Blair Faces Education Vote
The Government face the controversial vote on education today, with many Labour rebels standing firm. The Government plans to give schools more freedom over admissions and budgets. The Tories, as David Cameron was crowing about at PMQs today, support the Bill, whilst many Labour backbenchers don't, and it would be a huge blow to Blair's authority if the Bill is passed due to Tory support. It only needs 35 of Mr. Blair's backbenchers to vote against the Bill for the PM to have to rely on Tory support, so it certainly isn't out of the question. Londonist will give you a more in depth report tomorrow, after tonight's vote.
Government Held To Account Over Pension Failures
The Parliamentary Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, has criticised the government for not compensating the 85,000 people who have lost their company pensions. The Ombudsman's role is to hold the government to account over grievances that members of the public have, and to help get those grievances redressed. Find out more here. Lib Dem Leader Sir Menzies Campbell held the PM to account over the issue at today's PMQs, but was ridiculed when a quick-witted MP made a crack about Ming being up for a pension soon. His response was good ("If the PM listens to last year's pension report, I will not be getting a pension for some time"), but was drowned out by raucous laughter.
Both the Tories and the Lib Dems have criticised the Government's decision not to compensate those who have lost their pensions, with Tory Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Philip Hammond, saying that the report was "a damning indictment of government maladministration". Whether Mr. Brown will make some concessions if and when he becomes PM (as this would be a big vote-winner) remains to be seen.