Corbyn v Cameron at PMQs: strong and serious debate about Paris attacks

David Cameron gave new details on the Britons caught up in the Paris attacks, revealing that three people have been treated in hospital in addition to the one known to have died.

Key points

Questions – from Jeremy Corbyn and MPs – focused almost exclusively on the aftermath of the attacks and the prime minister was asked about police cuts, border security and action in Syria.

Corbyn pressed Cameron about police cuts, giving Cameron a chance to claim that neighbourhood policing has increased and mock Corbyn’s position on shoot-to-kill, which has been the subject of some debate. The prime minister claimed Corbyn had no clear view on what police, when confronted with a “Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist”, should do.

Snap verdict

It took a while for Cameron to deliver the decisive blow, but he got there right at the end, with his well-polished “Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist” line. It was a tad unfair (because we can presume from the latest reports that in these circumstances Corbyn would approve of the trigger being pulled). But the Labour leader has only himself to blame because of his hopelessly woolly response to a question on this in his BBC interview on Monday. That said, Wednesday went better for Corbyn than Tuesday’s Commons statements and his questions were strong and serious.

Best lines

Cameron, responding to questions about Syria:

The most important thing is for people to carry on with their lives; it’s very important the Eurostar continues to function and flights continue to go, that people continue to travel and enjoy London, enjoy Paris, and carry on going about our business. As we do so, yes, we need enhanced security and that is happening with the way that the police are acting here in the UK and elsewhere but also one of the ways to defeat terrorism is to show we will not be cowed.

Corbyn, pressing the prime minister on police funding:

Can the prime minister clarify something on the source of the necessary extra funding to be set out for the security services, which we support. Will it come at the expense of other areas within the Home Office budget, or other areas of public spending, or from the reserves or from new funding. Does he want me to go on longer so the chancellor can explain the answer to him?

Corbyn added after the PM’s response:

I’m not absolutely sure where the money is coming from, following the prime minister’s answer. No doubt it will come.

For more on PMQs read our politics live blog with Andrew Sparrow.

Powered by article was written by Andrew Sparrow, for on Wednesday 18th November 2015 14.57 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010