News of the Screws News Editor
Suspended Over Phone Hacking

Ian Edmondson the news editor of the News of the Screws has been suspended.  Ian was personally hired by Andy Coulson…

UPDATE : Indy says lawyers for Sienna Miller claim to have discovered evidence that Edmondson was aware that a private investigator was being paid to hack into the actress’ voicemails.

Quote of the Day

Gerard O’Neill says

“Irish people have their hearts on the left but their wallets on the right.”

Old and Sad Tricks From Labour

Paddy Power says that there is more chance of Manchester United coming bottom of the Premiership than there is of the Liberal Democrats winning the Oldham by-election. However with more than a week to play for, Guido is cautious of such as sweeping statement. If it wasn’t going to be a lot tighter than Labour would like then why would they have to resort to desperate tactics. Bagehot noticed something fishy when the candidate and Andy Burnham were visiting a petrol station:

“They were duly to be seen talking to a nice middle aged lady through her car window, and nodding sympathetically. Oddly enough, the car, I could not help but notice, was a nice hybrid Prius, and on the back parcel shelf was a large Vote Debbie Abrahams poster. It was also being driven by a woman who earlier had been waiting for Mr Burnham to arrive.”

Seems the ghost of Bigotgate still looms.

Smarkets have opened up a market on who will come second. With Clegg visiting today and Dave tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how much sway the PM’s “we are fighting this seat, honest” act can muster. With reports of as many as thirty Tory MPs campaigning today, you might think a Tory second finish might just be worth a punt, but Guido reckons the blue tactical vote is going to pile in for the yellows.

Apparently there will be polling data by the weekend…

Dave’s Brother Bats for the Other Side (Pakistan)

Mohammad Asif, one of the three Pakistani cricketers facing trial after the Screws betting scandal, has found an intriguing defence QC. Allan Alexander Cameron, brother of the PM, is somewhat of an expert in all things involving fraud, market abuse and robbery. Given his track record of defending the likes of Aitken and Archer though, the cricketer might be a little worried. However Allan was successful in fighting the extradition of His Excellency General Augusto Pinochet…

How Do You Solve a Problem Like IPSA?

Before Parliament has even resumed for the year, the battle between IPSA and the MPs has flared up again, with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority attempting to use the public as a human shield against aggrieved members. IPSA clearly isn’t working, but the MPs prove time and again that they cannot be trusted to be their own expenses regulator. This morning IPSA have opened up a public consultation for six weeks on how to fix the problems. The PM has warned they have until April to sort it out…

Guido has said it before, and will submit the idea formally, that a House of Commons debit card is the best way to regulate legitimate expenses. The transactions would as normal be electronically recorded automatically and could thus be published online automatically, the spending limits would be automatic and bureaucracy would be minimal. The idea was proposed in Disinfecting Parliament, a 2009 report from the Sunlight Centre that recommended a number of measures based on best practice in the private sector that could easily be transferred to IPSA. MPs have called for a fairer and simpler system, what could be easier than the debit card plan?



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Quote of the Day

Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is asked where each party leader would be most likely to go on holiday:

David Cameron: “Monaco”

Nigel Farage: “Blighty”

Nick Clegg: “Caribbean”

Ed Miliband: “The Moon, his own little world”

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