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Go for it, PM tells new Labour MP

David Cameron has urged a newly elected Labour MP to "go for it" and enter her party's leadership contest as she asked the Prime Minister about the loss of the UK's AAA credit rating.

Speaking at the first Prime Minister's Questions of the new parliament, Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, asked: "Can the Prime Minister inform the House when he expects the UK to regain its AAA credit rating?"

Mr Cameron drew laughs from the Conservative benches as he called on Ms Smith to "throw your hat in the ring", adding: "In that one question she's made more sense than all the rest of them put together."

He responded: "Well first of all can I welcome the honourable lady to her place and congratulate her on her election success, and if I might say I think the first question she asks, which is about fiscal responsibility and sustainability, I take that as a sign of progress.

"I would say to her there's a leadership election on and throw your hat in the ring. In that one question she's made more sense than all the rest of them put together. Go for it."

The contenders in the Labour leadership race include shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, widely regarded as the frontrunner, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, shadow health minister Liz Kendall and shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh.

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