Friday 14 October 2011

Liam Fox's full letter of resignation...

Dear David,

As you know, I have always placed a great deal of importance on accountability and responsibility. As I said in the House of Commons on Monday, I mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my Government activities to become blurred. The consequences of this have become clearer in recent days. I am very sorry for this.

I have also repeatedly said that the national interest must always come before personal interest. I now have to hold myself to my own standard. I have therefore decided, with great sadness, to resign from my post as Secretary of State for Defence—a position which I have been immensely proud and honoured to have held.

I am particularly proud to have overseen the long overdue reforms to the Ministry of Defence and to our Armed Forces, which will shape them to meet the challenges of the future and keep this country safe.

I am proud also to have played a part in helping to liberate the people of Libya, and I regret that I will not see through to its conclusion Britain’s role in Afghanistan, where so much progress has been made.

Above all, I am honoured and humbled to have worked with the superb men and women in our Armed Forces. Their bravery, dedication and professionalism are second to none.

I appreciate all the support you have given me – and will continue to support the vital work of this Government, above all in controlling the enormous budget deficit we inherited, which is a threat not just to this country’s economic prosperity but also to its national security.

I look forward to continuing to represent my constituents in North Somerset.

Yours ever,


Thursday 13 October 2011

Ripping of the day...

This segment of last night's Jobs and Growth debate got me chuckling when I read it this morning.

Mr Osborne: There was an absolutely staggering second omission from the shadow Chancellor’s speech, which was any reference — I will take an intervention if I have got this wrong — to Labour’s big new economic policy idea, which was unveiled at the Labour conference two weeks ago. I am referring, in case hon. Members have forgotten, to that great plan to divide British businesses into producers and predators — good and bad — and to levy different tax rates on them. Remember the speech from the Labour leader? Did the shadow Chancellor have any part in writing that speech?

Ed Balls: It was a very good speech.

Mr Osborne: At last there is something we agree on. It was absolutely the speech that we wanted to hear from the Labour leader at the Labour conference. I want to know what happened to this great idea, which was the centrepiece of Labour’s growth strategy for the new economy. Two weeks later it is not even referred to in the motion that we are being asked to debate. It is like the Lord Lucan of policy ideas: we do not know whether it is dead already or whether it has just gone missing for ever. I was really disappointed, because we know that the shadow Chancellor likes to cover all the policy areas in the shadow Cabinet and I was hoping for an explanation from him about how the idea was going to work. Are we supposed to grow our economy by levying new taxes and regulations on companies owned by private equity firms such as Boots, T-Mobile, the AA, Saga, Somerfield, Legoland and Chessington World of Adventures, those well known centres of predatory business activity?

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Expenses probe

Here is the list of 20 MPs that have been investigated for their expenses including Alan Johnson, click to go to the IPSA compliance website for full details:

Anderson, David
Barker, Gregory
Blackman, Bob
Coffey, Ann
Fallon, Michael
Halfon, Robert
Henderson, Gordon
Hendrick, Mark
Johnson, Alan
Johnson, Joseph
Kwarteng, Kwasi
Lancaster, Mark
McGovern, Jim
Mearns, Ian
Michael, Alun
Robertson, Angus
Smith, Henry
Swales, Ian
Twigg, Stephen
Williams, Hywell