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31 Aug 2010 08:58:02

Weblinks for Tuesday 31st August 2010

7.15pm J P Floru on CentreRight: Home ownership should not be rationed by the Bank of England

4pm ThinkTankCentral: Do you read the Adam Smith Institute's excellent blog?

Screen shot 2010-08-31 at 14.53.013pm WATCH: Nick Clegg says Afghanistan is "turning a corner" during visit to UK troops

1pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: Some more detail on the outlook for interest rates and inflation

Noon Julia Manning on CentreRight: Do we need a history of the English-speaking woman?

HowBlue Paul Goodman begins a new series on ToryDiary: How blue is the coalition? Part one, the economy

Neil O'Brien on Platform: How to make housing more affordable for everyone

Ed_miliband_93943s LeftWatch: With Labour planning to protect middle class welfare payments like the Winter Fuel Allowance with higher taxes on banks and 'the rich', the issue of universal benefits could become a defining political issue of this parliament

Local government: Local councils are to be allowed to get rid of outdated by-laws without having to gain specific consent from Whitehall

Donal Blaney on CentreRight: Reflections on Glenn Beck's rally

In answering ConservativeHome's Twenty Questions John Glen, MP for Salisbury, says that Daily Mail headlines are a good predictor of the postbag he will receive...

WATCH: Boris celebrates the Notting Hill Carnival

George Osborne to cut Treasury staff numbers from 1,350 to 1,000 - Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt and Caroline Spelman get top marks from Treasury

Spelman Caroline Green "Caroline Spelman, environment secretary, may operate below the political radar most of the time, but the Treasury has marked her out as one of the stars of the public spending review, writes Jim Pickard. Officials have given glowing reports of Ms Spelman’s spending plans for being “bold and imaginative”, raising the prospect that she could be one of the first ministers to settle her four-year departmental budget. She has identified up to 30 Defra quangos for downsizing or the axe, including the Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution." - FT (£)

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT "Jeremy Hunt, culture secretary, may control only a £2bn budget, but the Treasury is hugely impressed with what he plans to do with it, writes George Parker. Mr Hunt, a former management consultant who set up his educational publishing business, has outlined cuts of 50 per cent in the run-ning of his department in an attempt to protect frontline funding of arts and sport. The proposed administra-tive cuts include a reduction in headcount of 400 staff and a further 100 once the 2012 Olympics are over. Mr Hunt’s aides say he was one of the first ministers to scrap official cars and end first-class travel. The Treasury is also impressed by his plans to move his department out of offices near Trafalgar Square with a view to sharing space with another Whitehall department, reducing an annual £10m rent bill." - FT (£)

Will the middle class taxpayers ever get relief?

"I am under no illusions that the Government is in a severe budgetary crisis which requires deep cuts and temporary tax rises. But Mr Alexander’s words have planted a horrible thought in me: that the Coalition is going to try to use the deficit as cover for a permanent shift of the tax burden onto middle income-earners. He is effectively telling those who earn more than £20,000 a year: it doesn’t matter how many cuts the public accept over the next five years nor how well the economy recovers – we won’t cut a penny off your tax bill." - Ross Clark in The Express

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Coalition must offer "light at the end of the tunnel" to taxpayers

Britain and France may share aircraft carriers

Screen shot 2010-08-31 at 07.56.16 "Britain and France are preparing to reveal unprecedented plans to share the use of their aircraft carriers in a controversial step to maintain military power in an era of cost-cutting... David Cameron and President Sarkozy are expected to outline the proposal in a November summit, which will lead to British and French flagships working together and protecting the interests of both countries." - Times (£)

Eric Pickles is 'the Tory hippo' in a hurry

"Whether it is abolishing the Audit Commission, sweeping away Labour’s regional housing targets, regional development agencies and home improvement packs, announcing the end of bin taxes (thus provoking a turf war with Caroline Spelman, environment secretary), or ordering his department and local councils to publish online details of spending over £500, few have taken to office with such relish as the communities and local government secretary. Last week he was at it again, urging councils to reduce street sign clutter and cutting red tape for street parties and fetes." - FT (£)

