Prime Minister's Questions: George Osborne discusses radicalisation, climate change and employment

 
Ashley Kirk
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George Osborne and David Cameron at the State Opening of Parliament (Source: Getty)

George Osborne has made his debut on centre stage at Prime Minister's Questions, as Parliament discussed radicalisation, climate change and today's employment figures.

The Chancellor was standing in for the Prime Minister, who is continuing his tour of Europe to meet EU leaders, while Labour's Hilary Benn was asking questions.

Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, referred to the case of the 17-year-old suicide bomber from Britain.

He asked if the government was doing "everything it can to prevent our young people from travelling to Iraq and Syria".

Osborne said that the government continued to work with airlines, schools, universities and mosques, while also giving security services the powers they require. He urged Labour to back the government's Extremism Bill, saying that his government is planning to encourage "community-led prevention" of radicalisation.

Green MP Caroline Lucas called on the chancellor to divest parliamentary pension funds in fossil fuel technologies.

Osborne said the issue was "way above [his] pay grade", but added that the government is committed to reduce carbon emissions in a way that would not harm the economy.

The chancellor inevitably referred to today's pleasing jobs and wages figures, after several questions on the matter from Tory backbenchers. He said that unemployment is down, and wages are growing faster than before the recession.

He added that the government's economic plan had provided the stability needed for businesses to start lifting people out of unemployment.

Before the General Election, Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg would stand in for David Cameron when he was away.

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