UK Politics

Prime Minister's Questions: Miliband says poverty getting worse

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Media captionEd Miliband: "More families are relying on food banks"

Ed Miliband has attacked the government's record on poverty, claiming more "working people are turning to food banks".

In animated exchanges with David Cameron, the Labour leader said the situation was "getting worse".

But the prime minister said tax changes under the coalition were helping the worst-paid in society.

Separately, he announced veterans of the Arctic Convoys in the Second World War would be awarded medals.

There will also be a clasp for veterans of Bomber Command, he said, in response to a question from Tory MP Oliver Colvile.

'Hungry children'

During Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Miliband said there had been a six-fold increase in last three years of the numbers relying on charity to avoid going hungry.

He said: "I never thought the Big Society was about feeding hungry children in Britain."

Mr Miliband accused the prime minister of being "out of touch". In a personal attack on Mr Cameron, said: "We know who this prime minister stands up for, because where was he last weekend? Back to his old ways, partying with [former News International boss] Rebekah Brooks, no doubt both looking forward to the Boxing Day hunt."

But Mr Cameron replied that the government had taken action to tackle inflation, increase employment and help with the cost of living.

The prime minister hit back at Mr Miliband, claiming he had "nothing to offer" the country "except for the same old something-for-nothing culture that got us in this mess in the first place".

Earlier, Mr Cameron told MPs he had accepted the recommendations of a review of military medals carried out by former diplomat Sir John Holmes.

He said: "I am very pleased that some of the brave men of the Arctic Convoys will get the recognition they so richly deserve for the very dangerous work they did.

"On Bomber Command, Sir John concluded that they have been treated inconsistently with those who served in Fighter Command."

The two leaders also discussed the expected return next year of 3,800 UK troops from Afghanistan next year.

Mr Miliband asked how many would remain after the end of 2014, the planned date for withdrawing most forces from the country.

Mr Cameron said: "We haven't made final decisions yet."

It was the last Prime Minister's Questions session of the year.