Peter Hoskin

Is Baroness Scotland finished?

Is Baroness Scotland finished?
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If things were looking bad for Baroness Scotland before, then they're looking calamitous now.  On top of the row about her illegal immigrant cleaner, it's emerged that she wrongly claimed around £170,000 in living expenses since 2004.  According to the Cabinet Office, the money should only go to peers whose main residence is outside London.  While Baroness Scotland's main residence is in, er, the west London suburb of Chiswick - all of six miles away from the Lords.

Almost every Labour person I've spoken to over the past few days is astounded that Scotland is still in her role as attorney general.  And I imagine this news will harden their opinion.  Indeed, the Labour MP Graham Stringer has now made a public call for her to go, claiming that Gordon Brown should "take a lesson" from how Blair sacked Mandelson over the Hinduja affair.  Stringer knows, like others, that this is a huge embarrassment for his party, and that they can't allow this story to rumble on.  You suspect Brown will get the message over the next few days.

Besides, Guido has started aiming his crosshairs again.  Just like he did during the McBride affair...