James Forsyth

The question Aitken still needs to answer

The question Aitken still needs to answer
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Jonathan Aitken’s return to Tory politics to lead a review on prison reform for Iain Duncan-Smith's Centre for Social Justice makes me uneasy. As Peter Preston writes in The Observer,

“to this day, we still don't know why the minister we trusted to oversee our defence procurement was in Paris that long-ago weekend to meet the Saudis.

We know that he lied and was found out, but we don't know why he lied. We're still finding out plenty about the contracts with BAE in the Eighties that Aitken helped put together - because the huge backhanders paid to the Saudis are public knowledge now - but we don't know what happened after he became a minister of the crown.” Until this question is answered, there will always be a cloud over Aitken. One wishes he would just address it now so that his sensible and humane thoughts on prison reform can have the best chance possible of becoming policy.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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