DIARY

I'm sure there are still plenty more surprises in store for Lord Nolan, as he struggles to reintroduce morality into the tainted halls of Parliament. Perhaps I can give him a tip. The Commons secretaries are thinking of putting before him the issue of their unpaid work on MPs' private interests, which range from dog-walking to correspondence to lobby firms.

Officially, the secretaries will deny this, as they did last week, when the Independent reported that they had raised the issue in their own club, the Secretaries and Research Assistants Council.

But a few days after that article was published, I had a telephone call from a young secretary, whispering that there were many who wanted to raise the issue with Nolan and that steps were being taken in that direction. Forewarned, as they say, is forearmed.

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