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Summary

  1. The first Prime Minister's Questions of 2015, after a three week break
  2. Leaders pledged to stand united with French people after Paris attacks
  3. Cameron and Miliband clashed over the state of the NHS
  4. Miliband says NHS staff doing valiant job and urges PM apology over A&E problems
  5. Cameron says there are more nurses and doctors but there'd been a big rise in demand
  6. You can watch the session back by clicking back through Daily Politics video on this page

Live Reporting

By Gavin Stamp

All times stated are UK

Update: Reaction to the first PMQs of the year

Today's PMQs focused, predictably, on the NHS. But the Punch and Judy nature of the session seemed particularly small in the light of events in Paris,

writes James Forsyth for the Spectator.

The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow

offers his snap verdict of the session: "Cameron had the single best line, about Miliband wanting to "weaponise" the NHS and it not being a weapon, but that's a point about political spin, and Miliband's line about Cameron not apologising to patients, but blaming them, was almost as good (even though, as far as I recall, Cameron wasn't blaming them) and, overall, the Miliband onslaught was pretty effective."

The Daily Telegraph's political correspondent Ben Riley-Smith

notes that David Cameron indicated 16- and 17-year olds may be allowed to vote in the next election, after saying he is happy for MPs to vote on the matter.

The Independent: Cameron "emerged unscathed", is

John Rentoul's verdict. "If Miliband cannot secure a debating points win on Labour's comfort-zone subject of the NHS, then Labour's election campaign is in more trouble than I thought," he wrote.

"Cameron fails to neutralise Miliband's NHS attack,"

opines George Eaton for the New Statesman. He adds:"The moment that it became clear that David Cameron had lost today's PMQs came when he charged Ed Miliband with using the NHS as a "political football": the traditional refuge of a Prime Minister in trouble."

Moving on

That concludes our coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and the urgent question on the NHS, a subject we are likely to hear a lot more about in the run-up to May's election. Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is now addressing MPs about the recent Stormont House agreement. BBC Democracy Live

has live coverage of her statement and the rest of the day's proceedings in Parliament.

NHS debate ends

Commons Speaker John Bercow draws the A&E session to a close after more than a hour. More than 60 MPs asked questions, many drawing on the personal experiences of their constituents.

'Legitimate topic'

BBC Radio 4

Asked about Ed Miliband's alleged threat to "weaponise" the NHS as a political issue, his deputy Harriet Harman says the health service is a "legitimate political topic" and the government must bear responsibility for the "cracks that are showing" in the NHS. She tells the BBC that talk of pressures in the NHS are "mealy-mouthed" and it is patients who are suffering.

'Incredibly demoralising'

In response to a question from Tory MP David Morris, Mr Hunt warns Labour MPs against "scaremongering" over the state of NHS services, saying it is "incredibly demoralising for staff working on the frontline".

'Cornerstone of democracy'

BBC Radio 4

Speaking on World at One, Chris Grayling and Harriet Harman have both condemned the deadly attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Mr Grayling said a free press was a cornerstone of democracy and Ms Harman said the attacks were a "fundamental" challenge to Western values. Both appealed for calm and warned of the dangers of a rise in Islamophobia in response.

'Unseemly squawk'

It's getting heated in the Commons as Labour MP Clive Efford is told off by Speaker John Bercow for unparliamentary language. "It is unseemly to squawk", Mr Bercow says, after Mr Efford shouts what sounds like the word "idiot" as Mr Hunt responds to his questions about Lewisham Hospital. The Labour MP agrees to withdraw the comment.

Tom Barton, BBC political reporter

@tombarton

Tweets: "Peter Bone pays tribute to Kettering and Northampton Hospitals, which have recently treated Mrs Bone."

Patient numbers

Nick Triggle

Health correspondent

"If you focus solely on the numbers, it is

easy to miss what is happening on the ground. The 2.4% figure equates to over 133,000 patients. That is a lot left waiting around - and that in turn causes delays elsewhere."

'Fake leaflets'

In the Commons, Conservative Chloe Smith claims some of her local Labour opponents have put out leaflets with "fake NHS stories". Jeremy Hunt says it is important for all parties to act responsibly.

'Pithy and succinct'

In the Commons, Speaker John Bercow calls for "pithy and succinct" questions with lots of MPs trying to get in on the A&E debate. He reminds them there is still another statement to come, from Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers.

Election preview?

The full-blooded exchanges at PMQs are likely to be a foretaste of what is to come in the run-up to May's election, with David Cameron focusing on the economy and Ed Miliband putting the NHS at the centre of the political spotlight. In the meantime, you can follow the current NHS debate in the Commons and the rest of the day's proceedings in the Chamber on the

BBC Democracy website.

Three factors

Jeremy Hunt tells MPs three "broad factors" are behind the increase in A&E demand: An ageing population, younger people wanting "healthcare faster" and NHS trusts' refusal to "cut corners to hit targets".

Merkel visit

Events in France are likely to overshadow the rest of the day's political developments. David Cameron is due to accompany Angela Merkel to an exhibition at the British Museum as part of her visit to the UK and the two leaders are due to hold talks in Downing Street, culminating in a press conference later this afternoon.

