Newslinks for Sunday 6th May 2012
6.30pm MPsETC update: Julian Brazier MP becomes 20th Tory MP to call for some sort of change of direction/ focus following the local election results. See ConHome's full record of MPs' reactions.
5pm Brandon Lewis MP on Comment: UKIP cost us control of Great Yarmouth Council
- MPs Brian Binley, Jackie Doyle-Price and Tim Yeo offer some post-elections advice to David Cameron
- UKIP's Nigel Farage says he wouldn't believe Cameron even if he offered an EU referendum
- John Bercow tells Sky News that alcohol is no longer subsidised in Commons
3pm Nathan Gamester on Comment: The Steel Bill is an opportunity for Cameron to support Lords reform without upsetting the constitutional apple cart
9.30am ToryDiary: Is this the Conservative Party or the Judean People's Front?
Local government: UKIP factor in local elections likely to grow
Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: Jettison Lords reform; Jettison gay marriage; and focus on jobs, crime and household bills
Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Two years on, a controversial film gives a witty, thought-provoking snapshot into the general election
Syed Kamall MEP on Comment: "Lots of traditional Labour voters believe in hard work, keeping more of what you earn, rewarding those who save for a rainy day, having a home and car of their own, traditional teaching methods in schools, punishing criminals severely, and standing up for Britain in Europe and the world. In everything that we do and say, we need to persuade them that the values of the modern Conservative Party are in line with these beliefs."
Local government: London still has a Labour majority. How can this change?
George Osborne promises to focus on public's priorities
"We hear what people are saying to us: focus on the priorities that really matter right now and don’t be distracted by less important issues; work even harder to get the economy going; sort out welfare and education; improve the NHS and crime-fighting; and make sure in these tough times that you’re helping those who really deserve support – the millions of strivers who want to do better for their families, who are working hard and saving hard and doing the right thing. We are going to do all these things – by representing the aspirations of the mainstream." - The Chancellor in the Mail on Sunday
Cameron is taking fresh look at Queen's Speech priorities, particularly Lords reform and gay marriage
"Mr Cameron is re-examining every Bill to be announced in Wednesday’s State opening of Parliament. Issues such as crime, immigration and jobs will now take centre stage. Less popular ideas such as Lords reform and gay marriage could be watered down or kicked into the long grass." - The Sun
"Cameron is ready to delay the implementation of gay marriage and House of Lords reform in an effort to appease angry Conservative backbenchers... Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee, will soon hold talks with Cameron in which he will warn the prime minister he must change direction and ditch plans for Lords reform and gay marriage in favour of pursuing growth and increased labour market flexibility." - The Sunday Times (£)
- Leading Conservatives are angry that the Lib Dem policy on Lords reform is being pursued rather than measures to boost the economy - Observer
- Cameron ready to offer referendum to defuse Lords issue - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
Renewed signs of restlessness in centre right press at Tory direction and style
- Sunday Telegraph: "The task is to persuade the electorate that the Conservatives are genuinely on the side of ordinary men and women, rather than of privilege. They will only win a second term if they succeed."
- Sunday Times (£): "People now regard this as a government that fails on the three i’s: it is incoherent, incompetent and has run out of ideas. They see it collapsing under the weight of its own internal contradictions; two parties with very little in common trying in vain to rub along together in government. Voters thought they liked coalition government but this love affair is over. We have rediscovered why we did not have coalitions for all those decades since the second world war. They deliver fudge and indecisiveness; they force ministers to argue for policies in which they do not really believe; they create mistrust and a lack of common purpose. In short, they do not work."
- Sunday Express: "There is a growing perception that this Government will look out for the very rich and the very poor but ignore the real powerhouse of this country: the middle class. at this rate even the pitiful Ed Miliband’s strangulated cries about the “squeezed middle” are making more sense than the rhetoric coming from Mr Cameron and his chums."
- Mail on Sunday: "The voters are losing patience with Mr Cameron and his Government.
The ‘omnishambles Budget’, the rows over Lords reform and Jeremy Hunt’s dealings with BSkyB have led to a growing discontent and prompted dangerous questions about competence and their ability to govern."
- The Sun on Sunday: "Cameron must now refocus on the core reasons people vote Tory: Lower taxes, less government, toughness on crime, idleness, immigration. He may still be manacled to the wretched Lib Dems. But he needs to convince us that he can’t wait to dump them at the next election."
Could Boris be Tory leader?
