High-speed rail could set us on the path to recovery | Robert Skidelsky

The chancellor’s fiscal policy has been a disaster – a growth-first strategy driven by a bond-funded HS2 could be the answerWhen George Osborne took over the Treasury, he decided that fiscal policy would be governed not by the state of the real economy but by the state of the public finances, as measured by pre-set […]
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Avoid The Thick of It-style spad appointments, ministers told

Cross-party committee warns of power of satire’s portrayal of scheming and amoral ministerial special advisersMinisters have been urged to be more careful about who they appoint as special advisers to ensure smoother working relations with civil servants and avoid resignation situations worthy of The Thick of It.The hit BBC sitcom satirising the inner workings of […]
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Number of political special advisers rises despite pledge to cut back

Francis Maude says 85 special advisers are now employed – thought to be the same as the peak level under Tony BlairThe number of political special advisers working in Downing Street and across Whitehall has risen back to the peak levels under Tony Blair despite the coalition’s pledge to dramatically cut back on the posts.Francis […]
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Cameron to announce new guidelines following Hunt fiasco

PM will implicitly accept that the government’s handling of the News Corp bid to take control of BSkyB was flawedDavid Cameron will implicitly accept that the government’s handling of the News Corp bid to take full control of BSkyB was flawed, when he tells Lord Justice Leveson he will bring in new guidelines for how […]
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‘Congrats on Brussels!’ Texts reveal Hunt’s close alliance with Murdoch

Culture secretary’s evidence to Leveson inquiry reveals extent of relationships with key players in News Corp’s bid for BSkyBCulture secretary Jeremy Hunt was grilled for six hours at the Leveson inquiry and his evidence touched on phone-hacking, his meetings with the Murdochs, the role of his former special adviser Adam Smith and whether he really […]
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Jeremy Hunt: phone conversation with James Murdoch ‘entirely appropriate’

Culture secretary tells Leveson conversation was legitimate despite advice not to get involved in News Corp’s BSkyB bidJeremy Hunt has told the Leveson inquiry it was “entirely appropriate” for him to have a mobile phone conversation with James Murdoch despite being given legal advice not to become involved in News Corporation’s £8bn bid for BSkyB.The […]
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No 10 tried to rewrite Jeremy Hunt adviser’s resignation letter

Proposed change in letter would have implied Adam Smith had strayed beyond his remit, he tells Leveson inquiryNumber 10 tried to rewrite the resignation statement of Jeremy Hunt’s former special adviser using language that would have implied that the 30-year-old official had strayed beyond his remit in communicating with News Corporation about its BSkyB takeover […]
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Leveson inquiry: Adam Smith, Jonathan Stephens appear

• Smith ‘drawn into a web of manipulation and exaggeration’ • Stephens advised that Smith should go, based on his emails• Stephens knew Smith was in contact with News Corp• Didn’t know Michel was his individual contact• Told Hunt to ‘be careful’ in his contact with News Corp• DCMS lawyer: Hunt’s comments on News Corp ‘not helpful’• Stephens: Smith […]
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Downing Street tried to rewrite Jeremy Hunt adviser’s resignation letter

Proposed change in letter would have implied Adam Smith had strayed beyond his remit, he tells Leveson inquiryNumber 10 tried to rewrite the resignation statement of Jeremy Hunt’s former special adviser using language that would have implied that the 30-year-old official had strayed beyond his remit in communicating with News Corporation about its BSkyB takeover […]
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