CONSERVATIVEHOME VERDICT: "Lots of Punch and Judy. No clear winner although Gordon Brown does appear to be leaving the door open to not progressing from voluntary ID cards to compulsory ID cards. Nick Clegg gave a reasonable performance but he had nothing to rival David Cameron’s debut performance line to Tony Blair: ‘You were the future once’."
For those interested there’s a Facebook group for PMQs enthusiasts.
Highlights, not verbatim:
12.13pm: Nick Clegg raises the issue of expensive fuel bills. Brown replies by welcoming the new LibDem leader to his position and promises him an open door for discussions of issues of mutual interest. Nick Clegg comes back by urging the Prime Minister to urge reform of the procedures by which the poorest families, on prepaid meters, pay the most for their energy.
12.12pm: All his lines are pre-rehearsed in front of the mirror, Brown replies – to much Labour laughter. The Leader of the Opposition isn’t facing up to Britain’s long-term challenges.
12.11pm: Cameron ends by saying that this is a dithering Government that doesn’t know what to do about ID cards, about CGT or about Mervyn King.
12.10pm: The Governor’s appointment will be confirmed in the usual way, the Prime Minister replies.
12.07pm: Cameron changes line to capital gain tax. CGT is lower overall since Labour came to power, replies Brown. Business, Cameron says, needs to know what the Government’s plans are on CGT and Darling has failed to deliver a promise to update the House of Commons before Christmas. Will Mervyn King be given a new term as Bank Governor, Cameron asks.
12.04pm: Yes, says Gordon Brown, if the Commons votes for it and notes that Pauline Neville-Jones has supported ID cards in the past. Cameron quotes back a previous statement from Alistair Darling that opposed ID cards. Brown says that the ID card will only be voluntary for UK citizens until Parliament decides whether or not to proceed with compulsory ID cards.
12.03pm: Cameron welcomes Clegg to his position and says that he is relieved that his party no longer has the habit of changing its leader quite so often. He then asks Gordon Brown if the Government still intends to introduce compulsory ID cards.
Noon: Nick Clegg not sitting at the end of the row but two LibDem MPs in.