EDITORIAL VERDICT: David Cameron’s confidence seemed to be back today. He hit hard Gordon Brown hard and successfully for the ‘no time for a novice line’. Overall a clear victory to the Tory leader. Well done to Nick Clegg, too, for highlighting the potency of Barack Obama’s tax-cutting message.
Highlights, not verbatim:
12.22pm: Bernard Jenkin asks why the Government doesn’t force the banks it owns to pass on rate cuts to consumers. Brown replies that he wants the banks to pass on rate cuts.
12.17pm: Nick Clegg says that the central policy of Barack Obama was to cut taxes for the low-paid, funded by the wealthy. When can Britain have the same? Brown says Obama did not fight the election on £20bn of spending cuts (the LibDem policy).
12.15pm: On the day America voted for change, says Cameron, how long will the British people have to put up with more of the same? Americans, retorts the PM, voted for progressive politics – including a fiscal stimulus, tax credits, regulation of pensions and tax credits – all opposed by the Conservatives.
12.13pm: The only change the Tories represent, says Brown, is a change of policy every week.
12.10pm: Brown laughs at Cameron quoting the EU. Lists other nations that are in recession. Says total overall debt isn’t as bad as David Cameron suggests.
12.05pm: David Cameron joins the congratulations to Barack Obama and congratulates John McCain on his campaign, too. America is a beacon of hope, opportunity and change says David Cameron. Did the PM tell the President-Elect that this was no time for a novice? Brown gets up to interrupt. "You" voted for no change when you bottled the election, he continues, pointing that the Labour benches. He then asks a question about the recession and why Britain is so badly prepared for it. Our recession is forecast to be deeper, he says, quoting EU analysis – beating only Estonia and Latvia. Two countries that escaped the grip of Stalin. We’re still in it.