• Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP, has been ordered to apologise to the House of Commons for failing to declare her fee for appearing on ITV‘s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! programme last year. As Rowena Mason reports, Dorries did not declare her payment on the register of members’ interests, claiming she did not have to because it was made to her company, Averbrook, rather than to her personally. She also refused to tell the parliamentary commissioner for standards how much she received for appearing on the reality television show, saying she had a confidentiality agreement with ITV. However, the standards committee, a cross-party group of MPs, found Dorries should never have signed such a confidentiality agreement. It also agreed with Kathryn Hudson, the independent parliamentary standards commissioner, that Dorries had breached the code through her “attitude to the commissioner’s inquiries”. The report reveals that at one point Dorries accused Hudson of conducting a “witch hunt” and threatened to sue her. (See 3.05pm.)
• David Cameron has said the government’s Help to Buy programme will promote social mobility. He made the point, in an apparent reference to the concerns raised by Sir John Major, at a Number 10 event highlighting the take-up in the four weeks since the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme was launched. Cameron said:
This is about social mobility. The fact is that without Help to Buy we were beginning to see a country where only people who had wealthy mums and dads who could give them the money for their deposit were able to buy a flat or a house.
Many of the people standing behind me have only been able to buy a flat or a house because they can now get a bigger mortgage without such a large deposit. They can afford those mortgage payments and they will be able to achieve their dream of owning their own flat or home. This scheme is about social mobility, it’s about helping people who don’t have rich parents to get on and achieve their dream of home ownership which is why it’s so welcome.
On the World at One Graeme Leach, the Institute of Directors’ chief economist, said that Help to Buy was like a “drug” for politicians and that it would drive up house prices.
Yes, more people will get on the housing ladder, but they will pay more for the privilege, because we have a situation where if we try to stimulate demand for the housing market in the UK, there are so many restrictions on supply that it just drives up the price. What the housing market really needs is Help to Supply, not Help to Buy.
Our concern is this is a drug that politicians could get hooked on and it will be very difficult to get them off, because people will start saying ‘If we withdraw the scheme, it will drive down prices and make the economy weaker’. Once we get into this process and once we get this policy embedded, it is going to be very difficult to get off it.
But, at the Number 10 event, Cameron said Help to Buy would increase the supply of housing available for sale.
[Help to Buy} does help unlock the problem of a shortage of housing supply. Put frankly, the builders won’t build, the developers won’t develop unless the buyers are able to buy. That’s why we are seeing growing levels of housing investment and housebuilding in our country. The two issues are linked.
• William Hague has said Britain does not want to let the opportunity for a deal with Iran over its nuclear programme slip away.
• John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, has said that he will submit evidence to the court of appeal in relation to a case involving Lord Triesman that could undermine parliamentary privilege. Triesman is subject to legal action in relation to comments he made at an inquiry (without the protection of parliamentary privilege) where he repeated, but did not expand upon, comments he made to a select committee (with the protection of privilege) about alleged Fifa corruption. On a point of order, John Whittingdale, the chair of the Commons culture committee, said that if Triesman could be sued, witnesses would worry about giving evidence to select committee. Bercow said he shared these concerns. Bercow said this case was a “cause for grave concern”.
I consider these matters to be of such importance for this House and for its members and for the protection of free speech in our proceedings that written submissions have been made to the court on my behalf.
• Theresa May, the home secretary, has become the latest Tory cabinet minister to criticise the publication of stories based on Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, saying anything that “potentially gives help to terrorists” is something the government “needs to be concerned about and act on”.
• Thirteen people, including the girlfriend of former News International chief executive Les Hinton, knew about a secret relationship David Blunkett was having, a former aide to the then home secretary has told the phone-hacking trial.
That’s all for today.
Thanks for the comments.
Nadine Dorries seems to think that the media coverage of the Commons standards committee report is disproportionate.
And here’s some more detail from the report. These are the three key paragraphs from the conclusion of the report written by Kathryn Hudson, the parliamentary commissioner for standards. (Her report is an appendix to the main report.)
