Hanson and Rooker at odds over rates cap?

Looks like “Trouble at NIO Mill”? It seems there is some confusion over the Government’s rates capping strategy. Gonzo accurately picked up what the MSM were reporting and then went on to accuse the Tories of not pushing the issue far enough. But as Julian Robertson notes on that thread, there was a deal brokered by the Tories with Lord Rooker (on behalf of the government) that the rate capping would be kept subject to parliamentary process effectively removing it as a St Andrews side deal:

“I am therefore prepared to recommend to my noble friends that we accept entirely the noble Lord’s amendment and attach it to the government Motion. Therefore, the Motion would contain not only my words—one normally says, “Believe the Minister because it is in Hansard”. If we put the Motion as amended to the House, it will become part of the parliamentary process and that will be the Motion which the House passes. It calls quite specifically for a cap. It states that we have to work with the political parties in Northern Ireland and find more money for pensioners at the margin. On that basis, I commend my Motion, with the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, attached to it word for word, to the House”

Hmmm… That seems clear. The confusion in the media arises, Slugger understands, from some vigorous counter-briefing of the BBC from a very senior government figure, after they originally let the cat out of the bag on Tuesday evening.

So, in fact, which is rate capping to be subject to? Rooker’s Lords Agreement or the St Andrews Agreement?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty