James Forsyth

Comedy Central

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Daniel Finkelstein highlights this you couldn't make it up answer from Ian Austin to a question about the government's mortgage assistance scheme:

Ian Austin, the housing minister, promised MPs: "The impact of the scheme is accelerating." He said the number of families helped by the measure had risen from two to six during May.

This kind of answer does make you thing that Bagehot is right about government ministers now living in their own parallel universe and so unaccountable for the accuracy of their statements.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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