On the basis of the evidence above, I conclude, therefore, that Ms Dorries was in breach of the rules of the House in not registering outside earnings which have been paid to Averbrook Ltd since October 2012, and in the late registration in June 2013 of her shareholding in Averbrook Ltd. I conclude also that she was in breach of the Code of Conduct in not co-operating with my inquiry. This was contrary to paragraph 19 of the Code of Conduct approved by the House in 2012.
According to the website of Ms Dorries’ agent, since November 2012 she has made at least eight media appearances involving six different television programmes, including “I’m a Celebrity”. None of these is recorded in her Register entry. In addition, it seems likely that she has since October 2012 written at least two media columns which have also not been registered. I consider that if payments were made for these appearances and these articles, and these payments were not registered, this amounts to a serious breach of the rules of the House. The House has decided that Members should disclose in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests how much time they spend on their outside employment, who pays for that employment and the size of the sums involved. The omissions from Ms Dorries’ entry means that constituents, other Members and the wider public do not have access to this information in her case. The omissions also have the potential to undermine public confidence in the completeness and accuracy of the Register.
I also consider Ms Dorries’ refusal to co-operate with my inquiries to be a serious breach of the Code of Conduct. Without this co-operation the standards framework established by the House cannot function effectively. The consequent absence of an effective mechanism for determining whether a Member has breached the Code of Conduct has the potential to undermine the public trust in the system.
More from the Nadine Dorries report. In a letter to the parliamentary commissioner for standards (appendix 3), Dorries said that people were out to get her because of her stance on abortion and that she had to undertake media work because she was facing bankruptcy. Here’s an extract.
In my last statement I informed the committee that I am frequently reported to various authorities. I thought it worth clarifying that this has been as a result of my own campaign to reduce the upper limit at which abortion takes place from twenty four to twenty weeks.
The purpose of the reporting, on the basis of spurious claims, is to undermine my credibility and to distract and preoccupy both me and my office from the issue I have pursued since I became an MP.
Following the reporting to the police I had need to instruct a solicitor as the investigating officers would not discuss the case with me directly—even though the Standards Commissioner had investigated the very same complaint and had made no finding against me.
The bill was in fact, £67,000 not £62,000 as I quoted. The House of Commons legal services department investigated whether or not there was insurance provision available to cover the bill as it had been incurred wholly and directly as a result of my role as an MP.
I was informed via a letter from Michael Carpenter of legal services who provided me with assistance that, following his own investigations of various provisions that he thought may assist, there was no such help available and that the obligation to pay the bill was mine alone.
As a single parent with financial responsibilities for a disabled ex husband, an elderly mother and a child in full time education, I faced the possibility of bankruptcy or finding a way to pay the bill.
This is the initial impetus that drove me to undertake media work.
In the course of the inquiry into her I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here earning, Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP, threatened to sue Kathryn Hudson, the parliamentary commission.
Here’s the threat. It is in a letter Dorries sent to Hudson in August. It is item 23 in the written evidence (pdf).
I should inform you that I feel your report amounts to a witch hunt and I have forwarded it on to legal professionals for further advice regarding my position in relation to the committee and you personally.
You are choosing to use a vexatious complaint made against me to reinforce your ‘on the hoof, make it up as you go’ policy. I will not tolerate that or any report which invokes libellous negative coverage against me as a result and will not hesitate to pursue you personally should that be the case.
In its report, the Commons standards committee said the accusations made by Dorries were “unacceptable”.
Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP, has been ordered to apologise to the Commons for failing to declare how much she earned for her appearance on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in the register of members’ interests. That’s the conclusion of a report from the Commons standards committee. An investigation by Kathryn Hudson, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, also found that she failed to properly comply with the investigation into her.
Here’s the conclusion from the committee’s report.
The House’s Code of Conduct and disciplinary system depend on Members being prepared to explain their conduct, to submit to public scrutiny and where necessary, to respond to the Commissioner’s inquiries. We recommend that Ms Dorries
- register all payments in respect of her employment, whether or not they have been channelled through Averbrook Ltd or any other third party and
- apologise to the House by way of a Personal Statement.
We expect Ms Dorries to consult the Registrar in person about the detail of her Register entry within 21 days of publication of this Report. We will monitor Ms Dorries’s compliance and will recommend further action if necessary.
The report also reveals that, at a late stage in the inquiry, Dorries said she would declaring gross earnings of £142,000, and a profit of £82,000, in the register. This seems to be money paid into a company, Averbrook, for her media work.
