Cameron: Brown 'physically incapable' of action

Cameron presses PM on stop and search
Cameron presses PM on stop and search

David Cameron continued to portray the prime minister as a "ditherer" today by claming he was "physically incapable" of answering a straightforward question.

The Conservative leader called on Gordon Brown to confirm his government is set to abolish the paperwork for police conducting stop and searches, as widely reported this morning.

Mr Brown responded that the government had accepted the conclusions of Sir Ronnie Flannagan's review of policing and would "take the action necessary" when it is published in full on Monday.

In November Sir Ronnie called for police paperwork to be cut and Jacqui Smith reportedly put proposals to the Cabinet yesterday to end the requirement for police officers to record all searches.

The Conservative leader today called for the paperwork to be scrapped, describing it as "a colossal waste of police time".

In their weekly Commons exchange, Mr Cameron also attempted to pressure the prime minister to confirm the government's position on Islamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

The Tory leader argues he is a "hate preacher" who encourages people to "turn their bodies into bombs" and should not be allowed entry to the UK.

Mr Brown said no one could be deported from the UK without the proper judicial processes before adding Mr al-Qaradawi is not in fact in the country.

A decision on whether he will be allowed entry will be made "very soon", Mr Brown added.

Amid Conservative heckling, the speaker of the House was forced to silence MPs to allow the prime minister to answer the question "in his own way".

Mr Cameron said: "People watching this will just conclude this prime minister cannot answer a question and cannot make a decision."

Claiming people "are not safe under Labour", the Tory leader added: "Never mind the complete lack of vision, never mind the constant re-launches, just concentrate on keeping us safe."

Earlier Mr Brown quoted last week's crime statistics, which show crime is down 30 per cent and violent crime down 31 per cent.

This is the first government since 1945 that can claim to have overseen a falling crime rate, the prime minister added.

Mr Brown accused his opposition counterpart of having "prepared his questions yesterday and cannot react to the situation today".

The prime minister also defended himself against claims he "does not care about the armed forces," led by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

Mr Brown said defence spending had risen every year under Labour after falling between 1992 and 1997.


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