PMQs: Libya, Wedding Talk And Balls Told Off

Prime Minister’s Questions started with a congratulations to Ed Miliband – and ended with David Cameron telling Ed Balls to “shut up and listen to the answer”.

The Labour leader earlier revealed he and long-time partner Justine Thornton are to be married in May.

The PM offered his best wishes to Mr Miliband for his forthcoming nuptial from across the Commons chamber.

“On behalf of everyone in the House I can congratulate you and Justine on the happy news of your forthcoming wedding and, I am sure with everyone, to wish you a long and happy life together,” he said.

However, Mr Cameron added wryly: “When I was leader of the opposition I would have done anything to have a honeymoon. He probably feels the same way.”

When Mr Miliband got down to business he asked the PM if the Government was considering arming Libya’s rebels.


David Cameron

The PM offered his congratulations to Mr Miliband – and snapped at Ed Balls

US President Barack Obama has indicated he had not ruled out the option, while Foreign Secretary William Hague said it may be possible in “limited circumstances”.

In the past Mr Cameron has made clear that legal advice had indicated the UN arms embargo applied to both sides.

However he told the Commons the resolution did not “rule out the provision of assistance to those protecting civilians in certain circumstances”.

“We do not rule it out but we have not taken the decision to do so,” Mr Cameron said.

The Labour leader went on to argue with the PM over university tuition fees and police cuts.

A report by the chief inspector of constabulary said police forces in England and Wales face a “big challenge” to make cuts without having an impact on frontline staffing.


I wish the shadow chancellor would occasionally shut up and listen to the answer. I may be alone in finding him the most annoying person in modern politics.

David Cameron in PMQs

Mr Miliband asked Mr Cameron directly: “Will there be fewer frontline police officers in the years ahead?”

After some toing and froing, the PM answered: “There is no reason why there should be fewer frontline officers.

“Both parties agree the police budget has to be cut… The question is how do you make those cuts?

“We say, you’ve got to freeze police pay for two years, you’ve got to reform police allowances, you’ve got to cut their paperwork.

“Because you oppose all over those things, you’d have to make deeper cuts to police numbers.”

Mr Miliband responded: “It’s very simple, we propose 12% cuts in the policing budget, he’s proposing 20% cuts.


Ed Miliband at PMQs

Mr Miliband argued with the PM over university tuition fees and police cuts

“HMIC said if you go beyond 12% cuts, that is likely to lead to cuts in frontline officers, which is exactly what is happening up and down this country.”

A host of other issues were discussed following Mr Miliband’s questions, including terrorism in Northern Ireland, carbon pricing and state pensions.

But the sharpest barb from Mr Cameron was directed at Labour’s Ed Balls, who appeared to get under the PM’s skin while he was speaking.

“I wish the shadow chancellor would occasionally shut up and listen to the answer,” he snapped.

“I may be alone in finding him the most annoying person in modern politics.”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s