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Newslinks for Monday 12th March 2012

7pm Robert Halfon MP on Comment launches an e-petition to support international recognition of the Kurdish Genocide

5.15pm WATCH: Douglas Carswell MP calls for Ken Clarke to be sacked - "We need to get ourselves a new Justice Secretary"

5pm JP Floru on Comment: We should gold-strip EU legislation retrospectively

4pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: While ordinary people struggle, the Coalition "seems to have been agonising over whether and how to cut the 50p tax rate" 

Cameron housebuilding2.45pm WATCH: David Cameron: "I want to see us build more homes, and I want to see more people own their own homes"

2.30pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: The government should protect the right of Christians to be visible

1pm Alex Deane on Comment: How to mark Commonwealth Day

Noon ConHomeUSA newslinks: Obama ratings down as Romney takes national lead over him

11.30am Local government: Right to buy discount tripled to £75,000 from next month

10am MPsETC: The Government's attempt to fix the Backbench Business Committee would take back power for the executive Updated with reactions from sources close to Sir George Young

OSBORNE SWORD copyTim Montgomerie on ToryDiary suggests a £30 billion shock-and-awe tax cuts package: Next week George Osborne should announce the biggest ever tax cuts for working families

The 12th step towards Building A Conservative Majority: Tougher immigration policies

Harry Phibbs on Local government: Should immigrants be obliged to speak English?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Unless Cameron controls the narrative his Government's radical reforms will be swamped


WATCH: Sitting on the fence... Lib Dem activists vote not to endorse or to reject NHS reforms

Clegg under pressure after conference refuses to endorse controversial health bill - Guardian | FT

Civil war erupted in the Lib Dems yesterday over their policies on tax and health - The Sun

Clegg undermined from within his own party on 'tycoon tax'

Clegg March 2012"Mr Clegg used an interview before his party's spring conference in Gateshead to suggest that rich Britons should pay a minimum rate of tax of more than 20 per cent on their total annual income. But the move was immediately attacked by the party's former Treasury spokesman, Lord Oakeshott, who called Mr Clegg's plan a "superficially attractive measure that falls apart under scrutiny". Other senior Liberal Democrats, including the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, also privately criticised the proposal, arguing that it diluted the party's central policy of a mansion tax on multi-million-pound properties." - Independent

"In an extraordinary spat, Mr Clegg publicly slapped down the multimillionaire peer in his speech saying: ‘The only person against the tycoon tax is one of our very own tycoons.’ Lord Oakeshott hit back on Twitter: ‘Ask Bob Diamond if I’m soft on tycoons.’" - Daily Mail

In the Daily Mail Melanie Phillips is appalled at the cumulative impact of this tax talk: "The message the Coalition is delivering day after day is that the Government is anti-business and anti-wealth creation, and that any entrepreneur thinking of investing in the UK needs his head examined."

  • Lords reform may break the increasingly unhappy Coalition - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian
  • Eastleigh’s Conservatives have been setting up a secret campaign operations room - Eastleigh News

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Lib Dems' weekend of free publicity begs the question: where is Conservative Spring Forum?

Axing APD would boost the economy by £4.2billion and create 91,000 extra jobs in just 12 months - Express

  • Britain's four largest airlines have urged the chancellor to reconsider plans to raise air passenger duty by nearly 50% by 2016 - Guardian
  • The Budget is next week and the economy remains mired in stagnation - Allister Heath in City AM

Clarke Ken AV videoClarke and Clegg 'defying the will of Parliament' says expert as he quits body set up to rein in Strasbourg - Daily Mail

How Clegg outmanoeuvred Cameron over the ECHR - Fraser Nelson | This is another issue where Clegg is getting his way over Cameron - Daily Mail leader

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Commissioner on British Bill of Rights resigns, accusing Ken Clarke of acting in concert with human rights establishment

Taxpayers will act as co-guarantors on new homes bought by existing or first-time buyers as Coalition focuses on housing - BBC

"Up to 100,000 people will get Government support to buy homes worth up to £500,000 in a Coalition move to revive the middle-class dream of home ownership, ministers will announce" - Telegraph

Pickles at lecturnEric Pickles has deleted the data necessary to collect a mansions tax - Daily Mail

  • Councils claim Eric Pickles' special fund is inadequate to fund return of weekly bin collections - London Evening Standard
  • Local Government Association asks George Osborne to give councils more freedom to borrow for capital projects - FT (£)

The Sun warns Cameron on police numbers

The Sun Says: "The revelation that frontline cops have plummeted by 5,000 under this Government is deeply troubling. Not least because David Cameron solemnly pledged police cuts would only be to backroom staff — officers spending all day on paperwork instead of pounding the beat."

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: The Sun praises Yvette Cooper MP for "speaking our language on crime"

IDS has urged Simon Cowell to sign his music company up to a flagship Government work experience scheme, telling the X Factor boss he must accept most young people will never enjoy a ‘career in front of a microphone’ - Daily Mail | Sun

Boris Johnson comes to defence of right to wear Cross: It’s a huge mistake to forbid a tiny act of Christian worship - The Mayor of London in The Telegraph

GayweddingThe Archbishop of York urges David Cameron to choose “masterly inactivity” over plans to introduce gay marriage - Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: "There are fewer liberals willing to vote Conservative because of the prospect of gay marriage than there are social conservatives ready to desert the Party because of this policy."

Cameron has become the first world leader invited to fly onboard Air Force One with President Barack Obama - Daily Mail

"It also marks Mrs Cameron’s first major overseas trip with her husband. She will join Michelle Obama at a mini-Olympics event as part of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity" - Times (£)

  • Afghanistan, Syria and Iran should be high on both leaders' agendas - Telegraph leader
  • Cameron must stand up against Obama on extradition issue - Peter McKay in the Daily Mail
  • Son of extradited UK businessman claims Cameron not taking issue seriously - Express

Max Hastings: Cameron is an adequate leader in extraordinary times

Cameron long Jan 2012

"Few doubt he will remain tenant of Downing Street after the next election. He is extraordinarily skilful at making people feel good. But I have said it before and will again: we live in extraordinary times, when to be an adequate prime minister does not suffice to serve our vital interests. If posterity records merely that Mr Cameron kept his office for a decade, he will have some explaining to do at the pearly gates." - Max Hastings in the FT (£)

Lord Heseltine to receive freedom of City of Liverpool - Independent

Ken Livingstone denies tax avoidance - BBC

  • "Livingstone has been accused of hypocrisy for attacking tax avoidance by others while allegedly avoiding tax himself. He recently said: "These rich bastards just don't get it … no one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in parliament, unless they pay their full share of tax." - Guardian
  • "Priti Patel, the Conservative MP for Witham, said: “This is utter hypocrisy. Ken Livingstone has attacked tax avoiders as ‘rich bastards’. There is only one reason why Ken Livingstone has set up a company — and that is to pay corporation tax at 20-21 per cent rather than income tax at 50 per cent.” - Times (£)

Guido Fawkes wonders if Ken Livingstone is in breach of Electoral Commission guidelines.

Saturday's Local government page: Labour supporters turn on Ken Livingstone

It is hard to see any discernible effort to keep Afghan coalition together - Douglas Alexander in The Guardian

The Prime Minister should decide Lords reform by a referendum of the whole British people - Jack Straw in The Times (£)


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