The name of Emma Harrison came up in Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons again today, when Labour's Nick Raynsford asked what independent checks were made before her appointment as families champion, and what checks should be made in the future. The Telegraph tells us that Cameron yesterday "asked the head of the civil service, Jeremy Heywood, to conduct an inquiry into what happened." But at the time, there was no formal investigation going on. He was concerned, said Cameron, that information should have been passed up. It was the "nobody told me" line. But Labour are in a tricky position, which Cameron exploited, reminding Raynsford that Emma Harrison was given her CBE by Labour, and it was his government which gave A4e all its contracts. Harrison must feel that she's been completely abandoned by politicians of all stripes. There could be more trouble for all the big companies, as the Public Services Social Value Bill is about to reach the statute book, requiring councils and other public bodies to take into account wider social value, and not just cost, in awarding contracts.
If you were listening to the radio at lunchtime you may have heard Anne Marie Carrie of Barnardo's breaking the news that the DWP has dropped benefits sanctions from their work experience scheme. It won't be enough to please everybody. But there is proof now that the DWP was playing about with evidence against the "voluntary" nature of this scheme. Channel 4's FactCheck site has tracked the disappearing documents. And Left Foot Forward provides a timely guide to all those schemes, including the Work Programme, where work experience is still mandatory.