In the first PMQs for four weeks David Cameron returned to a favourite PMQs topic of his for all of his questions, the Home Office. He used the fiasco of not registering proven offenders on police and child protection databases to target the government’s inflated reputation for tough approaches to crime.  He asked Tony Blair "to guarantee none of these people have worked with children", and reiterated his support for having a Homeland Security minister of Cabinet rank – saying that the size of the Home Office was part of the problem. The Deputy PM appeared to be having fun during the serious debate.

Ming asked how many British troops Mr Blair was considering sending alongside the soon-to-be-announced boost to the American forces, and subsequently if Britain would have to wait for Blair to resign before it had an independent foreign policy.  The Prime Minister said that the situation in Basra was different from that in Baghdad – there was no secretarian strife, al-Qaeda operations or Sunni insurgency – and that Britain would not be deploying extra troops.

Lembit Opik rose to cheers.  He didn’t wish to be cheeky, he said, but was glad everyone was happy for him.  He then asked a question on Motor Neurone Disease.

Deputy Editor

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