Cameron (l) and Miliband
Cameron (l) and Miliband

David Cameron and Ed Miliband have clashed at Prime Minister's Questions over broken election promises.

A leaked document revealing private government discussions about whether to publish a dossier listing failed promises dominated exchanges between the pair at the first PMQs of the year.

Miliband pressed Cameron on why the embarrassing document was not published. The Telegraph reported that 70 election pledges had not been kept.

The document authors advised against publication because it would result in "unhelpful stories" and "unfavourable copy". The document was due to be published on Monday.

It only came to light when the Telegraph published a picture of a government aide holding it with some of the text visible. In Parliament, Cameron said it would be released today (Wednesday).

Miliband mocked Cameron as "a PR man who can't even do a relaunch. They are incompetent, they break promises. The nasty party is back.

"The more he rants and blusters, the less convincing he is.

The prime minister hit back: "[Labour has] nothing to say about the deficit, [is] on the wrong side of argument on welfare, [has] nothing to say on the deficit and nothing to say on the economy."

Prying lenses

The documents were revealed by accident by the Downing Street aide on Tuesday.

Cameron's political adviser Patrick Rock was photographed with the document on his way into Downing Street. Photographers captured the text after Rock carelessly failed to keep it hidden from prying lenses.

Failures listed in the papers related to attempts to reform teachers' pay, stiffening community punishments for offenders and changing the welfare system.

Bottom of the list for delivery was the Ministry of Justice which failed to implement 15 percent of its proposed policies.

The document discussed the pros and cons of publishing a dossier listing more than 70 pledges which the coalition government had failed to honour.

"We would get some credit for transparency which is [in] line with the government's general approach. This could be contrasted with [former PM, Gordon] Brown's penchant for secrecy. I wouldn't make much of this point since the media aren't given to much generosity towards any government on such matters but I mention it for what it's worth," said the document author.

Elsewhere, the potential benefits of publishing the dossier were discussed. "Another section discusses how Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg could explain "broken pledges".

"[We can] robustly argue that having looked at a particular issue more closely we have decided not to proceed with this or that pledge. We can argue that this is evidence of a mature and responsible approach to government. This argument will not, however, hold water very easily for some of the abandoned pledges eg, numbers of special advisers."