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27 May 2012 09:00:26

Newslinks for Sunday 27th May 2012

7.30pm WATCH: George Eustice MP: An EU vote would mean "the vast majority who are somewhere in the middle don't get given the option they want"

Umunna Sunday Pols4.15pm WATCH: Chuka Umunna MP: The idea that Beecroft "commands the support of the entire business community is simply wrong"

2.30pm Local government: Council by-election result from Thursday

Noon WATCH: Nick Clegg on Syrian Olympics officials: "If you've been shown to have abused human rights, you're not allowed in"

ToryDiary: As Cameron allows a free vote on gay marriage, 45% of Tory MPs say it's the top issue constituents write to them about

Mark Reckless MP on Comment: Police and Crime Commissioners are one of the great reforms of this Conservative-led government

Mrs Bone MoSMPsETC: The famous Mrs Bone gets rejected as police commissioner candidate by Conservative HQ

Local government: Jon Snow attacks free schools and academies

WATCH: Ed Miliband makes surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan

Beleaguered Jeremy Hunt 'could quit' after Olympics, the Sunday Telegraph says

"Hunt Jeremy red tieJeremy Hunt, the beleaguered culture secretary who will be questioned at the Leveson Inquiry this week, may step down voluntarily from his cabinet post after the Olympic Games, according to senior government sources. ... it is clear for the first time this weekend that many of Mr Hunt’s colleagues do not believe he will remain in his post for long after the Olympic and Paralympic Games finish in early September." - Sunday Telegraph

  • To restore probity in public life, Jeremy Hunt must go - Observer editorial
  • Can Jeremy Hunt survive a summer of political heat? - Toby Helm for the Observer

Matthew d'Ancona: David Cameron can use his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry to revive his political fortunes 

D'ANCONA"Though the cross-examination will be limited to his Lordship’s remit – the “culture, practice and ethics of the press” – it will be seen, inescapably, as a much broader viva voce, a televised appraisal of the PM’s performance to date and fitness to carry on. Two years into his premiership, and in circumstances he could scarcely have foretold when the Coalition was formed, David Cameron will find himself in the dock." - Matthew d'Ancona for the Sunday Telegraph

Other Leveson comment:

  • "Jeremy Hunt's involvement in the BSkyB bid was injudicious. By not resigning, he compounds the damage to the Government." - John Rentoul for the Independent on Sunday
  • "The Leveson inquiry, designed to examine the sins of the press, has become an inquisition into the government" - Andrew Rawnsley for the Observer

Janet Daley: David Cameron and George Osborne are isolated and impervious to advice, critics say

Cameron & Osborne 2

"The Chancellor, one of my interlocutors informed me, has been so traumatised by the disastrous reception of his Budget that he has gone to ground and become more inaccessible than ever. (“He’s in the bunker now.”) ... What exasperates the disaffected troops is not just the discounting of their views (which they believe would resonate with most people who might consider voting Conservative) but the refusal to engage with them at all" - Janet Daley for the Sunday Telegraph

  • Whispers against Osborne cause Cabinet division between Chancellor and the Prime Minister - Mail on Sunday

Iain Martin: Has the Coalition reached breaking point? The Lib Dems' brutal assault on the Beecroft report has infuriated the Tories

LibDemDead"Mr Cameron’s dallying over Beecroft leaves some Tory MPs wondering what the point of this government is, beyond David Cameron being in Downing Street. Mr Hilton and Mr Letwin wanted to drive through robust reforms, but yet again Mr Cameron’s response was to prevaricate and blame the Lib Dems for being an immovable roadblock. The patience of some Tory MPs and ministers is wearing thin with the Prime Minister’s familiar old excuses." - Iain Martin for the Sunday Telegraph

  • The feeble reaction to Beecroft suggests a lack of political vision - Sunday Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday on Majority Conservatism: Should Cameron maximise the possibilities for continuing coalition or maximise the possibility of a Tory majority?

