The Prime Minister and cash-for-honours: "I think we need to reform party funding in this country. As far as I can see I’m the only party leader to come up with a, admittedly, not entirely popular way of reforming party funding, which is a limit on the donations, whether they come from rich individuals, rich business or rich trade unions. And with that would have to go some modest state funding. We already have state funding. You are sitting in a state-funded parliamentary office. A modest increase could be offset by reducing the cost of politics by reducing the size of the House of Commons, scrapping regional assemblies, trimming ministerial offices. The job of investigating the PM and his office is for the police and it wouldn’t be right to try and conduct a simultaneous questioning at PMQs or whatever. So I’m quite content to let the police do their work. I concentrate on what the PM is responsible for in terms of domestic policy." The Telegraph’s Little & Large had noted the Tory silence on cash-for-peerages.
Scottish independence: "Our view is very clear: that we want to maintain the union. We think the union is good for both Scotland and England. We don’t think we can threaten Scotland to stay in the union. We have to try and appeal to the heart as well as the head. I don’t support a referendum because we had a referendum for a Scottish parliament and we should make it work. But I say very clearly that if the Scottish nationals win and institute a referendum, I shall campaign very strongly for a no vote. I will campaign vigorously to keep Scotland in the union. But I’ve also always said if the Scottish people decide they didn’t want to be part of the union we’d have to respect their wishes but I hope it never comes to that. It’s odd in a parliamentary democracy to offer a referendum and recommend a no vote. It doesn’t really make sense and I think if you believe in the union like I do then you should try and fight to make politics about the things in Scotland I think people really care about, which is the state of their schools and hospitals and crime rather than playing along with the Scottish nationalists and this distraction of trying to break up the union."
The Catholic adoption row: "Of course I want to keep the Roman Catholic adoption agencies. They do an amazing job in placing hard to place children and they perform a vital role but I’m passionate that in this country we have one law that is obeyed by everybody. And this is vitally important in the whole debate about how we need to sweep away the failed multiculturalism. I don’t think it would be right to allow carve outs for Muslim groups or Hindu groups or whoever, so that means one law that everyone has to obey. And that’s why I don’t think a block exemption for catholic adoption agencies would be right but by all means give them time to find a way through the new rules. But in Britain we shouldn’t put up with discrimination on the basis of race or age or sexual orientation. And I think this gives a great opportunity for a new, optimistic conservatism."