4pm: A great line from Fraser Nelson (my emphasis): "Brown told Peter Tapsell that "this job is an important job and I will continue to do it to the best of my ability". Yes, Prime Minister, that’s what we’re all worried about."
Editor’s verdict: "Vince Cable steals the show today with his Mr Bean line. As the FT’s George Parker has just said on Radio Five – Mr Brown thinks himself a serious, weighty figure and hates to be ridiculed. Well done, Mr Cable! Another good performance from Mr Cameron. He provided plenty of good clips for the rest of the day’s broadcasts. Also good to hear John Gummer and Michael Ancram joining the attack so successfully."
Not verbatim highlights:
12.26pm: ‘What does the PM want for Christmas?’, Sir Patrick Cormack asks. A day off, the PM replies. [He can have as many days off as he likes if he goes to see The Queen tomorrow!]
12.24pm: Another good question, this time from John Gummer: The PM said his decision to call off the election had nothing to do with the polls and his inheritance tax cut had nothing to do with what the Conservatives had done. How can we believe him now when he says he knew nothing about the dodgy donations?
12.17pm: Excellent question from Michael Ancram: Why are all his party colleagues so intent on keeping him in the dark?
12.11pm: Vince Cable highlights the underfunding of the armed forces. The Prime Minister replies by saying that Britain has the second best funded armed services in the world. [Fraser Nelson dealt with that claim last week: Des Browne’s Defence Funding Fiddle].
12.07pm: This goes to the heart of Prime Minister’s integrity, says Cameron. His explanations beggar belief. We’ve had disaster after disaster since he became Prime Minister. A run on the bank. Half the country’s personal details lost in the post. Now this. The Prime Minister is looking less and less cut out for the job. Enthusiastic Tory cheers.
12.04pm: Has the PM invited the police to investigate? [Ben Brogan thinks that a police investigation is inevitable]. If, as he said yesterday, unlawful acts have been committed, he should call in the police. The public will see the Prime Minister wriggling. John Mendelsohn, Labour fund manager, knew about this unlawful behaviour a month ago. Why is he still in place? [Guido has the background on Mendelsohn]. Mr Brown replies by saying that Mr Mendelsohn had been led to believe that the donations had been cleared by the Electoral Commission.
12.02pm: David Cameron invites the Prime Minister to say if he believes he still is delivering competence and trust to British politics. The Prime Minister responds by saying that he has set up enquiries and is determined to ensure that party political funding is all above board.
11.59am: I’m listening to Radio Five Live: Commentator says ‘goal gets wider for David Cameron every week’. Indeed!