David Blackburn

Success for Cameron

Success for Cameron
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Finally, Brown has withdrawn the whip from Chaytor, Morley and Devine. This is a significant victory for Cameron in the latest battle over expenses. Once again, the Tories are streaks ahead on this issue. As Henry Macrory notes, it took Cameron 86 minutes to reach the obvious conclusion that Lord Hanningfield should be suspended; Brown agonised for 4305 minutes. Truly, this is the man who can be trusted to ‘take the tough decisions’ on the economy when needed – my guess is that most of us all will die at a Keatsian age in Dickensian penury.

One point that occurs to me is that it's been clear for some time that Chaytor et al were personae non grata. Why therefore has Chaytor been used as a government plant at PMQs twice this year? The MPs’ expenses scandal is the one Village obsession that resonates with the public; Brown’s judgement on the whole issue has been staggeringly naive.

PS: Brown beginning to get his act together - Laura Kuenssberg reports that a spokesman has not ruled out a change in the law on parliamentary privilege if Chaytor et al declare themselves immune. The day is already Cameron's, who called for such an act this morning, though I still think he'd be advised to calm his ad hominem tone in the long-run - of course Brown is of Westminster's ancien regime, don't throw away the advantage with the 'bad old politics'.