Daily Archives: January 30, 2013

Jim Pickard

First George Osborne got it in the neck from his constituents because HS2 was set to pass through Tatton, as we revealed on Saturday.

Now the chancellor is getting criticised for the opposite reason – that the controversial route will not pass through the most verdant areas of the north-west constituency.

The Daily Mail reports today that Tory-run Cheshire East council issued a press release yesterday suggesting the chancellor had kept the line from Tatton’s “Golden Triangle” of Prestbury, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge.

“Your MPs George Osborne, Edward Timpson and I (council leader Michael Jones) have fought hard to keep the line away from Knutsford and Tatton, which we have been successful in achieving”, said the release.

Critics, in the words, of the Mail, “accused ministers of double standards 

Kiran Stacey

Today’s exchanges at PMQs sounded fairly hackneyed and well-worn. Ed Miliband chose to ask about the economy, and the usual argument took place – the Labour leader accused the coalition of stifling growth, the prime minister said it was all Labour’s fault for borrowing too much.

But Miliband did give one revealing answer during the debate. The Labour leader pointed out:

[Cameron] is borrowing £212bn more than he promised.

 

Kiran Stacey

We reported this morning that Tory MPs are trying to make sure that the MoD doesn’t suffer further cuts at this year’s spending review. Mark Pritchard, a Tory backbencher, summed up the feeling of many of his colleagues when he told us:

Colleagues have, to date, reluctantly backed reductions in the MoD budget. However, any additional cuts to the defence, beyond those already agreed, will create a substantial political backlash. In short, the MoD budget has been cut enough, and the Treasury needs to look elsewhere for savings.

Pritchard and his colleagues should be on safe ground: the prime minister himself said that the defence settlement signed in 2010 would require “year-on-year real-terms growth in the defence budget in the years beyond 2015”.