PMQs as-it-happened

Follow all the twists and turns of this week's PMQs with's blog.

11:10 – And we're back. It's David Cameron and Ed Miliband at this week's PMQs and not before time too. Cameron couldn't have timed it better if he'd tried and he pretty much did. Every week a new row has thrown mud at the coalition and the prime minister has avoided any ritual humiliation by the luxury of Easter. Miliband must have been biting his nails off waiting to get back into the ring during the fallout to the Budget – from pasties to granny tax the man must have so many stale old jokes he won't know which ones to use first. he could go for unemployment figures which are out today, but they were comparatively benign for the government. My hunch is he'll do a full out assault on the Budget – 'one month on and it's totally unravelled', that sort of thing.

11:20 – While we're waiting for PMQs, former shadow health secretary John Healey is doing a ten minute rule bill about a "sassy" pair of girls who visited his constituency surgery. Something to do with maternity leave. We'll be back just before noon for kick off.

11:51 – Scottish questions are starting to dry up. It's all predictable stuff on Scottish independence. I really hope there's a question from George Galloway for PMQs, that'll brighten it up.

11:57 – Cameron is now in the Chamber, as is Clegg.

11:58 – Osborne is not looking good. There's no colour in his face, very pale. He's about to get a barrage of insults. his eyes peer outwards, nervously. Cameron has a furrowed brown and stares down at his notes

12:01 – Cameron is up. He reads the names of those killed in Afghanistan in recent weeks. Naomi Lon (Alliance, sunny and reassuring) asks a question about information rules in Northern Ireland. I didn't quite understand the question, mostly due to a shaky understanding of Northern Irish politics.

12:02 – Stephen Barclay (Con, looks like he smells nice) asks a planted question on foreign doctors. Miliband is up.

12:03 – He also reads the names of those who died over the Easter break. "Can the PM confirm that the cut of the 50p tax rate will be worth at least £40,000 a year to Britain's millionaires?" Cameron says it will be paid five times over by the richest people in the country. "But I notice he doesn't ask about unemployment" – because it fell slightly (not enough to crow about). Miliband says only this PM could think it was a cause for celebration that over a million young people are still out of work.

12:05 – Miliband says the House notes he couldn't deny the figure – even the Treasury committee thinks the figures used for it are bogus. By freezing the tax allowance, the elderly are getting poorer, Miliband says. Cameron defends the Budget, but its a flimsy effort. You can hear the lack of conviction. "If he's concerned about the 45p top rate of tax perhaps he could explain why his amendment would get rid of that rate of tax and leave us with a 40p rate of tax". Commons in uproar. "He's had almost nothing to do but even that he's completely incompetent at." Miliband: "The prime minister is talking rubbish as always."

12:07 – Miliband moves onto families with children. He says IFS data shows families with kids are over £500 a year worse off. "I notice he's moved off the top rate of tax" Cameron says. He says Miliband must withdraw the amendment because if its successful they'll just have a 40p rate. "He can't convince Labour's London mayoral candidate to pay his taxes," Cameron adds. He demands Miliband condemn Ken Livingstone. Miliband: "He's very excited today. In case he's forgotten it's prime minister's questions. The clue is in the name. I ask the questions.”

12:09 – "I don't know why he's taking advice from the part time chancellor sitting next to him. I wonder which job he's dong today," Miliband says. I think he was talking to Clegg. Miliband moves to charities and says they could lose £500 million. Cameron says the figures are completely wrong. Cameron still tries to get the debate onto Ken Livingstone. He's making a valiant effort to turn defence into offence. The Speaker demands the minister for health calm himself for his health. Miliband: "If he wants to talk about the mayor of London we've got a mayor for London who will cut Tube fairs. And what's he got? A candidate who is out of touch and arguing for the cut to the 50p tax rate." Miliband had to do that – he looked like he was distancing himself from Ken.

