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

  1.  
    12:54:

    And with that, we're ending our live coverage for now. Here's the news story on "dunce v Muppets". You can follow all the action this afternoon from the Commons on Democracy Live. We'll be covering the main clash of the day - Clegg v Farage - in full this evening with live video and text, taking in all the action, reaction and analysis. You can also watch the whole debate live on BBC Two and there is also a BBC News Channel special programme from 18:30 BST to 21:00 BST. If you're following the debate on Twitter, BBC correspondents and producers will be using the hashtag #europedebate.

     
  2.  
    12:49:

    The session is likely to help Ed Miliband, BBC political editor Nick Robinson continues, because the opposition leader will be able to urge his detractors to hold their nerve and claim the cost-of-living theme is "working just fine".

     
  3.  
    12:44:

    "A lot of people are going to remember that exchange for the abuse - the 'dunces', the 'Muppets'," BBC political editor Nick Robinson says. "But I think that what could last was the talk of a broken gentlemen's agreement on Royal Mail shares." He argues that Ed Miliband's line of attack that "when the government has a choice, it helps its chums in the City but not ordinary folk" could resonate with voters.

     
  4.  
    Sean Curran, BBC Parliamentary correspondent

    tweets A pretty rowdy #PMQs no name checks for Len McCluskey, Nick Clegg or Nigel Farage

     
  5.  
    12:42:

    The use of the word "investment" in the context of Royal Mail was taken to mean part-privatisation, Andrew Neil says. Labour's Emily Thornberry denies that Labour had committed to this path, and its advocates - including then Business Secretary Lord Mandelson - did not enjoy much support in the party.

     
  6.  
    12:38:

    BBC presenter Andrew Neil is reading out Labour manifestos on the Daily Politics. There is no mention of a pledge to privatise Royal Mail in Labour's 2010 manifesto, he tells Conservative David Willetts - contrary to David Cameron's assertion during the question session.

     
  7.  
    12:37:

    BBC News Channel chief political correspondent Norman Smith says Punch and Judy was well and truly back at Prime Minister's Questions today. He also thinks we may hear more about the "braying" at Siobhan McDonagh after she forgot her lines.

     
  8.  
    12:36:

    The final question is from Conservative MP Andrew Selous, allowing the PM the chance to make one final dig at Labour.

     
  9.  
    12:35:

    Ed Miliband not only has a "blank page" on policy but an "empty head", David Cameron tells MPs.

     
  10.  
    12:33:

    Lib Dem Greg Mulholland wants a more competitive pub industry. "We do want to look very carefully at what more we can do to make sure there are fair outcomes for Britain's publicans," David Cameron says.

     
  11.  
    12:32:

    Labour's Ian Murray raises the tragic death of a pupil in his constituency who died when a wall collapsed at a local school. "This was an absolutely shocking accident," the PM says.

     
  12.  
    12:32:

    Conservative MP Guy Opperman cites the government's "long-term economic plan" as part of the reason why the campaign to cut VAT on air ambulances had been successful.

     
  13.  
    12:29:

    David Cameron declines a Scottish plea for an apology for the poll tax, 25 years on.

     
  14.  
    12:28:

    Conservative MP for Monmouth David TC Davies says the NHS in England, overseen by the government in Westminster, is providing a much better service than the NHS in Wales, overseen by the devolved Labour government. There are now "NHS refugees" leaving his constituency, he claims.

     
  15.  
    12:26:

    Labour's Siobhain McDonagh forgets her lines as she questions the PM on a charge imposed on new police recruits, which she describes as the "bobby tax", prompting some "braying and sneering" from the Conservative backbenches, according to an intervention from Speaker Bercow. When it comes to the reply, David Cameron says "it is not a tax".

     
  16.  
    12:25:

    Lib Dem MP Roger Williams warns that many off-grid energy consumers are living in fuel poverty. David Cameron agrees that this is an "important point".

     
  17.  
    12:25:

    Labour MP Geraint Davies asks the PM to congratulate Unite the Union for fighting for a fair deal for Ford workers.

     
  18.  
    12:24:

    Labour MP Jim Dobbin urges the government to ratify an EU-wide standard for the protection of children against sexual exploitation. David Cameron says the agreement has been signed, but some further work is needed before it can be ratified. He pledges to keep the MP informed on progress.

