HC Deb 28 April 2004 vol 420 cc885-6
Q7. Mr. Patrick McLoughlin (West Derbyshire) (Con)

In the light of the weekend's press, will the Prime Minister define collective Cabinet responsibility?

The Prime Minister

It is to carry on taking the decisions that are necessary for the future of this country, the decisions that, in a constituency such as the hon. Gentleman's, have meant—[Interruption.] Oh yes, this is what it is about. Those decisions have meant more teachers, more doctors, more record school results, better national health service waiting times and crime falling. That is what it means. [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. It is getting to the stage where, every time the Prime Minister replies, some hon. Members try to shout him down. I will not allow it. I will make sure that the hon. Members concerned are removed from the Chamber. The shouting must stop on the other side of the House, too.

Q8. Mr. David Chaytor (Bury, North) (Lab)

In England today, the manager of the national football team is Swedish, the premiership footballer of the year and his manager are French, the royal family is part German and part Greek, and the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition is allegedly the son of a Transylvanian asylum seeker. Is it not time we started to celebrate our relationships with Europe and tackled head on the infantile Euroscepticism of the Tory party?

The Prime Minister

I agree entirely. I hope that people realise that Britain's membership of the European Union is good for Britain. It is in the British national interest. It is good for jobs, for industry, for our influence in the world. Under this party, we will maintain that central place in Europe's future.

Q9. Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con)

Does the Prime Minister support the murder or mutilation of hundreds of women and children in Fallujahas an appropriate response to the savage murder of four American contractors?

The Prime Minister

I do not agree with that characterisation of what has happened in Fallujah. Not only those innocent civilians but 19 Iraqi police were murdered. There are a large number of well armed former regime elements in Fallujah, and probably some outside terrorists as well. They are armed not just with ordinary and light weapons but with rocket-propelled grenades and so on, and it is right that the American forces should try to ensure that order is restored to the city. I repeat that I deeply regret any civilian death in Fallujah. It is necessary for order to be restored, and the Americans are trying to do that peacefully—with members of the Iraqi governing council, incidentally, and local civic leaders—but in the end we cannot have a situation in which small groups of people defy the will of the overwhelming majority of Iraqis.

The people who have been killing civilians in Iraq are not the American soldiers but people who use car bombs and suicide bombs to attack innocent Iraqis as well as coalition forces, causing death and destruction quite unnecessarily.