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10.30pm WATCH: John Wick, the former SAS officer who blew the whistle on the MPs’ expenses scandal, speaks out for the first time

MacKay@Deselection10.15pm Seats and candidates: Andrew MacKay accused of misrepresenting meeting with constituents

8.30pm ToryDiary: ICM pours a little cold water on prospects for protest parties in European Elections

3.15pm WATCH: Anthony Steen's 'the public are jealous of me' interview is now on YouTube

3pm AmericaInTheWorld: Obama and Cheney clash over human rights and national security

TPA-EU-logo-Graphicmail-ver 2pm ToryDiary: The TaxPayers' Alliance is more likely to deliver Eurosceptic change than UKIP

1pm WATCH:

12.45pm Parliament: Nick Herbert: Government failing to stand up for British farmers in Europe

11am Local government: Westminster Council approves Reagan statue for outside US Embassy

ToryDiary: Nadine Dorries attacks "McCarthyite" tactics of Telegraph

Nick de Bois on Platform: We now need the spirit of the Great Reform Acts to rebuild trust in politics

Local government: Three local government by-elections

Picture 4WATCH:

Two more Tory MPs feature in expenses-gate

"The daughter of Conservative MP Anne Main has been living rent-free
in a flat that her mother claims second home expenses on. The MP for St
Albans has claimed £64,586 over three years on the flat in her
constituency, even though daughter Claire Tonks has lived there during
that period." – Daily Mail

"A Tory MP spent £17,000 of taxpayers' money on decorating his two
homes – swapping his second home designation to allow him to keep
shopping. Peter Luff, MP for Mid-Worcestershire, spent the money on
furniture and other items for his two homes during a four-year period."
Daily Mail

"A Labour MP says he will stand down at the next election if his
constituents demand it, following allegations over his second home
expenses claims. The Daily Telegraph says Dr Ian Gibson, Norwich North
MP, claimed for a London flat while his daughter and her partner lived
there rent-free." – BBC

"Why won't Brown slap down Hoon and Purnell like Blears?" – Daily Mail

"The Liberal Democrat chief executive and election strategist will
step down this autumn, days after questions were raised over his House
of Lords expense claims." – Times | Guido yesterday

"Asked on BBC One's Question Time whether criminal prosecutions
should be brought against some MPs, Mr Hague said: "In all probability,
yes"." – BBC

Ben Chapman, MP for Wirral South, will resign at next election – Telegraph

Steen Anthony Steen MP: Voters are only envious of his big houseIndependent | Daily Mail | Yesterday's Seats & Candidates

Membership of the Conservative Party's scrutiny committee

  • David Gold, senior partner at Herbert Smith (not the David Gold PPC)
  • Patrick McLoughlin MP, Chief Whip
  • John Randall MP, Assistant Chief Whip
  • Ed Llewellyn, DC's Chief of Staff
  • Ian McIsaac, Head of Compliance at CCHQ
  • Jeremy Middleton, Chairman of National Conservative Convention

The Times sets out a reform agenda for politics

"Voters want smarter MPs, greater transparency, civilised politics and more control" – Times leader

We should be able to sack MPs mid-term – Matthew Elliott in The Telegraph

The Economist: Where are the brave politicians?

"Westminster loves the language of gore. People talk of
“back-stabbings” and “assassins”; of electoral “massacres”; of paths to
power “littered with corpses” and of “bloodbaths” if the powerful are
crossed. In this sanguinary lexicon MPs are accounted “brave” and
“heroic” for drafting a motion that calls for a parliamentary official
to resign, or for writing newspaper articles that are codedly critical
of their leaders. They aren’t. It is brave to attend a protest rally in
Burma. It is brave to be an independent journalist in Russia. It is
brave to be a human-rights monitor in Syria. In Britain heads roll or
are impaled on spikes only metaphorically. Only ink actually gets
spilt: there will not be blood. The costs of sticking out a neck are
pifflingly low. Ordinary Britons might well wonder why in these febrile
times so few politicians, whether commanders or foot soldiers, are
willing to make a stand." – The Economist's Bagehot

Honesty isn't a political manifesto

"Honesty may be called the best policy, but it isn't actually a
policy at all as far as governing a country is concerned; it is just a
moral principle for individual conduct. It isn't one of the principles
that determine how political decisions are made. We have political
parties in order that people can rally round a set of such governing
principles and act collectively to put them into effect." – Alexander
Chancellor in The Guardian

John Bercow: My manifesto for the Speakership

BERCOW-JOHN
"If the House expects to gain the respect of others, it has to start by
showing some respect for itself. This means asserting the duty of
Parliament to scrutinise the executive and to hold the government of
the day to account. This should include radical reform of the way we
operate – from the management of House business to the composition of
committees, from the level of scrutiny to the opportunities for
backbench members to take part in key debates." – John Bercow MP in The Independent

Mr Bercow also writes an open letter in The Guardian.

Ann Widdecombe is the people's choice to be the next Speaker – Andrew Pierce in The Telegraph

Richard Reeves of Demos sets out "progressive austerity"

"Capital gains tax should also be introduced on the sale of primary
residences. This would raise at least £5bn a year and damp house price
inflation when the upturn comes. This will not be popular. But it is
easier to introduce when house prices are flat and voters know the
Treasury is broke. Progressive austerity means vigorously defending the
spending that helps the poor, ruthlessly cutting elsewhere and taking
the opportunity presented by the crisis to build a fairer tax system."
– Richard Reeves in the FT also commends saving Sure Start; the Family Nurse Partnership, targeted child trust funds but cuts in arts funding

Ex-Tory Shaun Woodward tipped for another promotion in Cabinet reshuffleTimes

ASHCROFT Michael Lord Ashcroft rumoured to be losing interest in Watford FCGuardian

And finally…

  • Iron Lady to meet the Pope in a private audience at the Vatican – Independent
  • Hello! records two meetings between Lady Thatcher and Her Majesty The Queen (that might be ConHome's first link to Hello!).

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33 comments for: Friday 22nd May 2009

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