Friday will see Mark Harper, Cabinet Office minister, unveil a consultation on a statutory register of lobbyists – with the potential for many other groups (unions, law firms etc) required to sign up. I’ve written the news story here.
More quietly, however, a major change is taking place at the House of Lords where officials are tightening up their disclosure criteria on the “register of interests”. Read more
Osborne with Jun Azumi, Japanese finance minister
George Osborne has been in the far east this week – probably the best place to be when the IMF announced it would ask member countries for an extra $500bn in funding. This would probably involve another €30bn from the UK – a request that would have to be approved by parliament.
This request is tricky for the chancellor. He wants to play his role as a responsible world leader and help the Fund fight the various economic crises gripping global markets – after all, a collapse of the eurozone (for instance) would have serious implications for the UK too.
The problem is, his own MPs see this as a backdoor bailout for the eurozone. They say that as the UK is not a part of the currency bloc, it shouldn’t be forced into rescuing it when it fails. And Cameron and Osborne have both made much political capital out of not signing up to the expanded European rescue fund, the EFSF. Many Tories therefore see this as both a cop-out and hypocrisy. Read more
There is a Parliamentary report out today into Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, over his failure to register payments from Unite. Dromey is of course Mr Harriet Harman.
Dromey, former deputy general secretary of Unite, was paid by the union from May 2010 to October 2010 (while an MP) and failed to register the payments or on several times declare his interest in debates. Read more