NHS questions

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is still taking questions from MPs on pressure on Accident and Emergency services, a topic that occupied much of PMQs. A number of Labour MPs are giving examples of overcrowding at their local hospitals.

NHS 'weaponised'?

During PMQs, David Cameron criticised Ed Miliband for saying he wanted to "weaponise" the NHS. But in the NHs exchanges afterwards in the Commons Labour MP Grahame Morris says: "It is a weapon, a powerful one for the treatment" of disease. Continuing the theme, he says the weapon has been "blunted" by government policies.

PMQs pictures

Sir Peter Tapsell
BBC
father of the house Sir Peter Tapsell asks about the Iraq Inquiry

PMQs pictures

Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May and George Osborne
BBC
Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May and George Osborne keep an eye on Labour's front bench

PMQs pictures

David Cameron
BBC

Daily Politics: Paris reaction

Back to events in France, the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says he believes it is the worst terrorist attack in modern French history. He says Charlie Hebdo was an "obvious target" and the tragedy represented a "shocking failure of security and intelligence".

House of Commons: Target-chasing?

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, a former doctor who chairs the health select committee, asks for assurance that NHS staff will not be forced to "chase targets" at the expense of clinical priorities. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says she is correct.

Fire engines

In the Commons, Mr Burnham, shadow health secretary, says there are reports of police and fire vehicles being used to carry people to hospitals. He says cuts to social are the "root cause" of pressure on A&E wards.

Pic: Burnham responds

Labour's Andy Burnham responds to the minister's statement about A&E pressures. "Right now, too many vulnerable people are being exposed to too much risk," he says.

Andy Burnham
BBC

Pic: Jeremy Hunt in action

Jeremy Hunt paid tribute to NHS staff as he brings his statement to a close.

Jeremy Hunt
BBC

PMQs reaction

On the NHS exchanges in the Commons, Nick Robinson reflects on the fact that he was the first to be told before Christmas that Ed Miliband had used the phrase "weaponise" in conversations with his aides. He says the Labour leader could live to regret the comment because it left him open to claims from Mr Cameron that he was politicising the health service for his own benefit.

Daily Politics: Paris reaction

The Conservative MP Sam Gyimah tells the BBC's Daily Politics that people should not "be cowed" by the attacks, saying that the British people "carried on with their lives" after the 7/7 attacks in London.

House of Commons: Winter pressures

Jeremy Hunt tells the Commons the NHS in England has been given a record £700m to cope with winter pressures. He says "longer term solutions" are also being provided.

PMQs reaction

Reacting to Prime Minister's Questions and the attacks in France, Labour's Pat McFadden tells Daily Politics such an atrocity could happen in the UK and it is impossible for the security services to "protect us 100%" against those intent on murder.

Urgent question

Following Prime Minister's Questions, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is responding to an urgent question about accident and emergency pressures.

Session ends

PMQs ends with a question from Labour's Sir Gerald Kaufman on immigration. It was a lively affair dominated, as predicted, by the NHS. Don't forget that you can watch the session back by clicking through the live Daily Politics broadcast on this page.

Biggin Hill

The PM says the government will protect the chapel at the Biggin Hill airfield in south east London for future generations, citing the key role that the airfield played in the Battle of Britain.

Dig at Balls

David Cameron uses another question on the NHS to poke fun at Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and suggests there is "total chaos" on the Labour frontbench over the economy and its spending plans.

James Landale, BBC deputy political editor

@BBCJLandale

Tweets: "Spotted: comedian Lee Mack in the gallery watching PMQs"

Social care

In response to another Labour question on the NHS, Mr Cameron says he is backing NHS chief executive Simon Stevens' plans for the future, including properly "joining-up" NHS and social care. He again suggests that Labour would not have matched the government's budget commitments since 2010.

Iraq Inquiry

Sir Peter Tapsell, the Father of the House, is the second MP to raise the Chilcot Inquiry. He suggests that the report was finished months ago and claims that the PM is "helpless" over the issue. The PM says the report is "largely finished" but those people criticised in the report are now being given the right to respond.

Praise for NHS staff in Wigan

Another question on the NHS from Labour's Lisa Nandy. She praises staff in Wigan for giving a dying woman her last wish by enabling her to pat her favourite horse in the car park of the hospital, saying this epitomises the compassion of NHS professionals. Mr Cameron agrees that they do wonderful work.

Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post political editor

@jonwalker121

Tweets: "Ed Balls teasing Tories opposite by urging them to cheer a bit more for the Prime Minister #pmqs"

Iraq inquiry delays

The Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd says there have been "inordinate delays" in the publication of the Iraq Inquiry report and says it will be "bizarre" if it does not come out before the general election. The PM says he shares the MP's "immense frustration" with the time taken but says the inquiry is independent and he "is not able to order" its publication.

Economy v NHS

A question from a Conservative MP about employment in Humberside gives the PM an opportunity to list the government's achievements in the area. We are then back onto the NHS with Labour's Chi Onwurah accusing the government of putting "competition before compassion" and fragmenting the NHS to the benefit of the PM's "buddies". In response, the PM highlights the differences in performance between the NHS in England and Wales.

Kiran Stacey, Financial Times

@kiranstacey

Tweets: "Loving the warm and loving body language of Osborne and Theresa May next to each other on the front bench. #PMQs"