William Hague says Coalition foreign policy has a conscience

Hague on Sky Long "Foreign Office Ministers have been energetic in meeting human rights groups and NGOs, and in raising human rights. We have, among other things, spoken up for fair elections in Burma, pressed for access for humanitarian aid to Gaza, campaigned against forced marriage and lobbied the Government of Iran over death penalty cases, women's rights and religious freedom." - William Hague in The Telegraph

Denis MacShane condemns UK 'opt out' from EU directive against sex trafficking - Guardian

David Miliband disowns Mandelson's intervention

MILIBAND DAVID C4 "David Miliband moved last night to avoid the grave threat of being portrayed as the heir to Tony Blair when he slapped down Lord Mandelson hours after the former business secretary endorsed his campaign for the Labour leadership... In a pointed statement, he said: "Party members, including me, are sick and tired of the old battles of the past being rerun. It's time to move on."" - Guardian

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Mandelson, Campbell and Blair all warn Labour against 'Red Ed'

Blair prepares to trash Brown in first major TV interview since he quit as PM - Daily Mail

"Tony Blair will re-ignite his feud with Gordon Brown by blaming him for Labour losing the election... Sources have revealed Mr Blair's autobiography, published tomorrow, is expected to include a vicious attack on Mr Brown's record as PM." - The Sun

Ed Balls calls for £6bn from deficit reduction to be diverted into construction of 100,000 affordable homes - Guardian

Matt Ridley: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) must be purged

Screen shot 2010-08-31 at 08.14.27 Express story accompanying front page.

"IPCC reports are supposed to be the gold standard account of what is — and is not — known about global warming. The panel boasts that it uses only peer-reviewed scientific literature. But its claims about mountain ice turned out to be anecdotes from a climbing magazine, its claims on the Amazon’s vulnerability to drought from a Brazilian pressure group’s website and 42 per cent of the references in one chapter proved to be to reports by Greenpeace, WWF and other “grey” literature." - Matt Ridley in The Times (£)

"UN climate change experts have been accused of making 'imprecise and vague' statements and over-egging the evidence. A scathing report into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for it to avoid politics and stick instead to predictions based on solid science." - Daily Mail

Bjørn Lomborg, the self-styled "sceptical environmentalist, recommends $100m technology fund to address climate change - Guardian


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30 Aug 2010 08:50:43

Weblinks for Monday 30th August 2010

8.15pm ToryDiary: 'Scotifying' the Scottish Tories

7.15pm Gazette: Former Attorney General Nicholas Lyell has died

3.30pm Charles Tannock MEP on CentreRight: The displaced Chagos islanders' plight should be reconsidered

1.15pm International: Australia's Tony Abbott is now (also) ahead on second preference votes

Prescott-m Noon Paul Goodman on LeftWatch: I can't stand the sight or sound of John Prescott but which retired Conservative minister, post-1997, showed a tenth of his willingness to be up-and-at the Government?

10.45am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Lefties are messier than conservatives

10am Local government: Tim Loughton proposes new rules for foster children

Tunnel ToryDiary: Coalition must offer "light at the end of the tunnel" to taxpayers

Julian Morris on Platform: The Unseen Costs of "Green" Investments and Initiatives

LeftWatch: Mandelson, Campbell and Blair all warn Labour against 'Red Ed'

Local government: Government to help councils act against illegal gypsy and traveller sites

Also on Local government: Shropshire CEO attacks spending transparency

Liz Truss MP reveals Ronald Reagan as her political hero in answering ConservativeHome's Twenty Questions

Boris Johnson denies he threatened to quit if Cameron vetoes Crossrail... - Independent

> Tim Montgomerie yesterday: "Conservatives at every level need to understand that some tension between the Mayor of London and the government isn't just inevitable but politically healthy. We all need to understand that Boris will win if he's seen as London's champion, not if he's seen primarily as a Conservative."

