The new expenses body for MPs put out a release this evening saying it would relent on two fronts after pressure from all sides:
1] MPs will no longer automatically have to pay 15 per cent of their phone bills out of their own pockets. Yet – and this could be more of a pain – they will have to separate their private/political calls from work ones. Read more
The former Africa minister has taken an advisory role with Southwest Energy (HK), an Ethiopian oil company which is registered in Hong Kong. Malloch-Brown, who worked for the UN before he entered Brown’s government as a “Goat”, is still vice-chair of the World Economic Forum. Read more
I had to leave tonight’s Policy Exchange function at the Institute of Directors just as the mayor of London was getting into his stride: But as ever he picked a choice metaphor, according to Tim Montgomerie: Read more
As predicted here earlier, Harriet Harman trod a fine line between criticising the government and not overdoing it; and did a surprisingly good job of it. She also had a few lines which were genuinely amusing*.
Perhaps the best was her remark that the Liberal Democrats were still trying to keep the “short money” funding for opposition parties. Read more
In case you thought that Britain was going it alone with spending cuts, a reminder of what’s going on elsewhere in the world: This is very far from comprehensive.
Germany announced on Monday a £45bn, five-year programme of reductions in public spending. (*My eminent colleague Quentin Peel tells me that “wir sitzen alle in einem boot” means ‘we are all in the same boat’.) Read more
Guido revealed via Tweet this morning that Lord Adonis has started writing a book. I can elaborate that it will be on the “Five Days that Transformed Modern Politics” – although this may only be a working title. This is a reference to the Clegg coalition talks (with both Tories and Labour) in the frenetic days after May 6.
In case you missed it, David Cameron last night bowed to pressure from backbenchers and executed a U-turn over his plans to give ministers a vote at meetings of the weekly committee. Francis Maude on the Today programme: “Minor drama, not many injured.“