William Hague tries to halt Shell ‘murder’ case - Sunday Times (£)

  • Cameron raises the arrest of safari worker with African country's closest ally - Mail on Sunday

Baroness Warsi apologises for not declaring rental income on register of members' interests

Warsi Sayeeda Sep 11"The Tory peer bought the property in 2007 but moved closer to Parliament when she became a minister in 2010, after which she began letting the Wembley flat. “Due to an oversight, for which I take full responsibility, the flat was not included on the Register of Lords’ Interests when its value and the rent received came to exceed the thresholds for disclosure,” she said. “When the discrepancy became apparent this week, I immediately informed the Registrar of Lords’ Interests of its omission.”" - Scotland on Sunday

From Greece to the Prime Minister, betting odds offer the best guide to the future - Amber Rudd MP for the Sunday Times (£)

PM's team orchestrated Commons heckling campaign - Sunday Telegraph

Anger of Tory wife deemed too dim for top police job - by the party chairman - Mail on Sunday

Heath-long"Edward Heath, the former prime minister, fell asleep next to the Queen during a dinner at 10 Downing Street, Sir John Major has disclosed" - Sunday Telegraph

Ditch plans for same-sex marriage, voters tell MPs Sunday Telegraph

Vince Cable: Don't lecture the eurozone 

Cable Vince March 2011"The UK should learn from Germany's successful economy, rather than lecturing the eurozone, Business Secretary Vince Cable says. Speaking to the Independent on Sunday after a visit to Germany, he said "any sense that Britain is lecturing is badly received and is not appropriate". He also said that being called a socialist who did not support business was "absolutely ludicrous"." - BBC

James Forsyth: Nick Clegg did not clear his pro-€uro speech

Clegg Nick welfare system"Given Germany is key to any solution, one would have imagined Clegg sitting down with David Cameron and William Hague to craft a unified British position. ... A credible country can’t deliver mixed messages to the bond markets or foreign governments. But this seems to have been  forgotten. As a result, Clegg, an emotional pro-European, was freelancing on the most serious political and economic crisis to hit Europe since the end of the Cold War." - James Forsyth for the Mail on Sunday

> Coverage from yesterday:

Ed Miliband questions David Cameron's judgement on Jeremy Hunt

Miliband with troops"Ed Miliband has questioned why David Cameron thought it was appropriate to give Jeremy Hunt the final decision on News Corp's attempt to buy BSkyB. ... Labour has now opened a new line of attack on the government, following the publication of a memo Mr Hunt sent to the prime minister about the BSkyB deal at a time when business secretary Vince Cable was handling the process." - Metro

  • Liberal Democrats' ties with Murdoch aides revealed to Leveson inquiry - Observer
  • Ed Miliband calls for an end to 'discrimination' against armed services - Observer

BLAIR DOWNING STREETTony Blair's moral decline and fall is now complete - Nick Cohen for the Observer

Labour voters ‘will deliver independence’ - Scotland on Sunday

Work-for-free programme to be expanded by government - Observer

More jobs go in Whitehall than planned - Independent on Sunday

Lottery funding for anti-GM activists - Sunday Telegraph

Olympics fail to involve more people in sport - Independent on Sunday

And finally... Posh Dave picks the wrong suit as he opts for dressed down style at high-society wedding to fend off class gibes - Mail on Sunday


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26 May 2012 08:59:22

Newslinks for Saturday 26th May 2012

Bagshawe Louise May 20114.15pm MPsETC: On day UKUncut protestors targeted Clegg family home, Tory MP Louise Mensch urges people to donate £5 to Lib Dem funds

3.15pm WATCH: Talking to Sky News, Grant Shapps MP gives £100,000 to 12 high streets to reward innovative thinking

12.45pm Local government: Portas Pilots named

ToryDiary: Which would be your preference for the future relationship between Britain and Europe?

Philip Booth on Comment: The UK's tax system punishes work, training, family formation and saving

C_HOME Camerons's choice

Majority Conservatism: Should Cameron maximise the possibilities for continuing coalition or maximise the possibility of a Tory majority?

