Political Week on Twitter: April 7th – 13th

Ken's crying and the coalition's snooping take on a Labour election row and the charities row in this week's overview of the twitterati.

Compiled by Alex Stevenson


We begin with the coalition's proposals to extend the surveillance of internet communications – email, social media and the like – to bolster its anti-terror capabilities. Not a popular idea, that's for sure, as the twitterati made clear this week.

This week Nick Clegg tried to take the credit for the government's retreat on the issue – the coalition is now only going to propose draft legislation to this end. But David Cameron wasn't having any of it, pointing out Clegg had approved the plans at a meeting of the national security council.


Budget 2012 continued to unravel this week. First the grannies, then pasties, and now charity donations were facing a torrent of criticism. George Osborne wants to impose a cap on tax relief for individuals' donations of £25,000 or 25% of their income. The opposition had a field day.

The Treasury's bigger concern was the opposition of many Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs, however, as debate over Osborne's approach raged.


Labour's by-election problem (it can't afford any) got more acute this week, as it emerged it was having to consider barring sitting MPs from standing for the mayoral or police commissioner elections coming up later this year. In Birmingham, where MPs Liam Byrne and Gisela Stuart want to challenge Sion Simon (who stood down in 2010 for the purpose) tensions were steadily increasing.


One mayoral clash in its more advanced stages this week was, of course, the London rematch between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.

Despite Labour continuing their risky offensive over Boris' tax arrangements, the incumbent appeared to be leading the race in the polls.

After last week's swearathon from Boris, this week it was Ken's turn to let his emotions get the better of him. In a very different way though – he was overcame while watching his election broadcast at his manifesto launch.


The end of the week saw a major controversy develop out of the London campaign, when anti-gay adverts were blocked by Boris from appearing on buses in the capital. On Twitter, feelings were running high.