"A different type of people" travel standard class, says Tory MP

Retiring Nicholas Winterton blasts new parliament rules banning first class travel.

Out of touch? Check. Rampant disregard for public opinion? Check. Sir Nicholas Winterton, the soon-to-retire Tory MP for Macclesfield, brought them all out this morning.

Hot from an interview with Total Politics magazine, where he took issue with new rules that will stop MPs from travelling first class, he told BBC Radio 5 Live this morning that those who travel standard class are "a totally different type of people", with a "different outlook on life".

Talk about digging yourself a hole. He had already caused a stir when he told Total Politics that the move would put MPs "below local councillors and officers of local government".

CCHQ had issued a rebuttal by 11.45am (pretty impressive, considering his appearance on 5 Live was between 10am and 11am):

These are the out-of-touch views of a soon-to-retire backbench MP. They do not in any way represent the view of David Cameron and the Conservative Party and should be treated as such.

Let's hope all those "different types" of voters take that on board.

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Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Donald Trump's healthcare failure could be to his advantage

The appearance of weakness is less electorally damaging than actually removing healthcare from millions of people.

Good morning. Is it all over for Donald Trump? His approval ratings have cratered to below 40%. Now his attempt to dismantle Barack Obama's healthcare reforms have hit serious resistance from within the Republican Party, adding to the failures and retreats of his early days in office.

The problem for the GOP is that their opposition to Obamacare had more to do with the word "Obama" than the word "care". The previous President opted for a right-wing solution to the problem of the uninsured in a doomed attempt to secure bipartisan support for his healthcare reform. The politician with the biggest impact on the structures of the Affordable Care Act is Mitt Romney.

But now that the Republicans control all three branches of government they are left in a situation where they have no alternative to Obamacare that wouldn't either a) shred conservative orthodoxies on healthcare or b) create numerous and angry losers in their constituencies. The difficulties for Trump's proposal is that it does a bit of both.

Now the man who ran on his ability to cut a deal has been forced to make a take it or leave plea to Republicans in the House of Representatives: vote for this plan or say goodbye to any chance of repealing Obamacare.

But that's probably good news for Trump. The appearance of weakness and failure is less electorally damaging than actually succeeding in removing healthcare from millions of people, including people who voted for Trump.

Trump won his first term because his own negatives as a candidate weren't quite enough to drag him down on a night when he underperformed Republican candidates across the country. The historical trends all make it hard for a first-term incumbent to lose. So far, Trump's administration is largely being frustrated by the Republican establishment though he is succeeding in leveraging the Presidency for the benefit of his business empire.

But it may be that in the failure to get anything done he succeeds in once again riding Republican coattails to victory in 2020.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.