71.  
    13:02: Ammunition for Labour Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    Norman Smith says the fact the NHS document at the centre of today's exchanges refers to local politics and the media will give Labour ammunition with which to maintain their claims that hospitals are being put under political pressure to avoid calling major incidents.

     
  72.  
    13:00: Breaking News Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    The former leader of Plaid Cymru has compared the Trident base on the Clyde to Auschwitz in an interview with the BBC. Lord Wigley's comments come the day after events across Europe to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camps.

    Asked about a report that the Trident base could be moved to Wales, Lord Wigley said: "No doubt there were many jobs provided in Auschwitz and places like that but that didn't justify their existence and neither does nuclear weapons justify having them in Pembrokeshire."He is currently Plaid Cymru's general election coordinator.

    (You can listen to the interview on BBC Radio 4's World at One, via the Live Coverage tab on this page.)

     
  73.  
    12:59: Women in politics Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    With a pic of New Labour's 'Blair babes' in the background, the Daily Politics is now looking at the issue of getting more women into Parliament. As Caroline Flint points out, Labour has more women MPs and ethnic minority MPs than all the other parties put together. But she adds: "There was positive discrimination going in favour of men in my party and in other parties for many, many years." David Willetts accepts the Conservatives "need to make more progress" - but says he hopes there will be many more Tory women in Parliament after the election.

    Daily Politics on women in politics
     
  74.  
    12:58: 'Not seen that way' House of Commons Parliament

    Gisela Stuart, the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, says that Jeremy Hunt's argument that the decision to declare a major incident is purely operational "is not seen that way on the ground". Mr Hunt insists that the decision "must be taken locally".

     
  75.  
    @bbcnickrobinson Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor

    tweets: Real NHS story is not who said what about it but who will do what to strengthen an NHS under real pressure in future #pmqs

     
  76.  
    12:53: In Pictures: Prime Minister's Questions
    PMQs
    PMQs
    PMQs
    PMQs
    PMQs
    PMQs
    PMQs
     
  77.  
    12:54: Listening to the doctors Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    On the Daily Politics, Conservative ex-minister David Willetts is debating how to improve the NHS with shadow energy and climate change secretary, Caroline Flint. He says that medical advice often suggests raising standards of care means there should be fewer A&E departments - with the inevitable result that A&E gets politicised. She replies by saying that "on one level they may say that, but too often that is said out of the context" - and that doctors have to focus on prevention as well as cure.

     
  78.  
    12:53: Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    Norman Smith says: "If anyone was in any doubt that the NHS was the top issue in the campaign currently, they just need to look at today's PMQs and following Emergency Question." Earlier this week a BBC/Populus poll suggested that people think the NHS is the most important issue to be covered by the news ahead of the election. The NHS came ahead of the economy, immigration, welfare and jobs.

     
  79.  
    12:50: 'Leaning from on high' House of Commons Parliament

    Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the Health Select Committee, asks for reassurance that "the secretary of state will never lean on operation decision-making". Mr Hunt says "that kind of leaning from on high" happened under Labour rather than under the present government.

     
  80.  
    12:47: 'A new low' House of Commons Parliament

    Jeremy Hunt says that Labour's "desperate desire to weaponise the NHS" means the opposition has reached "a new low". He accuses Labour of "focusing not on patients but on politics".

     
  81.  
    12:45: 'Called into question' House of Commons Parliament

    Andy Burnham says the NHS guidance he has seen means "the claims that this is purely local is called into question right now".

     
  82.  
    12:45: Keeping the backbenchers happy James Landale Deputy Political Editor, BBC News

    James Landale says Conservative MPs will be "relatively happy" with the PM's performance because he has "muddied the waters" on the NHS. "It was interesting the prime minister didn't directly refer to Alan Milburn, the former Labour health secretary's criticisms - he chose not to get into that debate. Instead he focused on the phrase 'weaponise' and on Wales again and again. As long as the Tories feel they have something to say about the issue, they'll probably be content."

     
  83.  
    13:17: Pienaar's verdict BBC Radio 5 live

    John Pienaar tells 5Live there were no great revelations in today's PMQs. He said in the run up to the elections, the sessions will become more about political campaigning and bashing the other side rather than presenting options and alternatives. He expects more information about parties' policies will emerge through the media.

