Monthly Archives: December 2008

Jim Pickard

So Peter Hain, former work and pensions secretary, is in the clear over late reporting of donations to his campaign to become deputy leader of the Labour party.

Here is the original story from January about Mr Hain’s resignation. He quit – to clear his name – just days after it emerged that the donations were late (and that more than £50,000 came via a mysterious think tank called the Progressive Policies Forum).

In a nutshell, the CPS concluded that Mr Hain was not the person responsible for recording donations. And it wasn’t clear who should have done so. Therefore no case. Read more

Jim Pickard

Here is the statement from the CPS: 

“The Crown Prosecution Service has today advised all concerned parties that there is insufficient evidence to charge Peter Hain MP with any offences in relation to donations made to Mr Hain’s campaign to support his bid to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in mid 2007. Read more

Jim Pickard

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has just distanced itself from the 75k figure which has rapidly taken hold in the media. It is a totemic number, as it is almost exactly the peak of the last recession: in 1991.

It’s not an official estimate though, contrary to numerous reports. The CML is predicting 45,000 repossessions this year. As for next year, it tells me: “It is not our forecast, it is very unlikely to be our forecast, we are putting out the new figure next week.” Read more

Jim Pickard

Environmentalists are delighted by the news – earlier this morning – that the Heathrow third runway decision has been postponed til the end of January.

With reports of splits among cabinet ministers (Hilary Benn and the Miliband brothers are the most vociferous opponents, I’m told) some see the delay as a sign that the project is doomed. Read more

Jim Pickard

The 15 bills in the Queen’s Speech are as dry as dust*.

But Alex and I have been told that Gordon Brown is about to reveal the big surprise. Read more

Jim Pickard

Joy all round at the weekend when Royal Bank of Scotland promised to give six months’ grace to customers struggling to keep up with their mortgages.

Leave aside the obvious point that this is a delay rather than a stay of execution.   Read more