Daily Archives: July 3, 2013

Jim Pickard

Today’s PMQs was dubbed the “Len McCluskey show” after David Cameron turned almost every answer into an attack on Labour’s links to the Unite union – as Kiran pointed out earlier.

And now a private document from Unite has emerged which spells out its attempts to support candidates in no fewer than 41 constituencies.

In the report, the union’s political officer describes a “furious” operation to help with selections, with more than three officials working almost full-time on “candidate selection matters”.

He notes the growing press interest in the “malign” influence of the union, adding: “A Times editorial attacking us is a medal of honour.”

Despite the “vilification” over Falkirk – where the union has been accused of flooding the seat with members ahead of the Read more >>

Kiran Stacey

Traditional roles were reversed at today’s PMQs. Cameron pulled the ingenious trick of almost entirely ignoring what Ed Miliband asked (it was about school places). He attacked instead on the news that Unite have apparently tried to unfairly influence the outcome of a Labour candidate selection process in Falkirk.

The attacks were clumsily crowbarred in, but that will not matter when it comes to replaying the clips on television tonight. Here was one example: Read more >>

Kiran Stacey

HS2 protest signThe planned high speed rail project from London to the midlands and the north is starting to look very uncertain indeed.

After the news last week that the estimated costs have spiked by £10bn since the beginning of the year, we then revealed in the FT that the government’s cost/benefit analysis assumed that no one would work on a train, increasing the apparent benefit of getting to your destination more quickly. Another chunk was taken out of the expected returns.

Now it seems that, having proposed the scheme in the first place, Labour is also getting cold feet. Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary who does not usually have much truck for nimbyism, launched a bitter attack on the project in this morning’s FT. He writes: Read more >>