Local government: The Headmaster of the bog standard East Bridgwater Community School in Somerset writes to the Times Educational Supplement to show his sneering ingratitude for being sent a King James Bible

Also on Local government: Reform Scotland calls for fewer Scottish councils

Alex Salmond predicts million-strong Yes movement for Scottish independence - Guardian

Eddie Barnes suggests the Yes campaign looked very Left-wing - Scotsman

> VIDEO: Actors, Greens, Socialists and lottery winners join Alex Salmond to launch Scottish independence campaign

Times leader (£): "This newspaper is inclined to the view that an independent Scotland is perfectly feasible and that the terms of departure could be handled amicably, should the Scottish people vote for it. The problem is not, therefore, that such a thing is not doable, but deciding whether it should be done."

Jeremy Hunt addressed News Corp lobbyist Fred Michel as "daddy" and "mon ami" in text messages released by the Leveson Inquiry - BBC

The Telegraph leader: "It is a rich irony that an inquiry set up by Mr Cameron to investigate press ethics has turned into a forensic investigation of his Government’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp... Britain’s international standing as a good place in which to invest and do business rests, in large part, on an appreciation that we play by the rules and obey the law. The furtive and clandestine shenanigans exposed by the bright light of the Leveson Inquiry are jeopardising that hard-won reputation."

Screen Shot 2012-05-26 at 07.27.04Theresa May: We'll stop migrants if euro collapses - Telegraph

"EU nationals are largely entitled to work anywhere in the single market. If the single currency breaks up, people looking for work abroad may see Britain as an attractive alternative as it is a non-eurozone country. Asked whether emergency immigration controls were being considered , Mrs May said: "It is right that we do some contingency planning on this [and] that is work that is ongoing."" - BBC

  • Britain faces £230bn bill if Greece quits euro - The Sun
  • "For months now, the leaders of the eurozone have been confronted by a fork in the road. To be fair to them, they have been clear what they should do. Press straight ahead. They have been set upon kicking the can down the road, despite the fact that there is no more road and they have a broken toe." - Bruce Anderson in The Telegraph

"Don't expect sympathy"... and pay your taxes – IMF Lagarde's message to the Greeks

"Christine Lagarde, said she has more sympathy for children deprived of decent schooling in sub-Saharan Africa than for many of those facing poverty in Athens. In an uncompromising interview with The Guardian, Lagarde insists it is payback time for Greece and makes it clear that the IMF has no intention of softening the terms of the country's austerity package."

HEFFER SIMONSimon Heffer argues that Labour's economic policies make them unelectable

"Mr Miliband’s team is as bankrupt of ideas about how to save the economy as the Coalition is. Borrowing money, or printing more of it, would simply hasten Britain’s progress to Greek-style bankruptcy and financial implosion, wrecking living standards of Britons for a generation, and quite possibly longer. And that is why Labour’s electability remains an illusion." - Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail

  • On the deficit and on the euro, Ed Balls has called it correctly on the two most important judgments of recent times - Jonathan Freedland for The Guardian 
  • While Nick Clegg's talk of a push for growth is most welcome, his defence of cuts is discreditable nonsense - Robert Skidelsky in The Guardian
  • Daily Mail leader: "Nick Clegg and Mr Cameron deliver lectures on the need for robust action by the EU – seemingly unaware that the British economy is collapsing under them. So worried is the IMF that it this week warned Britain may be forced to slash its historically low interest rates even further."

Tory Right wrong to put so much faith in shale gas, warns Ed Davey - Telegraph

It sounds mad, but sane Tories are talking about ousting David Cameron - Andrew Grice in The Independent

PARSONS"Is David Cameron the most despised party leader in our country’s history? Even leaders who are hated by the opposition – one thinks of Margaret Thatcher or Michael Foot – are invariably adored by their own side. But who believes in David Cameron? He is the only politician I have ever seen who, even when he totally loses his rag, still has to read from a script... Thin-skinned, volatile and never won an election, Cameron wanted to be the heir to Blair but he is more like the blue Gordon Brown" - Tony Parsons in the Daily Mirror

There's some optimism from Patrick O'Flynn in The Express, however: "David Cameron’s team seems to have brought a halt to the own goals" even if its situation is still worrying.