...not least because Boris is likely to be able to claim he saved Crossrail (with a little help from Philip Hammond)...

HAMMOND PHILIP "London’s flagship £16bn Crossrail project is set to survive the imminent wave of spending cuts in a decision that will be welcomed by the capital’s commuters, senior government figures have revealed... The project has been marked as one of the highest priorities by Philip Hammond, transport secretary, alongside highways maintenance and funding to Network Rail for track maintenance. By contrast other capital spending projects in that department look increasingly likely to fall by the wayside, including dozens of upgrades to A-roads and a £7.5bn order for 1,400 Hitachi trains to replace Britain’s ageing InterCity fleet. Mr Hammond recently publicly stated that it was more important to clear a maintenance backlog on Britain’s road network than authorise new bypasses and road-widening schemes." - FT

Militant unions hold up Academy freedoms

"Only about 30 of the 2,000 schools who expressed an interest in converting to academies have done so before the new school year, Mr Gove will announce on Wednesday. A further 150 schools are waiting for their formal applications to be approved. Friends of the Schools Secretary are reported to have blamed the situation on “aggressive” unions and “useless” officials." - Telegraph

Aid agencies protest at 'securitisation' of development spending

"The government is to introduce a wholesale change to Britain's overseas aid budget by demanding that projects in the developing world must make the "maximum possible contribution" to British national security, according to a leaked Whitehall paper." - Guardian

More than £868,000 was spent over five years at eight of Scotland's 32 councils to cover absences for trade union activity, according to figures released by the Scottish Conservatives - Scotsman

A £12m home in a tax haven, a taste for cage fighting... and a judge branded him a liar: Should the Tories have taken £500,000 from this man? - Daily Mail

Margaret Thatcher blocked Soviet aid for Scargill's striking miners

ThatcherNoTurningBack "Now newly released Downing Street documents have shed fresh light on the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev, exposing how Thatcher exerted intense diplomatic pressure on the future leader to successfully block a Soviet donation of much-needed cash to the strikers." - Guardian

Telegraph: David Miliband is right choice for Labour

"David Cameron is reputed to say that the candidate he fears most is David Miliband. On balance, he is right to do so. Mr Miliband has experience of high office, and the maturity that comes with it. In an important speech last week, he insisted that he has no interest in taking Labour back to the days when it was incapable of appealing to vast swaths of Middle Britain." - Telegraph leader

070509blairquotes_sieghart "David Miliband's definition of middle class may extend further up the income scale than Ed's. But what both believe is that the interests of the middle class are no longer the same as those of the filthy rich. And, if they are going to define themselves against the Coalition Government, one way is to defend the benefits that middle-income voters get from the welfare state. Labour can only afford to keep those benefits by taxing the rich more heavily. So the left-right divide at the next election is likely to be between one party arguing for a universal welfare state in which people who put money in can expect to get something out, and two parties arguing for a pared-down version that only helps those in need. In that case, Labour would be campaigning for the middle classes and the Coalition for both the poor and the rich. If you thought coalition government threw up unexpected political alignments, you ain't seen nothing yet." - Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent

A Russian researcher who works for LibDem MP Mike Hancock has been investigated by MI5 - Daily Mail

Alex Salmond predicts Scottish independence will be "dominating" issue at next year's Holyrood elections

"Alex Salmond yesterday fired the first shots before next year’s Holyrood election by pledging to put the SNP’s core policy of independence at the heart of his party’s campaign. Mr Salmond surprised observers with his bullishness on the issue, predicting it would be the “major, perhaps dominating” issue in the election and indicating that the SNP intends to link it to the UK’s public spending crisis." - Times (£)

Former BBC chairman Michael Grade yesterday said the organisation was too big and “almost unmanageable” - Express

And finally... Ed Vaizey reveals that Labour-supporting artists hate the fact he has their work hanging in his office

VAIZEY-ED "Moving into the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Mr Vaizey secured a drawing by the former Young British Artist, Michael Landy, called Compulsory Obsolescence. It was the first painting Landy completed after Break Down, a performance piece from 2001 in which he destroyed all of his possessions. But when Mr Vaizey met the artist at a dinner at the Royal Academy and told him of his choice he did not get the reaction he had hoped for. I told Michael Landy he was hanging on my wall and he was absolutely horrified," Mr Vaizey admitted to The Independent."


