The government has just lost a vote on a clause of the Parliamentary Standards Bill by 250 votes to 247. The clause would have allowed words spoken in the Commons to be used as evidence in court, undermining the independence of the legislature.
The defeat of the clause is to be welcomed. There’s a real danger that some of the reforms that will be pushed through Parliament in the wakes of the expenses scandal will be a Dangerous Dogs act but with much more serious consequences. It is also another sign of how weak the government is.