Daily Archives: May 17, 2011

Jim Pickard

It’s already well known that the initial proposals for the House of Lords – at least in the draft bill - are for only an 80 per cent elected upper chamber. The other 20 per cent would still be appointed. Nick Clegg is also proposing 100 per cent, in a parallel white paper, and hopes that he can get consensus to switch the 80 to 100 in time.

But this still ignores the fact that there will be 12 bishops in the senate (or whatever it will be called), which many people will see as an anachronism. Read more

Jim Pickard

The prime minister has just proclaimed that he “condemns leaks in all circumstances”, according to Sky News.

Interesting, given that the coalition agreement (page 21) takes a rather different stance, promising that: “We will introduce new protections for whistleblowers in the public sector.” There hasn’t been much visible progress on this particular pledge since  last summer.

Jim Pickard

Many are speculating about the genesis of the explosive Liam Fox letter on the front of today’s Times, a great scoop for deputy political editor Sam Coates. (In it the defence secretary argues against enshrining greater aid commitments in law.) Was it Fox himself, posturing as the champion of the Tory right wing? It wouldn’t be the first time one of his letters has ended up in the public arena. You have to wonder why he put his concerns in writing. But this seems too obvious.

Was it the ambitious development secretary Andrew Mitchell, angling for a bigger job? Or even Alan Duncan, ditto? Read more