Prime Minister's Questions and Ukraine statement

Key Points

  • David Cameron answered questions from MPs for 30 minutes from noon
  • Ed Miliband and the PM clashed over the merits of energy price freezes
  • Mr Cameron also delivered a statement on the Ukraine situation
  1.  
    13:49:

    And with that, as MPs move on to legislation about the illegal importation of dogs, we'll wrap up our live coverage for today. Thanks for joining us - and don't forget you can watch everything happening in the Commons on the BBC's Democracy Live site.

     
  2.  
    13:48:

    Conservative MP Jason McCartney notes that his constituents "don't have to worry about industrial turbines blocking their beautiful views of the Pennine landscape", since the nearby offshore wind developments just announced are offshore.

     
  3.  
    13:47:

    Labour's Huw Irranca-Davies questions the PM's emphasis on fracking. What about renewables, he asks. David Cameron replies that: "Britain has got the biggest offshore renewables market anywhere in the world, and we can be very proud of that." In response to the next question, he adds: "We can develop shale gas in a way which is safe and can benefit local communities."

     
  4.  
    13:41:

    There is no rule that energy prices in Europe must be more expensive than the US, David Cameron says in response to another question on energy security. Across the EU, there is about "75% of the capacity of shale gas that they have in the US", he tells MPs. If EU leaders can find the political will, he continues, "we really can deliver this safe and secure energy for the future".

     
  5.  
    13:30:

    The UK's push for EU reform is strengthening the government's hand at EU negotiations, Conservative MP George Freeman contends, citing the outcome of the recent summit.

     
  6.  
    13:28:

    Conservative MP Ben Wallace asks the PM to look at whether UK security services have the resources they need to deal with Russia. David Cameron says that their funding has been maintained and in some cases increased.

     
  7.  
    13:26:

    Conservative MP Crispin Blunt welcomes the recent imposition of targeted Russian travel bans, but asks if the same could be imposed on what he says are the dozen or so people responsible for the promotion of anti-homosexuality measures in Uganda. The PM says we shouldn't be afraid of making our views name on such policies, but stops short of offering to bring in travel bans on Ugandan politicians.

     
  8.  
    13:22:

    SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie asks about nuclear terrorism. It is an important issue, David Cameron replies.

     
  9.  
    13:21:

    "We increase global threat when we show weakness in the face of resolve," argues Labour MP John Woodcock. We must not "downgrade to a part-time nuclear deterrent", he urges the PM. David Cameron "certainly" agrees.

     
  10.  
    13:20:

    The government is undertaking "a complete review of all the engagement between the UK and Russia" David Cameron says in response to a question from Labour's Chris Bryant. It cannot be "business as usual", the PM says.

     
  11.  
    13:19:

    Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood says freezing bank accounts is a bit feeble but reducing eastern Europe's energy dependency on Russian resources would be much more effective. David Cameron says this won't happen overnight, but lists a series of measures that he says will make the EU more resilient.

     
  12.  
    13:16:

    Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin asks what Russia actually thinks of an EU-Ukraine agreement on common security and defence policy. David Cameron says we should not be frightened of "all our foreign policies converging".

     
  13.  
    13:14:

    The PM rejects calls for the UK to send extra troops to Germany, saying giving reassurance to Nato members in the region and sending a clear message to Russia is what counts.

     
  14.  
    13:12:

    Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh praises the UK's "careful and proportionate" response to the crisis, suggesting the PM could act as a "broker" in finding a long-term diplomatic solution.

     
  15.  
    13:11:

    Labour's Ben Bradshaw says US sanctions are much tougher than those enacted by the EU. The PM disagrees, saying the EU has banned imports from Crimea passing through Russia while the US has not.

     
  16.  
    13:11:

    Tory MP Sir Richard Ottaway says it is time to consider the UK's foreign policy and diplomatic capabilities, suggesting that the UK spends more on the winter fuel allowance than it does on the Foreign Office budget.

     
  17.  
    13:10:

    Labour's Frank Dobson regrets that there has not been a "proper inquest" into Alexander Litvinenko's death. The PM says he supports a proper process, whether it is a conventional inquest or a "different form of inquiry" taking into account the national security implications.

