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Newslinks for Wednesday 24th August 2011

7.30pm WATCH: The Government wants members of the public to challenge crazy health and safety laws

5.30pm ToryDiary: Boris pulls out all the stops to rebuild Londoners' confidence

4pm WATCH: William Hague: "I think it is time now for Colonel Gaddafi to stop issuing delusional statements"

3pm Parliament: More Labour MPs have defied the whip than Conservatives and Lib Dems put together

Cameron Libya 2pm ToryDiary: By Christmas we should have a clear idea of Cameron's character

12.45pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: "What we're seeing are the final stages, the last stand" of Gaddafi's regime

Noon ConHomeUSA: Perry opens big lead over Romney and today's other political links

11am WATCH: Gaddafi's compound falls to Libyan rebels

ToryDiary: Ken Clarke toughens community sentences as Tories reassert law and order credentials

Helmer (1)Roger Helmer MEP on Comment: We mustn't conflate a successful Anglo-French mission in Libya with a success for the EU

Local government: Planning "presumption" to allow schools to expand

ThinkTankCentral: Labour's shambolic management of asylum system cost taxpayer £10 billion

Patrick Cusworth on International: Thomson credit card scandal gets worse for Australian PM Julia Gillard

WATCH: William Hague: We don't know where Gaddafi is, but "I think it is a historic achievement by the people of Libya, after so many years of violent repression, to have fought their way to that compound"

William Hague: "We are in the death throes of a despicable regime, but it’s not over yet"

Hague Feb 2010"Britain is likely to provide help in clearing landmines and mentoring Libyan police but not to send peacekeeping troops, William Hague said yesterday. Britain has put aside £20 million for immediate assistance, the Foreign Secretary said". - The Times (£)

"On Monday, David Cameron had already spoken with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and the pair agreed a new UN resolution should be explored which would make it legal to transfer to the rebels Libyan assets currently frozen." - Guardian

  • SAS troopers help co-ordinate rebel attacks in Libya - Guardian
  • Col Gaddafi vows death or victory - Daily Telegraph
  • Our job in Libya is done. We must not send a single British soldier into this mayhem - Max Hastings, in the Daily Mail
  • The end of Gaddafi is welcome. But it does not justify the means - Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian
  • Daily Mail editorial: Don’t let Tripoli turn into another Baghdad

> From yesterday: 

Daniel Finkelstein: We were right to attack Libya

Finkelstein Danny From Video"David Cameron made a brave, humane and balanced judgment to intervene in Libya when many others would not have done. He can take satisfaction from the fact that, as a result of his leadership in Nato, many people will not die young who would have done so. He and the other Nato leaders have saved some Libyans from the killing that we know Gaddafi is capable of, because he has done it to us. And it is that, and not the fall of the regime, that vindicates the Prime Minister." - Daniel Finkelstein, in the Times (£)

Nick Clegg defends David Cameron for going on holiday

Clegg-Nick-On-Newsnight"The Deputy Prime Minister spoke after taking the Prime Minister’s place as chairman of the National Security Committee dealing with Libya. ... The Deputy Prime Minister insisted that there was nothing wrong with Mr Cameron’s decision to return to Cornwall, saying that the Government could deal with the Libyan situation without him." - Daily Telegraph

Backbench Tories urge George Osborne to go for growth

OSBORNE GEORGE BLUE"Backbench Tory leaders are becoming increasingly jittery about the country's flatlining economy and fear it could cast a shadow over the party's annual conference in October. They are pressing the Chancellor to trail a go-for-growth package in his conference speech to counteract problems beyond his control in the eurozone and the United States." - Independent

MPs criticise banks for attempting to scrap cheques - Independent

  • MPs call for watchdog role after cheques row - The FT (£)

Ken Clarke vows to end soft community punishment

CLARKE KEN ON ITN"Ken Clarke will today promise to end the scandal of criminals on community punishments ‘sitting idle at home watching daytime TV’. Under new rules, convicts given a community sentence will have to work a minimum of 28 hours a week, including ‘hard manual labour’." - Daily Mail

  • Jobless offenders to be subject to five-day workweek - The FT (£)
  • Criminals to do eight hours a day of hard labour - Daily Telegraph
  • A police force is to close half its stations because of cuts - Daily Telegraph

