Shadow home secretary Ed Balls today attacked the David Cameron’s “Big Society” policy agenda, labelling it a “big con” leading to public services being run by volunteers on the cheap and a significant deterioration in crime prevention.
The Financial Times reports today that home secretary Teresa May was forced to “water down” her first major speech on immigration last week, after an intervention from Downing Street and business secretary Vince Cable. Unnamed sources within the government told the FT that May’s original speech was “over the top” – with particular objections to passages which attacked the level of Tier 1 visas.
Independent research commissioned by the housing charity Shelter from the University of Cambridge today shows that the number of London neighbourhoods that will be affordable to people claiming local housing allowance will halve by 2016 as a result of government cuts.
Joey Jones reveals that former-treasury secretary David Laws said the rhetoric on deficit reduction had been “hyped up” and that concessions gained from the Conservatives in other areas forced a Lib Dem u-turn.
Douglas Alexander used his first major speech as Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions to criticise the Coalition Government’s welfare proposals – and warned Iain Duncan Smith that his reforms will be meaningless against a backdrop of £18billion in welfare cuts and a jobless recovery.
The chief executive of a fledgling progressive grass-roots movement sent an email out to its membership thanking them for their engagement and highlighting its success – proving that President Obama’s crowdsourcing funding model can work in the UK.
For the second week running, a poll series has put Labour ahead of the Conservatives for the first time in three years. Just like last week’s Times/Populus poll, a ComRes poll for today’s Independent gives Labour a narrow lead, up three points on 37 per cent, with the Conservatives down five points on 35 per cent and the Liberal Democrats up two points on 16 per cent.
The Coalition’s self-appointed champion of governmental transparency, Eric Pickles, has been criticised for failing to release information over potentially defamatory comments made about chair of the Electoral Commission, Jenny Watson, who his Department of Community and Local Government (DCLG) accused of building her “career on incompetence” and “milking the taxpayer”.
Information obtained through Parliamentary questioning on Prime Ministerial business has revealed a striking pattern amongst No 10 special advisers meeting with Rupert Murdoch’s News International newspapers and media outlets.
London’s Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson today criticised the coalition government’s plans for housing benefit, labelling it a “Kosovo-style social cleansing of London”. Johnson’s criticisms mark another dispute in the space of a week between the London Mayor and the prime minister – after David Cameron vowed to block any moves for London estuary airport.