On Charles Clarke: David Cameron used his 8.10am interview on this morning’s Today programme to explain the importance of Charles Clarke giving a full statement to Parliament (the interview can be downloaded from this ‘listen again page‘). Mr Cameron said that the public still needed more information on the whereabouts of the 1,000 released prisoners and the steps being taken to protect the public. Mr Cameron said that the leaked fact that it took the Home Secretary three weeks to tell the Prime Minister and the police about the deportation scandal underlined why he was the wrong person to rectify the situation and to restore public confidence. The Tory leader called on the Prime Minister to bring forward his reshuffle so that a new Cabinet minister for Homeland Security could be appointed. Such a new position, he said, would lighten the load on an over-stretched Home Office and provide a valuable higher status to counter-terrorism efforts.
Incompetent Labour: The deportation fiasco – hot on the heels of the paedophiles in schools scandal, the incompetence over single farm payments and the mispayment of tax credits – illustrated the fundamental problem with this government’s obsession with short-term headlines and its centralisation of decision-making.
"Dramatic" differences with Labour: Asked by John Humphrys for "dramatic" examples of differences between the Tories and Labour, Mr Cameron emphasised his opposition to regionalism and his belief that the proceeds of growth should be shared between the taxpayer and the public services – rather than gobbled up wholly by the fat state.
Living the green life: JH then repeatedly pressed Mr Cameron on why his Lexus car and government driver follow his bicycle to work. Refusing to accept the Tory leader’s suggestion that he had too much to carry, Mr Humphrys said that – via Google – he had found 36 litre panniers (eg here) which would allow him to transport his papers on his bike. Mr Humphrys then said what was wrong with a Prius and passengers squeezing together a little bit? Why did the Tory leader need a Lexus? Why wasn’t the Tory leader willing to make serious sacrifices for the environment? Mr Cameron said that Mr Humphry’s line of questioning was ludicrous and that it was possible to be green without making huge sacrifices. On yesterday’s Politics Show he emphasised how greener cars saved petrol costs and solar panels on the roof of a home can reduce heating bills.