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29 Aug 2010 08:58:46

Weblinks for Sunday 29th August 2010

8.15pm WATCH: John Prescott explains why he wants to save NHS Direct

4pm ToryDiary: Ten observations about Boris' re-election hopes

ToryDiary: NHS Direct... The Gurkhas... Crossrail... The cuts get real

Two big stories on the Local government blog this morning:

Screen shot 2010-08-29 at 07.37.42 (1) Boris Johnson is reportedly threatening to quit if Treasury doesn't fund Crossrail

(2) Grant Shapps is ready to give local people priority when it comes to the allocation of local housing

David Leighton and John Stevenson on Platform: We must challenge Labour's spurious narrative that public spending cuts always lead to worse public services - because that has been central to the rise in government waste

LeftWatch: Introducing Red Ed Miliband

In answering ConHome's Twenty Questions, Steve Baker MP names Richard Cobden as his political hero: "Cobden gave up his business prospects to further the philosophy of freedom in the general interest. He was principled, pragmatic and yet thoughtful."

No tax relief for five years says Danny Alexander

"With plans already in place to reduce tax on lower earners, his comments appear to dash hopes of tax cuts for the better-off and middle classes until 2015 at the earliest." - Observer

Plans to 'protect the poor' are in fact jeopardising their ability to escape the trap - Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

Margaret Thatcher made the poor poorer - Philip Blond in The Observer

Patrick Mercer MP warns that Gurkhas could be scrapped in spending review

Screen shot 2010-08-29 at 08.29.46 "The first people to go will be the Brigade of Gurkhas, probably in their entirety. In the past, the Gurkhas' existence was guaranteed by the fact they are cheaper to run than British troops, and that there was a shortage of British troops. Recent changes mean they are now just as expensive, and recruitment is extremely healthy at the moment. I am afraid the writing is on the wall." - Tory MP Patrick Mercer quoted in Observer

Government to give cash to councils that build traveller sites - Independent on Sunday

Britain set to lose skilled migrants because of immigration cap

"It is bizarre for a government that boasts it will make Britain “open for business” to tell its leading companies — presumably at some stage later this year — sorry, you’ve exceeded your collective allocation of highly skilled foreign employees. In many cases, this will just mean that the same people will be paid the same salary but based offshore, paying their taxes to some other more grateful government." - Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times (£)

Britain left to count cost of 'gold-plating' European Arrest Warrant

"Anger at Britain’s “gold-plating” of the controversial European Arrest Warrant is growing after it emerged that other EU countries have secured significant safeguards for their citizens that are not available to British nationals." - Andrew Gilligan in The Sunday Telegraph

'Operation Florence'

"The first pictures of David Cameron holding his new baby daughter were released yesterday, the final instalment in a very public week for the holidaying Prime Minister and his family. While Parliament remains in recess, the leader of the country was rarely off the front pages or the rolling news agenda given the early birth of his daughter Florence Rose Endellion on Tuesday. Last night, Cameron’s press team dispatched four portraits of the Prime Minister and his baby to newsrooms, the tender moment between father and daughter caught in an “Athena man” style pose. Gentle but strong and protective was the message as he held the delicate delivery in his hands." - Sunday Herald

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: First photographs of Florence Cameron revealed

