The Speaker wants another term – but can he finish this one?
The BBC is reporting that the Speaker has lost the confidence of 30 MPs, with 50 believing him to be culpable over the Green arrest, while the Observer editorial simply says “Stand down, Mr Speaker”, and the Mail reports on how the Serjeant at Arms was “knifed” by the Speaker. However, the Sunday Times reports a defiant Michael Martin as wanting to stand for a third term as Speaker.
The Observer meanwhile reports that a formal complaint from the Assembly Labour group about Boris Johnson’s involvement in the police raid on Green’s Commons office could lead to his suspension or removal as Mayor of London, and the Independent writes that the Government is preparing new laws to allow investigators to carry out parliamentary searches without a warrant.
Among the commentators, John Rentoul considers the state of the Cabinet:
“Peter Mandelson is back and Labour is one big happy family again. Blairites have lain down with Brownites. New Labour is not dead; it has been updated for new times. The economic crisis has brought the party together, with Lord Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool as the symbol of its unity. Don’t believe it. Deputy prime minister, indeed. Mandelson… has been brought back to life in the most implausible plot device since an entire season of Dallas turned out to be Pam Ewing’s dream.”
Matthew D’Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph describes the Green affair as “broad comedy with a very sharp point”, while “Labour threatens to spank the banks” according to Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer.
The UK is set for major reforms to both the welfare and benefits system in the wake of the Shannon Matthews verdict and social services after the Baby P case. According to James Purnell, â€œvirtually everyone will be doing something in return for their benefitsâ€ while Ed Balls and Alan Johnson will announce the formation of a task force to examine “urgently” every area of social work including leadership, training and recruitment.