Picture: Charles Clarke sat some distance away from the Prime Minister at PMQs today. Gordon Brown – for the second week running – didn’t turn up at all.
David Cameron again used all of his six questions to ask Tony Blair about the Government’s mishandling of asylum, immigration and deportation. He asked the Prime Minister whether he thought it acceptable that Charles Clarke took three weeks to tell him about the deportation scandal. "Murders, rapists and paedophiles released from prison and the Prime Minister does not want to to know about it immediately!" said David Cameron.
Tony Blair responded by saying that the problems in the Home Office had developed over many years and he repeatedly referred to the Government’s plans to introduce new legislation that would enforce a presumption that foreigners who are imprisoned will be deported.
This Home Secrertary will forever be associated with the release of foreign prisoners on to Britain’s streets. This is a Prime Minister who has completely lost control, David Cameron said.
David Cameron looked visibly angry today. Anger on behalf of the people failed by the Clarke scandal is 100% justified. It was a strong performance ahead of tomorrow’s local elections.
A good question from Crispin Blunt on the Tory backbenches. When
will the Prime Minister rewrite the ministerial code, he asked, so that
the greater the level of incompetence the more likely that the minister
will stay in post to clear things up!?
From Labour’s backbenches Geraldine Smith MP – who has criticised
John Prescott’s behaviour in recent days – gave her support to Charles
Clarke but invited the Prime Minister to put two cabinet ministers in
charge of the sprawling Home Office. It is Tory policy to take
counter-terrorism policy away from the Home Secretary and appoint a
Cabinet minister for Homeland Security.
PS Ming said something of no importance.