Tory MP Tim Loughton talking sense this afternoon on Politics Live over the ludicrous sums wasted on diversity and inclusion officers across Whitehall:
“At a time when taxes are historically at a very high level, we are spending £427 million on equality, diversity, and inclusiveness staff. Some of whom I’m sure are doing a really good job. But the rest of them, are they really essential, are they really a priority, when we need more nurses, more train drivers… that’s what we are questioning.”
Conservative Way Forward have published a report on their investigation, although co-conspirators will already be familiar with the number of these roles that crop up every ten minutes in the public sector. Loughton is one of 40 MPs to have signed a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this morning calling for this waste to be rooted out once and for all. Inevitably, Zarah Sultana had to pretend scrapping this sort of thing was “classic Tory ‘divide and conquer.”
Read the full letter below:
Wendy Morton has finally spoken publicly about that fateful night in the division lobby the night before Liz resigned, when both she and then-Deputy Chief Whip announced they’d resigned then un-resigned in the space of about ten seconds, and the government fell apart for the second time in three months. It might feel like a lifetime ago. It’s actually only been a month.
Appearing on Politics Live, Morton relived the carnage in full, explaining that she had offered her resignation after Number 10 “interfered” in the vote at the eleventh hour by insisting it wasn’t a confidence motion, despite Morton insisting it was:
“It was one of those nights that I’ll probably never forget… it was a confidence vote… we were expecting colleagues to be in the lobby with us, so when the exchange came at the despatch box that it wasn’t [a confidence vote], you can see what ensued, which was chaos… I offered my resignation on the basis that Number 10 were interfering and I feel so strongly about the integrity of the Chief Whip and the red lines that I have. But the Prime Minister would not accept my resignation, so I continued…”
She didn’t mention that there was an outside chance of losing a confidence vote on the issue of fracking and causing a general election – an odd risk for a chief whip to take, for no observable gain
She then claimed to have somewhat mended her relationship with Truss – they’re getting on “fine” – and insisted Liz was dealt a rough hand from the start of her premiership.
The performance of the Whips office at a critical point in that premiership certainly didn’t make it any smoother.
Chapeau to the IEA’s Emily Carver for firing back at Angela Eagle just now on Politics Live. Eagle doesn’t seem to realise the IEA opposed Liz’s energy price cap policy, and Carver herself didn’t support Truss in the first place. Eagle also can’t seem to explain how Labour balance the books differently. “Get your facts right…”
Credit to the BBC for putting Guido’s exclusive on Rupa Huq’s Kwasi Kwarteng comments to Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy during their Politics Live special. Despite Rupa saying she stands by them and won’t be apologising, Lammy said he would not have made them, that they were “unfortunate”, and he hopes she can “stand those comments down.” In other words, just say sorry…
Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey offered a surprising new piece of trivia on Politics Live this afternoon:
“I’ve served in government, so has Keir Starmer. We know the first duty of any government is to defend the country and keep the citizens safe…”
Starmer was elected in 2015 which, last time Guido checked, means he’s only ever served in opposition. He’s never been in government. What was it Sir Keir said about “honesty being at the heart of everything” Labour stands for?