"The truth is that the prison population is not too high but too low. If Mr Clarke wishes to pick a fight he really should first make sure the facts are on his side" - Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

  • Under-18s commit a quarter of all crimes - Daily Mail
  • Ken Clarke snoozes again but this time at the cricket - The Sun

The 12 high streets selected to be 'Portas pilots' - DCLG press release

Warsi Sayeeda Sep 11Why I'm calling a truce on my war with Warsi - Kelvin MacKenzie in the Daily Mail

It's hard to believe we can build credible Afghanistan after so many years of failure - Rory Stewart MP in The Independent

Richard Branson launches fresh attack on Coalition's "mad" air travel taxes - Express

A boss of Cornish pasty firm Ginsters has donated £100,000 to the Conservative Party amid the controversy over George Osborne's "pasty tax" - Western Morning News

Why do civil servants still get honours when so many exceptional people don't? - Chris Bryant in The Independent

Eurovision will do more to bring people together than the EU will ever do - Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

Grammar schools educated people to lead the world. They can do so again - Chris Blackhurst in The Independent

Our obsession with young politicians is damaging Britain - Alan Massie in The Telegraph


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25 May 2012 08:14:47

Newslinks for Friday 25th May 2012

8.15pm VIDEO: Actors, Greens, Socialists and lottery winners join Alex Salmond to launch Scottish independence campaign

4.30pm Local government: MPs call for international observers to investigate Tower Hamlets vote rigging

4.15pm MPsETC: After attacking graverobber as "scumbag" Gavin Barwell MP is The Sun's "hero of the week"

3.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron makes case for elected police commissioners in regional media

Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 14.26.332.30pm WATCH: Cable isn't a socialist, concludes David Willetts, but a "flinty Gladstonian"

12.30pm Bill Cash MP on Comment: The EU isn't work economically or politically. The case for radical renegotiation in our relationship with the EU is unanswerable.

11.30am VIDEO: David Cameron knew that Jeremy Hunt supported Murdoch takeover when he appointed him to BSkyB role

10.45am John Baron MP on Comment: A military strike against Iran would be disastrous

ToryDiary: Osborne wanted top rate of income tax cut to 40p but Clegg said no and it may now be 45p for many years to come

Columnist Bruce Anderson: No thoughtful Tory should be tempted by an EU referendum. We need to think our way out.

Elliott MatthewMajority Conservatism reports on Matthew Elliott's answer to the question of how the Tories might win next time: Labour may have lost the election but unions are still getting subsidies and Left-wingers are still running public bodies

Steve Barclay MP on Comment: Why a remedy to Eastern European immigration is not at our borders but in our fields

Murdo Fraser MSP on Comment: Consumers, not governments, should choose the energy mix

Local government: The Committee on Climate Change should be abolished

The Deep End: The TRUTH about foreign aid

WATCH: Five economic lessons from the 1930s recovery, suggested by George Trefgarne

The PM was left reeling by catastrophic figures on the economy, immigration AND crime... - The Sun

MIGRATION WATCH UKSoft on immigration? Coalition promised to cut net migration to under 100,000. Yesterday, it hit 252,000 - Daily Mail

  • Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch commented: "‘There is no sign of any reduction from the huge numbers that developed under Labour. The problem is that non-EU migrants are simply not leaving. It is time the Lib Dems understood the extent of public concern, including among 75 per cent of their own supporters. The Coalition must now take tough measures to reduce this unacceptable scale of immigration." (Quoted in The Express).
  • "The figures showed that while estimated long-term immigration remained steady at 589,000, there has been a continuing decline in UK residents emigrating from the UK – which dropped to 338,000 compared with a peak of 427,000 in 2008." - FT (£)
  • The Times (£): "Students are being allowed into Britain with such poor English that they cannot even answer the question “What is your name?”, an immigration chief has revealed."

