On the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the Summer recess and both Gordon Brown and David Cameron gave strong performances; Brown does now seem to be getting the hang of PMQs.
David Cameron’s First Question: Cameron started asking a question on flooding but hadn’t got far before the Labour jeers started. He sought for improved communication between the Environment Agency and local authorities and Brown replied mentioning that he had seen "first hand" the problems and the floods would be fully investigated. David Cameron then asked about the compensation local authorities will receive for flood prevention schemes and what steps the Government will take to make insurance companies pay out quickly, and for help for those who are uninsured. Brown said the Government had been talking to the insurance companies and they are moving quickly.
David Cameron’s Second Question: Cameron went on the EU saying the Irish PM has said that 90% of the Treaty is the same as the Constitution, the Spanish foreign minister says 98% what figure would the Prime Minister put on it? Brown replied quoting Ken Clarke’s criticisms of the call for a referendum. Cameron quoted another former chancellor – Brown- who signed up to a manifesto promising a constitution. He quoted Digby Jones’ comment that it is "a con to call it a treaty, not a constitution". Brown said "the wheels going off the Tory bicycle" and quoted Lord Kalms.
Ming moment of the day: Ming also mentioned he had seen the problems for himself. He sought to find out whether the review the Prime Minister announced would cover the whole country and then said that the floods show that we should follow the advice of the Stern Report on climate change. Brown lapped that up!
Backbench Question of the Day: It wasn’t an inspiring question but Dari Taylor raised an important subject when she asked what the Government would do to help more children out of care into family homes. David Heathcoat-Amory pointed out that we were told devolution would not threaten the union but that we have a separatist Scottish Executive and growing disquiet in England.