Crispin Blunt accused of past hypocrisy on homosexuality

Blunt Crispin "Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt once claimed homosexuality is "not equivalent to heterosexuality" in a Parliamentary debate. He continued: "It is also clear that there is a much greater strand of homosexuality than of heterosexuality which depends for its gratification on the exploitation of youth."" - News of the World

Some Reigate Tories unhappy with Crispin Blunt after he 'comes out' and leaves wife - Sunday Telegraph

"Reigate MP Mr Blunt, uncle of actress Emily Blunt, is understood to have told his family two weeks ago that, after wrestling with his sexuality for 30 years, he had decided to announce he was gay and move out of the family home. He and his wife were due to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on September 15.  Mrs Blunt is the daughter of an American heiress and her money was crucial in providing former Army officer Mr Blunt, 50, with the resources to pursue a political career. ‘She gave up everything for him,’ said a friend. ‘She is the perfect MP’s wife and would attend every fete and garden party when Crispin was at the Commons." - Mail on Sunday

Tax exile Lord Laidlaw gave £85,000 of donations-in-kind to Tories despite party's denials - Observer

Chris Kelly under fire for inviting fellow MPs to give secretarial job to his sister - Mail on Sunday

Ed Miliband vows defence of universal benefits

"It seems even David Cameron's TV debate promises to families and the elderly are to be sacrificed. It is essential that we defend these payments. The alternative is a dangerous erosion of the social solidarity that comes from a universal system. To do so, I would raise taxes on the banks over and above the timid levy proposed by the government and I would raise revenue from those at the top, continuing the 50p rate permanently at £150,000, and tackling tax avoidance." - Ed Miliband in Observer

David Miliband may quit politics if younger brother wins

"If Ed Miliband wins the Labour leadership, his older brother is likely to quit politics altogether and the party would lose one of its brightest stars." - The Sunday Times (£)

"The United States did "bad things" to terror suspects in the wake of 9/11 which Britain was too slow to realise, David Miliband acknowledges today as he brandishes his record as Foreign Secretary to bolster his Labour leadership ambitions." - Independent on Sunday

Who will lead UKIP?

Traditional fruit cake 3 The Independent on Sunday assesses the runners and riders on the "fruit cake" scale.

Tens of thousands - perhaps more - attend 'conservative' rally in Washington DC

The exact numbers are unknown but tens of thousands certainly - and perhaps 250,000 according to some estimates - turned up yesterday in Washington DC for Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' rally.The Tea Party Movement was the leading organiser of attendees. The rally was advertised as non-political. Speeches, including from Sarah Palin, emphasised faith and tributes to the US military. In three-and-a-half hours of speeches Barack Obama's name was not mentioned once. Political signs were also discouraged.

"Many at the rally said in interviews that they were drawn by a sense of disenchantment over the country's direction, alarm over government spending and a sense that the country's political system was broken. The event featured three hours of religious and patriotic speeches but offered few details on how to fix the country's problems." - Wall Street Journal

And finally... Tony Blair owned union jack boxer shorts

BOXERS(1) "Tony Blair flew the flag for Britain as prime minister in silk Union Jack boxer shorts, indiscreet aides have revealed. They let slip the interesting details about his underwear choice at a smart dinner party attended by actor Michael Sheen who has played the ex-premier in three films." - Sunday Express


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28 Aug 2010 08:59:38

Weblinks for Saturday 28th August 2010

7.45pm WATCH: Missiles thrown at Bradford demo

6.15pm ToryDiary: Jeremy Hunt - the BBC "has to live on the same planet as everyone else".