12:11 – Miliband says it's an "omni-shambles Budget". Cameron sticks on Ken Livingstone. he's managing to just about keep it there. Cameron: "He talks about my last month. I accept, a tough month. Let's look at his month. He lost the Bradford by-election. He showed complete weakness when it came to the Unite trade union and the fuel strike." Miliband: "I am not going to take any lectures on industrial relations from a prime minister who caused panic at the pumps. Let him apologise for the gross irresponsibility for the Cabinet minister who caused that panic at the pumps. He should calm down Mr Speaker." Chaos in the Commons. "This Budget fails the test of fairness, it fails the test of competence." Cameron: "He won't take any lectures on the fuel strike because he's in the pockets of the people who wanted them. Not good enough to run the opposition, not good enough to run the country."

12:14 – So, a couple of interesting things. First, the PM mentioned Galloway by name not as the member for Bradford West. Galloway shot him a look of pure fury. Secondly, he was in full red-faced mode at the end, shouting and pointing and seemingly over-emotional. Miliband probably edged it on that, because he stayed calm and the subject matter was to his benefit. Cameron fought valiantly to keep the spotlight on Ken and not the Budget, but was only partially successful. That was scrappy, angry and incredible bad-tempered. Nothing new, all a bit stale, rather enjoyable. Final score: Miliband: 2 Cameron: 1.

12:19 – The Tories are intent on hammering Ken today. Another planted question on his tax arrangements. And again from Andrew Selous. "Why the deafening silence from the party opposite?" Cameron asks.

12:21 – Stephen Mosley (Con, sad eyes) asks about Burma. He's wary of how much they really respect human rights. Cameron on the top rate of tax: "The party opposite has 13 years to introduce a 50p top rate of tax. They did it one month before an election they knew they were going to lose." The front bench look quite defeated actually. Lots of sombre, ashen faces. The Ken deflection technique is not quite working. But the mere fact it exists shows how much Ken has become a liability rather than an asset to the party – something that was unimaginable a few years back.

12:25 – Does the PM think selling the granny tax as a "simplification" treats them with respect, he is asked. Cameron tries to defend his record on the elderly, avoids the question.
12:26 – Caroline Lucas of the Greens and Galloway of Respect are trying to ask questions. My guess is Bercow will end with the latter.

12:27 – Now Cameron faces questions on church tax. Douglas Carswell (Con, looks like he's constantly being electrocuted) asks a slightly critical question about the role the civil service has holding the executive back. "There are a few occasions when I think the gentleman needs a sense of humour," Cameron replies. The Commons fills with handbags noises.

12:29 – Conservative commentators online aren't happy about that one. Lots of criticism of Cameron for humiliating his own backbenchers. This is part of a running theme – Cameron as arrogant and unlikable to the press and his own side. ConservativeHome editor Tim Montgomerie just tweeted: "Lots of Flashman on display from Cameron today, especially in response to Douglas Carswell. Not attractive."

12:31 – Claire Perry (Con, knitting) wants news on her report about protecting children from internet porn. Cameron says he is in talks with ISPs. Non-committal answer.

12:33 – Galloway still not getting a chance to ask his question – that's 26 times he's had to stand up and sit down now according to those watching closely. But he's on! "AS I was saying Mr Speaker," he starts. Marvellous. He says there is a consensus about Afghanistan. "In the wake of Ms Gillard's decision to accelerate the withdrawal of Australian forces will the PM reconsider his current planning from our withdrawal?" Cameron congratulates him on his return and says he always speaks "with great power and great force" – wise use of courtesy there. It actually prompts one of the most impassioned responses I've seen from Cameron on the subject. "I would urge him not to play to the gallery on this issue."

12:36 – Dramatic intervention from Ed Balls who uses a point of order to say Cameron was wrong to say the 50p tax rate makes no money. "If I didn't know him as well as I do I would think he was trying to use the device of a point of order to continue the debate but because I know him as well as I do I know he won't be guilty of such unworthy conduct." That's what a Commons slap is like.

12:37 – As Cameron leaves the chamber he dismisses Balls with a flick of the hand. OK, that's your lot. Not a bad week – hatred, anger, dramatic flourishes and a bucket of sarcasm. Run for the course. See you next time.