Daily Archives: March 2, 2010

Nicholas Timmins

Nicholas Timmins is the FT’s public policy editor

An election may be coming, but nothing quite forgives total abuse of statistics.

Stephen O’Brien, the Conservative health spokesman, is accusing the government of trying to tie the next administration in to some £4bn’s worth of central NHS IT contracts by completing a deal ahead of the election that is aimed at saving £600m from them.

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Jim Pickard

I revealed this morning that a deal had been struck over the April TV debates between Brown/Cameron/Clegg. A statement came out 10 minutes ago.

The main points are:

1] Each audience of about 200 will be picked by ICM to reflect a broad range of political views. About 40 in each audience will be politically “undecided”. Read more

Jim Pickard

The new Andrew Rawnsley book is now out (The End of the Party) and my first impression is that it’s as fine a piece of contemporary history as his previous magnum opus, Servants of the People: with some fascinating details of New Labour’s reign.

My favourite (so far) is one which seems to perfectly encapsulate Gordon Brown’s workaholic tendencies, suspicious nature and refusal to delegate: Read more

Jim Pickard

I’m expecting to learn more details later today. But I’m told that the three political parties have agreed the details of April’s* three-way debates on ITV, Sky and the BBC which will be held in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. My understanding is that the agreement was struck last night.

I should emphasise that a preliminary announcement was made in December to have three 90-minute debates between the trio of leaders. Since then though there have been two months of grinding multi-lateral talks to sort out how the debates would work in practice. With the threat of legal action from the SNP it was never guaranteed that they would take place. Read more