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Live Reporting

Gavin Stamp

All times stated are UK

  1. Update: Reaction to the first PMQs of the year

    Today's PMQs focused, predictably, on the NHS. But the Punch and Judy nature of the session seemed particularly small in the light of events in Paris, writes James Forsyth for the Spectator.

    The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow offers his snap verdict of the session: "Cameron had the single best line, about Miliband wanting to "weaponise" the NHS and it not being a weapon, but that's a point about political spin, and Miliband's line about Cameron not apologising to patients, but blaming them, was almost as good (even though, as far as I recall, Cameron wasn't blaming them) and, overall, the Miliband onslaught was pretty effective."

    The Daily Telegraph's political correspondent Ben Riley-Smith notes that David Cameron indicated 16- and 17-year olds may be allowed to vote in the next election, after saying he is happy for MPs to vote on the matter.

    The Independent: Cameron "emerged unscathed", is John Rentoul's verdict. "If Miliband cannot secure a debating points win on Labour's comfort-zone subject of the NHS, then Labour's election campaign is in more trouble than I thought," he wrote.

    "Cameron fails to neutralise Miliband's NHS attack," opines George Eaton for the New Statesman. He adds:"The moment that it became clear that David Cameron had lost today's PMQs came when he charged Ed Miliband with using the NHS as a "political football": the traditional refuge of a Prime Minister in trouble."

  2. Moving on

    That concludes our coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and the urgent question on the NHS, a subject we are likely to hear a lot more about in the run-up to May's election. Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is now addressing MPs about the recent Stormont House agreement. BBC Democracy Live has live coverage of her statement and the rest of the day's proceedings in Parliament.

  3. NHS debate ends

    Commons Speaker John Bercow draws the A&E session to a close after more than a hour. More than 60 MPs asked questions, many drawing on the personal experiences of their constituents.

  4. 'Legitimate topic'

    BBC Radio 4

    Asked about Ed Miliband's alleged threat to "weaponise" the NHS as a political issue, his deputy Harriet Harman says the health service is a "legitimate political topic" and the government must bear responsibility for the "cracks that are showing" in the NHS. She tells the BBC that talk of pressures in the NHS are "mealy-mouthed" and it is patients who are suffering.

  5. 'Incredibly demoralising'

    In response to a question from Tory MP David Morris, Mr Hunt warns Labour MPs against "scaremongering" over the state of NHS services, saying it is "incredibly demoralising for staff working on the frontline".

  6. 'Cornerstone of democracy'

    BBC Radio 4

    Speaking on World at One, Chris Grayling and Harriet Harman have both condemned the deadly attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Mr Grayling said a free press was a cornerstone of democracy and Ms Harman said the attacks were a "fundamental" challenge to Western values. Both appealed for calm and warned of the dangers of a rise in Islamophobia in response.

  7. 'Unseemly squawk'

    It's getting heated in the Commons as Labour MP Clive Efford is told off by Speaker John Bercow for unparliamentary language. "It is unseemly to squawk", Mr Bercow says, after Mr Efford shouts what sounds like the word "idiot" as Mr Hunt responds to his questions about Lewisham Hospital. The Labour MP agrees to withdraw the comment.

  8. Tom Barton, BBC political reporter


    Tweets: "Peter Bone pays tribute to Kettering and Northampton Hospitals, which have recently treated Mrs Bone."

  9. Patient numbers

    Nick Triggle

    Health correspondent

    "If you focus solely on the numbers, it is easy to miss what is happening on the ground. The 2.4% figure equates to over 133,000 patients. That is a lot left waiting around - and that in turn causes delays elsewhere."

  10. 'Fake leaflets'

    In the Commons, Conservative Chloe Smith claims some of her local Labour opponents have put out leaflets with "fake NHS stories". Jeremy Hunt says it is important for all parties to act responsibly.

  11. 'Pithy and succinct'

    In the Commons, Speaker John Bercow calls for "pithy and succinct" questions with lots of MPs trying to get in on the A&E debate. He reminds them there is still another statement to come, from Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers.

  12. Election preview?

    The full-blooded exchanges at PMQs are likely to be a foretaste of what is to come in the run-up to May's election, with David Cameron focusing on the economy and Ed Miliband putting the NHS at the centre of the political spotlight. In the meantime, you can follow the current NHS debate in the Commons and the rest of the day's proceedings in the Chamber on the BBC Democracy website.

  13. Three factors

    Jeremy Hunt tells MPs three "broad factors" are behind the increase in A&E demand: An ageing population, younger people wanting "healthcare faster" and NHS trusts' refusal to "cut corners to hit targets".

