By Matthew Barrett
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Miliband started off his line of questioning by asking how many people entered the country under Theresa May's relaxed border scheme. Cameron responded by saying the figures "are published in the normal way", and then said arrests for various crimes increased as a result of the scheme. He then defended the Home Secretary, saying the scheme allowed better targeting for high-risk immigrants, mostly concerned children entering the country, and finished by saying the Home Secretary was right, and he "fully backs" her over the scheme. However, he said, civil servants took unauthorised measures to extend the scheme against orders from Ministers, and said it was right Brodie Clark, the civil servant involved, was suspended. May nodded along to the Prime Minister's answer.
Miliband replied that this was "just not good enough", and condemned the Prime Minister's inability to say how many people entered under the scheme. Cameron repeated the arrest figures. Miliband said the case was "utterly typical" and that "when things go wrong, it's nothing to do with them."
Mr Speaker felt the need to intervene in the subsequent jeering, and compared Members unfavourably with the Youth Parliament – a comparison which was met with groans on the governing benches, and Mr Speaker took offence, bellowing "order!" Miliband continued, quoting Theresa May condemning "Ministers who blame other people for things going wrong", something she said in opposition. Miliband then quoted the Prime Minister saying the scheme's extension was wrong.
Cameron replied that Labour couldn't lecture anyone on immigration – listing asylum seekers and the fact millions of Eastern Europeans have migrated to the country as examples of Labour failure.
Miliband again pointed out Cameron was blaming other people. Cameron repeated the figures for arrests that the scheme led to. Cameron then listed e-borders, the National Crime Agency, drug seizures, rejection of visa applications, and turning away 68,000 people with incorrect paperwork as examples of how the Coalition is tougher on immigration than Labour was. He ended by saying "finally we've got a Home Office and an Immigration Minister that wants to cut immigration".
Miliband said "anyone listening to the Prime Minister would think his policy is a great success – it's a fiasco!" Miliband asked how many Border Agency staff would be cut. Cameron responded with a very effective answer: there will be as many people as were working in the Border Agency in 2006, when Miliband was planning spending in the Treasury. Cameron listed some more cases of the government being tough: student visas, spouses having to speak English, and bogus colleges. Miliband called it a "fiasco" again. The Prime Minister is out of touch, and the government shambolic, Miliband claimed.
Cameron said Miliband should listen to Blue Labour's Lord Glasman, who said "Labour lied about the extent of immigration". Cameron demanded to know where Labour's apology for immigration failure was.
Some notes on backbench questions: