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Newslinks for Monday 16th April 2012

Galloway swearing in6pm WATCH: George Galloway is sworn in as the new Member of Parliament for Bradford West

4pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: The job advert you don't want to reply to: "Regardless of how hard you try or how much you achieve, your career will inevitably end in failure and disgrace. This is quite likely to happen within five to ten years of your commencing in the role."

3pm LeftWatch: Good to see you, George. Same time next year?

1pm Local Government: Boris lead steady at 6%

12.30pm LISTEN:  David Gauke explains why the government is in favour of a cap on charity donation tax relief

Noon ConHomeUSA newslinks: Hillary Clinton comes under fire for dancing in a Colombian nightclub

Tory Diary: "If you look at what Labour did to our country why on Earth would you let them anywhere near your council?"

Screen shot 2012-04-16 at 07.07.56

ToryDiary: Swivel-eyed Euro-enthusiasts

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Two sides of the political correctness coin.  The comic: fireman who can't rescue a seagull.  The tragic: children torn from their parents.  The evils of secrecy in our family courts

Robert Halfon MP on Comment: Four doorstep messages that Conservatives can deliver to Britain

Majority Conservatism: Building a Conservative Majority (15): Reintroduction of the 10p tax band

Local Government:

WATCH: Lembit Opik is flung around a wrestling ring in front of a baying crowd by a spandex-clad wrestler

U-turn 1: 'Conservatory tax' is 'dead in the water' after Pickles, Shapps and Grayling pile in

Screen shot 2012-04-16 at 07.34.53"A senior Government source told the Mail that the proposals are ‘dead in the water’. This latest abrupt U-turn comes only a week after we revealed the move which would force homeowners to fork out hundreds of pounds extra on measures to improve energy efficiency when they build an extension or fit a boiler.  The rethink came as ministers struggled to regain control of the political agenda after an Easter break dominated by Budget rows over tax raids on charities, churches and the elderly." - Daily Mail

  • Huhne hits out at anti-green 'posturing' by Tory ministers - The Guardian
  • Wales should ditch nuclear power, says Welsh environment minister - Wales Online

Paul Goodman: It's not just UKIP activists who are swivel-eyed

"“Everyone who’s joined this campaign has joined it in principle because they’re in favour of joining the single currency,” Mr Clarke said. Wasn’t this faith in the verities of the euro unjustified even at the time? If so, can the Justice Secretary’s eyeballs truthfully be said never to have twitched? Or Mr Huhne’s? Or Lord Heseltine’s? There is something almost touching about the unshakeable belief of this ageing band, whose obduracy of spirit is shared by that apparently unrelated body, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)." - Paul Goodman, Daily Telegraph

U-turn 2: Hague signals coming climbdown on philanthropy tax

"The Foreign Secretary admitted there are fears among charities over how a crackdown on tax relief could hit donations. He insisted the Government was now looking at “finding an acceptable solution”…And Tory backbencher David Davis said the cap on relief for donations was “an assault on the Big Society idea”. A group of 46 big donors wrote to a Sunday newspaper, calling the plans a “brake on philanthropy”." - Daily Express

U-turn 3? Nearly a quarter of George Osborne’s ‘Heritage Tax’ on listed buildings will come from the Church of England

Tony Baldry"Church estates commissioner Tony Baldry, Tory MP for Banbury, Oxfordshire, has written to the Chancellor urging a rethink. He said: ‘It is now going to be 20 per cent more expensive for communities up and down the country who are trying to make buildings more adaptable. ‘It has been difficult to see the evidence Treasury officials have for the use of it. I hope ministers will understand the concerns of local communities.’ " - Daily Mail

  • Carswell: Sir Humphey smuggled pasty tax into the budget - BBC
  • "The reality is that Mr Osborne's roles as principal strategist and chief tin-rattler for the Exchequer are fundamentally incompatible" - Andrew Mckie, The Scotsman

David Hockney: Government is arrogant - Daily Telegraph

Clegg says he will publish secret deal details at next election and blame Tories for policies he doesn't like...

"A series of policy failures in recent weeks have “caught out” ministers and fuelled tension between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, he said. The Deputy Prime Minister disclosed that he would seek to win votes at the next election by publishing details of secret deals inside the Coalition, and blaming the Conservatives for policies that he dislikes. Mr Clegg made his unusually candid comments as the Prime Minister came under renewed attack from inside his own party." - Daily Telegraph

...As he takes charge of childcare policy

"Taxpayers will have to fork out £1 billion for Nick Clegg’s ‘obsession’ to create a ‘nanny state’ with tens of thousands of new jobs for childcare workers. The Deputy Prime Minister laid out plans to create an army of new nannies who would look after disadvantaged toddlers to ensure they were more ‘classroom ready’ by the time they started school." - Daily Mail

