Tony Blair said Suffolk Police would get all the support they needed to deal with the recent murders of prostitutes there, and that there might be lessons to learn from the terrible events.

David Cameron said that "we all want this monster to be caught and locked up".

Menzies Campbell asked for a review of law affecting prostitutes, and to ensure the safety of women (sticking to either very sensitive issues or foreign policy questions as usual).

Cameron used all of his questions in one go, most of which sparred with Blair over the NHS. Referring to the Commons health select committee report, Cameron said:

"The prime minister stands here week after week saying
that local cuts are the fault of local health staff, but this report
shows it is poor central management."

Much of the NHS debate was standard fare. Blair comparing NHS (which he called "the pride of Britain") waiting lists etc
to 1997 levels and hailing massive investment, whislt Cameron pointed out
planned closures of A&E and maternity wards, and finishing with:

the problem that the man at the centre is a lame duck? Will you give us
all an early Christmas present and tell us when you’ll be off?"

On the question of pay for forces deployed for long periods, Blair gave a very long-winded and complicated answer lasting quite a few minutes that basically concluded that everyone was better off. There were loud cheers and calls for "more" of the magic trick. Cameron tuned into the atmosphere and commented that when Blair retires he could have a job as Sir Humphrey in a new series of Yes, Prime Minister.

Alan Beith (LD) complained that the North East gets nothing like Scotland’s Barnett Formula to help pay for roads.

Jane Kennedy (LAB) invited Blair to meet a constituent of hers who
arrived in Liverpool in 1939 to escape the Holocaust, to send a strong
message about its undeniability.

Sir Peter Tapsell (CON), who stood to enthusiastic "hear hearing", said that if the PM could apologise for the actions of our ancestors, could
he apologise for the disaster in Iraq?

The Speaker interrupted a supplementary question from Denis MacShane (LAB) which was leading on to the Conservatives’ plans to leave the EPP.

Deputy Editor

23 comments for: PMQs: Suffolk murders and the NHS

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