     
  18.  
    13:02:

    The West's response to the crisis has been characterised by "bluster and bombast" - Labour's Peter Hain suggests. He warns Nato against any attempt to extend its alliance eastwards, thereby "encircling" Russia. In response, the PM says many Eastern European nations are grateful for the "protective cloak" of Nato.

     
  19.  
    12:59:

    Labour MP Sir Bob Ainsworth suggests the UK and its allies should have seen the crisis coming as the "nature" of President Putin's government was abundantly clear. The PM says the UK was right to take a "hard-headed" approach to Anglo-Russian relations in recent years, particularly its condemnation of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

     
  20.  
    12:57:

    On Ukraine, former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell urges the UK to use the crisis as an opportunity to strengthen its ties with Nato and the "transatlantic alliance".

     
  21.  
    12:54:

    Former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw commends the government's approach, saying it is doing all it can to exert pressure on Russia "without sending in the gunboats" - which he adds was never a realistic option.

     
  22.  
    12:53:

    Tory MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind says the West's response to the crisis has been "timid and hesitant" and will not "go down well in the judgement of history". The PM disagrees, saying it is too early to make such a statement and he believes the response has been "consistent and predictable",

     
  23.  
    12:51:

    Nato should reaffirms its security guarantees to the Baltic States in light of growing regional tensions, the PM adds.

     
  24.  
    12:51:

    On further sanctions - the PM says areas under consideration by the EU include energy, financial services, arms and trade.

     
  25.  
    12:48:

    In response, The PM says Ukraine should be a "bridge" between the European Union and Russia and allowed to develop relations with both.

     
  26.  
    12:46:

    Mr Miliband presses the PM for more details on where future sanctions could be imposed. He says Ukraine's "sovereignty and democratic transition" must be bolstered.

     
  27.  
    12:44:

    Daily Politics: Voters are not focusing on their own prosperity but that of their children and grandchildren, says Conservative MP Anna Soubry.

     
  28.  
    12:44:

    The Labour leader is now responding to the PM's statement. He says the Commons is "united in its outrage" at Russia's actions and says he supports efforts to isolate Moscow and impose "real costs" on President Putin and his allies.

     
  29.  
    12:42:

    Daily Politics: Labour is fretting behind the scenes about whether Ed Miliband is becoming a "one trick pony" on energy prices, says Nick Robinson, but Ed Miliband believes it is still working for him.

     
  30.  
    12:42:

    The new Ukrainian government must be supported, both politically and economically, the PM says - by the reduction of trade barriers and help to carry out free and fair elections.

     
  31.  
    12:41:

    The PM says Russia has a "clear choice" to make and "does not have to continue along this path" - warning that significant sanctions will follow if it does not change course.

     
  32.  
    12:40:

    Daily Politics: Conservative MP Anna Soubry says Labour should be "storming ahead" in the polls but claims voters understand that the economic recovery is on its way.

     
  33.  
    12:39:

    The PM is now running through the measures that the international community is taking against Russia in light of its annexation of Crimea. He mentions travel bans, sanctions, the cancellation of the Sochi summit and a future rebalancing of energy policy.

     
  34.  
    12:39:

    Daily Politics: Labour's Emma Reynolds claims SSE's price freeze was prompted by Ed Miliband's price freeze policy.

     
  35.  
    12:37:

    David Cameron says the EU has endorsed UK calls for an independent investigation into claims of human rights abuses during the civil war in Sri Lanka. He says the UN will vote on the issue later on Wednesday.

     
  36.  
    12:37:

    Daily Politics: BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson says SSE's announcement on fuel prices has rescued Ed Miliband from growing discontent with his leadership, as it throws the spotlight back on to his most popular policy.

     
  37.  
    12:35:

    MPs stream out of the Commons - we'll be sticking with it as the Prime Minister is now giving a statement on the EU council and nuclear summit he attended - Ukraine is likely to be the main subject of the statement.

