Earlier this afternoon I posted details of correspondence between the Permanent Secretary at the DCLG, Peter Housden, and his Secretary of State, John Denham. I have now been given Denham's reply, which accentuates the impression of a total breakdown between in relations between the two men over local government reorganisation in Devon, Suffolk and Norfolk.
It was a sign of things to come that despite pleas from various Conservative MPs, Denham refused to make an oral statement on this yesterday in the Commons. Instead, the details of the plans for the three counties were slipped out in a Written Answer from Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton.
We haven't seen the last of this.
UPDATE: A DCLG Spokesman has been in touch and commented...
A spokesman for Communities and Local Government said:
"There has been no breakdown in relations between the Permanent Secretary, Peter Housden and Secretary of State, John Denham. The Permanent Secretary works very closely with Ministers on decisions such as this. It was right that he, as department’s chief accounting officer, raised value for money matters as one of the criteria. Ultimately the decision is one for Ministers. They took the wider view that where there was clear local support and the potential to create lasting economic growth for the region."
So that's all right then. Nothing to see. Move along.