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15.08.11

Cameron and Miliband clash after riots

Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband will clash in speeches today over the causes of the riots, and the best response to them.

Cameron will order a review of Government policy across a range of issues, including parenting and welfare, while Miliband is set to demand a public inquiry to deal with the causes of the riots.

Although both leaders will condemn the violent disorder, their approaches to dealing with the aftermath are markedly different. Miliband will refer to Cameron’s suggested policies as “gimmicks”, and he will insist that deprivation be taken into account in the analysis of the trouble.

Cameron will say: "Over the next few weeks, I and ministers from across the Coalition Government will review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society, on schools, welfare, families, parenting, addiction, communities; on the cultural, legal, bureaucratic problems in our society too; from the twisting and misrepresenting of human rights that has undermined personal responsibility, to the obsession with health and safety that has eroded people's willingness to act according to common sense – and consider whether our plans and programmes are big enough and bold enough to deliver the change that I feel this country now wants to see.”

He will also state that his passion to fix what he has called Britain’s “broken society” is now stronger than ever. Cameron will suggest causes for this broken society include children without fathers and schools without discipline. He will conclude that: “Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged - sometimes even incentivised - by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally de-moralised."

Miliband is set to focus on broader societal issues such as the banking crisis, saying: “There is an issue which went to all our souls - this is an issue not just about the responsibility and irresponsibility we saw on the streets of Tottenham. It's about irresponsibility, wherever we find it in our society. We've seen in the past few years MPs' expenses, what happened in the banks, what happened with phone hacking."

The Labour leader is calling for a public inquiry, yet Cameron is waiting for the Commons Home Affairs Committee to conduct their inquiry before considering further action. Miliband has said that if the Government does not conduct a public inquiry, then Labour will conduct its own.

The Home Affairs Committee will begin its inquiry on September 6. Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the committee, said: "We will be looking at police tactics, we will be looking at the operation of gangs, we will be looking at mobile communications, and we will be revisiting some of the issues we have looked at in the past, such as the inquiry into the G20 protests.”

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