There have been moments in Oliver Letwin’s political career when it did not look as if he would ever emerge as the intellectual powerhouse of a national government.
There was his time at the Downing Street policy unit in the 1980s, when he helped devise the disastrous poll tax. There was the time, more recently, when he shed official documents in a bin in St James’s Park. In 2001 he had to go into hiding ahead of the general election after admitting he wanted to cut £20bn of taxes, far more than his party’s official position.
In fact Letwin has so many verbal slips to his name that George Eaton at the New Statesman has a handy guide to his top 10 gaffes. Read more
Danny Boyle's opening ceremony tribute to the NHS
The Times and the Independent both broke an interesting story this morning about government plans to set up a body to promote NHS expertise across the world as a way of making money for the domestic health service.
The Independent reports:
Some of Britain’s best-known hospitals are being lined up by the Government to export the “NHS brand” around the world and set up profit-making branches overseas to boost their incomes.
Under a radical plan to be launched this autumn, officials from the Department of Health and UK Trade and Investment will come together to act as a “dating agency” between hospitals that wish to expand overseas and foreign governments with a demand for British health services.