5.45pm MPsETC: Mayday, mayday. Whips Office calling. Stop Michael Fabricant now. We repeat. Stop Michael Fabricant now.

Screen shot 2012-10-20 at WATCH: Government spending -  Owen Jones v the Taxpayers Alliance's Matthew Sinclair – on the day of the TUC march

3pm David T Breaker on Comment: Just as the best revenge is living well, the best commemoration is staying true to your values

12.15pm ToryDiary: Andrew Mitchell's Bonfire of the Vanities

ToryDiary: The end of Mitchell spells the end for Leveson

Spencer Pitfield, the National Voluntary Director of the Conservative Policy Forum, begins a series of regular posts on Comment: It's claimed that the CPF won't discuss weighty topics. Wrong. We're debating immigration

Local Government: The race to be Mayor of Bristol


WATCH: Mitchell "felt he had no alternative but to go"

Screen shot 2012-10-20 at 08.41.20
Andrew Mitchell resigns as Chief Whip

"Mr Mitchell travelled to Chequers at 4pm yesterday to tell the Prime Minister  he had lost the confidence of Tory MPs and was resigning immediately after just  six weeks in the job. The move came after senior ministers, including Theresa May, Iain Duncan Smith  and Mr Mitchell’s own deputy John Randall told him his position was untenable." – Daily Mail

Sir George Young returns to Government to take his place

Sir George Young"Last night it was announced that his position would be taken by Sir
George Young, 71, who was dropped as Leader of the Commons in the
reshuffle. Mr Mitchell is expected to make a resignation statement to
the House of Commons next week." – The Independent

  • New Chief Whip was in Jimmy Savile 1982 rail poster – The Sun

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Tory MPs give warm welcome to breaking news that Sir George Young will be new Chief Whip

Mitchell's troubles aren't over. His Rwanda decision is under scrutiny.

"Mr Mitchell’s resignation came as it emerged that his former role as International Development Secretary will come under scrutiny. The Times has learnt that a parliamentary committee will investigate his decision to sign off millions in aid to Rwanda…Tensions have risen across Whitehall over the decision not to suspend aid. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, has already discussed the issue with the new International Development Secretary, Justine Greening." – The Times (£)

Screen shot 2012-10-20 at 07.37.19
  • Fabricant:
    I was frank with Mitchell.  Andrew Percy: he was right to go.  John
    Randall threatened to quit as Deputy Chief Whip – The Sun
  • Wednesday's '22 meeting and Michael Fabricant's tweets spelt the end for Mitchell – The Times (£)
  • With Craig Oliver and Gaby Bertin away, havoc reigned yesterday in Downing Street – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


  • Mr Cameron needs a broader range of ministers and advisers with normal
    backgrounds, not just chummy Oxbridge cleverclogs with little grip on
    the reality of British life – Sun Editorial
  • Chief Whip clung on too long and caused significant damage to the Conservative Party – Daily Telegraph Editorial
  • Mitchell's resignation will reinforce the impression that the Government is run by amateurs – Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph
  • Mitchell, the patrician Tory – Nicholas Watt, The Guardian
  • Not your typical bully, but Mitchell was right to go – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)
  • Downfall of a bully and new doubts over Dave’s judgment – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Robathan "tried to eject veterans from Commons public gallery

Andrew Robathan"A defence minister allegedly tried to have dozens of veterans thrown out of the Commons for opposing his plan to axe their historic battalion. Parliamentary sources said Andrew Robathan demanded the men of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers be ejected from the public gallery for making too much noise during a heated debate over the unit’s future." – Daily Mail

TV journalist claims Osborne aide tried to avoid Chancellor first class fare…

"Mr Osborne’s rail fracas occurred while he was on a train from Wilmslow, near his Tatton constituency, travelling back home to London for the weekend. An ITV journalist in a nearby carriage recorded events in a volley of tweets, which quickly stirred up a frenzy in Westminster. According to the onlooker, the ticket inspector arrived in first class and challenged Mr Osborne, whereupon the chancellor’s aide said the party “couldn’t possibly” move to standard class, and asked for a free upgrade. When told this was not an option, Mr Osborne eventually paid the full £189 extra for the first class fare." – Financial Times (£)

…But the Chancellor and Virgin Rail deny the allegation

"A statement from Virgin Trains backed up the Chancellor’s version of events. The company said: “As soon as the train left Wilmslow an aide went to find the train manager to explain the situation and arrange to pay for an upgrade. It was agreed that the Chancellor would remain in first class and £189.50 was paid by the aide to cover the upgrade for Mr Osborne and his PA. “The situation was dealt with amicably. At no time was there a disagreement or a refusal to pay for the upgrade. Nor was there any discussion between the train manager and Mr Osborne.” – Daily Express

