Monday, 6 September 2010

Coulson - bad news when the spin doctor becomes the story

Back at Westminster for a two week period that will see the bill on AV voting and constituency reform pushed through the Commons, and probably ambushed in the Lords.

The Scottish angle isn't just that the proposed referendum will be held on the same day as the Holyrood elections. The equalisation of constituencies without public appeal could see up to eight Scottish seats disappear, most of them in urban, Labour held areas.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar and Orkney and Shetland have been guaranteed by the deputy Prime Minister that they will continue as distinctive and tiny constituencies.

Cameron is breaking of paternity leave to cast his vote on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill tonight but, hey, why should we worry about policy today.

Most of the parliamentary drama will be around Home Office Questions and an emergency question tabled by Alan Johnson over the ongoing News of the World phone-tapping scandal.

Andy Coulson, the Prime Minister's Communications director, was really the only subject raised at today's parliamentary lobby. The Prime Minister's Spokesman was asked if Mr Cameron "entirely believed" Andy Coulson's denials that he knew nothing about phone-tapping at the NoW while he was editor.

The Prime Minister should worry, as someone asked at lobby, that Coulson "has become the story". Survivability comes to down to whether there are further revelations and any moves against Coulson from either the Lib Dems or the Tories. Either way the Prime Minister's judgement is called into question for taking Coulson across the threshold of 10 Downing Street.

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