PM makes 'begging bowl' jibe at Labour

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Britain would be in Brussels holding out "a begging bowl asking for a bailout" alongside Greece if Labour had won the election, David Cameron claimed in clashes with Ed Miliband ahead of last night's emergency summit.

The Labour leader accused Mr Cameron of being distracted by the rebel Tory MPs in favour of holding a referendum on the European Union.

Mr Miliband said: "On the day of the eurozone crisis, we have a Prime Minister who has spent the last week pleading with his backbenchers, not leading for Britain in Europe."

In an attack on the Government's austerity measures, he said Europe's leaders should be discussing ways of stimulating economic growth.

Mr Cameron hit back: "The truth is that if you went to that meeting tonight, your message to [Silvio] Berlusconi would be: 'Ignore the markets, just carry on spending'.

Writing in The Independent today, the shadow Chancellor Ed Balls warns that without a change of direction the world faces a repeat of the "lost decade" of the 1930s.