The five things you need to know on Thursday October 29, 2015...
This morning's Waugh Zone is edited by Ned Simons. Paul is away. But don't worry, he is back soon.
1) 'DEAR DAVID LETTER'
The government was warned repeatedly about giving the charity Kids Company money and each time did so regardless, a report has found. It received £42 million in government grants between 2000 and 2015.
Former Tory children's minister Tim Loughton this morning placed the blame at the doors of No.10. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the decisions to hand out the money "went over our heads" at the Department for Education after he raised concerns. "I was very sceptical at the time and was very against giving them such a large amount of money," he said.
Loughton said the charity, headed by Camila Batmanghelidjh, would write a "dear David letter" to the prime minister in order to get the money approved.
The Public Accounts Committee is meeting on Monday to cross-examine Richard Heaton, the ex-permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office and Chris Wormald, the DfE permanent secretary. Meg Hillier, the committee chair, said: “It is unbelievable that over 13 years taxpayers’ money has been given to Kids Company with little focus on what it was actually achieving for the children it was supporting.
2) BED TIME FOR BLAIR
Progress, the modernising Labour group, has a new pamphlet out today. Yes, they are still alive. The Blairites may be marginalised in the age of Jeremy Corbyn, but with contributions from former home secretary Jacqui Smith and scourge of the Twitter-trolls, Mike Gapes, it provides an interesting audit of Labour's time in power. The list of achievements is a pointed reminder to the Left that being in government is only the way to actually change things.
Writing for The Huffington Post today, Progress' director, Richard Angell, says it is time to put the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown "to bed" in policy terms. But not in electoral approach. "The last Labour government should, therefore, be the inspiration to be in government again, not the inspiration for the next government," he writes.
"The British Labour party can continue to debate the record all it likes, but, whatever happens, unless it is satisfied with the prospect of decades of Tory rule, it cannot decide that government again is just too difficult. Bedtime it might be, but only so the Labour movement - modernised and credible - can awaken as a party of government again."
3) RUMPUS IN THE ROCKIES
Here are the best moments from the third Republican primary debate, it was a good one.
As my colleagues Scott Conroy and Sam Stein report: "With his poll numbers foundering, his campaign in downsizing mode and questions about whether he might drop out of the race before the voting even begins no longer sounding so absurd, Jeb Bush needed to stand out at Wednesday night’s debate. And in a way, he did. But for all the wrong reasons. In a memorable exchange with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bush’s onetime protégé showed why he has become an existential threat to the former Florida governor’s White House hopes."
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR... Jeremy Corbyn has a really expressive PMQs eyebrow
4) CHALLENGE TO 'CORBYNISTAS'
The former aide worker who claimed Jeremy Corbyn appointed a “fascism-apologist” to a top Labour communications job is applying to be the party’s candidate in the Oldham West by-election. In an interview with my colleague Owen Bennett, Kate Godfrey sets out her fears that Ukip could capture the seat from Labour, despite the party’s near 15,000 majority.
"The Corbynista politics do not appeal to the core vote in Oldham. He might have an appeal in certain parts of the world but that seat isn’t made up of students and Hampstead socialists," she says.
5) BASHED BY THE BISHOP
George Osborne's plans to cut tax credits were a "punishment" for working families, the Bishop of Portsmouth has said. Writing for The Huffington Post, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, one of the Bishops in the House of Lords, said his "prayers" with with the chancellor that he would respond to the government's defeat in the right way.
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