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Prime Minister’s Questions – 4th September

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

MPs appeared rusty as the first session of Prime Minister’s Questions began after the Summer recess.

It comes as no surprise that the dominant topic in the House was Britain’s response to the Syrian civil war, following the recall of parliament for a debate on military intervention last week. Cameron and Miliband debated in a calm manner, agreeing on points that a diplomatic solution must be reached by convening talks between the warring parties and the nations backing them. Cameron couldn’t resist a shot at Miliband, ending their exchange with a complaint that Miliband divided the house on a vote ‘that led to a vote’. Many members of the House called for a more concerted effort in bettering relations with Iran, who were named as complicit in an attack on the British embassy, following the election of a new president. Cameron argued that Britain needed to be cautious but that he had taken steps towards this.

Asked about why the Tories won’t back a mansion tax but continue to implement a bedroom tax, Cameron retorted that Labour needed to learn what a tax was before ridiculing Miliband about whether they would reverse it if they were in Government and demonstrating how to nod in response. Miliband showed no sign of Labour’s commitment post-2015, showing an unwillingness to show their true views, either because they would be unpopular or so as not to reveal their tactics. Prime Minister’s Questions only return for a few weeks before party conference season puts it on a hiatus again.

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