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PM: Deepest condolences to families of Alps air crash

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron has begun the last PMQs before the general election by paying tribute to those killed in the plane crash in the French Alps.

Mr Cameron said: "I know the whole House will wish to join me in offering our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those killed in yesterday's airbus crash in France.

"It is heartbreaking to hear about the schoolchildren, the babies, the families whose lives have been brought to an end."

Three British Nationals have been confirmed as being among the victims.

Mr Cameron said the the Foreign Office is "working urgently" to establish whether any further British nationals were among those on board the Germanwings flight.

PMQs set for 'final' Cameron v Miliband showdown

Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband will go head-to-head in the House of Commons today for what is likely to be the final time.

Today's Prime Minister's Questions will be the last session before Parliament is dissolved on Monday ahead of the general election - and with both party leaders facing possible leadership questions if they fail to secure majorities, it could be the last time the pair face one another.

Today is set to be the last time Cameron and Miliband face one another at PMQs Credit: PA

ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship tweeted:

It comes just days after Mr Cameron told children's newspaper First News that PMQs was his least favourite part of leading the country.

I don't really enjoy Prime Minister's Questions. It's not a very good example to schoolchildren around the country because it's not a great reflection of what parliament does.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Cameron and Miliband in final PMQs face-off before General Election

David Cameron and Ed Miliband will take part in the last Prime Minister's Question Time session before the General Election today.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband are due to take part in one of last PMQs before the General Election Credit: PA

As an ITV News poll reveals that Labour and the Conservatives are currently neck and neck among voters, the two leaders will have their final face off before ballots are cast on May 7.

The crucial final PMQs will see Miliband given six questions to challenge the Prime Minister on any chosen area of public policy.


New view of PMQs as Speaker allows 'eye level shots'

TV cameras will be allowed into the bear pit at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) to capture eye level shots of the debate, the Speaker has said.

Cameras have a restricted view of the Commons which means speakers can only be seen from this angle. Credit: PA

John Bercow has allowed two members of a TV crew access to capture eye-level shots of the exchanges, in a bid to move away from the limited view of the remote control cameras which hang from the ceiling.

The footage is for four-part BBC series Inside the Commons, fronted by respected documentary-maker Michael Cockerell and due to be aired early next year.

A spokeswoman for Mr Bercow said: "The established fixed filming in the House of Commons was not sufficient for the documentary makers, so they requested permission from the Speaker.

"Events in the House are a matter of public record, MPs are not unused to being filmed and PMQs have been broadcast live since 1980, so it seemed quite reasonable to grant this request."

Speaker: Party leaders must do more about rowdy MPs

Party leaders are not doing enough to get rowdy MPs under control at PMQs, the Speaker of the House of Commons told Radio 4's PM programme.

In a wide-ranging interview covering MPs expenses and sexual harassment in Parliament, John Bercow criticised all party leaders for not delivering a "specific commitment" on their members behaviour.

I have heard back from the party leaders.

There is a general sense, 'Yes Mr Speaker you make a good point and of course we must behave well and try to impress the public and give serious consideration to what people think', but there's not yet much by way of a specific commitment."

I know there are people in the Westminster beltway, including in the press gallery, who think, 'Well, what's the Speaker moaning about? Why is he so neurotic? This is the way people like it'.

To which my answer is no, that's the way you like it.

– John Bercow

MPs put off PMQs by bad behaviour, warns speaker

MPs are increasingly put off Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) by the "histrionics and cacophony of noise", the Speaker of the House of Commons has warned.

John Bercow has to frequently call the house to order during PMQs. Credit: PA

John Bercow said women MPs and "seasoned parliamentarians" had given up attending the weekly question and answer session because of bad behaviour by other members of the house.

Mr Bercow said Parliament was "spray painting its own shop window" by appearing to generate higher decibel levels than heavy metal band Deep Purple, regarded as the loudest band in the world in some quarters.

He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme there are "down-market parts of the media" who would "positively relish" it if there was a fight on the floor of the Commons chamber.

Cameron and Miliband trade blows over Miller row

David Cameron and Ed Miliband traded blows today over the Prime Minister's handling of the controversy over Maria Miller's expenses claims.

During Prime Minister's Questions, the Labour leader accused Mr Cameron of being an "apologist for unacceptable behaviour" and of failing to understand the public outcry over the affair.

While the Prime Minister suggested there was a lesson to be learned about loyalty and not rushing to judgement, Mr Miliband claimed his answer showed Mr Cameron thought the former Culture Secretary "did nothing wrong".

Mr Cameron hit back, accusing Mr Miliband of being opportunistic and claiming he was jumping on a "political bandwagon" after "the whole circus has left town".

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