Three setbacks all in one week

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It is not just buses that come in threes. The Tory/Lib Dem government suffered a trio of reversals in recent days.

First, the big revolt by Tory MPs against ministers’ attempts to accommodate the European court ruling that prisoners should vote.

Then the education secretary was told to sit on the naughty step by the high court which declared Michael Grove guilty of an abuse of power when he scrapped the school building programme without consultation.

Finally the government beat a retreat over privatising woodland managed by the Forestry Commission.

A rebellion, a stinging rebuke and a messy U-turn – all in the space of just one week.

Coun Terry Fox, Manor Castle