Back from last week’s recess, this was presumably the third to last time that MPs will see Blair at the Despatch Box as he resigns three weeks today.
Cameron started with the Conservative pensions lifeboat proposals in the House of Lords, asking Blair about the completely unacceptable figures showing the government had only helped 1000 of the 125,000 people who had lost money, but at the high cost of £10million. Blair tried to balance saying it wasn’t responsible to promise unfunded spending commitments with saying that a lot of people were actually being helped, although Cameron contested that a loan could be taken from the Treasury.
Menzies Campbell asked what the people of Darfur could expect from the G8, saying tougher sanctions an effective arms embargo and logistical support for AU were needed. Other notable questions included:
- Blair agreed with two good statements from Labour MPs, in support of Edinburgh university rescinding an honorary degree given to Robert Mugabe, and in opposition to the ban on Israeli lecturers at universities
- John Redwood asked why carbon emissions rose this year in UK and EU, but fell in America
- James Gray asked if Blair expected a similar accolade from Iraq as the one he got from Sierra Leone
- Sir Nicholas Winterton said considering the great style and flair Blair had brought to office would he leave with honour by not giving further powers and competences to the European Union without the promised referendum.
There was also plenty of jubilant taunting about grammar schools from the Labour benches.