by Ray Fleming

Last week at Prime Minister's Questions David Cameron launched an energy cost policy which the Department of Energy knew little or nothing about. Yesterday at PMQs he contradicted the view on voting rights for prisoners that his senior law minister, Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, had just set out to a parliamentary committee. Does Mr Cameron ever meet his senior ministers other than Osborne and Hague? Does he check their opinions on key issues before appointing them to important jobs to make sure they are more or less in step with his policies?

Mr Cameron said yesterday that his government will never give the vote to prisoners despite the insistence of the European Court of Human Rights that it should do so; he repeated a previous statement that the very idea of it makes him feel sick. Mr Grieve said yesterday that observing rulings of the Court of Human Rights is “one of Britain's international legal obligations” and that failure to do so could lead to the UK's expulsion from the Council of Europe which brought the Court into existence. Perhaps Mr Cameron should also be reminded that the Council of Europe was first proposed by Winston Churchill in 1946 and established with Britain as a founding member by the Treaty of London in 1949. (For clarity: neither the Council nor the Court has anything to do with the EU.)