Gordon Brown was so keen to announce his proposals for changes to MPs’ expenses he broadcast it online. And met with opposition from many quarters. Today, at the morning press briefing, his spokesman declined “to speculate on the form of [the] proposals” the House of Commons would be debating on Thursday. Now the BBC report that the Prime Minister has written to the Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life confirming that the proposal for a daily allowance per diem rate for the Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure for MPs has been dropped. He’s also asked the Committee to bring forward their proposals “as soon as possible and preferably before the summer recess”. He could have told Harriet Harman.. [Adds Guardian report]. From that same BBC report.
Asked if the plan for a flat-rate allowance was dead on Monday, Commons leader Harriet Harman said: “No, not at all.” She told the BBC: “We are planning to have a debate and vote on Thursday on a whole range of issues where we know that the public is dissatisfied with the current situation.”
And From The First Post’s Mole
At first, he said it was not an issue for him or his government. Then he agreed to the review by Sir Christopher Kelly. But as further revelations continued to keep the story in the news, Brown threw a fit.
It was over one expenses scandal last year that Brown is said to have thrown a computer printer across a room at Downing Street. Now, he was furious again and wanted an instant solution to get it out of the headlines.
The upshot is that Brown looks and sounds out of touch both with the public and his own side at Westminster. The more he tramps round the world – he’s going to Poland on Tuesday on the way back from Afghanistan, and is expected to mark Holocaust Day at the Auschwitz memorial – the more people are saying: he just doesn’t get it, does he?