In his first phase of questions Cameron criticised the Government’s pensions compensation scheme for being completely inadequate, and called for a cross-party solution to help those who have lost their company pensions.

There was lots of cheering and jeering at the phrase "cross-party" but Cameron repeatedly said "yes" quite authoritively.

Menzies Campbell asked Tony Blair to confirm that the number of families on the waiting list for social housing had risen to 1.6m, his second question followed this up but didn’t have any meat on it.

Cameron scored a big hit in the House by asking why MPs running for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party felt they had to trash Blair’s record and lurch to the Left – particularly by talking about City bonuses, Iraq, and union rights.

Blair responded in his usual self-parodic routine of "that’s an interesting debate, which I’m sure we’ll have, but what is important to people is that we have a strong economy…" etc. He tried to hit back at Cameron by quoting Edward Leigh’s recent article in House Magazine, asking when he was going to decide whether his role model was Thatcher or Toynbee.

Cameron asked if David Milibands assertion that voters would want Blair back once Brown comes to power was an accurate forecast or a bad career move.

Sir Patrick Cormack humourously compared the stage of his career to Blair’s, and asked what he hoped to be remembered by when he left office. Blair said the country was fairer and stronger than it was ten years ago.

Asked if he would visit Hull (where William Wilberforce was an MP) to celebrate the abolition of slavery, Blair said a fitting memorial would be to campaign on present day issues such as human trafficking. Conservative MP Tim Boswell had previously asked why he had not ratified the EU convention on human trafficking.

Deputy Editor