Until a few hours ago, Downing Street was insisting David Cameron would not return to London to help oversee the response to the riots. This is an era of modern communications, we were told – the PM can be in charge from Italy.
At about the same time, a friend of mine was in a taxi trying to get home via Bethnal Green Road in east London, where police were involved in a stand-off with crowds of (largely) young men. The driver told her: “David Cameron needs to come back – nobody is speaking to these people [referring to the rioters].”
Sure enough, just 20 minutes ago, we were told Cameron would be coming home tonight, ready to chair a meeting of Cobra, the cabinet emergency committee, on Tuesday morning. Read more
It never looks good for a politician to gloat in the middle of the turmoil, and George Osborne isn’t doing that. But he is pointing out, unsurprisingly, that the swift cuts to eliminate the deficit have made bond traders less likely to turn their sights onto the UK.
In the Telegraph today, he writes:
In retrospect, the use of political capital to implement immediate efficiency savings, pass the emergency Budget, agree the most difficult Spending Review for generations and put in place long-term fiscal reforms to pensions was an excellent investment in our country’s economic stability. Thanks to these decisions, the credit rating agency Standard & Poors took the UK off negative outlook and reaffirmed our AAA rating.
It’s that time of year, when we turn electioneers for a fortnight and seek your votes in Total Politics’ top political blogs of the year.
The rules are simpe: follow this link, add in a minimum of five, and maximum of ten top blogs, in order, and hit submit. Write “blank” if you don’t want to enter a vote in a certain box, and make sure to put FT Westminster top of the “political blog sites”. Read more