Swift move

The government's moved swiftly to defuse any problems on the backbenches over Labour's Commons motion for a fuel duty freeze (see previous post).

Campaigners for the freeze on the Tory benches are now saying ministers are "in serious listening mode". You don't need to be a Bletchley Park codebreaker to interpret that as a promise of action in the Chancellor's forthcoming Autumn (financial) Statement, which is the earliest point at which something could be done, in any event.

With that implicit promise in their pocket, fuel duty campaigners on the Tory benches, like Robert Halfon, can be expected to vote with the government on tonight's motion; the only problem comes if the Autumn Statement fails to live up to their expectations…

Around the BBC