  14. Merkel visit

    Events in France are likely to overshadow the rest of the day's political developments. David Cameron is due to accompany Angela Merkel to an exhibition at the British Museum as part of her visit to the UK and the two leaders are due to hold talks in Downing Street, culminating in a press conference later this afternoon.

  15. NHS questions

    Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is still taking questions from MPs on pressure on Accident and Emergency services, a topic that occupied much of PMQs. A number of Labour MPs are giving examples of overcrowding at their local hospitals.

  16. NHS 'weaponised'?

    During PMQs, David Cameron criticised Ed Miliband for saying he wanted to "weaponise" the NHS. But in the NHs exchanges afterwards in the Commons Labour MP Grahame Morris says: "It is a weapon, a powerful one for the treatment" of disease. Continuing the theme, he says the weapon has been "blunted" by government policies.

  17. PMQs pictures

    Sir Peter Tapsell
    Image caption: father of the house Sir Peter Tapsell asks about the Iraq Inquiry
  18. PMQs pictures

    Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May and George Osborne
    Image caption: Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May and George Osborne keep an eye on Labour's front bench
  19. PMQs pictures

    David Cameron
  20. Daily Politics: Paris reaction

    Back to events in France, the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says he believes it is the worst terrorist attack in modern French history. He says Charlie Hebdo was an "obvious target" and the tragedy represented a "shocking failure of security and intelligence".

  21. House of Commons: Target-chasing?

    Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, a former doctor who chairs the health select committee, asks for assurance that NHS staff will not be forced to "chase targets" at the expense of clinical priorities. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says she is correct.

  22. Fire engines

    In the Commons, Mr Burnham, shadow health secretary, says there are reports of police and fire vehicles being used to carry people to hospitals. He says cuts to social are the "root cause" of pressure on A&E wards.

  23. Pic: Burnham responds

    Labour's Andy Burnham responds to the minister's statement about A&E pressures. "Right now, too many vulnerable people are being exposed to too much risk," he says.

    Andy Burnham
  24. Pic: Jeremy Hunt in action

    Jeremy Hunt paid tribute to NHS staff as he brings his statement to a close.

    Jeremy Hunt
  25. PMQs reaction

    On the NHS exchanges in the Commons, Nick Robinson reflects on the fact that he was the first to be told before Christmas that Ed Miliband had used the phrase "weaponise" in conversations with his aides. He says the Labour leader could live to regret the comment because it left him open to claims from Mr Cameron that he was politicising the health service for his own benefit.

  26. Daily Politics: Paris reaction

    The Conservative MP Sam Gyimah tells the BBC's Daily Politics that people should not "be cowed" by the attacks, saying that the British people "carried on with their lives" after the 7/7 attacks in London.

  27. House of Commons: Winter pressures

    Jeremy Hunt tells the Commons the NHS in England has been given a record £700m to cope with winter pressures. He says "longer term solutions" are also being provided.

  28. PMQs reaction

    Reacting to Prime Minister's Questions and the attacks in France, Labour's Pat McFadden tells Daily Politics such an atrocity could happen in the UK and it is impossible for the security services to "protect us 100%" against those intent on murder.

  29. Urgent question

    Following Prime Minister's Questions, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is responding to an urgent question about accident and emergency pressures.

  30. Session ends

    PMQs ends with a question from Labour's Sir Gerald Kaufman on immigration. It was a lively affair dominated, as predicted, by the NHS. Don't forget that you can watch the session back by clicking through the live Daily Politics broadcast on this page.

  31. Biggin Hill

    The PM says the government will protect the chapel at the Biggin Hill airfield in south east London for future generations, citing the key role that the airfield played in the Battle of Britain.

  32. Dig at Balls

    David Cameron uses another question on the NHS to poke fun at Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and suggests there is "total chaos" on the Labour frontbench over the economy and its spending plans.

  33. James Landale, BBC deputy political editor


    Tweets: "Spotted: comedian Lee Mack in the gallery watching PMQs"

  34. Social care

    In response to another Labour question on the NHS, Mr Cameron says he is backing NHS chief executive Simon Stevens' plans for the future, including properly "joining-up" NHS and social care. He again suggests that Labour would not have matched the government's budget commitments since 2010.

  35. Iraq Inquiry

    Sir Peter Tapsell, the Father of the House, is the second MP to raise the Chilcot Inquiry. He suggests that the report was finished months ago and claims that the PM is "helpless" over the issue. The PM says the report is "largely finished" but those people criticised in the report are now being given the right to respond.

