The agenda - everything happening in politics today
10am Leader of the House Sir George Young is expected to release a written ministerial statement putting forward his proposals to reform IPSA. Given the vociferous reaction of MPs a couple of weeks ago to his plea that MPs ‘reflect very carefully’ a possible 1% pay rise (which we reported here), the reaction of the House will be worth looking out for.
10.30am Environment secretary Caroline Spelman takes questions in the House. After yesterday’s opposition day debate on the plans to sell off England's public forestry estate (in which the motion was defeated 310-260, but Tories Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Nokes and Julian Lewis voted with Labour, and there were about half a dozen Lib Dem rebels too) we’ll be looking for any sign that there’s a reconsideration of the plan in the offing.
12.30pm Labour MP Stella Creasy has tabled a backbench motion on the reform of credit regulation and debt management — in short, she wants to put an end to the practice of loan-sharking. Her campaign on this has received quite a bit of attention, so it’ll be interesting to see how the coalition responds to what is potentially quite a populist issue.
2.30pm Green MP Caroline Lucas leads a Westminster Hall debate on Parliamentary reform — you can read more about her plans in her cover interview with Total Politics from our January issue (online here)
What’s been said
The Sun has called for justice secretary Ken Clarke to be sacked for his difference of opinion with Theresa May over sentencing for knife crime. It says: “He is a bumbling liability who seems keener to rock the boat than safeguard the streets.”
The Guardian writes ‘in praise of wasting time’ in relation to Caroline Lucas’s modernisation proposals for MPs’ voting, which will be debated later today. According to an editorial, ‘wasting time, as a principle, should be recognised and appreciated as the luxury it is’.
The Times (£) picks up on the furore over the proposed forestry sell off, arguing that selling of trees goes against what it means to be Conservative. It asks: “Whatever happened to “Vote Blue, Go Green”?”
Stats of the day
The department for international development paid £1.85m towards the Papal visit, a report from the Commons international development committee published today reveals.
The ‘no’ campaign for the forthcoming referendum in Wales on further assembly powers, True Wales, fear that the turnout could be as low as 30%
The government estimates that 80% of bus services outside London are commercially run — a statistic that has emerged as a campaign is launched to protest against council cutbacks in bus services