And here’s an excerpt from Hudson’s report (published as an appendix to the main report).
I have offered Ms Dorries several opportunities to answer the questions I have put to her and I have reminded her of her obligation under the Code of Conduct to cooperate with my inquiry. It would have been open to her, if she could not herself provide the evidence I sought, to authorise ITV or her agent to do so. I note that the Committee on Standards and Privileges, reporting in 2010 on an inquiry into Ms Dorries’ conduct, endorsed the then Commissioner’s view that Ms Dorries had taken too long to provide evidence to the Commissioner and concluded that “that prompt, full and open responses to the Commissioner’s inquiries are of great importance” I am sorry that on this occasion Ms Dorries has chosen not to co-operate with my inquiry and I accordingly conclude that she is in breach of the Code of Conduct in this respect.
• Sir John Major has expressed his shock at the way in which every sphere of modern public life is dominated by a private school-educated elite and well-heeled middle class. Labour and Lib Dem politicians have endorsed his comments (see 10.0am, 10.30am and 1.04pm), but Downing Street has been more guarded, agreeing with Major on the importance of social mobility but refusing to declare that there are too many public-school educated people at the top. (See 12.50pm). Paul Nuttall, Ukip’s deputy leader, has put out a statement saying that the decline of grammar schools is to blame and saying that Major should blame Labour and the Tories for what they did in government.
As a former grammar school boy himself, I find it flabbergasting that John Major can seriously slam the last Labour government for overseeing the decline of social mobility in Britain. After all, David Cameron and the Tories are as opposed to new grammar schools as Labour.
The days of Tory Leaders like John Major and Margaret Thatcher are long gone. It isn’t hard to see why. The abolition of selective education in Britain has been a hammer blow to the prospects of working class kids.
Until we see a grammar school back in every town and city across the UK, Britain’s shocking lack of social mobility will go on. It is as simple as that.
• Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, has said that his union will not abandon the “Leverage” protest tactics that have been condemned by David Cameron and papers like the Daily Mail. The attacks on the union showed it was making a difference, he said. But he also said the union was being misrepresented.
Every day we read statements and press articles about Unite which do not come within hailing distance of the truth.
This shows one thing above all: Unite is making a difference. We have served notice on the establishment that fighting trade unionism is back – and the elite don’t like it …
Among the many caricatures of Unite painted in recent weeks is the one that we have no strings to our bow except confrontation. That is not the reality of course. Look at the motor industry – at JLR, Vauxhall, Toyota, Nissan and elsewhere. We have had difficult negotiations, but collaborated with responsible employers not just to protect existing jobs but to secure additional investment which can guarantee skilled manufacturing jobs into the future.
It is ironic that when David Cameron praises the work of the Automotive Council in reviving the motor industry, he is also praising the work of Unite members, Unite representatives. I guess Lynton Crosby hasn’t explained that to him.
And what is true in motors is true across industry. We are not toy town revolutionaries. We know that most of the time most workers want a decent relationship with their employer, based on mutual respect, and that they expect their union to work in that spirit.
• Theresa May, the home secretary, has said the BBC’s dominance on the internet is damaging local newspapers. She made the comments in a speech to the Society of Editors’ annual conference. Local newspapers were having “a particularly hard time”, she said.
That’s partly been the result of the BBC’s dominant position on the internet and its ability to subsidise the provision of internet news using the licence fee. This makes it enormously difficult for local newspapers to compete. If the BBC can, as they do, provide all the locally significant news, what is left to motivate the local media to buy a paper? It’s destroying local newspapers and could eventually happen to national newspapers as well.
• HM Revenue and Customers has warned firms who have advertised placements for unpaid internships that they could be “publicly named and shamed” and may be liable for a £5,000 fine if they are found to be in breach of national minimum wage laws.
• William Hague has appointed a non-resident chargés d’affaires to Iran. Ajay Sharma, previously head of the Foreign Office’s Iran department, has been appointed to the non-resident post. Hague said this was a move towards improving bilateral relationships.
Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, has come out in support of Sir John Major.
He sounds more supportive of Major than Number 10. (See 12.50am.)
Number 10 lobby briefing – Summary
Here are the main points from the Number 10 lobby briefing.
