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Jonathan Isaby's verdict:

"A solid performance by David Cameron, acting as a warm-up for his response to Darling later on – including that excellent slap down of Brown regarding the activities of advisers".

Picture 612.21 Nadine Dorries asks Gordon Brown to apologise for Smeargate. Brown says he has done and that he has written to her and that what happened has no part to play in the politics of this country,

12.17 Brown says that the Chancellor's Budget will answer many of his questions…

12.15 Clegg says that Brown spouts meaningless headlines and promises on which he doesn't deliver. Do the one million new jobs he has promised exist or not?

Picture 5 12.14 Nick Clegg asks about the jobs Brown is promising and asks how many new jobs have been created so far, but gets no substantive reply.

12.12 Cameron has another go at asking the PM to admit that he failed to abolish boom and bust… and Brown again evades it.

12.11 Brown talks again about it being a global banking crisis…

Picture 112.09 Brown reels off a list of facts about the recession in the 1990s and teases Cameron for having been Norman Lamont's adviser. Cameron suggests: "perhaps we can talk about some of your chief advisers and what they've been up to". And he invites Brown to admit that he didn't abolish boom and bust.

12.08 Cameron says Brown has shown a complete failure to address the facts. No other country in the G20 has figures as bad as the UK on borrowing. Are we in the deepest recession since the Second World War, Cameron asks.

12.07 Brown prays in aid the fact that borrowing is high across the world.

12.05 Cameron says schemes aren't working and that today the unemployment figure reached that which it was projected to reach at the end of the year. How many young people are out of unemployment or training? Brown doesn't answer. Cameron tells him: 857,000 – the highest on record. He then asks whether borrowing is now at a record high.

12.04 Gordon Brown doesn't deny it and says that is why the Government is taking the action it is taking.

Picture 3 12.03 David Cameron starts by asking about unemployment. He asks the PM to confirm that we have seen this year the fastest rise in unemployment in our history.

Jonathan Isaby

38 comments for: David Cameron and Gordon Brown trade pre-Budget blows on the economy at PMQs

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