     
  19.  
    Rafael Behr, New Statesman

    tweets Good #pmqs for Ed M on Royal Mail. When Cam is wibbling off topic about unions it's usually a sign that he's lost the argument.

     
  20.  
    12:21:

    Labour's Kate Hoey asks the PM to give a commitment that pensioners and benefits claimants will continue to be able to access their money through the Post Office. "I'll look very closely at what she says," David Cameron says.

     
  21.  
    Mary Creagh, Shadow transport secretary

    tweets Cameron utterly woeful at #pmqs. No answers on govt's gentleman's agreement with 16 city Institutions not to sell Royal Mail shares.

     
  22.  
    12:19:

    Conservative MP for Cleethorpes Martin Vickers says he wants his area to become "the green energy capital of the UK". David Cameron draws attention to the importance of apprenticeships in reply.

     
  23.  
    Steve Hawkes, The Sun

    tweets Despite a very embarrassing Royal Mail botch job the PM took Ed M to the cleaners there ..#pmqs

     
  24.  
    12:18:

    "We need to make it easier for businesses to take on their first employee," David Cameron says in response to a Conservative question on entrepreneurialism. "Every business will see a tax reduction of up to £2,000," he says.

     
  25.  
    12:18:
    ed miliband Ed Miliband criticised the way Royal Mail was sold
     
  26.  
    12:16:

    Labour MP for Copeland Jamie Reed says his local hospital is in crisis. Will the PM commit to assist me in retaining consultant-led services there, he asks. The government decided to protect NHS spending in England, David Cameron says.

     
  27.  
    Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets Not sure dunces or muppets is parliamentary language but here's what the old boys may have thought of #pmqs pic.twitter.com/UQm6MoxMSH

    Stadtler and Waldorf
     
  28.  
    12:15:
    David Cameron David Cameron defends the Royal Mail sale
     
  29.  
    12:15:

    Lib Dem Martin Horwood wonders why local people are not having more say in planning decisions.

     
  30.  
    12:14:

    Labour MP for Glasgow Central Anas Sarwar says that what people across the UK need is the rejection of Conservative economic policies - an idea that David Cameron finds unappealing.

     
  31.  
    12:14:

    Conservative MP Chloe Smith asks about rail links to Norwich.

     
  32.  
    12:14:

    The leaders' clash is over, and the questioning shifts to the backbenches.

     
  33.  
    Norman Smith, BBC News

    tweets Ed Miliband calls PM a "dunce". PM calls him a "muppet" Punch and Judy is back #pmqs

     
  34.  
    Martyn Brown, Daily Express

    tweets Ed Miliband is fizzing in #PMQs today. Eyes out on stalks as he attacks Cameron over Royal Mail

     
  35.  
    Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post UK

    tweets The PM just called the Leader of the Opposition & the shadow chancellor "two muppets". Who was it who wanted to end Punch and Judy at #pmqs?

     
  36.  
    Chris Mason, BBC News

    tweets Groans from Conservatives as Ed Miliband describes the PM as the 'dunce of Downing St' #PMQs

     
  37.  
    12:12:

    David Cameron picks up on the line that the Royal Mail line was a "sale that nobody wanted". He says, to Tory laughter and Labour head shaking, "it was in the Labour manifesto"

     
  38.  
    12:12:

    "The government stands up for the wrong people," Ed Miliband says.

     
  39.  
    12:11:

    David Cameron says Labour has a "leader that hasn't got a clue". Ed Miliband hits back: "He's gone as red as a post box."

     
  40.  
    12:10:

    Ed Miliband presses the PM on whether a "gentlemen's agreement" not to sell the shares has been broken. The PM denies it.

     
  41.  
    12:10:

    Labour had tried to privatise the Royal Mail but were prevented by the unions, David Cameron says. "They're weak," he declares.

     
  42.  
    12:10:

    The government flogged the shares at "mates' rates to his friends in the City", Ed Miliband alleges.

     
  43.  
    12:10:

    Speaker John Bercow intervenes, attempting to silence "juveniles" in the chamber.

     
  44.  
    12:10:

    The taxpayer got £1.4bn less for the sale of Royal Mail than it is worth today, Ed Miliband continues.

     
  45.  
    12:09:

    David Cameron calls Ed Miliband and Ed Balls "muppets" in an increasingly rancorous exchange.

