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Jonathan Isaby's verdict: A subdued session of PMQs, dominated as it was by swine 'flu and then the Gurkhas. Cameron was right to anticipate Clegg going on the Gurkhas and to take up the issue himself as well; and the Prime Minister's replies to both leaders on the issue were, as Nick Clegg said, "deeply evasive".

12.30pm Tory MP David Gauke highlights Labour manifesto pledge breaches on the EU referendum and tax rises. Brown prays in aid a quote from Ken Clarke on the Lisbon treaty; on tax Brown says that it is right that those who have benefited from increases in income should pay a little more.

12.23pm 1922 committee chairman Sir Michael Spicer asks: "Now that fiscal probity is back in vogue,  why do we need a Labour Government?" Brown reels of a list of statistics in reply.

Picture 912.20pm Clegg says the answer comes from someone leading a government without principles.

12.18pm Nick Clegg also raises the Gurkha issues, claiming the PM has been "deeply evasive" in his answers. "If some one is prepared to die for this country, surely they've a right to live in this country?". Brown says he is making progress on the issue and there is "more justice" for the Gurkhas now than there was before 1997.

12.17pm Labour MP Martin Salter adds pressure on Brown to "deliver justice on Gurkhas at last".

12.15pm Cameron says if the figures were robust, then the Gurkhas would not have been gathering outside the Commons and dying as they wait for a response from the Government. He reiterates his proposal to change the Immigration Bill. Brown says of course he will always look at proposals being made. Proposals must be based on proper facts and figures, he said.

12.12pm Cameron says that a new category should be introduced in immigration guidelines for those who have served in the armed forces, primarily aimed at the Gurkhas. Brown does not accept the figure of 100 which the Gurkhas' spokesmen say is how many fit the current government criteria. 

12.10pm Brown says the first action to help the Gurkhas has happened since 1997, creating equal pay and pensions for them, and doubloing the pensions for the pensions for those in Nepal. Brown says he keeps the matter of how many Gukhas to allow to settle in Britain "under review". He points out there ere no rights if settlement pre-1997.

Picture 812.09pm David Cameron wishes the staff of the NHS well and goes on to congratulate Nick Clegg on calling a debate on the Gurkhas. Aren't the Government proposals too restrictive?

12.07pm Brown says the 35 million order of anti-virals is being raised to 50 million and that several millions more face masks are being ordered over coming days and weeks – which will be for NHS staff, not the public.

12.06pm Cameron asks about the timescale on availability of anti-virals and facemasks.

12.04pm David Cameron asks about he national flu line not being operational until the autumn. Brown says that "interim arrangements are being made", and that the circumstances for its use have not yet been met.

Picture 712.03pm Brown announces three cases of people having mild symtoms of swine 'flu in Britain. He says the country is making the necessary precautions against the disease an advising people not to travel to Mexico unless necessary and that more anti-virals and face masks are being ordered.

12.01pm Bill Cash asks when there will be repeat performance of Brown's "comedy performance" on YouTube. Brown says it is a very important medium of communication and he will continue to use it.

Jonathan Isaby

67 comments for: Swine ‘flu and the Gurkhas dominate exchanges at PMQs

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