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Prime Minister’s Questions – 17th July

The Houses of Parliament at night
The Houses of Parliament at night • Photograph: Victoria Kettlewell

How much of the UK’s legislation has been bought by lobbyists? Both sides of the House questioned that at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Tories questioned Labour’s relationship with trade unions, in particular Unite, with Cameron stating that trade unions buy Labour’s policies, candidates, MPs and even leader. Meanwhile, Labour requested an answer to the connection between the advice of Lynton Crosby and the decision to not go ahead with plain packaging on tobacco products. Neither side gave particularly satisfactory answers.

Miliband was particularly quiet on the day’s announcement of falling unemployment (despite long term unemployment levels having gone up) and this was something that Cameron made sure the House was aware of. As expected, another dominant topic was the Keogh Report, which placed 11 NHS Trusts under special measures with both sides of the house disagreeing on the change of number of nurses and clinical staff since the Government took power in 2010.

The sight of Cameron lying back in relaxation, head towards the ceiling, was not unobvious; as we head into the Summer Recess, Cameron is in a strong position, with a recent poll placing Labour and the Conservatives on an equal lead, and he’s revelling in the knowledge. According to him, Labour’s leadership is “in crisis” – everyday, the country is getting stronger, and everyday Miliband’s leadership is getting weaker.

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