  • Maths check across Whitehall after West Coast rail line fiasco – The Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – You know the Osborne story that got Westminster wetting itself earlier? It wasn't true.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, good news for the Chancellor: Borrowing plunges by £700 million

OSBORNE BLUE TIE"Government borrowing was £700million lower last month than it was a year ago, official figures have revealed. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that public sector net borrowing in September was £12.8billion compared with £13.5billion in the same month last year. Whitehall insiders hailed the drop as evidence that Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity drive is working. A Treasury source said yesterday: “Today’s data again shows Government borrowing better than markets expected and lower than the same month last year.” – Daily Express

Cheers and boos as SNP conference votes to end opposition to Nato by the narrow margin of 29 votes  – Scotsman

Cameron attacks Brussels salaries, threatens EU veto, and denies claims that Britain is saying "bye bye" to Europe

"Setting out his stall before the next European summit in November, he said he had a reputation among fellow leaders of being a 'pretty tough' operator – and he would prove this by vetoeing any budget deal which did not reduce spending on staff. Mr Cameron highlighted the extraordinary waste at the end of an EU summit in Brussels, at which member states reached an agreement on a new banking union for the 17 countries of the Eurozone." – Daily Mail

  • Cameron says NATO should share Peace Prize – The Times (£)
  • Prime Minister's EU policy could be the end of him – Patrick O'Flynn, Daily Express
  • Refuse a referendum, and the clamour will swallow Cameron. Hold one, and
    his party will probably unravel – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times (£)
  • Mandelson warns that Miliband could split the Labour party if he backs a referendum on Europe  – Financial Times (£)
  • Crisis strains Hollande and Merkel’s unity – Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Miliband Ed Open MouthLabour 1: Miliband to tell TUC anti-cuts march: hard choices for whoever is in power
The Guardian

Labour 2: Tom Watson makes ‘secret blacklist’ appealFinancial Times (£)

> Yesterday: LeftWatch: Tory HQ launches website targeting Ed Miliband's (a) union links and (b) his spend, spend, spend agenda

Facebook and Microsoft to help in Gove's major revamp of computer science lessons

"The current ‘Information and Communications Technology’ lessons in schools have been widely condemned by experts as glorified training in office skills. Now Education Secretary Michael Gove has unveiled a major revamp – and has hinted that he wants to give the subject a place alongside core subjects like English, maths and history in the sought-after ‘EBacc’ school leaving certificate." – Daily Mail

Iraq army families win right to sue the GovernmentThe Sun

Labour MP who oversees ethical standards in the Commons has used taxpayer funds to rent a family home from a shadow Cabinet minister

Screen shot 2012-10-20 at 08.59.57"Kevin Barron, the chairman of the standards and privileges committee, claimed £1,500 a month to rent a home belonging to Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister responsible for highlighting government sleaze. Mr Barron, whose committee sits in judgment of MPs accused of ethically questionable behaviour, began renting Mr Trickett’s home after selling his taxpayer-funded flat for a profit of almost £500,000 after the expenses scandal." – Daily Telegraph

  • MPs face ban on renting from each other – Daily Express
  • Politicians will suffer while Commons secrecy continues – Ben Wallace MP, Daily Telegraph

BNP on the rocks as its conference approachesThe Independent

Charles Moore: Freedom of Information Act – the pursuit of transparency is leading to dishonesty and intrigue

"In 1984, George Orwell invented the idea of the “memory hole” into which inconvenient facts are chucked and destroyed. With an inversion of intention which is truly Orwellian, FoI is that memory hole…It is not the privilege of the Crown which threatens the citizen in the 21st century. It is the privilege which used to go with the Crown in the days before parliamentary democracy – the power of the Court to rule through secrecy and intrigue, without record or process. The Court today is that of each prime minister, not of the Crown, and it operates from the sofa, not the throne. Thanks to the prigs who thought up FoI, proper process is dying, and the courtiers are back in charge." – Daily Telegraph

"Revealed: Newsnight emails that accuse BBC of Jimmy Savile cover-up" (as police launch formal Savile investigation)The Independent

Cheapest tariff must be made clear to every household, Ofgem saysThe Times (£)

Supermarkets will be banned from discounting multiple bottles of wine under Government plans to be set out within days Daily Telegraph

British scientists have made petrol from the air in a breakthrough which could end reliance on fossil fuelsDaily Express


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