- The new DCLG team of ministers
- Roger Scruton's solution to the great wheelie bin debate: "Smaller wheelie bins, made out of wood, designed by Leon Krier or Quinlan Terry, embossed with the council coat of arms."
- Campaign for Better Transport apologises for anti-Tory email
Today's must-read: Gordon Brown's Guardian interview
"Gordon Brown has admitted that he has been "hurt" by the personal attacks on him during the failed attempt to oust him this month, and said that he might move to teaching after he leaves office. Speaking to The Guardian in his first interview since the attempted coup by Labour backbenchers, the prime minister made an unprecedentedly frank series of observations on his time in office, reflecting that the recent weeks have been the worst of his political life. "To be honest, you could walk away from all of this tomorrow," he said. "I'm not interested in what accompanies being in power. I wouldn't worry if I never returned to all those places – Downing Street, Chequers … And it would probably be good for my children.""
George Osborne says inheritance tax pledge will NOT be abandoned
"A source close to Mr Osborne said: “We stand by this policy. It will be carried out within the fi rst term if we are elected. Our proposal for an inheritance tax cut is fully costed. This is about recognising and encouraging aspiration.” – Express
"David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday: "The British public should be warned: the Tory European group may contain nuts.""
"The Tories are also in talks with the Dutch Christian Union, which includes the SGP, a Calvinist party which believes the Bible means that women should not stand for parliament but have a "nurturing role" at home. Mr Cameron's party is also wooing the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom party, several of whose MPs marched in Riga with veterans of the Latvian SS in March." – Independent
The Daily Mail anticipates a Bercow victory in the race to be Speaker…
"The deeply unattractive so-called Conservative John Bercow is predicted to triumph for no other reason than that he is intensely disliked by his own party – and therefore attractive to vengeful Labour MPs, upset by Mr Martin’s toppling. Such puerile behaviour is, frankly, pathetic, particularly in light of both parties pledging to clean up a political system which has just resulted in one of the most shameful weeks for British democracy in many a decade." – Daily Mail leader
…Frank Field backs Ann Widdecombe to be Michael Martin's (interim) successor
"It took the Almighty six days to create the universe. Ann wouldn't claim to possess His powers. But in the year between now and when she retires, she is the candidate most likely to be able to re-establish a political bridgehead with our electorates. A cleaned-up Parliament will therefore be able to elect a new Speaker. She is also the only candidate under whom MPs know they won't be able to get away with some of the behaviour – let alone the excesses – that has been offered up by our expenses system." – Telegraph
Latest from expenses-gate
"David Willetts and Jeremy Hunt, both shadow ministers, admitted last night that they had over-claimed on their council tax by at least £500 each." – The Telegraph revealing that fifty MPs had overclaimed on council tax
Neither Darling nor Osborne can add up – The Sun
The Times probes the £2.3m paid to the Tory-only Parliamentary Resources Unit.
Scotland Yard's investigation into parliamentarians' expense claims
"Scotland Yard's announcement that fraud investigators would begin combing through the expenses claims of a few MPs and peers undermined attempts by both Gordon Brown and David Cameron to draw a line under the affair with pledges to clean up Westminster." – Guardian
"Those under investigation are believed to include:
- Elliot Morley, the former Labour minister who claimed £16,000 for a mortgage that he had already repaid. He said last night that he would co-operate with any inquiry.
- David Chaytor, Labour MP for Bury North, who claimed £13,000 for a mortgage that had been repaid.
- Baroness Uddin, Britain’s first female Muslim peer."
Baroness Thatcher will remain hospital for another week after an apparently successful operation on her broken upper arm – Telegraph
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