Crispin Blunt: The riots were a one-off event

"Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt has said the disturbances in English cities earlier this month were a "one-off" event. Mr Blunt said the justice system could cope in the short-term and there would be no long-term effect on the prison population. Last Friday the prison population hit a new record largely driven by the riots." - BBC

James Clappison MP: People arrested on riot-related offences could face "rushed justice"

"People arrested on riot-related offences could face "rushed justice" because of the pressure on police and the courts after the UK riots, the Conservative MP and senior member of the Commons home affairs committee James Clappison has warned." - Guardian

> Yesterday on Comment: James Clappison MP responds to comments on his previous article

Greg Clark accuses the National Trust of "nihilistic selfishness" on planning

CLARK LARGE NEW"Greg Clark, the planning minister, said that the Trust and other charities are being irresponsible by opposing Government plans to streamline planning rules. ... The move is central to Coalition efforts to boost Britain’s economic growth by cutting regulation and red tape. However, the draft national planning framework has met fierce resistance from rural campaigners, who say it will make it much easier for developers to build on greenbelt land and in other rural areas." - Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - LISTEN: Greg Clark MP: All current environmental protections are contained in the new planning framework

Asylum seekers cost Britain £2million a day

GREEN DAMIAN BLUE BACKGROUND"Britain's chaotic asylum system has cost taxpayers £2.3million a day in the last decade. Around 77 per cent who claimed asylum between 1997 and 2010 are still here. ... Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "The asylum system we inherited was hopelessly chaotic. Last year we reduced the total bill for asylum support by over £100million and it is falling further."" - The Sun

Chris Grayling publishes list of ten most bizarre health and safety bans

Grayling-Chris-On-Politics-"Chris Grayling, the employment minister, is publishing a list of the 10 “most bizarre” health and safety bans which have come to light since he took office just over a year ago. Top of the list is the decision by the Wimbledon authorities to close Murray Mount after it rained, amid fears that tennis spectators would slip over. Bans on pins to secure poppies and the halting of children’s sack races are also ridiculed." - Daily Telegraph

Ann Widdecombe: Cameron should ignore Clegg on human rights

WiddecombeAnn5mins"...Britain is thoroughly fed up with what he has rightly described as the “wrong-headed ideas, bureaucratic nonsense and destructive culture” of the human rights laws without which we managed perfectly well until Blair decided to take us in to this silly convention. It will not be Nick Clegg whose vote the PM will need at the next election but that of the British public. He should tell his wimpish coalition partner just that and take some immediate and decisive action." - Ann Widdecombe, in the Daily Express

Tories and News International face inquiry over Coulson

"The Electoral Commission has been asked to investigate payments made to Andy Coulson by News International after he left his job as editor of News of the World to become David Cameron's spin doctor." - The Scotsman

Ken Livingstone campaign forced to remove image of Boris Johnson's family home from website

LIVINGSTONE KEN@DEMO"Blogger(s) Guido Fawkes pointed out that a team photo of nerdy young Labour volunteers in Islington, where the party just won a council by-election, was snapped outside Johnson's house, thus identifying his family home. ... Following Guido's complaint, it was taken down." - Independent

Welsh language activist who trashed Jonathan Evans MP's office is jailed - BBC

Hillsborough e-petition may lead to parliamentary debate

COMMONS-sitting"An e-petition calling for the immediate release of Cabinet Office documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has gained more than 110,000 signatures, forcing the government to consider a parliamentary debate. ... Now that the e-petition has reached more than 100,000 signatures, the government is obliged to respond." - Guardian

> Yesterday on Parliament: E-petition launched to review the smoking ban - and the 10 most popular e-petitions so far

Hunting ban put to test as four face court in landmark case - Daily Telegraph

Whitehall "cover-up on unwed mothers" - Daily Mail

Speed cameras "do not cut accidents"... they create them, study finds - Daily Mail

  • The Sun is glad the figures "for the first time confirm what many already suspected - that too many speed cameras are there just to milk motorists." - The Sun Says

And finally... Prison inmates paint Jacqui Smith's home

SMITH JACQUI 2"Jacqui Smith, the former home secretary, arranged for two day-release prisoners to paint her home when they should have been doing community work. They were diverted to her house in Redditch, Worcestershire by a charity overseeing their work, it was reported. Miss Smith later made a donation to the charity. The Ministry of Justice said last night that it was a “mistake” and that a “full internal investigation” had been launched." - Daily Telegraph

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