That’s the verdict of Iain Martin at The Telegraph…

"Today Grayling has led his best operation to date, taking the pin out of a grenade and rolling it under the door of DWP Secretary James Purnell.

The revelation that ministers are considering charging interest of up to 27% on social fund loans is staggering. These are small 0% loans for essentials needed by the most hard-pressed, which are then (in theory) reclaimed from the applicants’ future benefit payments.

This is unbelievably poor politics from Purnell when the government is trying to present itself as being on the side of those falling on hard times. He should have squashed this one straight away…

Grayling attracts criticism from some of his colleagues. There is some resentment and jealousy that the Cameroons rely on him to such an increasing extent. A hit on the government such as that today is their answer. He is frequently cited in private by Cameroons as offering some of his shadow cabinet colleagues – some of whom it is difficult to work out what they do all week – a lesson in how to do the job. Cameron is concerned that he has too few members of his team who like getting stuck in. As he demonstrated today, getting stuck in is becoming Grayling’s trade mark."

I second every word of that.  Click here to see an ITN report of today’s ‘Grayling operation’.

Tim Montgomerie

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