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  1. David Cameron answered questions in first post-conference and referendum PMQs
  2. Ed Miliband said minister Lord Freud had suggested some people with disabilities should be paid less than then minimum wage
  3. David Cameron said the quoted comments were not the view of government, or anyone in it
  4. New UKIP MP Douglas Carswell asked David Cameron about proposals for a recall bill
  5. Follow all the reaction on Daily Politics, The World at One on this page

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm, Justin Parkinson and Adam Donald

All times stated are UK

Update: What the papers made of it

Daily Telegraph:

Sketch writer Michael Deacon marvels at the use of grammar by Labour's Nic Dakin and tries to hear Ed Miliband, despite his sore throat. He goes on to dissect Labour's demands for a more "full" apology by Lord Freud.

Mail Online: Political editor

Matt Chorley calls Ed Miliband's remarks about Lord Freud at PMQs "explosive", adding that his colleague at the Department for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, sought to "distance" herself.

The Mirror: Nigel Nelson

delivers his verdict on PMQs: "Score draw on the insult front, I'd say. Lord Freud's problem was more serious. So serious it might prove terminal for his political career."

The Independent: Conservative MPs and charity bosses are

quoted criticising Lord Freud. Among them, Clare Pelham, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, calls his remarks "deeply saddening and ill-informed".

What's coming up

All the key clips from Prime Minister's Questions, the session in full, plus the key reaction to David Cameron and Ed Miliband's clashes over the economy and

Lord Freud's comments are available on this page - click on the "Live Coverage" tab to listen to BBC Radio 4's World at One, PM and Today in Parliament or watch TV's Daily Politics as they are webcast, or listen/watch back on demand. There will be more text updates to come this afternoon.

Lord Freud latest

The biggest development at this week's session was the

recording of employment minister Lord Freud telling Conservative activists last month some disabled workers were "not worth the full wage". David Cameron said these "were not the views of anyone in government". Labour, meanwhile, has called for Lord Freud to resign.


It was a busy Prime Minister's Questions, the first for five weeks. The issue of falling unemployment dominated. Ed Miliband's memory slips when dealing with the deficit and immigration came up, as did the defection of two Conservative MPs to UKIP. Concerns over the spread of Ebola were raised, while several Labour MPs asked about NHS funding.

Swearing teachers

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt defends his idea that teachers should swear a professional oath, saying it's time to "have a conversation with the profession". The oath should be voluntary, he adds.

Tim Montgomerie, comment editor of The Times


tweets: "Lord Freud is working unpaid to try and reform a complex benefits system that penalises work. He deserves the chance to finish that work."

James Tapsfield, Press Association


tweets: "Lord Freud exit looks inevitable, but major headache for IDS - probably only minister fully across universal credit architecture"

McVey on NHS

NHS reforms under the coalition are saving £1bn a year, Conservative employment minister Esther McVey says.

More on NHS

Andrew Haldenby of the think tank Reform tells Daily Politics that most people don't care who provides healthcare on behalf of the NHS, as long as the quality of service is maintained.


Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says Labour is concerned about the effect of "privatisation" of services within the English NHS.

John Rentoul, columnist for the Independent on Sunday


tweets: "Looking at Lord Freud's words and his obviously benign intention, an apology for unfortunate phrasing should be enough."

Joey Jones, deputy political editor of Sky News


tweets: "Noticeable that while @DouglasCarswell fixed PM while asking question, PM couldn't bring himself to look at the questioner at all."

Lord Freud

David Scott, a Tory councillor from Tunbridge Wells, has confirmed he asked the question of Lord Freud at the Conservative conference and was encouraged by the answer. He says he has cases where the minimum wage precludes a small number of physically/mentally disabled people from working. He gives an example of someone doing gardening who may take three to four hours longer than someone who's not disabled but whom an employer still wants to give a chance. Mr Scott says he doesn't want to undermine the minimum wage but thinks a system to reward them would help their own wellbeing by getting them into work.

Craig Woodhouse, political correspondent of The Sun


tweets: "Very good. MT "@LucyRigby: Tory Minister Lord Freud giving a whole new meaning to a 'Freudian slip'.""

Lord Freud

Employment minister Esther McVey says it's up to Lord Freud to explain the conversation that took place at a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference.

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party


tweets: "Lord Freud said disabled people weren't worth the minimum wage. If these are his views, he can't stay in govt. #PMQs"

Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent


tweets: "DWP minister esther mcvey tells bbc dp that freud 'will have to explain himself'."

