Friday, 28 November 2008

Get your questions in...

Time is running out for readers to get their submissions in for the Post's Prime Minister's Questions scheme.

Anyone who wants to ask Gordon something should send their question to before Monday morning.

The editorial team will then pick the ten most representative questions and forward them on to No 10.

The PM has promised to reply in an article in the Post next week.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

No trouble Nick

Nick Palmer said he was surprised to be called by speaker Michael Martin to ask a question at PMQs on Wednesday.

The Broxtowe MP wasn't down on the list but stood up on the off chance of slipping one in – of which there is normally not much chance – but he managed to get called anyway.

He said: "I think he tends to let the people speak who don't cause any trouble."

Blue hearts, red faces

The Conservative comms team has been working in overdrive this last year pumping out press releases.

So for a bit of fun and relaxation they entered a team into the press gallery pub quiz last night.

Round four was entitled 'First Lines' and required contestants to listen to the opening line of a speech, song or book and name the person who had said or written it.

One question saw the first line of David Cameron's maiden speech in the Commons read out.

The Labour and Lib Dems press office teams answered correctly but unfortunately the red-faced Tories didn't recognise the words of their glorious leader.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Puppet Master

News the A46 would be upgraded was astonishing yesterday - given that just a couple of weeks ago junior transport minister Paul Clark refused to commit cash for the scheme.

Doubtless to say the appointment of Geoff Hoon as Transport Secretary, a Notts MP which other Notts MPs have the ear of, has helped.

But another person's arrival in the cabinet around the same time may also have played a key role according to some of Lobbydog's sources.

Dave Parsons, leader of Leicestershire County Council and chair of the East Midlands Regional Assembly - which has been crying out for cash to dual the A46 - is apparently a close associate of Peter Mandelson.

In what sounds like a lazy cliche - the two were at Oxford (not Cambridge) together.

Since then they have remained in contact allowing Coun Parsons to have a direct line to one of the most influential men in Government.

Hammer the PM!

For those Lobbydog readers fuming at Gordon Brown an opportunity to vent your spleen has arisen.

The Evening Post is running its own Prime Minister's Questions.

Readers can write in their queries for the PM and the editorial team will pass them on to No 10. He'll then reply to a selection in the paper next week.

Check out a copy of the Post for details today.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Hoon on Potters Bar

Notts MP Geoff Hoon has been the target of attacks from families of those killed in the 2002 Potters Bar rail crash.

They have been calling for a public inquiry since the incident six years ago, in which seven people died.

But with the occurrence of another crash due to faulty track in 2007 there is now speak of a "joint inquiry" looking at both incidents.

The Transport Secretary, and Ashfield MP, has decided to consult with everyone involved to see if a joint investigation is desired.

For those who have already been waiting six years, and have been very vocal about their views, a long consultation is about as useful as a slap in the face.

A new minister always has a certain amount of capital to undo past wrongs but in going for this consultation Hoon may have lost his chance to put things right on Potters Bar.

Ken on form

Despite speculation, Ken Clarke has publicly said that neither he, nor anybody else, should replace George Osborne as shadow chancellor.

The Rushcliffe MP's name has been one – the other was William Hague – bandied around as someone who could rescue the Tories' waning financial policy.

But the former chancellor said such a change would be a huge political mistake.

However it's worth noting that the Government seems to be picking up on Ken's suggestions recently, even if Cameron isn’t.

He was the first to call for a cut in VAT and for using the dualling of the A46 as part of a public spending programme, both of which should be announced in the Pre-Budget Report later today.