VERDICT: "Given the Tories’ decision to back Labour’s bailout David Cameron had little room for political opportunity today and chose a bipartisan path. On another occasion the Conservatives must make it clear that Labour has left Britain more vulnerable than most other economies to the global financial chaos. Labour must not be allowed to disguise its own serious errors behind that chaos for much longer. But that is for another day. Brown was in command of PMQs today."
Highlights, not verbatim:
12.19pm: Nick Clegg backs Government’s package. Says when a ship is sinking you don’t ask who steered it towards rocks, only to help reach for the lifeboats. Brown says he spoke to President Bush yesterday and there will be a meeting of international leaders soon. Clegg concludes by calling for tax cuts for low income workers. Brown replies by quoting existing government assistance programmes including the Winter Fuel Allowance and action on pre-payment electricity meters.
12.13pm: Cameron asks what action will be taken to stop banks paying bumper bonuses. Conditions will be added replies Brown and the FSA will be issuing wide guidance on how remuneration packages should manage risk. Cameron comes back on this issue twice; warning against "rewards for failure". The Tory leader then asks for the Bank of England to have new powers to oversee debt levels in the economy.
12.08pm: The real test of the success of these measures says David Cameron is that small businesses and homebuyers can access money again. How will the PM be measuring progress? Gordon Brown replies that Government is aiming to pay Small and Medium-sized Enterprises within ten days to help their cashflow.
12.06pm: David Cameron gets up. Says that the banking system is so important to the whole economy that it cannot be allowed to fail. Brown thanks David Cameron for his support.
Noon: INTEREST RATES HAVE JUST BEEN CUT BY 0.5%.