'I am sure he is sufficiently independent to do just that,' he said.
The Times reports on John Gummer's announcements yesterday that the secretary of state has agreed to 'rescue' Dorset but split Berkshire.
And Matthew Parris writes in the Political Sketch that the Conservative MP for West Derbyshire, Patrick McLoughlin, glared at the environment secretary over his failure to abolish Derbyshire CC.
The Guardian (p7), says that 15 large towns are to get unitary status, and reports Sir David Cooksey as saying he had been persuaded to take the chairmanship of the Commission
'It is not a job you would rush at' he said.'
The Financial Times (p8) says that John Gummer overturned the series of recommendations for reform made by Sir John Banham in an apparent bid to appease local Conservative MPs and councillors.
And The Daily Mail (p26) says the county of Berkshire was 'sentenced to death' as many big cities are now allowed to take control of their own affairs.