Daily Archives: August 7, 2012

Jim Pickard

Louise Mensch was something of a Marmite character in Westminster but she was never boring; the Commons will be slightly less interesting without her sharp opinions and colourful interventions. She was no doubt  controversial, however: at least one senior Tory called her “Gizza Mensch” in reference to her love of media appearances. Here is our news story about the exit – a by-election is expected in November.

One senior Tory MP even said icily that Ms Mensch’s resignation showed the “folly” of the A-list system:

“There’s no point in bringing people in who haven’t really thought about what the job will be like – people who think it’s much more glamorous and more fun than it actually is.”

The highlights of her brief Westminster career included a glamorous magazine spread; testily standing up to Tom Watson over the Murdochs; and a painful appearance on Have I Got News For You. (The Guardian has a good catch-up on some of these).

But commentators are divided about whether her departure has wider Read more

Kiran Stacey

Nick CleggNick Clegg yesterday exacted the price his ministers and advisers had long warned would be paid for the Tories scuppering Lord reform: the Lib Dem leader in turn killed off the boundary changes, which are important to his coalition partners’ chances of a 2015 majority.

Most Westminster watchers saw it for what it was: a piece of tit-for-tat politics that was not particularly edifying, but probably important for the Lib Dems to show they were willing to use their muscle to get what they want.

Clegg attempted to appeal to principle when giving his rationale for the move yesterday. He said:

Lords reform and boundaries are two, separate parliamentary bills but they are both part of a package of overall political reform. Delivering one but not the other would create an imbalance – not just in the Coalition Agreement, but also in our political system.

 Read more