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Newslinks for Wednesday 13th June 2012

8.30pm MPsETC UpdateFull list of Tory abstainers on Hunt vote - and DUP MPs supporting the Government

6.30pm Donna Edmunds on Comment: The mysterious silence of Ed Miliband on the BBC's big media stake

5pm MPsETC: Hunt puts in strong performance, as Government wins vote of confidence (And the DUP votes with the Government.)

4pm MPsETC: Another Coalition attempt to sideline the Backbench Business Committee?

3.30pm WATCH: David Cameron tells Zac Goldsmith MP: "The Coalition position has not changed" - there will be no third runway at Heathrow

3.15pm Rory Meakin on Comment: Falkland Islanders' opinions on their own future are not worthless, Mr Carmona

Rees-Mogg House2.45pm WATCH: After the Speaker allows Labour MP Chris Bryant to call Jeremy Hunt a "liar", Jacob Rees-Mogg strikes back.  He asks if it would be in order to call Labour's frontbench "the most sanctimonious, hypocritical humbugs in recent political memory".

2.30pm Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Ed Miliband misled the Leveson Inquiry over my revelations about his tawdry PR Chief

2.15pm Local government: John Moss says Council tenants should be charged market rent with Housing Benefit to help them pay when needed

1.30pm WATCH: Martin Callanan MEP: The EU needs to "respond to the needs of the people, and not impose ideas upon them"

PMQs 13th Jun 20121pm ToryDiary: PMQs - Miliband's Leveson attacks fall flat

11am Ben Harris-Quinney on Comment: The UK needs to be more active in its military bilateralism in Europe

ToryDiary: Are Liberal Democrat MPs now free to abstain if Ed Miliband tables a no-confidence vote in the Government?

Columnist Jill Kirby: “You get pushed around, shoved, you fall on your ass but it's all in the spirit and you have a f***** great time!!!” If Jeremy Hunt had anything to do with this plan for the Olympics opening ceremony, he should resign.

David T.C Davies MP on Comment: We need more people like Sayeeda Warsi in the Conservative Party

Screen shot 2012-06-13 at 08.31.16
MajorityConservatism: Mountain to climb but not Mission Impossible --- Seven reasons why the Tories CAN win the next election

Local Government: Shapps details "pay to stay" rent rises for rich council tenants

The Deep End: A witness on the kill floor

WATCH: Rain goddess Caroline Spelman's broadcast from a green economy event in Colombia

The Curse of Clegg strikes Jeremy Hunt.  Deputy Prime Minister orders Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain on Labour Commons vote.

Screen shot 2012-06-13 at 07.53.49
"Aides of Mr Clegg said the Liberal Democrat leader had “repeatedly” made his views clear in private that questions remain about the Culture Secretary’s conduct. The last of these meetings came as recently as yesterday, when Mr Clegg addressed the issue in a face-to-face chat. He also explained the decision to order his party to abstain. This is a hugely significant moment in the life of the coalition since it represents the first time that the Deputy Prime Minister has challenged the future of a Tory Cabinet member." - The Times (£) 

LibDems: We're abstaining because Cameron took his Hunt decision alone

"The Lib Dems said they would not be backing the Labour motion because it was for Cameron alone to decide whether to refer someone to Allan. They did not want to be seen to side with a Labour party that had used special advisers such as Damian McBride, who worked with former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown. Clegg told Cameron of his decision before meeting his MPs in Westminster. No Lib Dem MP dissented from Clegg's decision, which is as much a repudiation of Cameron's own judgment on a critical issue of good governance as it is of Hunt's behaviour." - The Guardian

Liberal Democrats: Sorry, what we meant was: we're abstaining because the motion isn't a Government motion

"Senior Lib Dems said they are not bound by the usual conventions of collective responsibility since the motion has been proposed by the opposition rather than the government. This is only the second time the Lib Dems have abstained on an opposition motion. They also refused to support Mr Cameron on a DUP motion concerning his decision to veto an EU treaty last December." - Daily Mail

What will Bernard Jenkin do?

JENKIN-BERNARD"Bernard Jenkin, a senior Conservative MP, said civil servants should decide whether Mr Hunt was investigated, not the Prime Minister. The chairman of the public administration select committee said there had been a “breakdown of good process and good governance”. “We have a new Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, and he should demonstrate his independence and advise the Prime Minister,” said Mr Jenkin. “If he thinks there has been prima facie case of breach of the Ministerial Code, it should go straight to the independent adviser.’’ - Daily Telegraph

  • Cable calls for expansion of Birmingham airport to solve air crisis - The Times (£)

Osborne says for the first time that Greece may need to leave the Euro if it is to survive

"George Osborne risked infuriating Brussels chiefs by openly speculating that Greece could be forced to quit the euro last night."Speaking to business leaders, the Chancellor said: “I ultimately don’t know whether Greece needs to leave the euro in order for the eurozone to do the things necessary to make their currency survive. I just don’t know whether the German government requires Greek exit to explain to their public why they need to do certain things like a banking union, euro bonds and things in common with that.” - Daily Express

