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Newslinks for Thursday 7th June 2012

Cameron Euro summit6.45pm WATCH: David Cameron: "I understand why single currency countries have to look at deeper integration"

4.45pm WATCH: David Cameron: After massacre reports, "we need to do much more to isolate" Syria's "illegitimate" regime

1.45pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: Left-wingers "should embrace a positive, outward-looking version of English identity"

Johnson Boris Late ShowNoon WATCH: Boris Johnson tells David Letterman he has "as much chance of being reincarnated as an olive" as becoming PM

11.45am LISTEN: George Osborne: "On things like the taxation of charities, we got it wrong" - better to admit it, and move on

10.30am ToryDiary: Osborne hints at a referendum if a "reshaped relationship with Europe" comes about

HAMMOND PHILIPToryDiary: Reforming his department. Defending Britain's interests. Satisfying the Treasury - the circle that Philip Hammond must try to square.  (The army is set shrink to its smallest size since the Boer war.)

Columnist Andrew Lilico: Can democracy and private property coexist for much longer?

Building a Conservative Majority (18): Sustained outreach to Britain's churchgoers

Local Government: Check councillors' allowances Pickles urges residents

The Deep End: And now for the good news from Europe (in Polish)

WATCH: Spain plans bond sale

Cameron visits Norway - becoming the first British Prime Minister to visit the country in over 25 years…

Screen shot 2012-06-07 at 07.55.50"A landmark deal with Norway aimed at securing affordable energy for the UK will be hailed by David Cameron today. The news comes after the Prime Minister yesterday became the first British leader to visit the Scandinavian country in 26 years. After a working dinner last night in the capital Oslo, he and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will today meet executives from 10 energy firms with combined annual revenues of more than £400billion." - Daily Express 

…En route to Germany as Euro-crisis deepens over Spain

"Mr Cameron will travel to Berlin amid pressure from his own party to loosen Britain's relationship with Brussels. He will meet Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who is backing efforts to create a "superstate" of most European Union countries apart from Britain. A new “political union” would give Brussels more power over the spending and taxation policies of European member countries. Mr Cameron refused to let Britain join the new “fiscal pact” for the eurozone last year because he believed it would harm business in the City of London." - Daily Telegraph

Lord Owen: I want a Europe referendum.  The choice should be: do we want to be part of a new fiscal union or part of a looser Europe?

Screen shot 2012-06-07 at 08.34.57"The solution is to enable those countries within the eurozone who wish to integrate further to do so and to allow those countries who do not ever envisage becoming part of the eurozone to remain in a restructured single market…a referendum will be lost in the UK if the only option is ever greater integration within the EU. It will be won only if the present Europe is restructured and the choices in a referendum are more attractive." - Lord Owen, The Times (£)

  • Cameron must name his price for EU deal - Daily Telegraph Editorial
  • How the Fresh Start Group is preparing options for a better Europe - Andrea Leadsom MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Europe is in a muddle but it could also hold the solution - Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • The euro’s 'guilty men’ are now steering Europe to catastrophe - Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Retail offers ray of hope amid gloom - Financial Times (£) 

Britain defies pressure to force new Falklands talks - Daily Express 

Forced marriage to be outlawed

May Theresa Home Office
"Parents who force their children to marry face jail sentences under tough laws to be unveiled tomorrow by Theresa May. The Home Secretary will promise a sweeping crackdown after warnings that up to 8,000 young women a year are pushed into wedlock without their consent. David Cameron says forced marriage, which involves families from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and east Africa, is 'little more than slavery' and 'completely wrong'." - Daily Mail 

Warsi faces inquiry over rent expenses

"Baroness Warsi is to face a second parliamentary inquiry after the House of Lords standards watchdog said that it would formally examine her use of expenses. The Tory co-chairwoman is already being investigated over claims that she breached ministerial rules by taking a business partner on an official government trip to Pakistan. Paul Kernaghan, the Lords Commissioner for Standards, said yesterday that he would begin his own investigation into separate allegations that Lady Warsi claimed expenses while staying rent-free at a friend’s home." - The Times (£)

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - The New Statesman's attempt to paint Sayeeda Warsi's Tory critics as racist

Hunt faces lame duck claims over postponed green paper

"The Communications Green Paper, which includes new rules for television, the internet, radio, music and publishing, will not now appear until the autumn, when it was first expected in the Spring. Insiders say Mr Hunt has been distracted by the furore over his role in the Murdoch empire's takeover bid for BSkyB. He faced claims yesterday that he has shelved the document in order to avoid further controversy over his handling of the media industry until after the flagship event of the summer." - Daily Mail

