Heard the latest?: "Confidential details of 15 million child benefit recipients are on a computer disc lost by HM Revenue and Customs, the BBC understands… Chancellor Alistair Darling is to give a Commons statement on "a major operational problem" at 1530 GMT.  BBC political editor Nick Robinson said he understood ministers had been aware for nine to 10 days.  Mr Darling is expected to outline the measures taken to protect those whose data has been lost."

I say it again: Incompetence will be on the political gravestone of New Labour.

The impressive and increasingly high profile Michael Fallon has just been on Radio 4’s World at One.  He says that Labour has cut too deeply into Revenue and Customs and must take its share of the responsibility for the organisation’s problems.

1.20pm: Wato update – Ken Clarke has just been on.  The last Tory Chancellor charged Labour with three main faults over Northern Rock: (1) A 48 hour delay at the start of the crisis in reassuring depositors; (2) A failure during Brown’s time as Chancellor to renew the Deposit Insurance regime; and (3) A lack of transparency from Alistair Darling in recent weeks.  Northern Rock’s shares were down sharply again today.

Related link: George Osborne responds to the Chancellor’s statement on Northern Rock

10pm: Text of George Osborne’s Commons response to the news.  In his response Mr Osborne concluded that this should mark the end of ID cards: "Does he agree that today must mark the final blow to the Government’s ambition to create a national ID card? They simply cannot be trusted with people’s personal information."

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