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Len McClusky attacked the ‘posh boys’ deciding the country’s future in a country house today and it turns out he wasn’t far off. ConservativeHome have the list of the Chequers constitutional lunch:
Just one woman invited?
UPDATE: A Downing Street source points out that Mary Macleod and Margot James were also at the summit.
“We have heard the voice of Scotland and now the millions of voices of England must also be heard,” said David Cameron this morning, strongly suggesting that he will press for English votes for English laws and finally answer the West Lothian question. Within five minutes Labour had come out against the idea:
Cams plan à "knee jerk resppnse … Driven more by politics than the needs of the constitution" says @DAlexanderMP
— JamesLyons (@SW1James) September 19, 2014
Very amusing of Wee Dougie to attack the plan as being “driven by politics”. Of course Labour’s opposition to English votes for English laws definitely isn’t driven by their cynical, anti-democratic need for Scottish MPs to pass legislation in England. Normal politics resumes…
Rail minister Claire Perry has become the highest profile Tory to threaten to scrap the £1,500-a-head subsidy English taxpayers pay to Scots in the event of a No vote. Perry says:
“Cool, calm analysis, not promises of financial party bags to appease Mr Salmond, are what is needed from tomorrow and onwards. [A No vote must not result in] a whole raft of goodies on offer for Scotland that will be paid for by us south of the border to try to appease the Yes voters.”
John Whittingdale agrees:
“I for one would be very concerned at the idea that my electorate would continue to subsidise the Scots even after they have been given all these powers to raise even more money.”
As does backbencher James Gray, who writes in his local paper:
“I do not agree with the ‘Devo Max’ proposals which the three party leaders seem to be offering. Talk about feeding an addiction. The more you give them, the more they want.. The Barnett Formula, under which every Scottish citizen gets £1,500 per year more spent on him/her than their English counterpart must be swept away with no delay. We want greater powers for the long-suffering people of England.”
The PM will be eternally grateful to them for airing their views on polling day…
UKIP’s by-election headquarters have come up with a novel way to motivate their men and women on the ground. Awarded to “the most heroic volunteers” at the end of each day is:
The arch-voice of the Tory left providing Carswell’s troops with their ammo and their inspiration…
24 hours before the polls open and we have the first MP to call for Dave to resign should Scotland vote Yes. Andrew Rosindell tells the FT, “if it goes wrong… the prime minister will have to decide what the honourable thing is to do”, while another Tory MP adds, “Everyone I speak to thinks his position would be untenable”. No.10 are so concerned that, the Times reports, Michael Gove did a ring-round of Tory MPs to gauge the mood, with one backbencher warning Dave faces a “rebellion on a scale not seen before”. The Sun says the PM faces a “dangerous revolt” even if Scotland votes No, with Tory MPs set to defy Cameron over his £1,300-a-head bribe for Scots under the Barnett formula. The Mail say he will face a “bloodbath” even in the event of a No vote, one Tory MP telling them the “panicked offer” means Salmond has won whatever happens. Tory conference is just two weeks away…
Energy minister Amber Rudd has channelled thousands of pounds of taxpayer cash to a Tory-linked company run by her former agent. Over the last two years Rudd has claimed £6,000 on expenses for “professional services” to organise several local jobs fairs in her constituency. The jobs fairs were organised by Events Office, a company run by Terri Lock, who is a Rudd’s former agent and a Tory council candidate in Hastings. Terri is married to Matthew Lock, former leader of Hastings Conservative group. Events Office seem to get a lot of business from the Tories, having organised a number of jobs fairs in the constituencies of other Tory MPs including Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Charities minister Brooks Newmark.
Guido’s favourite Labour MP Karl Turner says:
“Amber Rudd has serious questions to answer about whether the rules have been upheld. There can be no question of funnelling taxpayers’ cash to cronies against the rules. I hope David Cameron will investigate the behaviour of his new Minister.”
‘Theresa May got into an argument with No 10 over the timing of a policy announcement. She wanted to reveal the government’s plans in the House of Commons, observing parliamentary propriety, but the prime minister’s office pressed her to give an interview to Radio 4’s Today programme instead. If she did not do so, she was told: “We will lose the next three hours.’
Now which expert spinner could that have been?
As Guido reported ten days ago, “tension boiled over recently with Oliver going shouty-crackers and demanding the Home Secretary show him some respect.” It seems May’s idea of showing him some respect was briefing Rachel Sylvester.
The gap between the Tories and Labour on trust on the economy has widened by 22% since Ed Balls became Shadow Chancellor. In March 2011, two months after Miliband gave Balls the job, Ipsos Mori had the Tories three points ahead at 31% to Labour’s 28%. Today they report the Tories are now up at 45%, while Labour have sunk to 20%. Who would have thought putting the two closest advisers to Gordon Brown in charge of Labour’s economic strategy would result in a lack of trust from the voters?
Nick Clegg is facing a rebellion over his Recall fudge denying voters the chance to sack disgraced MPs unless the Commons or the law agrees. Chief opponent Zac Goldsmith has dissected yesterday’s Bill:
“As before, it is a weak pretence at reform. If the Govt’s Recall Bill goes through as drafted, voters will be no more empowered to hold MPs to account than they are today. At the very first scandal, people will realise they’ve been duped, and the resulting anger will do our democracy harm. A [very] serious mistake.”
The Sun reports Michael Gove will give Tories a “free hand” to rebel against Clegg’s government proposals, with 70 MPs from all parties signing Goldsmith’s rebel motion, which you can read here. The David Ruffley case shows exactly why we need a proper Recall Bill which gives the public a say; local voters in Bury St Edmunds are and would be prevented from booting Ruffley out immediately under Clegg’s proposals. A Recall Bill which only lets the public act when an MP has been sent to jail or suspended by his colleagues is no Recall Bill at all…
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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:
“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”