Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen
Dominic Cummings published a blog this week in which he explained his decision not to give evidence to the Commons culture committee. (See 1.36pm.) He said lawyers had told him to “keep my trap shut” until the Electoral Commission completes its investigation into Vote Leave this summer.
He said he had been willing to give evidence to the committee after this date, but the MPs’ decision to issue a formal summons via the media showed their priority was “grandstanding PR, not truth-seeking”.
Readers sometimes complain that Politics Live, and especially all the news it contains about Brexit, makes them feel depressed. The excellent Bridget Christie even once included a joke to that effect, mentioning the blog (and auto-eroticism – don’t ask) in her Radio 4 comedy show.
But it turns out that, for the population as a whole, the last 12 months haven’t been so awful after all. The Office for National Statistics has today published its annual survey of wellbeing and it says that “average ratings of happiness and feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile have slightly increased in the UK”.
Between the years ending December 2016 and 2017, improvements in worthwhile and happiness ratings in the UK were driven by Scotland, where average (mean) ratings also improved. Interestingly, average life satisfaction ratings also improved for Scotland; however, there were no significant changes for ratings of anxiety. No overall changes were reported for any measure of personal well-being in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.