Alan Johnson

The Sketch: Osborne shows no fear as the big fight turns out to be a

My, how he's grown. Isn't it remarkable how the trappings of the priestly caste make it look as though George Osborne knows what he's talking about? Just because he is able to say he will group questions; just because he has got his voice by the throat; just because people are beginning to get used to the idea that when someone says "Chancellor of the Exchequer" they mean him – just because of those things, he can play at student debating and make it look like serious politics.

Forces 'will lose 10,000 police' as cuts hit home

England and Wales will have 10,000 fewer police officers by 2013 as a result of reductions in force budgets, Labour Party analysis suggests. Planned job cuts announced so far by the country's 43 police forces amounted to 10,190 police officer posts and a further 10,146 police staff.

David Prosser: Equitable victims take their share of pain

Outlook One small part of the spending review that the shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, chose not to address in his response was Mr Osborne's announcement of a £1.5bn compensation settlement for victims of the Equitable Life injustice. No wonder: the Chancellor was quite right to accuse his Labour predecessors in Government of "dithering" in their response to a series of reports from the Parliamentary Ombudsman, calling for redress for those who lost out as a result of the failure to properly regulate Equitable. Moreover, on the face of it, the offer made to Equitable victims looks to be a decent one.

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