  • Deputy Prime Minister: Vote or I'll fine you - Daily Telegraph
  • Poll predicts Clegg, Cable, Alexander and Huhne will all lose their seats - The Sun

Warsi: I'm not a spokesman for the right of the party or the 1922 Committee

WARSI SAYEEDA NEW"One of the criticisms is that I should be a strong voice at the table for, say, the Right of our party or the 1922 [committee of backbenchers]," she says. "Of course I have to speak for all of the party but the '22 have got quite a loud voice as it is. "The voice that isn't heard is our activists. These are the people who don't get to hear or speak to the Prime Minister all of the time. I must make sure that the voices that are heard the least are the voices that are passed back to the Prime Minister." - The Independent

Military tells Cameron to retreat over new jets

"David Cameron is due to be presented with what officials believe is an overwhelming case for a change of policy on Britain’s troubled aircraft carrier programme. The Times has learnt that Forces chiefs will unanimously advocate that the Government should abandon plans to buy the conventional carrier version of the American Joint Strike Fighter — the F35C. Instead, a reassessment of the carrier programme will advise the Government to revert to the plans of the previous Labour administration to buy the STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) F35B version of the Joint Strike Fighter." - The Times (£)

Parents of truants face losing child benefit - The Times (£)

Clarke seeks allies over ECHR reform

"David Cameron hopes to win over allies to his plan to limit the reach of the European Court of Human Rights this week when the UK hosts a conference in Brighton on the future of the court. Ken Clarke, the justice secretary, will chair the meeting, at which government advisers say they expect most of the 47 members of the Council of Europe to sign up to UK proposals to make sure the court deals with only the most egregious violations of human rights." - Financial Times (£)

Half of all social housing in London goes to people born abroad  - Daily Express

"Cameron and Clegg urgently need a stronger, more political Downing Street"

O'Brien Neil"So more political firepower is required in Number 10. However, hiring more lieutenants is only the first step. Mr Cameron also needs a battle plan. The mission to modernise the Tories is only half-complete. There have always been two strands: “white-collar modernisation”, about appealing to the liberal-minded middle class; and “blue-collar modernisation”, about attracting voters put off by the “party of the rich” reputation. The latter has made less progress, and the deficit makes it harder. Mr Cameron cannot show his love for ordinary working people with a series of spending announcements." - Neil O'Brien, Financial Times

City mayors "need more clout and pay" - The Times (£)

SNP ready to vote on ditching Quit Nato policy

"The SNP is preparing to vote on whether to ditch its long-standing opposition to Nato membership, in the latest move by the party’s leadership to soften its position ahead of the independence referendum. The party’s policy-making national council will decide whether to abandon its opposition to membership of the western defence pact in June. The move has already sparked a rift within the SNP ranks, with a senior MSP warning that backing for Nato’s commitment to a nuclear alliance would be at odds with the party’s anti-nuclear stance and opposition to the Trident submarine fleet at Faslane." - The Scotsman

  • Calls for SNP MSP to quit over rape claim - Herald Scotland
  • SNP press "Skintland" outrage button but it fails to ring true - Brian Monteith, Scotsman

Taliban blitz British Embassy in Kabul - Daily Express

Lord Ahmed suspended by Labour after Obama bounty controversy

Screen shot 2012-04-16 at 08.05.47"Britain's first Muslim life peer was suspended by Labour bosses last night after apparently offering £10million for the capture of Barack Obama and George Bush. Lord Ahmed reportedly told a conference in Pakistan: “If the US can announce a $10million reward for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10million on President Obama and his predecessor.” - The Sun

  • Director of NHS Muslim spiritual care provision and trustee of charity Muslim Aid faces Bangladesh war crimes charges - Daily Mail
  • How dodgy postal votes in seats with large south Asian concentrations may decide our next government - Marie Ann Sieghart, The Independent

George Galloway compares himself to Robin Hood - The Guardian

Milband's funding cap gambit leaves union donations untouched

"Miliband claimed he was making a move that would deprive his party of millions, but his proposals were rejected within an hour by the Conservatives, who described them as meaningless as the Labour leader was planning to leave untouched the £8m annual income the party receives from union political levy payers affiliated to the party.  Nearly 3 million union members are automatically enrolled into giving £3 a year, unless they choose to opt out." - The Guardian

  • Straw 'admitted agreeing to send suspect to Libya after he sees evidence showing he signed off' the operation' - Daily Mail

Battle commences over the future of the Portcullis House fig trees - Daily Mail

Lembit Opik's latest publicity bud is to be flung around a wrestling ring in front of a baying crowd by a spandex-clad wrestler - Daily Mail

Stormont politicians have eaten and drunk their way through more than £160,000 of taxpayers’ money during their work on the Assembly’s committees since 2007 - Newsletter

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