  36. Praise for NHS staff in Wigan

    Another question on the NHS from Labour's Lisa Nandy. She praises staff in Wigan for giving a dying woman her last wish by enabling her to pat her favourite horse in the car park of the hospital, saying this epitomises the compassion of NHS professionals. Mr Cameron agrees that they do wonderful work.

  37. Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post political editor


    Tweets: "Ed Balls teasing Tories opposite by urging them to cheer a bit more for the Prime Minister #pmqs"

  38. Iraq inquiry delays

    The Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd says there have been "inordinate delays" in the publication of the Iraq Inquiry report and says it will be "bizarre" if it does not come out before the general election. The PM says he shares the MP's "immense frustration" with the time taken but says the inquiry is independent and he "is not able to order" its publication.

  39. Economy v NHS

    A question from a Conservative MP about employment in Humberside gives the PM an opportunity to list the government's achievements in the area. We are then back onto the NHS with Labour's Chi Onwurah accusing the government of putting "competition before compassion" and fragmenting the NHS to the benefit of the PM's "buddies". In response, the PM highlights the differences in performance between the NHS in England and Wales.

  40. Kiran Stacey, Financial Times


    Tweets: "Loving the warm and loving body language of Osborne and Theresa May next to each other on the front bench. #PMQs"

  41. NHS continues to dominate

    Another question on the NHS from Labour's Virendra Sharma. It seems there is a calculated effort from the opposition to focus on the NHS. Mr Cameron responds by highlighting Scottish Labour's plan to use the proceeds of a "mansion tax" to pay for new nurses in Scotland, wondering how the Ealing MP "would explain that to his constituents" in London.

  42. Pic: Cameron in action

    David Cameron
  43. Pic: Miliband in action

    Ed Miliband
  44. James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph


    Tweets: "I know Cameron says he remains committed to voting at age 18 but it still feels like the UK is moving towards 16. #pmqs"

  45. Oil prices

    Labour's Anas Sarwar says falling oil prices are good news for consumers but bad news for the North Sea industry and those who work in it. The PM uses the question to attack the SNP, claiming that they were mistaken to base their case for Scottish independence on future oil revenues.

  46. James Chapman, Daily Mail political editor


    Tweets: "5-1 to Ed Miliband in #pmqs exchanges on NHS"

  47. Thalidomide

    The Lib Dem Michael Moore calls for a "fair and decent settlement" for victims of thalidomide from the 1960s and urges him to raise the issue with Angela Merkel. The PM says he will consider the issue.

  48. John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday columnist


    Tweets: "If EdM can't beat Cam on the NHS, the election is all over #PMQs"

  49. Voting age

    Labour's John Robertson calls for votes for 16 and 17 year olds at all future UK elections. Mr Cameron says he thinks, personally, that 18 is the right age for the franchise but suggests there could be a free vote on the issue in the Commons.

  50. Economic cheer

    A change in tone as the Speaker calls Sir David Amess, the longstanding Tory MP who was knighted in the New Year's honours list. He is widely cheered across the House. The MP praises the government's record on the economy, saying that it underpins all of the public services the country relies upon.

  51. Isabel Hardman, The Spectator


    Tweets: "Theresa May helpfully filling up PM's glass with water as he turns a bit hoarse during these exchanges."

  52. Health continues to dominate

    The leaders exchanges are now over and we are onto questions from backbenchers. But the session is still being dominated by the NHS, with Labour's Jamie Reed suggesting that patients are being forced to "camp out in tents".

  53. Safe in whose hands?

    Mr Miliband counters that the only way to resolve the problems in the NHS is a change of government. Mr Cameron himself responds by suggesting that a future Labour government would wreck the economy and endanger the future of the health service.

  54. Michael Savage, The Times


    Tweets: '"Get rid of this useless prime minister," says Ed Miliband, who will not be deploying negative campaigning at this election. #PMQs'

  55. Hotting up

    The exchanges are getting really heated now. The PM says that Ed Miliband had threatened to "weaponise" the issue of the NHS in the run-up to May's election, saying this was a "disgusting" thing to say.

  56. NHS clash

    The two leaders are trading insults about the NHS, forcing Commons Speaker John Bercow to intervene briefly. Mr Miliband attacks the government's "pointless" top-down re-organisation, but the PM says that it has saved £5bn in unnecessary bureaucracy.

  57. Michael White, The Guardian


    Tweets: "#PMQ Whoops! Dave said most patients get treated "within four years" and had to say "hours" One for the sketch writers"

  58. PM hits back

    The PM accuses the Labour leader of using the NHS as a "political football" and says Mr Miliband has "absolutely no solutions" to the problems. Mr Miliband counters that the issue is about politics and the solution is to "get rid of this useless prime minister".