Screen shot 2010-08-28 at 18.21.24 3.00pm WATCH:

2.15pm ToryDiary: First photos of Florence Cameron released

2pm Gazette: Nick Hurd MP marries Lady Clare Kerr

Noon WATCH: A week after Australia's general election, ABC News reports on the ongoing negotiations between political leaders and the Independent MPs holding the balance of power

10.45am ThinkTankCentral: Civitas casts doubt on the benefits of replacing prison sentences with community punishments

9.45am LISTEN: Andrew Mitchell on Today this morning discussed whether the UK's international aid effort strikes the right balance between prevention of crises and the alleviation of their effects

Michael Gove 2010ToryDiary: Michael Gove, banding, school admissions - and selection by ability

Francis Davis on Platform: The Big Society should be the means by which people reclaim duties and rights stolen from them by overwhelming bureaucracies

LeftWatch: GMB leader in threat to withdraw funding for Labour if David Miliband is elected leader

Mark Wallace in Local Government: The word "community" should be restored to its true meaning

Q. What is your earliest political memory? A. Kenny Everett, Big Hands - 'Let's Bomb Russia' in 1983!  Mind you, at that age I was more impressed by the 'Big Hands' than the underlying political message. - Justin Tomlinson MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

WATCH: BBC Director General Mark Thompson defends the corporation in this year's MacTaggart lecture

Crispin Blunt stuns MPs by revealing he's gay as he splits from wife of 20 years

Crispin Blunt "Prisons minister Crispin Blunt has left his wife of 20 years to 'come to terms with his homosexuality'. The MP for Reigate made his announcement yesterday after what friends described as a '30-year journey' in which he has had to 'wrestle with his sexuality'. - Daily Mail

"The chairman of Reigate and Banstead Conservative constituency party, Andy Mountney, said that he believed the statement had been issued at a time chosen by the family. "We remain very supportive of him as our MP and that has been the gist of all the phone calls I have received from party members." - The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Crispin Blunt decides "to come to terms with his homosexuality", and separates from his wife

Unnamed Cabinet minister may act over false claims of gay affairs

"A Cabinet minister is ready to take legal action to halt a series of increasingly lurid but baseless rumours sweeping Westminster over his sexuality, The Daily Telegraph has learnt. The minister, who is married, has been accused of having an affair with a Whitehall official and of having a long-term relationship with a journalist. He has strongly denied the allegations." - Daily Telegraph

NHS Direct "to be replaced by cut-price health advice service"

Andrew Lansley 2010 "The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has let slip that the government is planning to scrap NHS Direct, the hugely popular medical telephone helpline. While touring Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital on Thursday, he revealed that the phone service – which this year cost £123m to run – is to be axed... "When NHS 111 is rolled out nationally, it will replace the NHS Direct 0845 4647 telephone number," the department [for health] said yesterday. People can dial 111 to get health advice and information about out-of-hours GPs, walk-in centres, emergency dentists and 24-hour chemists." - The Guardian

Britain has a "mini-boom"

"Britain is on the road to recovery after “very positive” official figures yesterday showed growth in the economy has reached a nine-year high. Experts said the 1.2 per cent boost showed the country would be better placed to protect workers’ jobs and guard against any looming double-dip recession." - Daily Express

"As others welcomed the news, Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls launched into a gloomy rant on the BBC. He said the Chancellor's cuts risk "ripping out the foundations of the house just as the hurricane is about to hit". - The Sun

SUN-SAYS "Of course, choppy waters lie ahead. But the green shoots of recovery do seem to be peeping out at last. How typical, then, that rather than celebrate Britain's improving position, the BBC trumpeted an anti-Government rant by Labour bully boy Ed Balls. It was an embarrassing own goal for Balls, who predicted doom for the economy just as figures came out showing how much it is improving. Why can't BBC Lefties put their prejudices on one side and accept that the Cameron-Clegg Coalition is proving a remarkable success?" - Sun editorial

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Wannabe shadow chancellor Ed Balls forecasts economic "hurricane"

Parents left waiting over switch for free schools

"Parent groups applying to set up schools under education reforms have had plans put on hold as the Government struggles to implement the free schools programme championed by Michael Gove... More than 700 parent groups and charities have applied to become free schools with help from the New Schools Network but it is understood that only about a dozen will be able to open in September next year." - The Times (£)