"If Cameron were to falter at the general election — with the Liberal Democrats once more acting as power broker — or if the PM were to tire of the leadership role, Boris could be presumed to throw his hat into the ring against Osborne, Michael Gove, the education secretary, or a candidate of the right such as Chris Grayling, tipped for cabinet promotion. By then he might have achieved some solid administrative successes as mayor. But his real qualification will be that he is a winner." - Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times (£)
In The Observer Andrew Gimson says Boris has become a serious contender for the top job but concludes: "There is no vacancy at Number 10, and by the time there is, it is more than possible that the Tories will have discovered a woman educated at a northern comprehensive school who can fill it."
John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday pours cold water on idea of Boris Johnson becoming Mayor: "In the 19th and early 20th centuries, politicians were found seats in the Commons almost by invitation. It is not so easy now, and Boris is chained to City Hall until after the general election. And that is without even considering whether he, entertaining as he might be as mayor of a greatcity, is the right person to put in charge of a nation's nuclear deterrent."
- The Daily Star on the "moptop Tory toff", "blond buffoon" and "madcap Mayor" who promises to serve his full four year term as London's top politician.
- Divisive, embittered and doomed: Ken Livingstone's London Mayoralty campaign failure shows the depths to which his popularity has sunk - Leo McKinstry for the Mail on Sunday
Send for Crosby - Tories want Lynton Crosby, Boris Johnson's campaign manager, to run Tory campaigns - Independent on Sunday
> Yesterday's ToryDiary looked at Boris' hard-to-pigeon-hole brand of Conservatism
The Sunday Express describe IDS as "failed former Tory leader" and "heartless" over Remploy - Sunday Express
Iain Duncan Smith has risked a diplomatic row by predicting that French immigrants will pour into Britain if a socialist president is elected today - Mail on Sunday
Matthew d'Ancona: Where did Cameron's optimism go?
"Remember when Cameron, channelling Reagan rather than Thatcher, told his party to “let sunshine win the day”? Rarely has that side of his character been allowed to surface in public since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. It was assumed that the Age of Austerity had no place for unquenchable optimism. The bell had tolled and it was time for sombre ties and solemn rhetoric. If the success of Boris tells us anything, it is that this assumption was disastrous. The Mayor has not allowed the greyness of the times to stifle his kinetic confidence, his unstoppable cheeriness. And – now more than ever – voters crave that robustness of spirit from those who govern them." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
Cameron must face down the Right of his party - Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer
"Mr Cameron is not a secret patriot waiting for the chance to rip off his expensive tailoring and reveal his inner Thatcher. He is exactly what he looks like, an unprincipled chancer with limited skills in public relations." - Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday
Gerald Warner: UKIP only needs to score 5% to kill the Tories
"At the general election UKIP deprived the Conservatives of 21 parliamentary seats and hence of an overall majority. That failure to win (against Gordon Brown!) highlighted the scale of defection from the Tories even at that stage. Now the threat is terminal and the Tories know it... The threat is not of UKIP appearing in hordes on the benches at Westminster to displace the Tories. UKIP does not need to win a single seat – even a council seat – to destroy the Cameron-occupied Conservative Party. All it has to do is secure 5% of the vote at a general election and the Tories will be out of office, without having won a single general election since 1992." - Gerald Warner in Scotland on Sunday
> Christopher Howarth on Comment yesterday: "If the Conservatives’ UKIP problem looks bad now, wait until 2014"
Local election results prove resilience of Labour brand - Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph
"A comprehensive analysis for The Sunday Times examined votes cast by more than 4.5m voters in more than 2,000 local council wards to calculate how the parties would have fared if these elections had taken place in every part of the country. The national equivalent vote has the Tories on 33% (four points down since the general election in 2010); Labour on 39% (up nine points) and the Lib Dems on 15% (down nine points). Repeated at a general election, that would give Labour a sizable majority of 76 over all other parties in the House of Commons. These elections, however, are simply one event on the road to 2015, not a forecast of its outcome." - Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher for The Sunday Times (£)
- Labour was last night hoping to form a minority administration in Edinburgh as part of its strategy to tighten its grip on three out of four of Scotland’s major cities - Scotland on Sunday
The "Yes" campaign for independence is to be launched by Alex Salmond later this month - Sunday Herald
The key truth is that the West's large social welfare programmes are no longer affordable - Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
- Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times (£) agrees, noting that austerity has barely begun
The fact that more than 30,000 absent fathers are allowed to get away with paying just £5 a week for the upkeep of their children is a disgrace - Sunday Express leader
John Bercow tells Sky News that voters despair at lack of choice between main parties - Sun
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