• Number 10 suggested that David Cameron does not agree with Sir John Major about there being too many public-school educated people at the top of British public life. Cameron set out his views on this in his party conference speech in 2012, the prime minister’s spokesman said. “What counts is not where you come from but where you are going,” the spokesman said. (Major seems to think where you come from does count, because that is an indicator of social mobility.) But the spokesman also stressed Cameron’s commitment to social mobility. Cameron described this as “building an aspiration nation”, the spokesman said. “What the prime minister is saying is that we need to unleash and unlock promise.” The government was doing this in various ways, for example by raising standards and imposing greater rigour in the education system, the spokesman added.
What people say around the breakfast table in the morning, what they really want to know is that the government has policies to ensure that their kids can fulfil their talents and ambitions. That is the important thing.
• Downing Street confirmed the Financial Times story saying Cameron is taking a close interest in the NHS’s preparations for winter. “It’s a very important issue,” the spokesman said. “You would expect the government to be very focused on it.” He also said that the practice of putting private hospitals on standby in case they were needed had been going on for years.
• William Hague, the foreign secretary, is giving a statement in the Commons on Iran and Syria at 3.30pm. Downing Street said that Cameron does not think France is to blame for the failure of the P5+1 to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear energy programme at the weekend.
• Number 10 said that Cameron “understands the concerns” that people have about the premium rate charges people have to pay if when calling government helplines. The public accounts committee has criticised these charges in a report today. The spokesman said the government was looking at this problem. Charges for people using bereavement services was a particular concern, he said.
• Downing Street reaffirmed its commitment to consider the law on protests in the light of Unite’s use of “Leverage” tactics that can involve demonstrations outside people’s home.These tactics have been critically reported in the Daily Mail. At PMQs recently Cameron condemned these tactics and said the government would consider whether there was a case for legislation. In a statement today the Unite leader Len McCluskey has vowed not to back down. This is what McCluskey said.:
The protests which the Daily Mail has targeted are … as old as democracy – free speech and the right to peacefully demonstrate. For that, our members have been described as “thugs”. We will see what the law makes of that phrase.
It is, at any event, a lie. These protests were peaceful, mostly silent, and of course had nothing to do with intimidating families, children, or anyone. In more than two years, we have not had a single complaint about our members’ conduct on such protests, nor a single police charge.
So let me send one clear message to the Daily Mail: This union is not retreating from leverage, or from the right to peaceful protest.
And we are not taking lessons in proper conduct from a paper which, from its support for fascism before the war to its smearing of Ralph Miliband today, represents a stream of poison in British society.
The prime minister’s spokesman said Cameron thought “intimidatory behaviour” was wrong. “We are considering whether or not there is something to be done in this area,” he said. But he would not elaborate, or even say whether this would involve legislation.
• Downing Street would not comment on a Financial Times report saying the date of the autumn statement will be put back a day – from 4 December to 5 December – because David Cameron will be making a visit to China. The spokesman said that he might be able to make an announcement about Cameron’s visit to China “in the not to distant future”.
• Vince Cable, the business secretary, is on a trade visit to Moscow.
David Cameron does not seem to think there are too many public-school educated people at the top of public life. “What counts is not where you come from but where you are going,” the prime minister’s spokesman told journalists at the lobby briefing. I’ll post a summary in a moment.
As for the rest of the papers, here’s the PoliticsHome list of top 10 must reads and here’s the New Statesman’s list of top 10 comment articles.The ConservativeHome site seems to be up the spout at the moment.
I’ve already mentioned the Daily Telegraph’s splash about Sir John Major. (See 9.06am.)
Here are three other articles I found interesting.
Conservative MPs have been banned from travelling on an all-expenses-paid trip to this week’s Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka amid growing concern over the regime’s lobbying activities in Britain.
The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the Sri Lankan High Commission in London has privately boasted that it now has 14 MPs prepared to publicly defend the regime, and was hoping to fly several to the south Asian island this week.
Many have already been on luxurious trips to Sri Lanka, some accompanied by their wives or girlfriends, after which several have made parliamentary speeches urging greater “understanding” of the circumstances surrounding the civil war.
