Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said that the shadow chancellor Ed Balls' pledge to axe winter fuel payments for wealthier pensioners shows he is "making it up as he goes along":
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said that a statutory register of lobbyists, as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called for, would have made "no difference at all" to recent allegations of lobbying.
"There are already rules which say that MPs cannot take money as an advocate in Parliament," he told Daybreak.
He added that the former Conservative MP Patrick Mercer's alleged offence was "against the rules," but that there was a "perfectly proper need" for professional lobbyists.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who is overseeing the funeral arrangements for Baroness Thatcher, has denied being the first to "plunge the knife" when the Conservative party forced her out of office 23 years ago.
Maude told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "No I didn't, I simply told her what I believed to be the truth."
In her memoirs, Thatcher recalled how "reliable ally" Maude was the first to tell her she had to go.
The head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, has tweeted that the announcement later today on reforms to Whitehall is a "good plan" for his colleagues.
Important announcement today by Francis Maude on Civil Service Reform. This is a good plan that civil servants can and should get behind.
The government wants to change the way Whitehall operates to increase accountability, simplify hierarchies and make sure government departments operate more like businesses.
Three departments in particular will undergo reviews to make them function more effectively. They are: The Department for Education, Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government.
The Financial Times looks at what the review is trying to achieve.
Among the reforms to Whitehall departments which are expected to be unveiled by Cabinet Office minster Francis Maude today are:
- Perks such as free holidays axed
- End to clothing allowances
- Departments more concentrated on delivering Government policy
- Flexible working arrangements under review
- Rights reviewed for having time off for the Queen’s Birthday
Plans to shake up the way government departments in Whitehall are run could mean that under-performing civil servants lose their jobs.
According to The Independent Ministers are planning to extend performance-related pay. That could see some staff taking a 10 per cent pay cut if they under-perform.
The Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has insisted there is no need for anyone to "rush" to a petrol station. But he has advised people that having "a bit of petrol in a jerry can in the garage is a sensible precaution to take."
Cabinet minister Francis Maude has said that although the Government is doing all it can to keep up fuel supplies, alternative plans using military personnel are being put in place because "the last thing the country needs is (to be) brought to a standstill by irresponsible union action"
Cabinet Minister Francis Maude has told ITV's Daybreak that Peter Cruddas' cash for access claims are "embarrassing and wrong, and not true. "
"That's not the way we do business and raise money, and we're very clear about that."
He says that five years ago cross-party talks got "so close" to agreeing on an individual donation cap but were "frustrated at the very last minute" by Labour.