Tuesday News Review

Osborne-Coulson relationship under spotlight

George Osborne faces questions over his relationship with Andy Coulson after it was suggested that he might have helped the former editor to get a job as David Cameron’s media adviser because he owed him “a favour”. A solicitor representing victims of phone hacking by the News of the World during Mr Coulson’s time as editor suggested Mr Osborne was “almost indebted” to Mr Coulson because of the way the newspaper had covered allegations made by a prostitute that the MP had taken cocaine with her. Mark Lewis said the newspaper had put “a gloss” on its reporting of Natalie Rowe’s claims that the Chancellor took the class A drug in the early 1990s, before he became an MP. “Andy Coulson had done George Osborne a favour,” he said. “Perhaps it was time for George Osborne to reciprocate and do a favour back.” The Chancellor’s aides yesterday dismissed any suggestion that Mr Osborne had felt obliged to Mr Coulson, and also denied a series of other lurid allegations made by Miss Rowe in an interview with Australia’s ABC television network. – the Telegraph

Boundary changes cause panic

George Osborne, Ed Balls and Vince Cable are among the most senior MPs to be hit by boundary changes, according to leaked reports of the proposals. Chancellor George Osborne’s Tatton seat is abolished, with many wards moving into Northwich constituency. Much of the safe Twickenham constituency of Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable is merged with the Richmond wards of Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond Park – with remaining wards going to a new Teddington and Hanworth seat, as Feltham and Heston is abolished. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s Rushcliffe constituency is scrapped, part of it joining a new marginal seat of Nottingham South and West Bridgford, which could have strong potential for the Conservatives. The majority of Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam moves to a new Sheffield West and Penistone seat, which is still likely to be notionally Liberal Democrat. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls sees his constituency split between new Leeds South West & Morley and Leeds South & Outwood seats. Former First Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, sees his Birmingham Hodge Hill seat split between Birmingham Ladywood, Birmingham Yardley and Meriden. – PoliticsHome

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will face a significant change in his Eastleigh seat, raising questions about his future in the Commons. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, Steve Webb, the pensions minister, and Norman Baker, a transport minister, could also come under threat from moves to cut the number of MPs. The Coalition has promised to reduce the number of Commons seats from 650 to 600 in 2015, as part of a pledge to “cut the cost of politics”. Ministers say the changes will save £12?million a year and make the Commons fairer by standardizing the size of constituencies, giving them all around 75,000 voters. The changes will force some sitting MPs to fight one another for newly created constituencies. – the Telegraph

A series of clashes between high-profile MPs from the main political parties will take place at the next general election, after the boundary review unveiled bigger than expected changes to England’s parliamentary constituencies. As anxious Conservatives warned their whips on Monday night of a rebellion against the changes, which will have to be approved by the Commons, MPs across the house were ready for bruising battles. Vince Cable leads a list of senior Liberal Democrat MPs who face major changes to their constituencies. Large chunks of Cable’s Twickenham will be joined with Richmond, setting up a possible clash at the election between the business secretary and Zac Goldsmith, Tory MP for Richmond Park. Cable may decide to stand in the new seat of Teddington and Hanworth which takes in much of his old seat of Twickenham. – the Guardian

Miliband to confront the TUC

The Labour leader Ed Miliband will on Tuesday urge union leaders not to rush into premature strikes over government plans to cut their members’ pensions, as he warns unions in the private sector they risk irrelevance unless they can recruit more members. His remarks in a speech to the TUC annual conference in London will anger some leaders of public sector unions not affiliated to the party, following his disavowal of the strike action they mounted in June. Miliband knows he faces an acutely difficult political challenge if he disowns strike ballots organised by the main unions affiliated to the party such as Unite and Unison. He is already locked in talks on reforming the union role inside the party, which are due to come to a head next week. Those big unions are likely to call ballots on industrial action if talks with government fail at the end of next month. Miliband will defend Labour’s historic link with the unions, saying: “Of course, there are times when you and I will disagree. You will speak your mind. And so will I.” He will claim the union party link “is secure enough, mature enough, to deal with disagreement”. – the Guardian

One Response to “Tuesday News Review”

  1. swatantra says:

    No cause for Nick or Vince or Chris to panic because they’ll be given safe Tory seats anyway at the next election. This cosy coalition is destined to be around for some considerable time yet. We may even see the birthof a new Party the Liberal Conservatives as hard line Tories break away.
    Peel would have been proud of Cameron for realigning politics. Dave and Nick are as close as Tweedledum and Teedledee were, it brings tears to my eyes.

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