     
  38.  
    12:34:

    One more question to report from before the end of PMQs as the veteran Labour MP David Winnick suggests the Cabinet is full of out-of-touch millionaires. The PM says he will never let Labour forget measures under their last government such as the abolition of the 10p tax band and a small rise in the state pension.

     
  39.  
    12:32:

    In response to a question about the 30 year anniversary of the Amritsar massacre in India, the PM says the UK should not be interfering in the ongoing inquiry but should celebrate the contribution to British society and culture made by Sikhs.

     
  40.  
    12:31:

    The session is now coming to a close. In response to a question from the Labour benches, the PM says the opposition's only economic argument is about fairness in spending cuts but, in reality, inequality and child poverty is coming down.

     
  41.  
    12:31: Paul Waugh, Politics Home

    tweets Cam blames LibDems for blocking hunting amendment .."I regret to say" there won't be "Govt agreement". Clegg will like that

     
  42.  
    12:30:

    Labour's Angela Smith asks about "rumours" over plans to amend the Hunting Act. The PM says there are always rumours about things. He says there have been consultations on the issue of changing the rules for hunts in upland areas but he "regrets" that this is unlikely to happen.

     
  43.  
    12:30:
    Speaker It wouldn't be the weekly Prime Minister's Questions without the Speaker having to intervene to seek a bit of quiet
     
  44.  
    12:28: John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday

    tweets EdM animated and pleased with himself at #PMQs, constantly talking at stony faced Osborne opposite but I can't hear what he's saying.

     
  45.  
    12:27:

    In response to a question from Tory David Burrowes, the PM lists a number of firms which have announced new jobs in the past few months.

     
  46.  
    12:26:

    A change of subject. Democratic Unionist Nigel Dodds asks about the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's support for the IRA and compensation for victims of violence. The PM says he will continue to raise the subject with the government in Tripoli.

     
  47.  
    12:25: Tony McNulty, former Labour minister

    tweets EdM - 'calm down dear', 'eyes down dear' - no, no, no - stay serious, stay on cost of living crisis.

     
  48.  
    12:25:

    Tory John Baron talks about belated cancer diagnoses and urges the prompt publication of figures. The PM says thousands of people have benefited from the cancer drugs fund, with £750m spent on cancer services.

     
  49.  
    12:24: Gaby Hinsliff, Grazia

    tweets Hmm. Not totes wise for PM to go on about Miliband's MPs briefing against him. Given that's not exactly unknown in Conservative party #pmqs

     
  50.  
    12:24: Norman Smith, BBC News

    tweets PM again signals manifesto pledge on Inheritance Tax -"We don't support a tax on family homes and will fight it v,strongly" #pmqs

     
  51.  
    12:24:

    Labour's Mary Glindon raises energy bills again. The PM says the government's pledge to roll back green and social levies has helped companies to reduce bills.

     
  52.  
    12:23:

    Tory MP Mel Stride says unemployment in his constituency has fallen by 20% in the past year and accuses Labour of "persistent negativity". Unsurprisingly, the PM agrees - saying the government's plans are boosting security.

     
  53.  
    12:23:
    Ed Miliband Ed Miliband awaits the PM's response to his question about energy price freezes
     
  54.  
    12:21: Isabel Hardman, The Spectator

    tweets Balls honking with laughter at that "it's the only time he'll get close to Number 10" joke from the PM #pmqs

     
  55.  
    12:21: Mark Ferguson, Labour List

    tweets Much better from Miliband today. Energy price freeze gave him a platform again today. A big radical policy will do that. More please #pmqs

     
  56.  
    12:21:

    Tory MP James Gray urges the PM to reverse "deep and damaging" cuts to the defence budget in light of events in Ukraine and general global insecurity. The PM says the UK still has the 4th largest defence budget in the world.

     
  57.  
    12:21:

    The PM defends the government's support for childcare, saying it is superior to what was offered by the last Labour administration.

     
  58.  
    12:20:

    The PM says he will look into the case raised by Jenny Chapman. Next, he uses a question from Tory Graham Brady to attack Lib Dem and Labour proposals for a mansion tax - which he suggests would penalise the "family home".

