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Newslinks for Monday 14th May 2012

6pm WATCH:

4pm MPsETC: The People's Pledge announce shortlist of 39 constituencies for new European referendums - updated with news of Mike Freer and Ann Marie Morris supporting an EU referendum

3.45pm WATCH: Michael Howard: In the 2005 election, Rupert Murdoch said "my heart is with you, but I'm afraid my head isn't"

KELLY CHRIS2.15pm Chris Kelly MP on Comment: We don't need to shift right or stay as we are. We need to talk more about our Conservative achievements.

1pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: The Pupil Premium is "a once in a generation chance" to close the gap between poor and rich pupils

Noon MPsETC: The People's Pledge announce shortlist of 39 constituencies for new European referendums

10.45am Local government:Future council housing in Hammersmith & Fulham only for those earning less than £40,000

ToryDiary: Raw and real, Boris calls for Tory to run statist, corporatist, defeatist, anti-business, Europhile and Leftist BBC

Columnist Bruce Anderson: There is no abler or stronger leader than Cameron in any major country

SHAPPS NEWGrant Shapps MP on Comment: Britain is at the bottom of the league for self-built homes. That must change.

LeftWatch: While UKIP eats into the Tory vote, the Greens further divide the Left

International: Is Europe voting against austerity or is Europe voting against tax rises?

Local government: Most councils find impact of cuts "positive or neutral"

Iain Duncan Smith steps into dangerous political territory with review of disability benefits

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"In an interview with today’s Daily Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary says that he is determined to introduce radical reforms to disability benefits which will see more than two million claimants reassessed in the next four years. Iain Duncan Smith says that the number of claimants has risen by 30 percent in recent years “rising well ahead of any other gauge you might make about illness, sickness, disability”... The cost of disability living allowance, which is intended to help people meet the extra costs of mobility and care associated with their conditions, now outstrips unemployment benefit and will soon be £13 billion annually."

Next head of BBC must be a Tory says Boris Johnson - Telegraph

HammondPhilip Hammond has gagged Armed Forces’ chiefs from speaking in public without his permission - The Sun

Tory ministers Philip Hammond and Tim Loughton come out against equal marriage for gay couples

  • "Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the plans were “too controversial” while Families Minister Tim Loughton told a constituent that marriage must only be between a “man and a woman”." - PinkNews
  • "A poll yesterday showed strong support for gay marriage among women, with 53 per cent supporting it and 30 per cent opposed. The gap is narrower among men, though they still back the idea by 48 per cent to 39 per cent." - Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Philip Hammond says gay marriage and Lords reform aren't deliverable, as he prepares for a balanced MoD budget

David Cameron orders action to cut the cost of childcare - The Sun

Bureaucratic ‘lunacy’ governing the work of childminders is to be torn up as ministers try to reverse a dramatic collapse in what they believe is the cheapest, most traditional form of care for working parents - Daily Mail

Senior ministers on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the government’s business critics, urging them to stop “whingeing” and start working harder to create growth - FT (£)

  • Ministers urge us to work harder but are not themselves delivering action on growth - Daily Mail leader
  • The Sun agrees: "Offering little more than a modest cut in corporation tax and then telling bosses to raise their game is an insult to firms working flat-out to survive in recession-hit Britain. They WANT to work harder. They WANT to create jobs and wealth. So they have every right to moan after last week’s Queen’s Speech which failed to let them do so by delivering policies to free them from choking bureaucracy and regulation. There is indeed some harder work to be done — by ministers."

David Cameron hopes to meet Mitt Romney on margins of Olympics - FT (£)

Christopher Chope warns that the Tory leadership could face even more public criticism if tit tries to silence the 1922 Committee - Times (£)

> Stewart Jackson MP, yesterday on Platform: We need to stop fighting each other - corrosively and arrogantly - and start fighting Labour

Couples earning more than £40,000 a year would no longer be entitled to a council house under radical proposals drawn up by Conservative-run Hammersmith and Fulham - Times (£)

Clegg Nick welfare systemNick Clegg will attempt to relaunch the government’s social mobility credentials on Monday, making the case that the coalition is focused on the issue because of his party’s presence

"In a speech to a school in north London, Mr Clegg will again claim the “pupil premium” – extra funding paid to schools with poorer children – as a Lib Dem policy. The idea, he said, had travelled from a pamphlet via “the Liberal Democrat manifesto” into the schools budget." - FT (£)

John Kampfner notes the fickle tendencies of political commentary

"Political journalism is notoriously fickle. It is also, with some exceptions, conformist, following the narrative established at the time. That narrative is invariably binary. Someone is either up or down... There are still several cycles to endure for each of the leaders, several political dog houses to enter, before the real reckoning takes place. The more sensible strategists and politicians would be advised to rise above the rhetorical fray." - John Kampfner in The Independent

Other Comment selection:

  • Leo McKinstry: We demand our EU referendum - Express
  • For the coalition to survive, Tories and Lib Dems must beware their grassroots - Vernon Bogdanor in The Guardian
  • People are laughing at Cameron, Peter McKay looks at possible successors - Daily Mail

Health services in the community are reaching breaking point in the UK, says Nursing Union - BBC

BLAIR VERY LARGETony Blair set to return centre stage with big speech backing Ed Miliband on need for growth strategy - FT (£)

Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson write joint article calling for more infrastructure spending across EU and reform of EU institutions - Guardian

Meanwhile former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has said that Greek exit from the eurozone could be catastrophic, quoted in the Daily Mail: "Anyone who thinks that Greece leaving the euro is the easy fix is kidding themselves,’ Mr Darling said. ‘Europe would almost certainly have to give it financial aid, simply to stop people going hungry. ‘As for a planned exit, does anyone seriously think that over a weekend, say, you could print drachmas ready for issue on Monday morning – in the meantime preventing money draining out of the country and preventing panic as people realise that their savings had vanished?"

  • If I were Greek, I’d vote for the Plague Party - Bill Emmott in The Times (£)
  • Grexit will happen much more quickly than politicians think - Allister Heath in City AM
  • Angela Merkel and François Hollande to have first face-to-face talks in Berlin - Guardian

Ed Miliband's reshuffle could be more important than David Cameron's - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

  • Ed Miliband is being warned that he risks reviving Brownite factionalism if he uses an imminent Labour reshuffle to axe Liam Byrne - Times (£)
  • Peter Hain announced yesterday he would be leaving the shadow cabinet - Times (£)

Ed Miliband now less unpopular than David Cameron after the Labour leader's personal approval rating jumped to minus 23% in a new poll - Metro

Caroline Lucas announces she will continue as MP but not as Green Party leader - BBC

"Britain's only Green MP, Caroline Lucas, is to step down from the leadership of her party as part of a strategy centred on challenging the Liberal Democrats at the next election. Ms Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, wants the party leadership to be used as a vehicle to boost the profile of other potential Green MPs." - Independent

Abolishing Holyrood should be option on independence referendum says Tam Dalyell - Scotsman

The Glasgow neighbourhood where nine out of ten people are on welfare - Daily Mail

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