Some were due to be in Sri Lanka this week — at the regime’s expense — but have now been banned by the Conservative Party in the wake of a Daily Telegraph investigation into their relationship with the Sri Lankan government.
Private hospital groups are on standby to provide thousands of beds and operating theatre spaces this winter as nervousness grows over Conservative vulnerability to attacks on the state of the health service.
David Cameron is personally overseeing detailed contingency planning in an effort to avoid a politically perilous capacity crisis in the cold months ahead, according to government and NHS officials.
At least four large private hospital groups are understood to have supplied data at the request of the health department. The audit, on a scale rarely undertaken, shows the sector can take up to 3,000 NHS patients a week across England for a mixture of outpatient and inpatient non-emergency work.
The prime minister has demanded weekly updates on the level of accident and emergency department admissions – a key predictor of strains in the system – and is holding regular discussions with Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary.
Half of all senior doctor posts go unfilled at accident and emergency departments, putting unsustainable pressure on life-or-death care.
The College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) says that 383 of the 699 specialist registrar posts in A&E have been left vacant over the past three years, stretching emergency ward doctors beyond capacity and driving up waiting times.
The shortfall in senior doctors deprives A&E departments of the ability to see 766,000 people each year, since the CEM points out that each registrar would have seen about 2,000 patients. This is broadly equivalent to the numbers that would be seen by 12 district general hospitals.
I’m off to the lobby briefing now. I will post again after 11.30am.
Labour has put out a press notice about Sir John Major’s comments. This is from Kevin Brennan, the shadow education minister.
John Major is telling people what they already knew: David Cameron’s is an out-of-touch government that is staggeringly complacent on the one million young people who are unemployed. The next generation are being locked out of opportunity, blighted by Cameron’s cost of living crisis.
James Bloodworth at Left Foot Forward says it is a mistake to think that the existence of private schools is the only obstacle to social mobility in the education system. “Comprehensives are just as likely to fail poorer pupils as private schools are to boost the chances of the elite,” he writes in a blog.
And here’s a round-up of some of the most interesting Twitter reaction to Sir John Major’s comments.
From the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan
From Gloria De Piero, the shadow equalities minister
From the New Statesman’s George Eaton
From the Independent’s John Rentoul
From the BBC’s Andrew Neil
From the Spectator’s Toby Young
From the economist Danny Blanchflower
From the tax campaigner Richard Murphy
From Sunder Katwala, the former head of the Fabian Society
Here’s the Independent’s Owen Jones talking about Sir John Major’s comments on the Today programme with the Telegraph’s Harry Mount.
The decline in social mobility owes much to the surge in inequality that took place after 1979 (the gini coefficient rose from 12.9 in 1978 to 22.2 in 1990), which Labour failed to reverse. As The Spirit Level showed, it is the most unequal countries, such as the UK and the US, that have the lowest levels of social mobility, while the most equal, such as Sweden, Canada and Japan, have the highest levels. This is hardly surprising: greater inequalities of outcome make it easier for rich parents to pass on their advantages to their children. As Will Hutton’s report on public-sector pay for the coalition noted: “There is now good evidence that income inequality can become entrenched across generations, as elites monopolise top jobs regardless of their talent, gaining preferential access to capital and opportunities. This harms social mobility.”
Nor can the last Labour government be blamed for David Cameron’s predilection for handing senior posts to those who were also privately educated. As Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston commented following the appointment of Old Etonians Jesse Norman and Jo Johnson to the No. 10 policy board, “I’m not asked for policy advice, but just in case . . . there are other schools and some of them even admit women.” David Davis put it more bluntly: “No more Etonian advisers”.
Over time, Tory governments have moved down the social ladder, and the Cameron cabinet marks a dramatic acceleration of this trend. His first, in 2010, was the first Tory-led cabinet in which more than half of its members had not gone to public school. Only one went to Eton (Cameron), and the sole aristo Lord Strathclyde is rather less grand than those seen in earlier Tory governments. The title was created for the current holder’s grandfather, a Glasgow MP and chartered accountant.
But even these figures understate the change. If you include non-cabinet ministers who attend its meetings, the Eton tally rises to three. Sixth baronet Sir George Young fits the Etonian image, but Oliver Letwin is more interesting.