"Michael Gove, education secretary, may drop planned restrictions on religious groups and private schools taking part in the first wave of his free schools “revolution” in order to bolster the likely numbers taking part." - FT (£)

"Education Secretary Michael Gove has made a bright start by promising to liberate schools from the dead hand of local authority bureaucracy, allowing them to set their own priorities rather than ticking endless boxes. His plan to scrap AS levels and drastically reduce the number of coursework modules at A-level will also allow sixth-formers some respite from the tyranny of constant testing. But he has only just begun and there is much to do. The state education establishment will resist him every step of the way and there are even siren voices within the Coalition." - Daily Mail editorial

Nick Clegg acknowledges Liberal Democrat "anxieties"

Nick Clegg on Marr "Nick Clegg admitted today that he faced more hostility from members of his own party than the general public. Clegg has faced criticism from Liberal Democrats for failing to make more progress on party policies such as social policy and electoral reform, as he attempts to hold together a united front in the coalition with the Conservatives. The deputy prime minister said he had faced hostile questioning from Lib Dems during meetings as he tours the UK, most notably in the north of England." - The Guardian

David Cameron at risk on British bases in Afghanistan, says former commander

"Enemy spies have infiltrated British military bases in Afghanistan making them dangerous places for a prime ministerial visit, one of Britain’s former commanders has warned. Colonel Richard Kemp, a former British commander in Afghanistan, said that the Taleban had a much more advanced understanding of the movements of visiting foreign dignitaries than was often acknowledged." - The Times (£)

Taleban give details of thwarted plan to attack David Cameron - The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Being Prime Minister means taking risks

Cutting Jail Sentences "Won't Reduce Crime"

"Locking up fewer criminals will neither cut costs nor reduce re-offending, a former Home Office criminologist has warned. Professor Ken Pease said "community sentences as currently delivered have no evident effect on rates of reconviction". - Sky News

David Miliband is reportedly the Labour leader David Cameron would fear

David Miliband 2010 "To the likely delight of the older Miliband, who enters the final stages as the frontrunner, the prime minister has made it clear he believes the shadow foreign secretary stands the best chance of reaching out to middle Britain. A well-placed source told the Guardian: "David Cameron said the candidate he hoped for was Ed Miliband, and the candidate he most feared was David Miliband." - The Guardian

Andrew Grice: The Labour leadership contest has come alive at long last

"At least a rather soporific contest has now come alive. The brothers' war of the comfort zones may sound esoteric but goes to the heart of the debate about Labour's future. David M's allies believe it is a turning point, expressing optimism that Labour will not risk sending a signal it is not interested in affluent voters by choosing Ed M." - Andrew Grice in The Independent

The Labour project now is the reverse of 1994 - Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

The five leadership contenders answer readers' questions in today's Independent

Debts, lawsuits and internal feuding cast doubt on future of BNP

Bnp "The British National Party faces a financial and political crisis with crippling debts and an internal rebellion which could spell the end of the far-right group as a significant electoral force. The party has a deficit of at least £500,000 and could face up to 12 claims of unfair dismissal from workers who lost their jobs following the BNP's disastrous showing in the May elections." - The Independent

Bradford fears worst as protesters threaten to smash anti-Islam EDL rally - The Times (£)

Samantha Cameron leaves hospital with daughter Florence - and David goes surfing

Picture 5 "David Cameron's wife Samantha evaded the cameras when she left hospital with her new baby. Mrs Cameron had been at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro since giving birth to daughter Florence Rose Endellion by Caesarean section on Tuesday. They left the hospital's maternity wing by a back door and were driven away in a people carrier with blacked-out windows about midday. Waiting reporters, photographers and television crews failed to get a glimpse of the Prime Minister's wife and baby as they left the hospital's Princess Alexandra Wing in a convoy of three vehicles." - Press Association

A lycra-David Cameron after surfing the Cornish waves dominates the front page of this morning's Guardian.


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