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Quango chief steps down after bankruptcy revealed

A businessman appointed by David Cameron to head a multibillion-pound quango has been forced to step down after it was disclosed that he was bankrupt.

A Government spokesman said Tony Caplin - a former Conservative Party chief operating officer - had resigned as chairman of the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) which is responsible for £60 billion of loans in infrastructure projects.

Prime Minister David Cameron Credit: Cyril Villemain/ABACAPRESS.COM

The Mail on Sunday reported that Number 10 had been forced to act after an investigation it carried out revealed he had been made bankrupt in 2012.

A Government spokesman said: "He should have declared he was bankrupt. This has been pointed out to him and as a result he has resigned."

Senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Commons Public Accounts Committee, told The Mail on Sunday: "This raises serious questions which should be investigated."

Miller set for potentially testing day in expenses row

Culture Secretary Maria Miller is facing a potentially decisive day in her battle to keep her job amid a row over her expenses.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

David Cameron is likely to be questioned about Mrs Miller in Prime Minister's Questions this lunchtime and then Tory backbenchers will have a chance to voice their concerns at a meeting of the party's influential 1922 committee.

The Culture Secretary issued another apology last night, admitting she "let people down" in the way she approached the probe into her accommodation expenses, amid signs that support from her colleagues is ebbing away.

Watch: Basingstoke councillor condemns 'unethical' Miller


Labour's poll lead over Conservatives cut to one point

The new figures indicate David Cameron's party is enjoying a continuing bounce over Ed Miliband's since George Osborne delivered the Budget. Credit: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

Labour's lead in the opinion polls has been cut to a single point in a sign Ed Miliband's party has lost ground since the Budget.

The Opinium survey for the Observer places Labour on 33%, a slide of two points from a fortnight ago, and the Tories on 32%, after a gain of two points.

The poll puts Ukip down a point on 15% while the Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 10%.

The online survey was of 1,936 British adults between March 25 and 28, around a week after the Budget was announced by George Osborne.

MP Peter Bone won't face any charges over fraud claims

MP Peter Bone speaking on ITV's Daybreak.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was "insufficient evidence" against Mr Bone and his wife.

Conservative MP Peter Bone and his wife will not face any charges over fraud allegations, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.

Northamptonshire police investigated the Wellingborough MP and his wife over claims that assets belonging to his mother-in-law were concealed so Northamptonshire County Council would fund her care home fees.

The CPS said: "We have decided there is insufficient evidence to charge any criminal offence."

It explained: “The evidence showed: firstly that the woman’s mother considered the suspects' conduct to be acceptable; secondly that the suspects acted openly in declaring the sale of the mother’s house to the Council; thirdly that no element of dishonesty could be proved."

It added that there is an ongoing civil litigation case.

Grant Shapps: 'I drink beer and I love a game of bingo'

The advert tweeted by Grant Shapps on Wednesday night that was accused of being condescending Credit: Twitter/Grant Shapps

The Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has hit back at criticism of an advert he tweeted celebrating the cuts in bingo tax and beer duty.

The party advert said the measures were "to help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy". The Tories and Mr Shapps were accused of being "condescending" by Labour and the Lib Dems.

Read more: Shapps 'bingo and beer' Budget poster sparks online spoofs

On a trip to Carlisle, he told BBC Radio Cumbria: "We can all argue about whether the word should be 'they' or 'us' or whatever.

"Personally, I drink beer and I love a game of bingo so I can't see why on earth they think this is more important than talking the long-term economic future of our country, supporting actually sectors like bingo or the local pubs."


Clegg happy to ignore latest 'Tory soap opera'

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has dismissed David Cameron's appeal for Boris Johnson to become an MP again as the latest storyline in a "Conservative Party soap opera" that is "very difficult to follow".

Mr Cameron's comments have refueled speculation that Mr Johnson may bid for a return to Parliament at the General Election next year.

The Liberal Democrat leader said while his fellow Coalition leaders and the Mayor of London spent time sorting out "who's doing what in the Conservative Party" he would carry on "concentrating on completing the economic recovery as fairly as possible".

Read: Cameron wants Boris 'on his team' for election

Cameron wants Boris Johnson 'on the team' for election

David Cameron has made a plea for Boris Johnson to return to Parliament and join the Conservative Party election campaign in Westminster.

In an interview with James Corden, who was guest editing The Sun for Sport Relief, the Prime Minister said he thought the Mayor of London was "great", and said "there is nothing ignoble about wanting my job":

I want him to get back in Parliament. I think he's great.

It's a bit like football - if you have got a great striker you want him on the pitch.

It's up to him. He can complete as Mayor, or he can stay on as Mayor and come back to the House. I want him on the team

Tweeter spoofs 'Bingo Budget'

One Twitter user came up with a new way of spoofing yesterday's Budget, following measures aimed to please beer drinkers and bingo-goers.

Read: Budget for 'makers, doers and savers'

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