     
  59.  
    12:20:

    A question from Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames about redundancies at the Dunlop factory in his constituency. Labour's Jenny Chapman then urges the PM not to give a "pre-prepared answer" in response to a question about the death of a constituent and ambulance waiting times.

     
  60.  
    12:19:
    David Cameron David Cameron makes a point during his exchanges with Ed Miliband. Nick Clegg, left, has his own high profile clash with UKIP's Nigel Farage later
     
  61.  
    12:17: James Kirkup, The Telegraph

    tweets I'm not a fan of capital punishment, but after this, I'd be sorely tempted to support the execution of politicians making bingo jokes #pmqs

     
  62.  
    12:17: Joe Watts, London Evening Standard

    tweets Best #pmqs I've see for a while, both had something to say, well matched.

     
  63.  
    12:17:

    Labour's Derek Twigg says it is a scandal that some police officers are refusing to co-operate with the Hillsborough Inquiry. The PM says he expects all involved to take part to get to the truth of what happened.

     
  64.  
    12:16:

    Tory Stuart Andrew praises those raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder among military veterans. The PM agrees.

     
  65.  
    12:16:
    Stephen Pound Stephen Pound enjoyed the PM's joke about bingo being the only way the Labour leader will get close to the number ten
     
  66.  
    12:14:

    Labour MP Stephen Pound raises a "snobbish and disdainful" Tory advert on beer and bingo. The PM responds with a joke - suggesting that the MP enjoys a game of bingo "as it is the only time he gets close to No 10".

     
  67.  
    12:13: Harriett Baldwin, Tory MP

    tweets Labour benches immobile at #PMQs today with none of @Ed_Miliband 's backbenchers standing to ask a question. Glum faces behind him.

     
  68.  
    12:13:

    The leaders exchanges' come to an end with the PM saying the Labour leader is a man "without a plan and increasingly without a future".

     
  69.  
    12:12:

    The PM lists the government's economic achievements and says his party is rescuing the economy from the "ravages of Labour".

     
  70.  
    12:12: Matt Chorley, Mailonline

    tweets That "eyes down dear" joke from Miliband is one of the worst things I've heard #PMQs

     
  71.  
    12:12:

    Ed Miliband says the PM "cannot solve the cost of living crisis because he does not believe there is one".

     
  72.  
    12:11:

    Speaker John Bercow intervenes as noise levels rise. The PM says he is prepared to compare his record on living costs with Labour any time.

     
  73.  
    12:10: Michael Savage, The Times

    tweets A good joke from Cam, as he says it's great that Ed Miliband now appears to have read the budget... #pmqs

     
  74.  
    12:10:

    Ed Miliband has a dig at Chancellor George Osborne. Urging the PM to "calm down dear", he adds - in the case of the chancellor - it should be "eyes down dear". That's a reference to Mr Osborne's recent visit to a bingo hall.

     
  75.  
    12:10: Meg Munn, Labour MP

    tweets #PMQs strangely not very popular today. Gaps on the green benches.

     
  76.  
    12:10:

    The PM claims the Labour leader has voted against a Budget which contains a £7bn cut in energy costs. David Cameron says his Labour counterpart "has no clue about helping working people".

     
  77.  
    12:08:

    The Labour leader says the PM's objection to a price freeze has been "totally demolished", adding that the freeze will happen under a Labour government.

     
  78.  
    12:08: Peter Henley, BBC News

    tweets Job losses at Honda Swindon played down by David Cameron at #pmqs - company is "strong & successful - committed to UK"

     
  79.  
    12:07:

    Ed Miliband accuses the PM of being "weak" in not standing up to the big six energy firms. The PM's riposte is that the Labour leader is weak for not responding to the Budget or having a long-term economic strategy.

     
  80.  
    12:07:

    The two leaders are now trading statistics on energy bills. Ed Miliband says energy prices are rising by twice the level of inflation while the PM insists "bills are being cut under this government".

     
  81.  
    12:05: Jacqui Smith, former home secretary

    tweets Unusually I am watching PMQs live today - unlike a lot of Tories from the look of the benches. #pmqs

     
  82.  
    12:05:

    The PM has a go at the Labour leader, suggesting Labour MPs "cheer him in the Commons but brief against him outside".