     
  84.  
    12:44: Andy Burnham urgent question House of Commons Parliament

    Andy Burnham says Mr Hunt's claim "does not appear to be entirely accurate". The shadow health secretary claims that "major incidents should be agreed with the director on call with NHS England".

     
  85.  
    12:41: 'Local issue' House of Commons Parliament

    MPs can use urgent questions to require a minister to make a statement to the House at short notice. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says: "We have been brought here to discuss a local operational issue" which, he claims, Labour is trying to "spin". He adds: "The decision to declare a major incident is taken locally."

     
  86.  
    12:39: Commemoration service House of Commons Parliament

    David Cameron says the special commemorative event will be held at St Paul's Cathedral on 13 March to mark the end of British combat operations in Afghanistan.

     
  87.  
    12:39: Urgent question on the NHS House of Commons Parliament

    PMQs ends and now shadow health secretary Andy Burnham puts an urgent question to the government. He asks Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to make a statement on what guidance has been issued by NHS England on declaring a major incident.

     
  88.  
    @robindbrant Robin Brant, BBC Political Correspondent

    tweets: .@David_Cameron reveals there will be a special service at St Pauls and parade in March to mark end of UK military role in Afghanis

     
  89.  
    @paulwaugh Paul Waugh, PoliticsHome editor

    tweets: Cameron in supremely confident mood. Now even getting gag out of his chat with Greek PM: "I asked him what his long term economic plan was"

     
  90.  
    12:38: Greece's new PM House of Commons Parliament

    Jeremy Corbyn wants to know if David Cameron's had time to congratulate the new Greek prime minister - and help Greece write off their debt. The PM says he has had the "privilege" of speaking to Alexis Tsipras, and adds: "I asked him what his long-term economic plan was." That gets a lot of laughter from the government benches.

     
  91.  
    @anntreneman Ann Treneman, political sketchwriter

    tweets: Dave's voice is going on strike I think. This makes me wonder if Dave's frog in his throat is labour supporting

     
  92.  
    12:33: Trident 'not moving'

    The Ministry of Defence releases a statement saying: "Today's Scottish Daily Mail inaccurately reports that Ministry of Defence officials are examining plans to move Britain's nuclear-armed submarines from Scotland to Wales. The MOD is fully committed to retaining the deterrent on the Clyde and indeed we are basing all our submarines there from 2020. We can be very clear the MOD is therefore not planning to move the nuclear deterrent from HM Naval Base Clyde to Wales, or anywhere else."

     
  93.  
    12:33: House of Commons Parliament

    Conservative MPs cheer the mention of the party's "long-term economic plan" catchphrase by Lancashire and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw, who asks about support for coastal communities.

     
  94.  
    @ShippersUnbound Tim Shipman, Sunday Times political editor

    Tweets: In the House that felt like 4-2 to Cameron. On television I suspect it was 4-2 to Miliband. So I'm going 3-3. More hot air than light

     
  95.  
    12:29: Hinchingbrooke hospital House of Commons Parliament

    Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert raises the privately-run Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire. Mr Cameron says Labour is in confusion over the extent of private sector involvement in the NHS.

     
  96.  
    @nicholaswatt Nicholas Watt, Guardian chief political correspondent

    Tweets: Will @David_Cameron's voice last till end of PMQs

     
  97.  
    12:27: A whisper in Cameron's ear House of Commons Parliament

    George Osborne has a habit of whispering advice to the prime minister as questions are asked, and this week is no exception. He's leaned forward, unlike every other Cabinet frontbencher, throughout these exchanges so he can get past Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers to give Cameron hints.

    David Cameron answers questions at PMQs - with help from George Osborne
     
  98.  
    Vicki Young, BBC Political Correspondent

    tweets: Felt like both Cameron and Miliband went off script at #PMQs as they yelled at each other about NHS. Cam's voice croaky from shouting

     
  99.  
    12:25: Skinner on food banks House of Commons Parliament

    Labour veteran Dennis Skinner asks David Cameron to apologise to people using food banks, on "zero hours" contracts and using payday loans. Mr Cameron says the government has acted on food banks and zero hours contracts, and uses the question to mention criticism of Labour election tactics from former Labour ministers Alan Milburn and John Hutton in this morning's papers.

     
  100.  
    @bbcnickrobinson Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor

    tweets: Small irony. Watching from my sickbed as PM tries to shield himself on NHS by quoting my "weaponise" report. Time for an aspirin! :) #pmqs

     

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