McVey on Freud

Employment minister Esther McVey says Lord Freud's remarks "absolutely" do not represent government policy.

Hunt on Freud

For Labour, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says Lord Freud was "flying a kite" on policy with his remarks about disabled people's pay at the Conservative Party conference. It reveals a "very disturbing mindset", he tells BBC Two's Daily Politics,

Lord Freud

Employment minister Esther McVey says Lord Freud's words will "haunt him".

Lord Freud recording

Nick Robinson

Political editor

Lord Freud is known for picking his words pretty badly. He's done it in the past... This is a classic example of someone thinking out loud, without a politician's mind that "this is something I shouldn't say".

Mark D'Arcy, BBC parliamentary correspondent


tweets: "PM straight bats @DouglasCarswell recall question - says will look v carefully at @ZacGoldsmith amendments. Hmm."

End of session

That brings prime minister's questions to a close, and attention in the Commons turns to a ten-minute rule bill on mental health.

Islamic State

Labour's Meg Hillier asks what the government is doing to prevent a massacre by Islamic State militants in the besieged Syrian town of Kobane. David Cameron says the UK is involved in air strikes over Iraq, and adds that he thinks there is a case for Britain "to do more".

Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor


tweets: "No 10 say sure Lord Freud "will set out how he agrees with PMs views." Sounds like if he doesn't the exit door beckons #pmqs"

Carswell on recall

A question now from UKIP's first elected MP Douglas Carswell - who defected from the Conservatives. Cue murmurs in the chamber. He asks the PM if he will stand by his election "promises" in 2010 and support amendments to legislation to recall errant MPs. David Cameron insists he will look carefully at all amendments. He says: "I think we've come up with the minimum acceptable recall." He adds that there are "good arguments" to go further.

Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent


tweets: "ironically lord freud is 'unpaid' for his work as welfare reform minister"

Alan Henning

Labour's Barbara Keeley asks the PM if he agrees that Briton Alan Henning, who was murdered by Islamic State, should be recognised with a national honour and support for his widow and children. Mr Cameron promises to consider her suggestion, and describes Mr Henning as a "hero". His murder demonstrates the "dreadfulness" of Islamic State, he adds.

Health questions

There seems to be a co-ordinated effort by Labour backbenchers to question the PM on the NHS - another one comes from Steve Reed.


Labour's Darlington MP Jenny Chapman follows previous Labour colleagues and asks a question on NHS reorganisation. She feels she needs to educate the PM that her constituency is in the north-east of England, which cheers some on the Labour benches. Mr Cameron defends his NHS reforms, and tells her there can only be a strong NHS with a strong economy.

Catching the Speaker's eye?

Dennis Skinner and Douglas Carswell are among those standing up hoping to be called to ask a question

Inheritance tax

Angie Bray, a Conservative MP, raises a question on inheritance tax, which she says far too many non-rich people are having to pay. David Cameron says taxes are a matter for the chancellor in his Budget - but adds that he wants to see a system where only the "very rich" pay.

Andy Bell, political editor of 5 News


tweets: "Today like a preview of election campaigns - Tory competence (jobs figures) vs Nasty party (lord Freud) #PMQs"

George Eaton, political editor of the New Statesman


tweets: "After that #PMQs, only consistent course would be for Cameron to sack Lord Freud."

Palestine vote

Lib Dem David Ward makes reference to Monday's vote in the Commons in favour of recognising Palestine as a state. David Cameron says he "looks forward" to the day when Britain will recognise Palestinian statehood, but insists it should be "part of the negotiations that bring about a two-state solution".


Labour MP Graham Jones accuses David Cameron of broken promises over the NHS. Mr Cameron counters that Labour wanted to cut the NHS budget, and says his government is spending £12.7bn more on the health service.

Christopher Hope, senior political correspondent of the Daily Telegraph


tweets: "Frantic texting going on among Number 10 spin doctors at the back of the press gallery re this Lord Freud story. #PMQs"

Democratic Unionist Party MP Nigel Dodds raises concerns about the Ebola crisis. Mr Cameron says the government is working to keep the country safe, and notes the screening process that began at Heathrow Terminal 1 on Tuesday. The prime minister is to chair a meeting of Cobra tomorrow, MPs are told.

Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator


tweets: "DD managed a brief loyal noise before pressuring the PM on red lines for EU renegotiation #pmqs"