     
  83.  
    12:04:

    The Labour leader asks why the PM is welcoming the freeze now when he was so sceptical six months ago.

     
  84.  
    12:04:

    Mr Cameron says the price freeze is "hugely welcome" but suggests that the Labour leader has not "read the small print" in the company's announcement.

     
  85.  
    12:04:

    The Labour leader raises the SSE price freeze. He brings up previous remarks by the PM who claimed that a price freeze was "unworkable" and "part of a communist plot".

     
  86.  
    12:02:

    Ed Miliband gets to his feet - to presumably ironic cheers from the Conservative benches.

     
  87.  
    12:02:

    Tory Justin Tomlinson asks about job losses at Honda in his Swindon constituency. The PM says he is concerned and will be working with local bodies to minimise the impact - adding Honda remains committed to the UK.

     
  88.  
    12:01: James Lyons, The Mirror

    tweets Warm-up bout before tonight's main event #PMQs

     
  89.  
    12:01:

    David Cameron is on his feet. The first question, from Labour's Rosie Cooper, is about dumping of hazardous waste in her Lancashire constituency.

     
  90.  
    11:59:

    The BBC's Nick Robinson is being taunted on Daily Politics about Manchester United's derby defeat last night. He is a big reds fan.

     
  91.  
    11:59:

    Will Sir Peter Tapsell make an appearance this week? The veteran Tory MP - who has asked the most questions at PMQs since 2010 - announced last week that he plans to retire in 2015.

     
  92.  
    11:59:

    The Commons is filling up. Welsh Office ministers are currently fielding questions.

     
  93.  
    11:56:

    For Labour, Emma Reynolds says ministers and unions should be negotiating about teachers' workloads and accuses education secretary Michael Gove of "playing political games".

     
  94.  
    11:56:

    Defence minister Anna Soubry condemns the teachers' strike on the Daily Politics, She accuses the NUT of being a "1970s dinosaur" and suggests schools reforms are making "good progress".

     
  95.  
    11:55:

    Asked on Daily Politics about a poll which suggests four out of five people do not see Mr Miliband as a prime minister in waiting, Ms Reynolds says the general election is the only poll that matters.

     
  96.  
    11:54:

    Speaking on the Daily Politics, Labour's Emma Reynolds says Ed Miliband, who has recently been receiving a lot of public advice from Labour colleagues, is the only party leader with the "ideas, values and policies" to take Britain forward.

     
  97.  
    11:53:

    Immediately after Prime Minister's Questions, at 12:30 GMT, Mr Cameron will be making a statement about last week's meeting of EU leaders, which was dominated by the crisis in Ukraine.

     
  98.  
    11:52:

    Nick Clegg will be a bystander at Prime Minister's Questions but he will be in the spotlight later when he takes part in a head-to-head debate with UKIP leader Nigel Farage on Europe. Will any Lib Dems seek to put down an early marker or mischievous Tories poke fun at the encounter?

     
  99.  
    11:51:

    What else could crop up? Backbenchers may raise Wednesday's teacher's strike in England and Wales, a Commons vote on a welfare cap and growing pressure for the decriminalisation of the BBC licence fee.

     
  100.  
    11:50:

    David Cameron has previously suggested that the idea of imposing a price freeze is a "con" and will result in prices go up. It could be mentioned by the Labour leader.

     
  101.  
    11:49:

    The issue of energy bills is likely to crop up after SSE said it would freeze prices until January 2016. Ministers have welcomed the move but Labour might well point out its pledge of a 20-month price freeze from the summer of 2015.

     
  102.  
    11:49:

    What can we expect today? Ed Miliband has been under a bit of pressure since the Budget, with some Labour backbenchers urging him to adopt a punchier, more direct style. Will we see some of that in the Commons?

     
  103.  
    11:47:

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. David Cameron and Ed Miliband will go head to head shortly after it begins at 12:00 GMT and then backbenchers will get their weekly chance to question the prime minister.

     

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