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Newslinks for Monday 27th February 2012

7.15pm WATCH

5pm Nick de Bois MP on Comment: Compassionate Conservatism is at the core of work experience programs - and Tesco's customers get it

4.30pm ToryDiary: Michael Gove rules out leadership bid, concluding he doesn't have "right sort of character" for the job

Mark Harper3pm ToryDiary: Tim Montgomerie speaks to the Conservative Minister responsible for Upper House reform: The public want an elected Lords and this Coalition will deliver it, insists Mark Harper

1pm WATCH: Rudd after Gillard victory - "I accept the caucus's verdict without rancour"…I bear no grudges"…"I congratulate Julia"…"I bear no-one any malice..."

11.30am Local Government: Roll of shame - The dozen Tory councils planning tax hikes

11am ToryDiary: 72% of Tory members agree that "the Lords often does a better job at scrutinising legislation than MPs and it should be left as it is"

10am ConHomeUSA newslinks: Romney back in the lead

Screen shot 2012-02-27 at 07.58.24
ConservativeHome opens a week probing the Government's plans for Lords Reform. ToryDiary: Nick Clegg may leave the Coalition if he doesn't get an elected Lords

Penny Mordaunt MP begins our comment series: Reform of the Lords is not a Coalition breaker... it’s much more important than that!

Columnist Bruce Anderson: We seem to be heading for Offbig and Offsoc: the Health and Safety version of the Big Society

Local Government: Councils will be forced to publish figures on adoption breakdown

LeftWatch: The Left's next target is Michael Gove

WATCH: Meryl Streep wins the Oscar as best actress for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady 

Osborne says: We have run out of money...

Osborne-Headshot"In a stark warning ahead of next month’s Budget, the Chancellor said there was little the Coalition could do to stimulate the economy. Mr Osborne made it clear that due to the parlous state of the public finances the best hope for economic growth was to encourage businesses to flourish and hire more workers. “The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.” - Daily Telegraph 

...As he rules out a budget fuel duty cut

"The price of diesel soared to a record £1.50 a litre yesterday as Chancellor George Osborne made clear he cannot afford fuel duty cuts in next month’s Budget…Mr Osborne said yesterday he had already taken expensive steps to ease the pain of rising petrol and diesel prices. ‘We’ve taken action in the last two fiscal statements either to avoid a fuel duty increase that was coming or to cut fuel duty,’ he added." - Daily Mail 

"The economy is bouncing back"

Screen shot 2012-02-27 at 05.28.47"Britain has escaped a return to recession and is bouncing back towards prosperity, key economic data will show this week. Figures for manufacturing, construction and retail are set to reveal growth at last after months in the doldrums. City chiefs believe the economy is expanding at a rate equivalent to 0.8per cent a year after shrinking in the final months of 2011.  The triple blast of upbeat news will cheer Treasury officials, who were boosted last week by figures showing the drive to cut Britain’s record debt is ahead of schedule." - Daily Express

> Yesterday:

LibDem Noises Off 1) Yellow peers urge NHS Bill rewrite...

"Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords are launching a new attempt to rewrite the government's controversial plans for the NHS in England. The peers have drawn up amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, which returns to the Lords for debate later. They want to scrap plans to allow the Competition Commission to review the development of competition in the NHS. One source told the BBC that ministers were not minded to accept the requests for changes to the bill." - BBC 

...As Lansley faces more opposition

"Andrew Lansley faces the prospect of losing the co-operation of another influential group of doctors today amid more calls for his controversial health reforms to be ditched. The Royal College of Physicians will hold a highly unusual emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss the troubled Health Bill. It could ultimately see the body joining the chorus of critics calling for the legislation to be dropped altogether." - The Times (£)

  • Former NHS chief executive attacks "confused" health reforms - The Guardian
  • Yes, the NHS must change. But not this way - Ed Miliband, The Times (£)
  • NHS bill: Lib Dem peers urge rewrite - BBC

LibDem Noises Off 2) Minister letter criticising work programme finds its way into the Guardian

Screen shot 2012-02-27 at 08.27.32"A funding crisis has developed in the government's main welfare-to-work initiative which demands an urgent review of its organisation and supply chain, the defence minister Nick Harvey has written in a leaked letter to the employment minister Chris Grayling. The letter reveals ministerial unease about whether the flagship work programme has been structured properly for a deteriorating labour market." - The Guardian

  • Ex-M&S chief tells firms to defy militants on work experience scheme - Daily Mail
  • Labour pushes for cabinet disclosure on A4e - Financial Times (£)
  • The loony Left, out to destroy youngsters' hopes of a job - Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • Jobs, welfare and how the BBC went into battle for the Socialist Workers - Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - It's time for business to fight for the right to work!

LibDem Noises Off 3) David Cameron wants nothing less than Tory hegemony - Chris Rennard, The Guardian

Ministers fight development plans in own backyard

"At least half the cabinet have opposed developments in their own constituencies of the kind which will now be more likely to go ahead under imminent changes to the planning system, according to research by the Financial Times. Cabinet ministers who have fought housing developments and other schemes in their own constituencies include George Osborne, Andrew Lansley, Vince Cable, Francis Maude and Ed Davey." - Financial Times (£)

Mugabe's birthday party speech: "To hell with you, David Cameron, gay rights are insanity" - Daily Mail 

Senior Tories "plotted to scrap child poverty measure"

Letwin Cabinet Office"Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister, and Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s chief policy guru, called for Britain’s official child poverty measure to be scrapped amid signs that it would produce a string of bad headlines for the Government….However, the plan was met by fierce resistance from Nick Clegg and Sarah Teather, the Child Poverty Minister, who said that any attempt to stop publishing information on the number of children living in relative poverty would be seen as a cynical attempt to “fiddle the figures”." - The Times (£)

  • Education secretary gives English Heritage £2.7m in programme to revamp the history curriculum - The Guardian
  • Latest Guardian attack on Gove over Murdoch links - The Guardian

New group claims equality rights leave out Christians - The Independent

"Elected Mayors will be champions for the cities"

"Think what an effect a group of experienced, pragmatic mayors with powers might have, not just in mitigating austerity policies in their cities but in growing local economies and rebuilding political credibility more generally.Directly elected mayors are not the answer to every question in every city, but they are a clear and present answer to a lot of them. They are an opportunity for civic, economic and political rebuilding that it would be reckless to spurn." - Guardian Editorial

Did letter by 100 Conservative MPs help to alarm wind companies? - The Guardian

Families to lose homes under new defence cuts - The Times (£)

Prescott to appear before Leveson inquiry - BBC

Gillard crushes Rudd by 73 votes to 31 - The Guardian

And finally...Meryl Streep wins an Oscar for her performance as Margaret Thatcher

"The 62-year-old, who has been nominated 17 times, bagged the Best Actress gong for her portrayal of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. And she said she felt the country groaning as Mamma Mia! co-star Colin Firth announced the win.  She said: "When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America saying 'oh no. Why her? Not again.' Oh well, whatever." - The Sun

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