Patel Priti Oct 2011Soft on crime? "More than 60,000 criminals were spared a jail sentence last year despite having committed at least 15 previous crimes" - Daily Mail

  • "Priti Patel, the Tory MP, said: “This is a pitiful legacy of a decade of criminal justice policy that has failed to punish criminals. These alarming figures show that too many criminals are being let off the hook and allowed to reoffend over and over again.” - Quoted in The Telegraph

Soft on growth? Economy shrank by 0.3% in first quarter - BBC

  • Cameron must go further and faster on growth, immigration and crime - Sun Says
  • If David Cameron is opposed to a European financial transaction tax, as he claims, he should abolish the one he levies at home – stamp duty - Damian Reece in The Telegraph
  • The Economist rejects Beecroft as an answer to economic problems, saying UK labour laws are among world's least onerous

29 month 'Yes' campaign for Scottish independence to be launched today - Scotsman | BBC

DARLING ALISTAIR 2"Alistair Darling has claimed that Alex Salmond's campaign for Scottish independence has stalled at the starting line after a poll found that only a third of Scots want to leave the UK' - Guardian | Herald

Telegraph leader: "It appears that a Unionist fightback is on – and not before time. One of the more pleasing aspects of this is that David Cameron has persuaded Alistair Darling to lead the campaign against the separatists. The former Labour chancellor is a trusted, moderate and refreshingly non-tribal figure with a substantial global reputation. It is to be hoped that influential Britons throughout the United Kingdom will join Mr Darling in putting their shoulder to the wheel of this most important cause."

GREEKTory MPs say Greek exit will force referendum

"David Cameron will face demands from Tory MPs to redraw Britain’s relationship with Europe in the event of a Greek exit from the eurozone, senior government sources believe. No 10 and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office say that treaties governing the European Union will have to be rewritten after the departure of one of the 17 members of the single currency bloc. This would trigger “aggressive” demands by Tory MPs to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, or pull out of the social chapter, a commitment made by Mr Cameron during his campaign for his party’s leadership." - Times (£)

  • The end of the €uro could be David Cameron's last chance to shine - Frederick Forsyth in The Express

We must defy Strasbourg on prisoner votes - David Davis and Jack Straw renew their joint position in an OpEd for The Telegraph

  • Some prisoners have earned the right to vote, so let them - Jonathan Aitken in The Guardian

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRTMore 'EU veto moments' please Prime Minister, says Chris Grayling

"In a speech to an event organised by the ConservativeHome website, Mr Grayling noted that the Tories surged to 40 per cent in the polls shortly after the veto. The party is currently languishing at around 30 per cent. He said Mr Cameron needed to find a handful of similar such “EU veto moments” in the remainder of the parliament to get “a lock” on traditional Tory supporters." - Telegraph

> Yesterday on ConHome: Chris Grayling urges Cameron to find more "EU veto moments" as part of his five point election-winning plan

At last! David Cameron is listening to his backbenches: on gay marriage, Lords reform and prisoners' votes - James Chapman in the Daily Mail

191 calls, 158 emails and 1,056 texts: The true scale of contact between News Corp and Jeremy Hunt's office during £8bn BSkyB bid - Daily Mail

Cameron knew Hunt would back BSkyB bid - Independent

'Jeremy Hunt was backing BSkyB bid, not judging it' - Harriet Harman has told ITV News that the Prime Minister should never have appointed Jeremy Hunt to judge News Corp's bid for full control of BSkyB

Daily Mail leader: "Doesn’t it defy belief that, only a month after this memo was written in 2010, and only days before enjoying a Christmas dinner at the home of a senior Murdoch executive, David Cameron saw no conflict of interest in making the clearly biased Mr Hunt the supposedly quasi-judicial, independent arbiter of whether the deal should be approved?"

Michael Gove unveils school rebuilding decision - FT (£)

Gavin Barwell MP yesterday branded a scrap metal thief who stole a plaque from his dad’s grave a “scumbag”

"The Tory vowed: “If I ever find out who you are, you are going to regret it.” The tribute to his dad David, who died in 2005, was nicked from Beckenham Cemetery, Kent." - The Sun

'You need the hide of a Sherman tank' - Edwina Currie gives some advice to David Cameron on keeping his temper in the Commons - Telegraph

Boris Johnson has caused outrage by accusing two-thirds of the cyclists killed and seriously injured in London of causing the crashes by breaking the laws of the road - Independent

