Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Prime Minister's Questions: Live Blog
Bernard Jenkin asks question about the World Bank. Stephen Pound asks planted question about police morale - doesn't even get a joke in. Finishes by asking PM to acknowledge role of Police in "making our communities safer". Laughter from Tory benches. Cameron asks a measured question asking PM to accept that measures taken after July were completely insufficient. Blair reads the first part of his answer. Said put £3million into solving it and extra staff. Says it's now solved. All foreign deportees now dealt with. Blair then tries to say it was happening before 1999. Figures only collected since 1999. Cameron says 288 prisoners released since July. Why did Home Secretary describe it as "very very few people"? Blair talks about extra resources again and said it took time to gt new system into place. Speaking very calmly. Says system is working properly since 1 April. Cameron says he hasn't answered question. Says Clarke was misleading. Attacks Calrke for systemic failure and misleading people about scale of problem. Says Clarke cannot give Home Office leadership it badly needs. Blair repeats point about system now working and 800 people have been sent back since October. Cameron said we learnt this morning we learnt Clarke offered to resign. Did PM know even after Govt told about systemic failure 288 prisoners were not deported. Blair again repeats point about having taken action. ignores Cameron's question about Clarke resigning. Cameron repeats: Did PM know or not. Blair says no, he didn't know the detail. Wrong to say Home Sec concealed the figures. Cameron says Blair should protect public, not his incompetent Ministers' backs. When Govt can't even deport foreign prisoners public is entitled to say enough is enough. Ming Campbell asks if PM feels any sense of embarrassment over incompetence and who dies he feel is responsible for it? Blair repeats his previous points. Seems to be hanging on the 1999 issue, ie insinuating that it happened under Tories too. Ming says if heads are to role shouldn't they not just be civil servants. Says this morning at Home House prison in Stockton a Nigerian prioner eleigble for deportation was seen to walk free into the community. How can the PM not ask for his resignation? Blair again falls beack to repeating his previous points. Looking very uncomfortable. Ignored the Nigerian prisoner point. Bob Wareing asks PM to meet families of armed forces who were killed in Iraq at a meeting at 12.30 today in Cttee Room 16 of the House of Commons. Blair says he yields to no one in his admiration for the armed forces. Ignores Wareing's invitation. David Amess asks what is the rationale to remove British Embassy from the Holy See? i think we'll leave it there, unless David Cameron comes back for another go. I'll cover Charles Clarke's statement and David Davis's reply at 12.30.