Daily Archives: February 12, 2013

Jim Pickard

Mary Creagh has rightly been getting plaudits for putting the boot into the government over its handling of the horsemeat scandal. The fiesty shadow environment secretary has proved herself one of the most effective operators on the opposition front bench.

But is she right to suggest that Owen Paterson, environment secretary, is the only politician to have responded in a somewhat lacklustre way to the unfolding scandal? Read more

Kiran Stacey

Nick Clegg in Eastleigh

Nick Clegg in Eastleigh

Nick Clegg yesterday won the race to become the first party leader to get to Eastleigh, where the Lib Dems are about to test their theory that they can hold onto their seats against Tory challenges in 2015.

Bravely, Clegg chose to tour a college where car mechanics were being trained, which given the circumstances in which Chris Huhne, the previous MP, had to resign his seat, helped the picture caption writers no end.

The Lib Dem leader gave off an air of unruffled determination, telling reporters he was “very confident” that his party would hold on to the seat. Read more

Jim Pickard

How badly do ministers want a new era of nuclear power in the UK? At the moment it is not clear – but they will soon have to show their hand.

Negotiations have been going on for months with French power giant EDF Energy to agree a fixed “strike price” for its electricity. This complex “CFD” (contract for difference) is being set in the current energy bill and will be open to all generators of low-carbon energy.

But EDF is now in talks with the Treasury to receive further support, as we revealed on the front of today’s FT. The talks are still at a very early stage but are very much live.

The company is asking the government to underwrite some of the project’s financing, which could make it more attractive to third-party investors such as pension funds or Chinese state-owned nuclear companies. (EDF has been in talks with two such groups since Read more