Mr Salter has used one of his brief and rare interventions in the House to make a sharp personal attack on the party members' darling, Harriet Harman (of whom I am quite a fan most of the time too), in saying the following:
Martin Salter (Reading, West) (Lab): The Leader of the House has, certainly until now, enjoyed a justifiable reputation as a parliamentary reformer, but who can doubt that this place is still in need of reforming its arcane and antediluvian procedures and practices? However, with yet another business statement failing to announce time for a debate and a vote on the Wright report, does she not realise that she is, perhaps unfairly, in danger of being portrayed as a roadblock to reform, unless this House gets a specific date and time in the next couple of weeks?
Ms Harman: I thank my hon. Friend for raising the issue of my reputation, but what is important is not my reputation, but the reputation of this House and the fact that we need to make progress to restore public confidence. We have already taken many steps along that road, in sorting out the parliamentary allowance system and reforming how the House does its business, and building on that is very much the next step.
As you can see, Harriet was clearly stung by that attack. Mr Salter has previously trumpeted that when he stands down from Parliament he will be playing a key role in the genral election campaign which is to follow. The above will not have improved his chances of that actually happening, so he will have to, as he does with so many of his utterances, hope that nobody will notice that what he said he would do was not actually what he did.