In my earlier post about Gordon Brown’s performance at his press conference on CentreRight, I also mentioned that the Prime Minister failed to answer Ben Brogan’s question about whether or not he would honour Tony Blair’s previous promise to give David Cameron and the shadow cabinet access to the civil service as of the New Year.
This has always been offered by convention to the Opposition, in order that they can discuss with Whitehall departments what they would hope to be doing if elected into office.
Ben Brogan has now got his response:
"Barely two hours later and the fax machine in Mr Cameron’s office
has whirred out a letter from the Prime Minister confirming that yes
indeed, those meetings can go ahead as agreed by Tony Blair in 2006. So
from January 1st, Conservative front benchers will be free to open
talks with senior officials about implementing the Conservative
manifesto in 2010, assuming it ever comes to that."
Quite right too. Any attempt to renege on the previously agreed arrangement would have been an outrageously partisan act.