Home Affairs debate day on the Queen’s Speech! Nick Clegg (numero uno in the Home Affairs team) gave a bravura performance which clearly rattled John Reid as he stood up to intervene on Nick. He wished to make clear that the leadership question for the Labour Party had nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with his statements on home affairs. He and Gordon Brown were not trying to out -tough each other and it was absolutely wrong of Nick to suggest any such thing. Of course, the plethora of stories to back this up in the previous week’s papers from ‘sources close to’ etc. were all mythological!
As for me – what I am needed for in reality on occasions like this is to cover the front bench for the hours of the debate when back bencher MPs speak. I quite enjoy listening to the debate – but it was very cold in the chamber. I get relieved for half an hour to go and do a pre-record for Beeb on the escalating cost of the Olympics. Knock around with Sadiq Khan – who gamely tried to defend the indefensible – and with Steve Richards as referee. I am no party pooper – having supported the Olympic bid and been over the moon when we won. But a blank cheque – I don’t think so.