Cameron denies being 'humiliated' over EC Juncker vote

David Cameron: "While Europe has taken a big step backwards...we did secure some small steps forward for Britain in its relationship with the EU"

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David Cameron has suffered "utter humiliation" over the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president, Ed Miliband has claimed.

The Labour leader told MPs the PM's renegotiation strategy for the UK in Europe was now "in tatters".

But the prime minister insisted he would work with Mr Juncker despite his opposition to him.

He accused Mr Miliband of being "opportunistic and wrong".

The two leaders clashed during heated Commons exchanges following Mr Cameron's statement on the European Council gathering last week, at which EU leaders chose Mr Juncker.

Ed Miliband: It was "an appalling failure of relationship building, winning support and delivering for Britain."

Mr Cameron forced a vote of EU states on Friday on the selection of the Luxembourg politician - but lost it by 26 to two.

'Defeated PM'

Mr Miliband mocked the prime minister for being unable to get other countries to support his stance.

"You were outwitted, out-manoeuvred and out-voted," he said. "Instead of building alliances in Europe, you've burned them. You're a defeated prime minister who can't deliver for Great Britain."

But Mr Cameron hit back that Mr Miliband's performance was "worthy of Neil Kinnock", the former Labour leader who lost two general elections.

Joaquin Almunia, Vice-President of the EU Commission, said a UK exit from the EU would be "very bad news"

"The fact is that the leaders of the principal parties in Britain agreed that this person was the wrong one, but as soon things get difficult, the weak give up the chase."

Defending his actions, he said he felt it was wrong that the European Parliament effectively dictated the choice of the new president of the commission and it "was important to push the principle and our deep misgivings about this issue right to the end.

"I at least wanted to put Britain's opposition to this decision firmly on the record."

While Mr Juncker's nomination marked "a bad day for Europe", he said the UK must now work with him, while also being "the voice" of those seeking change in Europe.

'Desperate'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who was not present in the Commons for Mr Cameron's statement, told Mumsnet any notion of Britain leaving the European Union would be "immensely damaging".

But the Lib Dem leader added that it was now important to "move on" from the debate over Mr Juncker's appointment to "secure Britain's place permanently in the European Union".

UKIP MEP Diane James accused Mr Cameron of "blundering from one desperate act to another", saying that he, the European Commission and the voters all knew "that the big EU policies that affect the UK are simply not up for grabs."

Earlier on Monday, Joaquin Almunia, vice-president of the European Commission said "it would be very bad news" if the UK left the EU.

He also predicted that Mr Cameron would be able to work with the in-coming European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.

He told the BBC Mr Juncker was "a committed pro-European" but also "a pragmatic politician" and the UK "was an important member of the EU".

'Benefit of the doubt'

Only Britain and Hungary voted to block the appointment of Mr Juncker, who is seen as a backer of closer political union in the EU.

Although Germany was on the opposite side over Mr Juncker, its finance minister told the Financial Times a British exit from the EU was "unimaginable" and "absolutely not acceptable".

David Davis David Davis told Today Mr Cameron could yet gain from his Juncker defeat

Wolfgang Schauble said his country would do everything in its power to keep Britain in the union

"Clearly, we have in many economic questions and regulatory questions a broad consensus," he said.

"Historically, politically, democratically, culturally, Great Britain is entirely indispensable for Europe."

The Labour ex-European Commissioner Lord Mandelson, who met Mr Juncker in Berlin last week, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he should be given "the benefit of the doubt".

"He explicitly said he does not advocate a united states of Europe - he's not a green-eyed federalist minister as some in Britain have portrayed him.

"Mr Juncker has the experience and the knowledge to be an effective president of the European Commission."

But prominent Conservative Eurosceptic MP David Davis said while Mr Juncker was a "bad candidate", Mr Cameron had to turn his opposition to the EC president into a "tactical advantage" to secure constitutional changes that allow Britain to protect "our national interests".

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  3.  
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  17.  
    @tnewtondunn 10:55: Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor of The Sun

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    Justine Greening addressing the Conservative conference
     
  19.  
    10:50:

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  20.  
    10:48: Greening

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  21.  
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  22.  
    The Times 10:46: Newspaper round-up

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  23.  
    10:44: Ed inspired by Dave

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    Ed Sheeran
     
  24.  
    10:37: Jess Denham, for the Independent

    writes: Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron. Ed Sheeran has admitted dedicating a song to the prime minister at a private house party this summer. Read more

     
  25.  
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  27.  
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  28.  
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  29.  
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  30.  
    @TheGreenParty 10:17: The Green Party

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  31.  
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  32.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 10:08: Get involved

    Adam Rees: Labour keep banging on about the Tories privatising the NHS. I've been hearing it for as long as I remember. It's still free at the point of use. There are some NHS services provided by private companies for sure but who introduced it for the very first time? Labour!

     
  33.  
    @Andrew_ComRes 10:07: Andrew Hawkins, ComRes Chairman

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  34.  
    @iainmartin1 10:06: Iain Martin, Journalist

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  35.  
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  36.  
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  37.  
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  38.  
    @Freeman_George 09:50: George Freeman, Conservative MP

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  39.  
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  40.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 09:45: Get involved

    Bob, Cambridge: It never ceases to amaze me when the general election is close by how the Tories send out sweeteners to get voters to stay. No chance Mr Cameron we all know what your party is about and always has been and that is to persecute the poor for the mistakes of the rich.

     
  41.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 09:41: Get involved

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  42.  
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  43.  
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  44.  
    @_James_Lyons_ 09:26: James Lyons, Daily Mirror Deputy Political Editor

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  45.  
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  46.  
    @BBCNormanS 09:23: Norman Smith, BBC

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  47.  
    09:18: Coming up at conference

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  48.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 09:17: Get involved

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  49.  
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  50.  
    @matthancockmp 09:16: Matt Hancock, Conservative MP

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  51.  
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  52.  
    @Nigel_Farage 09:14: Nigel Farage, @UKIP Leader

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  53.  
    09:13: Prop developer

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  54.  
    09:12: Tory donor joins UKIP

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  55.  
    @Mike_Fabricant 09:10: Michael Fabricant, Conservative MP

    tweets: Another sunny day in Brum for #CPC14. An omen? See photo

     
  56.  
    09:08: Happy talk?

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  57.  
    09:06: Where is he?

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    Samantha Cameron
     
  58.  
    09:05: More on the NHS

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  59.  
    09:03: Midnight oil

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    David Cameron
     
  60.  
    09:02: NHS spending pledge

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  61.  
    09:00: Good morning

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. The day will culminate in the highlight of any party conference: the leader's speech. David Cameron will address party activists at 11.15 BST, in what will be his final conference speech before the general election.

     

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