Ed Miliband likes to contrast his background with that of the Tories. He went to Haverstock School, a comprehensive in Camden. Yet his background is, apart from his schooling, remarkably similar to that of Letwin. Both sets of parents were north London Jewish intellectuals, both fathers were academics at the London School of Economics, and both Bill and Shirley Letwins’ and Ralph and Marion Milibands’ homes were meeting places for literary and political figures …
A substantial majority of Tory MPs would once have gone to public schools. Research by the Sutton Trust shows that it is now down to 54 per cent, with 27 per cent having attended comprehensives and 19 per cent grammar schools. The Trust makes much of the fact that the number of Old Etonians in parliament rose from 15 in 2005 to 20 in 2010. But this is a real terms fall for the Tories. The 2010 Etonian crop consists of 19 Tories and one Liberal Democrat, Viscount Thurso. The 2005 crop consisted of 13 Tories, Thurso, and a Labour MP who retired in 2010. The Tory Etonian representation has risen from 13 to 19, but the number of Conservative MPs rose from 198 to 306. Thus, the percentage of Old Etonians fell from 6.6 to 6.2 per cent.
What some will draw from Sir John’s comment that the Conservative Party is dominated by Old Etonians and that social mobility in Britain is getting worse. It’s a statement of the obvious that a perception of the latter for a very long time is that they are “the party of the rich”, and that David Cameron’s way of leading the Party has left him open to the charge that he’s leading a “chumocracy”.
Since a socially mobile country would be one in which people’s living standards rise or fall relative to those of former generations (absolute social mobility) or their own contemporaries (relative social mobility), it is also a statement of the obvious that Britain is in some ways not a social mobile country – particularly since average earnings have been falling since 2002, long before the Coalition and “austerity”.
But there’s no conclusive evidence that social mobility in Britain is getting worse, and quite a bit to prove that the Tories aren’t dominated by Old Etonians.
Goodman says that only 6.2% of Tory MPs are Old Etonians. That does still seem rather a lot …
One of the nice things about British public life is that, if you hang around for long enough, even a person with the most dire reputation can achieve rehabilitation. It has happened to Sir John Major. When he crashed out of office in 1997, his premiership was widely depicted as a disaster. A decade and a half later, it’s all looking rather different. His premiership has been re-assessed (Janan Ganesh, in his biography of George Osborne, argues that “by any reasonable standard, Major led one of the most effective post-war governments”). Major was easily one of the most impressive political witnesses giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry. And, as he showed with his recent call for a windfall tax on energy companies, he has established himself as an elder statesman whose interventions carry weight. (The windfall tax speech was one of the best any politician has given all year. If you haven’t already, do read it. The full text is here, at the bottom of this Daily Mail story).
And now Major has done it again. As Christopher Hope reports in the Daily Telegraph’s splash, he has launched a fierce attack on the lack of social mobility in Britain.
In the speech to Tory party grassroots activists on Friday evening, Sir John – who went to a grammar school in south London and left with three O-Levels – said: “In every single sphere of British influence, the upper echelons of power in 2013 are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class. To me from my background, I find that truly shocking.”
But his speech did not just cover the influence of the privately-educated elite. He made other arguments too including, interestingly, calling for policy to be balanced more in favour of savers.
In the speech to South Norfolk Conservative Association’s annual dinner on Friday evening, Sir John also said:
– the Government should help pensioners who have saved carefully for their retirement and are being punished by “cripplingly unfair” low interest rates
– the Bank of England ought to return interest rates to “normal levels, say three to five per cent”, so that society treats “the saver as fairly as it treats the debtor”.
– Tory party members were right to feel “unsettled” by the Coalition’s decision to legalise same sex marriage, but activists have to move with the times.
– the Conservative leadership should to pull their punches on the United Kingdom Independence Party, pointing out that “many of the Ukip supporters are patriotic Britons who fear their country is changing” and will come back to the Tory party.
I’ll be covering reaction to the speech this morning.
Otherwise, it looks quite. Here’s the agenda for the day.
11am: Number 10 lobby briefing.
2.30pm: Michael Gove, the education secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
As usual, I’ll also be covering all the breaking political news as well as looking at the papers and bringing you the best politics from the web. I’ll post a summary at about 1pm and another in the afternoon.
If you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
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