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Newslinks for Tuesday 12th June 2012

MAJOR john5.15pm ToryDiary: Impressive performance by Sir John Major at Leveson Inquiry

4.15pm ToryDiary: What is the Conservative vision?

2.45pm WATCH: Sir John Major: Rupert Murdoch asked me to change policies on the EU

12.15pm Local government: Cllr Philippa Roe says Bring in Local Investment Zones to boost growth

11.45am  LeftWatch: GMB cut funding for Labour Party as Balls is heckled

11.15am MPsETC : Rifkind calls for arms embargo to be lifted for Syrian rebels

ToryDiary: The great Tory gay marriage mess

Columnist Stephen Shakespeare: Fair v Selfish - the challenge for the Right

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Jubilee boosts support for monarchy - in both hemispheres

The Deep End: Dr Scargill will see you now

Local Government: Troubled families programme will be a test for localism

OsborneOsborne told Leveson there was no deal to win NewsCorp support

"Giving evidence to the inquiry, Osborne described News Corp's aborted takeover of BSkyB as a "political inconvenience" which was "just going to cause us trouble one way or the other. Indeed, so it has proved to be." And he dismissed suggestions that the Tories had cut a deal with Rupert Murdoch to hand him ownership of BSkyB in exchange for support from the Sun before the 2010 general election." - The Guardian

  • Chancellor "dodged the crucial punches" - Independent
  • "Changes to press regulation should “err on the side of freedom of speech”, George Osborne told the Leveson inquiry yesterday. The Chancellor urged Lord Justice Leveson not to “stray into” making recommendations on how to prevent the press from blurring fact and opinion. He also defended his decision to employ the former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson. And he attacked his political predecessor as a “fantasist” for alleging a Tory pact with Rupert Murdoch over the bid for BSkyB." - The Times (£)
  • "Scheming Gordon Brown sparked disbelief in Westminster yesterday when he denied plotting to oust Tony Blair — or ordering the bad-mouthing of Cabinet comrades during 13 years in Downing Street." - The Sun

>Yesterday: WATCH Gordon Brown: The Sun gave a "fait accompli" on story over son Fraser's medical condition

Theresa May will announce ban on age discrimination of patients

"Doctors will be in breach of the law from October if they withhold medical help to patients purely on the basis of their age, the home secretary Theresa May will announce on Tuesday in a tightening of Britain's age discrimination laws." - The Guardian

Gay marriage could break some links between Church and State

Timesfront"The Church of England faces its biggest rupture with the State in 500 years under government plans to legalise gay marriage. Senior church sources warned that if the legislation goes ahead as proposed, the only way forward will be to cut an important tie between Church and State. Divorcing the Church from its role as religious registrar for the State would not amount to total disestablishment, but it would be a significant step in that direction and would generate enormous passion and anguish from the pews upwards." - The Times (£)

  • "In a 13-page submission, the church says it cannot support the proposal to enable all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony. Such a move would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history," it says." - The Guardian
  • "The Government believes the reform demonstrates its commitment to equality and modernity. Yet it risks opening a serious breach with the established Church while also alienating other religious groups, and laying down a legal minefield that will benefit only lawyers." Daily Telegraph leader
  • "Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May, saying the plans ‘have not been thought through and are not legally sound’." - Daily Mail

GoveGove toughening of curriculum will force teachers to retrain

"Tens of thousands of teachers will be forced back to the classroom to study grammar and maths because they lack the knowledge to deliver tough new primary school lessons. Ministers yesterday unveiled an overhaul of England’s ‘substandard’ primary curriculum in an attempt to reverse more than a decade of dumbing down." - Daily Mail

Robust new policies over the weekend from Michael Gove, Eric Pickles, Chris Graylng and Theresa May will be popular - if they happen

Philip Johnston writes: "The biggest mistake made by the Tory leadership has been to conclude that the Left’s social agenda represents the centre ground. ...those weekend promises made by Tory ministers are very much to be welcomed, since they are an attempt to reconnect with the traditional Conservative supporters, without whom the party is completely lost – provided, that is, they actually happen." - Daily Telegraph

Hague tells MPs that Syria "on the edge of civil war"

"Foreign Secretary William Hague has told MPs that Syria is "on the edge of civil war". Speaking in the House of Commons, he said he believed groups linked to Al-Qaeda have committed attacks and condemned 'human rights abuses by armed opposition fighters.' " - ITV News

> Yesterday: ToryDiary: Hague compares Syria to Bosnia. But a big British military intervention remains unlikely.

David Willetts announces plan to create more universities

"Small specialist colleges will be given new powers to become universities in the biggest expansion of higher education in 20 years, Institutions with just 1,000 students – including 750 taking degree courses – will be able to win the right to full university status under new plans, the Government announced.  David Willetts, Universities Minister, said: 'It is right to remove the red tape stopping good quality, smaller higher education providers calling themselves a university.' " - Daily Telegraph

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian attacks "vilification of poor" to win support for spending cuts...

"David Cameron will oversee the worst child poverty record of any government for a generation. In his sheep's clothing days, he promised: "It falls to us, the modern Conservative party, to fight for the poorest." Now his party fights against them." - The Guardian

...while Terry Smith in The Times says the Government should stop trying to spend their way out of debt

"Cut spending and taxes. That should be the message that George Osborne and Vince Cable hear today from the business people attending The Times CEO Summit. You cannot borrow and spend your way out of a debt crisis. ...The only solution is to cut the size of the public sector, which is 50 per cent bigger now in real terms than a decade ago." - The Times (£)

MenschInternet troll who threatened Louise Mensh's children is spared prison

"An internet 'troll' who sent a threatening email to a Conservative MP was banned today from contacting a host of celebrities - including Lord Sugar. Frank Zimmerman avoided jail by a whisker when a district judge suspended a 26-week prison sentence for two years after he sent an offensive email to Corby MP Louise Mensch." - Daily Mail

David Cameron's tribute to John Maples - The Scotsman

Yesterday: MPsETC: Lord Maples has died 

 Sir John Major will give evidence at the Leveson inquiry today BBC

Conservative MP Guy Opperman attacks regional pay variation - Scotsman

David Gauke called to despatch box to explain budget u-turns - Herald

Byelection in Mid Ulster as Sinn's Fein's Martin McGuinness quits seat - BBC

Cable vetos Beecroft proposal to make it easier to fire staff - Independent

Public satisfaction with NHS slumps - Guardian

  • "Of course, the NHS still does fine things and is admired by The Sun. But it needs to see itself as others see it: sometimes inefficient and lacking the rigorous hygiene standards and personal warmth that made it legendary. Too much money has gone on pay rises and manager’s cars and not enough on cancer treatment and new drugs. No national institution, however venerable, is beyond constructive criticism." - The Sun

And finally...Sympathy for Cameron for leaving daughter behind in pub

"Pub gaffe PM David Cameron yesterday won nationwide sympathy from parents who have also accidentally gone home without their kids.  Phone-ins were besieged after The Sun revealed daughter Nancy, eight, got left behind following a Sunday lunch." - The Sun

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