Flashback: Huhne and Severance Pay

Guido was in the room when Chris Huhne stood next to Sayeeda Warsi at their joint “Labour’s Legacy of Waste” press conference in those heady coalition days of August 2010. He stood there, perfectly calm, with his characteristic blank stare. He showed no sign of disagreement when Warsi said:

“That’s why today, I have written to each of the candidates in the Labour leadership contest and asked them to confirm that they, and other former ministers supporting them, intend to renounce their ministerial severance pay. At a time when people across the country are being asked to tighten their belts to deal with Labour’s economic mess, it is unacceptable that the very people responsible, walk away with up to £20,000 each. Forfeiting this pay would be the first step towards accepting their responsibility, and the first sign that they had come to terms with the mistakes of their past.”

Whatever happens in court on Friday, Huhne broke the Ministerial Code. If that is not “a mistake of the past”, then what is?




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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