  • Anonymous Cabinet Minister says that all EU policy options "are on the table" - including withdrawal - The Sun
  • EU admits discussing plans to limit withdrawals from cash machines and impose border checks if Greece quits euro - Daily Mail
  • Britain opposes EU Commission banking plan - Daily Express
  • Falkland Islanders to have referendum on whether to stay British - The Sun 
  • Scottish independence: Fresh doubts over voice within sterlingzone - Scotsman
  • Cameron's spokesman says that British voters don't want an referendum on whether to stay in the EU now - Daily Telegraph
  • I will keep Greece in the eurozone and restore growth - Alexis Tsipras, Syriza leader, Financial Times (£)
  • If you want out, don’t demand a vote too soon - Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Chancellor says businesses must be vocal and make the case for lower taxes or the Government will be unable to cut the top rate of income tax to 40p - Daily Telegraph

Crispin Blunt says churches may be obliged to conduct gay marriages after all

Blunt Crispin" ‘We’re seeking to protect, indeed, proscribe religious organisations from offering gay marriage,’ said Mr Blunt… ‘That may be problematic legally, but the proposal the Government are putting forward is that marriage should be equal in the eyes of the state whether it’s between a same-sex couple or between a man and a woman. We’ll have to see what happens with that.’ Mr Blunt’s comments appear to undermine reassurances from both Downing Street and Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday that churches will not be affected by the law." - Daily Mail

  • Cameron presented with 500,000 petition of people who are against gay marriage - Daily Express
  • Poll finds that 63 Conservative MPs would vote for gay marriage and 44 against (and that the Commons would vote for it by four to one) - The Independent
  • Alan Duncan is "implacably opposed" to gay marriage - Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • The marriage of church and state is anything but gay - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • Gay marriage is a threat to the bonds of Church and state - George Carey, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - The great Tory gay marriage mess

Maude to reduce the size of the civil service by a quarter

"Tens of thousands more civil servants face losing their jobs over the next three years under sweeping reforms which will see the size of Whitehall slashed by a quarter, ministers were told yesterday. Underperforming bureaucrats will be sacked or go unreplaced when they retire under plans to reduce the number of civil servants to around 380,000 by 2015. This is down 25 per cent from the 500,000 employed when the Coalition took over in 2010." - Daily Mail

Chris Skidmore MP says that the case of the foreign patient who fled Britain without paying the NHS his £500,000 cost for treatment is "the tip of the iceberg" - Daily Mail

Britain has no plans for military action against Syria, says Hague

"Britain is not seeking foreign military intervention in Syria,  but is focused on finding a peaceful resolution to the current unrest,  Foreign Secretary William Hague said today. Mr Hague said the situation in the troubled Middle Eastern state is more similar to Bosnia in the 1990s than to Libya last year, when Britain joined an international military operation to protect civilians during the revolution which ousted Muammar Gaddafi." - The Independent

> Yesterday: MPsETC - Rifkind calls for arms embargo to be lifted for Syrian rebels

Winsor attacks police mindset - The Independent 

Major says Murdoch DID tell politicians what to do

John Major 2010"Sir John said that Mr Murdoch had told him at a private dinner in February 1997 that his newspapers would not support him at the general election unless he changed his policy on Europe. “As I recall, he used the word ‘we’ when referring to his newspapers,” Sir John said. “He didn’t make the usual nod to editorial independence.” Mr Murdoch told the inquiry in April he had never “asked a prime minister for anything”." - The Times (£)

  • Major blasts Gordon Brown ‘smears’ - The Sun
  • "He gave a master class in how to be an ex-prime minister. He was gracious, self-deprecating, and generous to his opponents. Oh, he praised himself to the skies as well (economically his government had been the most successful in history and on Black Wednesday we didn't lose billions; it was more like sixpence). But for the most part he was as cuddly as a teddy bear topped with silver fluff." - Simon Hoggart, The Guardian
  • "His appearance was a reminder that, despite that thumping election defeat in 1997, he was skilled in the thrusts and parries of controlled dialectic. A good committee man. A fixer. One of life’s chess players." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Miliband: Break up Murdoch's empire - Daily Express

> Yesterday:

Four thousand members of the armed forces received notices of termination yesterday - The Independent

Louise Mensch: Toxic trolls should have no hiding place

Screen shot 2012-06-13 at 08.20.33"The Government yesterday introduced new laws to encourage websites and internet service providers to surrender the identity of those posting abuse or libel…My troll, Zimmerman, was a repeat offender targeting women. I hope that he uses the suspended sentence to get some therapy, and that the publicity surrounding the case will deter others. Ultimately, the internet is just another form of communication; once that is accepted, including by service providers and social media, trolling will lessen." - Louise Mensch, Daily Telegraph

Grayling claims that up to half of 'jobless' may be working in the black economy as thousands forfeit their handouts - Daily Mail 

Parents' access rights after divorce enshrined in law - The Guardian 

Almost nine out of 10 say they want fewer politicians at Stormont... or none at all - Belfast Telegraph 

PM returns to pub where he forgot daughter - Daily Mail

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