THE Prime Minister has mocked Labour for welcoming back controversial spin doctor Damian McBride, as the party continues to grapple with its defence strategy.
David Cameron raised laughs in the Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions when he said the shadow defence team’s “latest brilliant answer” was to hire Gordon Brown’s former special adviser.
Mr McBride was forced to quit in 2009 when allegations of a smear campaign against the Tories emerged, but last week he returned to the party to assist shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry.
The exchange came after Ms Thornberry refused to commit Labour to spend 2% of GDP on defence and amid infighting over her anti-Trident stance.
Tory Michael Ellis (Northampton North) asked the Prime Minister: “Do you agree with me that with the Nato summit in Warsaw pending, with the threat of expansionism from Putin’s Russia and the national security threat from Daesh, we are right in this party, this Government, to support 2% of our GDP towards defence?
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“And isn’t he shocked at the failure of the party opposite to do likewise?”
Mr Cameron replied: “I think you make an important point which is we do face an insecure and unstable world, particularly with what (Russian president Vladimir) Putin has done in the Ukraine, particularly with what we see in Syria, and that’s why I think 2% spending on defence and making sure we renew our nuclear deterrent is the right answer.
“To be fair to the Labour Party, they have got an answer. They’re not going to spend 2%, they’re not going to renew our Trident submarines - but they’ve come up with a really brilliant answer. They are bringing back as their spokesman and spin doctor Damian McBride.
“Six months after saying, and this is the leader of opposition, we can win in 2020 but only if we spend the next five years building this movement and putting forward a vision for a new kind of politics, honest, kinder and more caring.
“Six months on Damian McBride is back, that says it all.”