Lamont makes libel accusations
The rare event of a Tory Chancellor turning on his natural supporters - three of the newspapers, the Daily Mail, the Sun and the London Evening Standard, are strongly pro-Conservative - follows the leak of his Access credit card details.
That was followed by the revelation that pounds 4,700 of public money was used to pay libel-related expenses to the law firm Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners last year after Mr Lamont discovered the tenant of his London home, Sara Dale, was a sex therapist. The three other complaints are against the Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the Observer.
Letters from Carter-Ruck and Partners, which Mr Lamont is paying privately, warn that the Chancellor might sue if his complaints are not settled promptly. They cover articles about his recent Thresher wine store purchases, his hotel bill while at the Brighton party conference in October, and an event at Number 11 Downing Street.
The Government insisted that the pounds 4,700 payment - part of a pounds 23,000 bill from the firm relating to Ms Dale's eviction - was justified under hitherto secret guidance to permanent secretaries.
Andrew MacKinlay, the Labour MP for Thurrock, asked the Prime Minister in a written Commons question on how many occasions since 1979 the Government had paid for legal advice for ministers in respect of matters that were partly personal and private, and whether he would list the ministers concerned.
Mr Major replied that there was no central record of such cases and that such advice was normally confidential.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an outstanding opportunity for 1...
£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...