No House of Lords inquiry into Ashcroft
Peter Mandelson's call on the House of Lord Appointments Commission to hold an inquiry into the Ashcroft affair looks set to be turned down. The committee are to tell him that they didn't exist when Ashcroft made the assurances which secured his peerage, they don't have the paperwork and they don't have the powers to hold an inquiry.
Guess what? If the first secretary had done a quick Google search for the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee he would have found a written answer from a colleague who reported that it is the government - or more specifically the Cabinet Office - which has the relevant paperwork.