2pm Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: Now we need to finally get all the details of MPs' expenses1.45pm Louise Bagshawe is hoping to unseat Phil Hope as MP for Corby: On CentreRight she responds to his decision to pay back £41,000 of allowances
Simon Hart on Platform: The next government must engage with the countryside
StarChamber saving: Stopping government lobbying government
- David Cameron says "sorry" and orders his MPs to repay questionable use of allowances
- Stuart Wheeler makes direct appeal to Tory voters in UKIP election broadcast
David Cameron's actions on expenses applauded by Fleet Street
"The Westminster gravy train was finally driven off the rails last night after David Cameron ordered Tory MPs to pay back their 'excessive' expenses claims. The furious Conservative leader told senior shadow ministers and party grandees – including some of his closest allies – to write out cheques for thousands of pounds. He warned any who refused that they would be thrown out of the party." – Daily Mail
"Mr Cameron agreed to repay a £680 bill for repairs to his house, including the removal of wisteria from a chimney. Colleagues bit their lips and agreed to pay up without dissent. Among them were Alan Duncan, who is to repay £4,700 for garden equipment; Michael Gove £7,000 for furniture; and George Osborne £440 for a taxi journey from London to his Cheshire constituency after missing the last train." – FT
Patrick Wintour, Political Editor of The Guardian, pays tribute to David Cameron's rapid actions and contrasts them with those of the Prime Minister.
"Cameron reminds me of Blair in opposition – and I don't mean that as an insult" – Steve Richards in The Independent
"The Conservative leader made a fine start yesterday in repairing the damage, underlining his political astuteness. But sceptics will inevitably wonder whether he would have announced quite such resolute reforms of the system if these damning details had not come to light in the way they did. Mr Cameron would probably accept that, for all the progress made in recent years, the job of decontaminating the Conservative brand is still not quite complete." – Independent leader
What a contrast with Labour…
…says The Guardian's Michael White: "The cabinet discussed the affair mid-morning. Harriet Harman duly popped up on 24/7 TV to pre-empt the Cameron onslaught with her own plan to ask a committee now reviewing expenses to review them a bit harder. Action this day? No, more of a process – a process leading towards targets in due course. Very New Labour."
But Cameron's reforms are not met with universal approval…
"The Tory leader could also be accused of ducking the issue by failing to sack offending MPs, instead forcing them to pay back money they should never have claimed in the first place. The scrutiny panel he set up to address “excessive cases” of backbenchers’ claims appears to have a subjective, and less than comprehensive, remit." – FT leader
And The Economist's Bagehot asks: Shouldn't some MPs have to pay in other ways than with their chequebooks?
Greens, BNP and other fringe parties plan to maximise protest vote against Westminster excess – Times
Ming Campbell used £10,000 of allowances to hire top designer
"Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George claimed for mortgage interest and furniture on a flat used by his student daughter, the Daily Telegraph says. The paper also says the party's former leader Sir Menzies Campbell claimed nearly £10,000 in expenses for a top designer to redecorate his London flat." – BBC
"As well as submitting regular claims for food, gardening, furniture and decorating at his constituency home in Sheffield Hallam, Mr Clegg put in his telephone costs, including several international calls to Colombia, Vietnam, and Spain." – Telegraph
Lembit Opik forced to pay for own £2,500 plasma TV – Telegraph
David Cameron issues warning to disloyal Lord Tebbit
"David Cameron has warned Lord Tebbit he is in danger of being thrown out of the party if he continues to urge people not to vote Conservative in next month's European elections. Mr Cameron bluntly told the Tory grandee he should be 'very careful' or risk being stripped of the party whip in the House of Lords." – Daily Mail
Ken Clarke welcomes Tory report on deregulation
"A Conservative government would cull redundant regulators and curb the cost of new regulations, in a drive to reduce the red tape burden on business, Ken Clarke, shadow business secretary, is set to announce on Wednesday. The pledges will be made in response to a Tory-commissioned report, published on Wednesday, that will recommend far-reaching action to reduce the £100bn-plus annual “hidden cost” of regulation for the economy." – FT
"I advocate an Independent Panel for Regulation and Risk, with significant powers to slow the flow and reduce the stock of regulation, coupled with stronger parliamentary scrutiny and better engagement with Brussels. I want fewer regulatory bodies, less centralised control of the public sector and far more use of alternatives to regulation. I also aim to establish “sunsetting” processes for regulatory bodies, so that the old and the lame can be merged or retired." – David Arculus, Chairman of the Tory policy group, writing for the FT
Labour ministers think it's time for Michael Martin to go
"Some ministers said privately that Mr Brown must meet David Cameron and Nick Clegg as soon as possible to decide how to oust Mr Martin. “He must be handed the pearl-handled revolver,” a senior member of the Government said. “He has to go. He has shown an astonishing lack of judgment.”" – Times
Speaker has got it "very wrong" says Nick Clegg – Guardian
"The House of Commons needs a new Speaker to lead it into a new age of reform. Michael Martin is not up to the job. When asked about him yesterday, David Cameron responded that it was convention for a party leader not to criticise the Speaker. Well, I think we've heard enough about convention for the time being, thank you very much." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times
Oliver Heald MP sets out ideas for improving river quality – ePolitix
Brooks Newmark MP is calling for safer football goalposts – ePolitix
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