  59. Patients to blame?

    The Labour leader accuses the PM of "blaming patients" for the current problems, saying they are a "direct result" of government decisions, such as closing walk-in centres.

  60. A&E problems predictable?

    Ed Miliband urges the PM to apologise for failing to anticipate the problem at A&E. The PM says that anyone who does not get proper treatment is a source of regret but he says that there are more nurses and doctors in the NHS since 2010.

  61. Nicholas Soames, Conservative MP


    Tweets: "Packed house for PMQs good answer by PM on A&E pressures including correct tribute to NHS emergency staff"

  62. Rise in demand

    The PM says that "any health service in the world" would struggle to cope with the rise in demand seen in recent months.

  63. Miliband on NHS

    The Labour leader moves onto the NHS. He says health staff are doing a "valiant job" but the problems are mounting and asks the PM whether he accepts the NHS "is facing a crisis".

  64. Craig Woodhouse, The Sun political correspondent


    Tweets: "Lib Dem Martin Horwood uses 1st q at #PMQs to go on the attack over NHS. With friends like those..."

  65. Miliband

    Ed Miliband is on his feet. He expresses his "horror and outrage" at events in France and says "we are united in our determination" to defeat those behind such attacks.

  66. NHS question

    The first question is from Lib Dem Martin Horwood about pressures in the NHS. The PM says the NHS has faced "unprecedented challenges" in the last three months, with an extra 250,000 people visiting A&E. The number of people using the 111 service has doubled in the past year, he adds.

  67. Under way

    The PM is on his feet. He condemns the "barbaric" attack in Paris, saying the UK "stands united" with French people in their opposition to such atrocities and stands fully behind democracy.

  68. Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor


    Tweets: "Terrorist killings in Paris surely change likely tone of #pmqs. No bust up now over NHS?"

  69. Clegg on Paris

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the killings in Paris were a "barbaric attack on freedom of speech".

  70. Filling up

    The Commons benches are filling up as Francis Maude and his ministerial team at the Cabinet Office field questions.

  71. NHS

    Back briefly to the NHS, Pat McFadden tells the BBC's Daily Politics that there is a "winter crisis" in the NHS before winter has truly begun. In response, the Conservative minister Sam Gyimah says it is a "hugely pressured and difficult situation", partly due to "long-term structural" issues such as an ageing society. He says there are 6,000 more doctors in the NHS since 2010.

  72. Tony McNulty, former Labour MP


    Tweets: "Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and all in Paris. Horrendous act of mass murder - appalling."

  73. Cameron's response

    Ahead of PMQs, David Cameron has described the deadly attacks in Paris as "sickening" and said he "stands with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press".

  74. Paris reaction

    Reflecting on the attacks in Paris, shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden tells the BBC's Daily Politics nobody should be attacked for anything they write or for illustrations such as cartoons.

  75. Editor, Politics Home


    Tweets: "11 dead in Paris, inc two police, means #PMQs will be more sombre affair. Will EdM hv to leave NHS to Burnham UQ?"

  76. Philip Hammond, foreign secretary


    Tweets: "Appalled to hear news of apparent terrorist attack in Paris. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed."

  77. Merkel-Cameron talks

    David Cameron is due to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Wednesday in Downing Street. The incident in Paris is now likely to overshadow the discussions, which has been supposed to focus on the global economy and EU reforms.

  78. French shooting

    The French police have now confirmed that at least 10 people have been killed in the shooting in Paris following an attack by a number of gunmen. French President Francois Hollande has called an emergency cabinet meeting.

  79. Events in France

    The tone of today's session could change dramatically due to unfolding events in France. There are reports of multiple casualties in a shooting at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Follow live updates.

  80. Health summit

    Labour has called for an urgent summit to address the difficulties in A&E but the Department of Health has rejected this, acknowledging there are pressures but stressing that ministers have been holding weekly meeting about A&E performance for more than a year.

  81. NHS

    Nearly 10 A&E units have declared "major incidents" in recent days, cancelling routine operations and taking other emergency measures, due to demand on services. It comes after figures showed the NHS missed its A&E waiting time target for the last three months of 2014.

  82. What to expect?

    Westminster commentators had seemed to be agreed that the session will be dominated by the NHS and continuing problems at Accident & Emergency units across the UK. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to update MPs on the current situation at 12.30pm, responding to an urgent question from his Labour opposite number Andy Burnham.

  83. It's been a while....

    This is the first Prime Minister's Questions of 2015 and the first for three weeks after the Christmas recess.

  84. Morning

    Hello and welcome to our coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. David Cameron will face Ed Miliband across the despatch box in the House of Commons at just after noon.