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PMQs: Miliband won’t put politics away over the floods

12 February 2014

PMQs today started with a more genteel tone in deference to the floods. But Ed Miliband showed that he has no intention of putting politics away entirely, effectively needling David Cameron on cuts at the Environment Agency. Tellingly, at the end of their exchanges, Cameron rebuked Miliband for seeking ‘to divide the House’. When a Prime Minister uses that line, it is a sure bet that they haven’t had the best of the exchanges.

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But Cameron did have a slew of initiatives to announce which I suspect will be noticed on the ground more than today’s exchanges. Number 10 is desperate to show that it is ahead of the issue so expect more schemes every day.

One issue, though, is going to be who gets this help. Number 10 are indicating that the £5,000 grant for those homeowners who have been hit applies to every house regardless of the council tax band it is in. But given the value of some of the properties in the Thames Valley that look set to be flooded, one can see controversy coming down the track. ​

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  • SgtVimes

    The sole purpose of PMQs is to allow MPs to hold the government to account. If Miliband hadn’t asked the PM about cuts to the Environment Agency he wouldn’t have been doing his job. Is the PM expecting the opposition to let the government carry on without accounting for their actions at precisely the time when we should be scrutinising their response?

  • Paddy

    Miliband was pathetic as usual!

    It was Labour who cut money to the Environment Agency.

    Labour don’t like the Tories spending money…….only Labour can do that.


  • the viceroy’s gin

    From the looks of the body language captured in that photograph, it deserves a caption contest. I’ll start:

    “Look, Millichum, if you don’t get your paw off my shoulder, this village is going to see its first flooding casualty.”

    • Will Rees

      Noticed he did the shoulder touch thing with that Conservative MP as well -somebody’s been doing NLP courses (only going on a Jon Ronson article I read)

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Lookout viceroy your favourite socialist nutter has returned!

  • Matthew S. Dent


    If Cameron wouldn’t put politics away over the economic crisis, why on earth would you expect Miliband to not hold Cameron to account over the floods? Besides, his attack line on money apparently not being an issue did show up the chaotically confused position of the government.

  • George_Arseborne

    The work of the Opposition is to hold the Government to account. Ed Milliband did his job. Cameron was so dodgy in his response. How can the suffering people trust him. Blanc cheque yesterday by PM, today morning no sure of Blanc cheque according to his transport Minister. Cameron is really a con PM and could be seen from his face. Red faced because Ed kept him off balance. He is the one dividing this Nation.

    • Ruth

      Utter rubbish. Miliband s nothing but an opportunist. Glad his boots got filled yesterday.

      • Mynydd

        Mr Miliband can only be an opportunist when Mr Cameron gives him the opportunity. Money is no object, and no blank cheque certainly did that.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Your cheque is as ‘blank’ as your mind and schoolboy vocabulary.

      • dalai guevara

        Oi, busted flush – why not write that cheque for your chum Dave who just loves making things up – ‘show some responsibility’ hahaha!

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Gibberish lad. Try Cyrillic.

  • In2minds

    And just so long as neither Miliband or Cameron mention the EU dimension here all will be well!

  • HookesLaw

    So even you cannot take the politics out of it by sneering at Thames Valley residents. I guess you will be quite shocked to know that quite ordinary people live in the Thames Valley and some as we have seen live near rivers (leaving aside it is not just river flooding we have a problem with – it is soaked up hills depositing their water on their nearest residents).
    Its quite pathetic that you should go out of your way to lead with your chin like this.

    Any cuts to the environment agency and other depts woukld not be necessary if Labour had not tanked the economy (now said to be growing at 3.4%).
    As it is we can see that Labours 2010 election pledge to seek £20 billion efficiencies in the NHS gives us a clue to the fact that probably all its spending was wasteful and poorly targetted.

    • Makroon

      I think James is suggesting that the horrible phantom of “means testing” is likely to reappear.

    • SgtVimes

      That tanking included handing over the keys to the Treasury with falling unemployment and a growing economy. What you seem to have missed also is the ideologically driven downsizing of the state which has seen all departments reduced in size even when such a decision was fundamentally unsound. For example, HMRC were required to cut tax inspector posts when they bring in more in tax than they cost to employ.

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