TAXPAYERS ALLIANCEMary Dejevsky: Why the political left should adopt the 'flat tax'

"Simple, transparent and fair, a single tax has at least as much to recommend it for those of modest or average means, as it does for bankers and big business. It offers Mr Miliband an opportunity to reinvent himself as the advocate at once of lower tax, the "squeezed middle" and an effective state, which he could propose to slim down not on US, but on Australian or Swedish lines. His Labour could be the party of 30 per cent maximum taxation; no extortionate marginal rates; no hair-splitting about child benefit; no advantages to be derived from clever accountancy, and no special deals over lunch with HMRC. The 2020 Commission's report runs to 400-plus pages. Mr Miliband and his new policy chief, Jon Cruddas, should get reading." - Mary Dejevsky in The Independent

There is a significant body of economic literature that suggests that small-government countries grow more quickly after accounting for other characteristics - Tim Knox and Ryan Bourne in the Wall Street Journal

The Big Society is a lesson for Labour in how not to sell a big idea - Rafael Behr in the New Statesman

Conservatives in government can claim – and again not without some justification – that they are pursuing progressive policies on welfare by pointing to the way they are busy removing benefits from Britain’s middle-classes - Professor Tim Bale for the Policy Network

Italy would benefit from creation of a modern, pro-business centre-right party, says FT after fringe parties prosper in local elections - FT leader


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24 May 2012 08:30:43

Newslinks for Thursday 24th May 2012

8.45pm WATCH: Martin Callanan MEP rejects a UKIP/Tory pact: "I think we should stand as Conservative candidates across the UK"

May out4marriage5pm WATCH: Theresa May records pro-gay marriage video for Out4Marriage campaign

4pm LISTEN: Michael Gove: "We now have more than half of secondary schools either academies or on the way to becoming academies"

2.30pm Sarah Newton MP on Comment: The importance of supporting homeworking

1pm WATCH: Big Brother Watch's Nick Pickles: Allowing government to filter the internet would be "a very, very dangerous step to take"

Screen Shot 2012-05-24 at 11.20.1911.30am MPsETC: Group of Tory MPs recommend thirty policies to deliver growth in Britain's key industrial sectors

11.30am WATCH: Alistair Darling: €urozone policy towards Greece has been "not enough, too late, and in some cases, completely the wrong thing"

11am Local government: Conservatives remain in power in Walsall

10.30am Dr. Owen Corrigan on Comment: What about the snobbery that despises vocational education?

ToryDiary: Nigel Farage's grand strategy to destroy the Conservative Party

ToryDiary: Major global media brand signs deal to become shirt sponsor of massive football club.... AFC Bluebirds


Majority Conservatism: Chris Grayling urges Cameron to find more "EU veto moments" as part of his five point election-winning plan

Columnist Andrew Lilico: Why are companies sitting on their cash?

PRISK MARKMark Prisk MP on Comment: Ours is the largest deregulatory package of any Government in my lifetime

Harry Benson on Comment: The Prime Minister's support plan for new parents won't work. Here's how to make it do so.

The Deep End: Can we be grown-up about grammar schools?

Local government:

WATCH: Clegg fails to answer question from Philip Davies MP on voters providing photo ID at polling stations

I will defy Europe on jail votes, says Cameron as he sets on collision course with judges in Strasbourg - Yorkshire Post

Votes for Prisoners"David Cameron yesterday vowed to fight to defend British sovereignty from European judges by insisting that prisoners will not be given the vote. The Prime Minister said the ban on voting from jail was for Parliament to decide rather than ‘a foreign court’. Downing Street insiders insisted there would be no votes for convicts while Mr Cameron remained in charge of the country." - Daily Mail

  • "British democracy must win" - The Daily Mail applauds Cameron's promise to fight against votes-for-prisoners
  • "Labour said it would back Mr Cameron if he chose to oppose the ruling. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said there was cross-party agreement about not giving the vote to prisoners and the ECHR ruling was the “wrong thing”." - Express

David Cameron promises to fight financial transactions tax 'all the way'

