Daily Archives: October 31, 2012

Jim Pickard

The main news this morning is that the Lord Heseltine report into economic growth contains a handful of withering criticisms of the coalition (although to be fair he is trying to remain on-message during his many interviews):

* The former deputy prime minister says he frequently hears complaints the UK “does not have a strategy for growth” and business leaders had a “powerful appetite” for a stronger vision. While there have been Treasury growth plans, he writes, “put crudely who knows of them?”

* The veteran peer calls for “war psychology” to deal with the economic crisis. He demands an end to ministerial uncertainty on crucial issues such as energy and aviation.

* He said that current structures did not enable the government to “work together coherently” on economic strategy. The report adds that “it takes too long for decisions to be made” by the government with a tendency to “kick difficult questions into the long grass”. Read more

Kiran Stacey

Ed MilibandIf Labour wanted evidence of how difficult they will find it to outflank the Tories on Europe, it was there for them today during prime minister’s questions. This afternoon’s debate, during which Tory rebels will vote to push the government into backing a cut in the EU budget, seemed to offer the Labour leader a golden opportunity to embarrass Cameron in front of his own backbenches.

But the ploy failed. As Miliband attacked on why the PM didn’t back a cut in the budget, Cameron hit back, criticising the Labour leader of opportunism:

The whole country will see through what is rank opportunism… Labour gave away half our rebate in one negotiation. Today, they haven’t even put down their own resolution on this issue.

 Read more