Clegg brings home the pork as British Business Bank is located in Sheffield

The decision to base the bank in the Deputy PM's home city is the latest instance of government policy favouring the Lib Dems.

To the joy of the Lib Dems, the coalition's British Business Bank, which has just been awarded an extra £250m, is to be permanently headquartered in Sheffield, the home of one Nick Clegg. The official line from BIS (run by Vince Cable) is that the city was chosen as the department has an unused building left over from the Capital for Enterprise programme, although it would be surprising if Clegg's political woes were not a consideration. 

It's not the first time that the Lib Dems have been accused of pork barrel politics (an invaluable US term to describe the use of government money for the benefit of ministers' constituents). Of the 10 areas that Danny Alexander last month announced would benefit from rural fuel duty relief, eight are Lib Dem-held. Alexander's Inverness constituents have also benefited from tax breaks for ski lifts, funding for a tourist railway and the rescue of the London-Scotland sleeper train. 

But after the government memorably chose to make the removal of an £80m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters one of its first cuts, perhaps Clegg was owed some compensation. Either way, expect much more of this sort of thing as we get closer to May 2015. 

Nick Clegg speaks at the Buhler Sortex factory on October 8, 2013 in east London. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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Gerald Kaufman dies aged 86

Before becoming an MP, Kaufman's varied career included a stint as the NS' theatre critic.

Gerald Kaufman, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and former theatre critic at the New Statesman, has died.

Kaufman, who served as the MP for Manchester Gorton continuously from 1970, had a varied career before entering Parliament, working for the Fabian Society in addition to his flourishing career in journalism and as a satirist, writing for That Was The Week That Was and as a leader writer on the Mirror. In 1965, he exchanged the press for politics, working as a press officer and an aide to Harold Wilson before he was elected to parliament in 1970.

Upon Labour’s return to office in 1974, he served as a junior minister until the party’s defeat in 1979, and on the opposition frontbenches until 1992, reaching the position of shadow foreign secretary. In 1999, he was chair of the Man Booker Prize, which that year was won by JM Coetzee’s Disgrace.

His death opens up a by-election in Manchester Gorton, which Labour is expected to win. 

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