"A financial transaction tax (FTT) is a bad idea," Mr Cameron told reporters as he left the [EU] summit. "It will put up the cost of people's insurance, put up the cost of people's pensions, it would cost many, many jobs, and it would make Europe less competitive and I'll fight it all the way."" - Telegraph

Nick Clegg is to warn that Greece exiting the euro is something "no rational person" should advocate and would cause "irrevocable damage" - BBC

GAY same-sex-wedding-cakeTory MPs will get a free vote on gay marriage as issue is a 'matter of conscience' - Daily Mail | BBC

"Downing Street initially suggested that the Cabinet and junior ministers could be required to support the plans when new laws allowing same-sex marriage are debated in the Commons. However, after a series of senior government figures expressed their dismay at the development, Number 10 sources pledged to allow MPs to vote with their consciences." - Telegraph

"Stewart Jackson, Mr Paterson's former parliamentary private secretary, warned that any attempt to whip MPs would cause "serious divisions". He said: "No 10 would be foolish in the extreme to disregard this as a conscience issue. Whipping the vote would be a catastrophic error of judgement and would generate serious divisions." Peter Bone, the Tory MP for Wellingborough, warned: "There would be uproar in the party and ministerial resignations." Mark Pritchard, a former secretary of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, claimed on the PoliticsHome website: "The Prime Minister has given a clear commitment to a free vote on gay marriage – therefore, Owen Paterson's comments are perfectly in order."" - Independent

> On Video yesterday: Two Tory MPs explain why they support same-sex marriage

Screen Shot 2012-05-24 at 07.21.19A record of Cameron's insults to other MPs - The Guardian | Independent

  • The electorate looks at Cameron's "laddish" behaviour and doesn't like it - Andreas Whittam-Smith in The Independent

> Yesterday on Video: "The muttering idiot sitting opposite me"

Iain Duncan Smith's new Universal Credit benefit to be tested in North West - BBC

Private school head hits out at "Communist Clegg" after he says universities should favour state pupils - Daily Mail

Cameron and Clegg fear that Vince Cable will lend his support to Labour at any time - Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail


"Business leaders stepped up the pressure over the government's reluctance to put weaker employment protection at the heart of its growth strategy when both the Confederation of British Industry and the Institute of Directors condemned the gap between the government's rhetoric and its enterprise bill published on Wednesday." - Guardian

  • The Telegraph agrees: "Such game-changing measures are needed to inject life into a moribund economy. Instead, we have a disappointing and insipid absence of radicalism that is routinely and conveniently blamed on the intransigence of the Liberal Democrats. That excuse is beginning to wear a little thin."
  • And so does the FT: "For all the rhetoric about deregulation, Mr Cable’s achievements have been thin. Wednesday’s enterprise bill met with a weary sigh from business. This may explain why Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s former adviser, hired Mr Beecroft in the first place."

But also in The Telegraph Peter Oborne comes to Cable's defence, arguing that "the kind of untrammelled free market capitalism which Mr Beecroft is advocating is inhumane, unedifying and unBritish". In The Times (£) Camilla Cavendish is more practical: "To help good workers you must fire bad ones".

Johnson Boris CloseBoris warns again against third runway

"Boris Johnson warned there was a risk the government would “tiptoe back” to consider a third runway at London’s Heathrow airport, a proposal he denounced as “a sham, a snare and a delusion”. The Conservative mayor of London, speaking at the first mayor’s question time since he won a second term at City Hall, insisted a third runway at the UK’s hub airport would be a mistake, even though he acknowledged business was strongly in favour." - FT (£)

"David Cameron is facing increasing pressure from grass roots Conservatives who believe that Downing Street is becoming out of touch with the issues they are hearing about on the doorstep" - Times (£)

The Scottish Government has said the official “Yes to independence” campaign will be a cross- party alliance and that the SNP will not be the only voice - Scotsman

  • England must not give any more money to Scotland to try and save Union - Ann Widdecombe in The Express

Labour's Jon Cruddas can put tanks on Tory lawns - David Williamson for the Western Mail is impressed by the new Labour policy chief's English and traditional identity

The last thing the Biased Broadcasting Corporation needs is yet another Labour stooge at the helm - Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail


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