     
  46.  
    12:09: Craig Woodhouse, The Sun

    tweets I wouldn't be surprised if Ed's new head of broadcasting sorts out the pointy finger thing he does as the despatch box. #pmqs

     
  47.  
    12:06:

    Today the price is 563p per share, Ed Miliband says. "Not so much the Wolf of Wall Street as the Dunce of Downing Street."

     
  48.  
    12:06:

    In the public sector, the Royal Mail had been making huge losses, David Cameron says. It is now in the private sector, making profits and paying taxes, he claims.

     
  49.  
    12:05: Peter Henley, BBC News

    tweets Culture Sec Maria Miller sitting close to PM for #pmqs - confidence over the inquiry into her expenses, which reports tomorrow?

     
  50.  
    12:05:

    He sold the shares for 330p, Ed Miliband notes - before asking David Cameron to let MPs know how much they are worth now. "They are trading ahead of where they were," the PM says.

     
  51.  
    12:05:

    The sale of the Royal Mail earned the taxpayer £2bn, the PM replies.

     
  52.  
    12:04:

    So the prediction of likely topics were spot on."What is his excuse for the Royal Mail fiasco?" Ed Miliband demands of the PM.

     
  53.  
    12:04: Chris Mason, BBC News

    tweets Jeremy Corbyn tells Commons of threat of 'social cleansing of inner city Britain'

     
  54.  
    12:04:

    Every Labour government has left office with unemployment higher than it was when they took office, David Cameron says. It came in response to a question from Conservative MP Stephen Dorrell.

     
  55.  
    12:03:

    "Full on rent control" has been tried in the past and has destroyed the private rented sector, PM David Cameron replies.

     
  56.  
    12:03:

    And we're off. The first question is from Labour leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn who calls for rent regulation to "give people security and peace of mind".

     
  57.  
    12:03:

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson adds. "They have got an independent spending watchdog saying that hundreds of millions of pounds that the taxpayer could have had they have not got... if you can't score a goal with that sort of help, what chance have you got?"

     
  58.  
    12:01:

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says Royal Mail is an irresistible line of attack for Ed Miliband.

     
  59.  
    11:59: Sean Curran, BBC News

    tweets Ed Miliband & Ed Balls in place on Labour benches in @HouseofCommons

     
  60.  
    11:57: Vincent Moss, Sunday Mirror

    tweets Imagine botched sale of Royal Mail & NAO criticism will be hard for @Ed_Miliband to resist raising at #pmqs

     
  61.  
    11:56:

    On BBC Two's Daily Politics, Universities minister David Willetts denies all knowledge of an apparent briefing from an unnamed minister in the Guardian that an independent Scotland might be able to keep the pound. It wouldn't, he says - a view that had previously been stated by all three major parties in Westminster but dismissed by the Scottish National Party.

     
  62.  
    11:54: Conservative MP Michael Fabricant

    tweets: A little rain forecast for Westminster. More Sahara dumped on my car. Should I sit in #PMQs with a face mask to filter it out? #inconspicuous

     
  63.  
    11:54: BBC Politics

    tweets: Sneak peek: The view for either Clegg or Farage in tonight's BBC #europedebate (though all seats will be taken...)

    BBC studio
     
  64.  
    11:53:

    Freezing energy prices are to dominate the rest of the day in the Commons chamber, at the behest of the opposition - it is Labour's turn to choose the topic for debate. Will Ed Miliband trail ahead to this at PMQs with a return to his familiar refrain on energy bills and the "cost-of-living crisis"?

     
  65.  
    11:53:

    Another possible topic is the Royal Mail. This week has seen a report from spending watchdog the National Audit Office saying the privatisation of the postal service had been rushed, at the expense of value for money for taxpayers.

     
  66.  
    11:52:

    A possible topic that Ed Miliband may seek to raise is the recent report from the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, which says that housing benefit changes in England, Scotland and Wales are creating "financial hardship and distress" for disabled people.

     
  67.  
    11:51:

    Will either Mr Cameron or Mr Miliband publicly repudiate Nigel Farage's professed admiration for the strategic nouse of Vladimir Putin? The UKIP man has said he is ready for a "ding-dong" with the deputy PM over his views. Mr Clegg said the comments were "utterly grotesque".

     
  68.  
    11:51:

    Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of PM David Cameron's weekly despatch-box tussle with opposition leader Ed Miliband. Unusually, this looks likely not to be the highest-profile political clash of the day with all eyes later on Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage.

     

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.