Daily Archives: November 9, 2010

Jim Pickard

One of the more intriguing lines to emerge from the Cameron trip to China is that the prime minister has apparently risked a row with his hosts by wearing a lapel poppy.

In Britain, of course, this is a symbol of those who have died fighting for their country. In China the flower has a less welcome connotation with European imperialism. Read more

George W. Bush’s bombastic return to the world stage has reminded me of my favourite Bush anecdote, which for various reasons we couldn’t publish at the time. Some of the witnesses still dine out on it.

The venue was the Oval Office. A group of British dignitaries, including Gordon Brown, were paying a visit. It was at the height of the 2008 presidential election campaign, not long after Bush publicly endorsed John McCain as his successor. Read more

Jim Pickard

John Pienaar has revealed that a mutiny took place during last night’s weekly meeting of the PLP: Here is his report from Five Live: I will bring you any more details I pick up later in the day.

The decision to suspend and disown expelled MP Phil Woolas, found guilty of lying by a special election court, has provoked what Labour MPs and former ministers are describing as a “mutiny” against the Labour leadership at Westminster.

Today, Mr Woolas is engaged in raising cash for a legal challenge to the court ruling whoich led to his sacking. He told me he had already received pledges of support from “dozens of colleagues” – many of whom had promised to begin fund raising efforts of their own.

Deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman, faced a backbench revolt at last night’s private meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

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Jim Pickard

Geoff Lewtas of the PCS union warned this morning that the chaos around the new “LEPs” being set up to replace RDAs could mean “hundreds of millions in euros” of development money lost.

The union official said that there were real concerns about the shambolic way that these “local enterprise partnerships” are being created, covering only parts of the country. Until now the RDAs were responsible for handling huge amounts of development money from Brussels:

“It will take some time before they are recognised by the EU as acceptable bodies to handle this (development aid), there could be hundreds of millions of euros in development money being held backand possibly not made available,” he warned.

“That seems to me a pretty dire consequence and a serious risk that doesn’t seem to have been taken into account.”

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