George Osborne takes centre stage at Prime Minister's Questions for first time

Chancellor George Osborne has taken first Prime Minister's Questions after stepping in for David Cameron today.

Mr Osborne - tipped as a future Conservative leader by Mr Cameron in March - was cheered loudly as he stepped up to the Despatch Box to face questions from Labour's shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.

After being welcomed by Mr Benn, the Chancellor opened the proceedings with a joke about "Bennite" candidates in the Labour leadership contest.

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn. Credit: ITV News

"Can I thank you for your welcome, and welcome you to your place - I think your father would be extremely proud to see you leading the Labour Party today.

"Speaking for this side of the House, we are extremely relieved to see there is no Benn in the leadership contest opposite - but plenty of Bennites."

But it was a largely tame exchange between the pair, with Mr Benn sticking to security and foreign affairs questions.

The chancellor is standing in while David Cameron continues his tour of Europe to press for EU reform ahead of a planned in/out referendum.