Myth buster Grayling in blu-tack health and safety war

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRT"A teacher was banned by elf and safety ninnies from using Blu-Tack on classroom windows — in case they exploded.  But the bizarre edict — made by the private firm that runs the primary school in Perth and Kinross, Perthshire — was conclusively debunked by the Government’s Myth Busters Challenge Panel. The panel was set up by Employment Minister Chris Grayling to fight the elf and safety culture. He said last night: “I’m amazed by the amount of nonsense talked by health and safety jobsworths." - The Sun

  • "The Sun warmly backs Employment Minister Chris Grayling’s counter-attack against the ’elf and safety busybodies driving Britain mad" - Sun Editorial

Army strength to fall to 82,000: cuts hit historic county regiments

"Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, will attempt today to head off concerns that the regimental system is under threat as the Government contemplates its most radical restructuring of the Army since the end of the Cold War. In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute, he is expected to say: “A regular Army of 82,000 will have a different structure to one of 102,000. And some units inevitably will be lost or will merge.” He is expected to promise to maintain “the ethos, traditions and connections that are part of what makes the British Army so effective — particularly a regimental system and regionally-focused recruiting”." - The Times (£)

The Curse of Clegg strikes again: my first attempt at writing a novel was shockingly bad, he says...

Screen shot 2012-06-07 at 08.06.13"The Deputy Prime Minister started writing a novel in his early 20s but it had been "shockingly bad", he said. In an interview with Easy Living magazine, he said he would still like to write one in the "simple, sparse" style of the double Booker Prize winning JM Coetzee…Mr Clegg said his first attempt at his own novel was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Autumn Of The Patriarch and was written from the perspective of "a man at the end of his life - which is quite an odd thing to do in your early 20s"." - Daily Telegraph

…And Deputy Prime Minister lines up with IDS over benefits for better-off pensioners

"The row over providing benefits such as winter fuel payments and free bus passes for better-off pensioners has split the very top of the coalition government, with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg telling colleagues he would be happy to see them dramatically cut. The Liberal Democrat leader's intervention comes after reports on Wednesday that the work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith is pressing for cuts to the £5bn bill for elderly benefits, which also include free TV licences and prescriptions." - The Guardian

  • Half a million rich pensioners get the Winter Fuel Allowance - The Sun

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - IDS says we should cut rich pensioners' benefits. Cameron says that would be bad politics. They're both right.

Prescott: Yes, young jubilee work seekers were exploited

PRESCOTT-JOHN-HAND-GESTURES"No 10 was forced to respond to criticisms from Labour's former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, who accused the government of presiding over the development of labour camps following revelations that unpaid jobseekers on the government's work programme from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth were asked to sleep under London Bridge before stewarding the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations. Prescott wrote to the home secretary, Theresa May, saying he was deeply concerned about the treatment of up to 30 jobseekers and another 50 people on apprentice wages who were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth before the pageant on Sunday." - The Guardian

Young workers: No, we weren't

"Many of the young jobseekers taking part in the work experience scheme dismissed claims they had been poorly treated by the company and spoke of having a ‘great time’. Messages seen by the Daily Mail reveal that many found the opportunity rewarding and were hoping to work again with the firm, Close Protection UK. And the company itself revealed that out of 220 people it had supplied for the event, only ‘two or three’ had complained." - Daily Mail

Jubilee fall-out 1) BBC boss tells staff: You've all done very well - Daily Mail

Jubilee fall-out 2) Twitter demands for Tom Watson to apologise as he says Jubilee celebrations were "a show of opulence by state elites" - Daily Telegraph

Miliband seeks to boost coverage of Scottish independence speech by attacking Jeremy Clarkson

Screen shot 2012-06-07 at 08.30.32"Mr Miliband will criticise the Top Gear presenter for ‘shrugging his shoulders’ at the prospect of Scotland breaking away from the UK. He will accuse the likes of Mr Clarkson and the Scottish National Party of holding ‘deeply pessimistic’ and ‘narrow’ views of national identity and warn that it is a ‘false choice’ to ask people whether they want to be Scottish or British in the referendum that is expected in 2014." - Daily Mail

  • England and Wales want Scots to stay in the union, poll reveals - The Independent
  • MSPs told Donald Trump’s hated wind farm could ‘help save £45bn’ - Scotsman

100 die in new Syria massacre - Daily Express

Galloway calls off meeting over Bradford shopping mall protest - Yorkshire Post

Spelman rain goddess victory: Water firms prepare to lift hosepipe ban - Daily Telegraph

Spelman rain goddess overkill: 70 mph gales to batter Britain - Daily Express

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