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Newslinks for Monday 16th July 2012

5pm ToryDiary: Tory Ministers of State form new group to think about implementation of the Coalition's agenda... and winning the next election

11.45am ToryDiary: George Osborne is NOT the problem, and he shouldn't be reshuffled

10.15am WATCH: Boris tells BBC Breakfast that military will add tone, style and efficiency to Olympics

9.30am Penny Mordaunt MP on Comment: The Deputy Chief Whip did make me cry... but months ago and because of an act of kindness

ToryDiary: Any Liberal Democrat Minister who votes against the boundary review must be fired

3 party rosettes

Paul Goodman on Conservative Majority: The most natural coalition in British politics is between the Liberal Democrats and...Labour

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Labour's mid-term lead, in the middle of an economic crisis, should be bigger

GAY same-sex-wedding-cakeDavid Skelton on Comment: Equal marriage would be good for gay people, good for the institution of marriage and good for society

Thom Wiseman on Local government: Labour-run York plans 20mph speed limit

The Deep End: Labour’s ‘Viagra economics’ is doomed to flop

International: New Zealand's John Key sets out his practical conservatism, emphasising family, school and work

Cameron and Clegg will announce “the biggest investment in Britain’s railways since the Victorian era” of £9 billion

"Known as the High Level Output Specification, the latest industry five-year plans is intended to help end the north-south divide. Much of the investment, covering 2014-19, is aimed at the North with a series of projects known as the Northern Hub that will cut journey times between cities such as Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle." - Telegraph

"David Cameron and Nick Clegg will this week attempt to heal coalition fractures following the acrimony over Lords reform with a package of infrastructure investments designed to boost growth and refocus attention on both parties’ efforts to repair the economy." - FT (£)

  • "By 2014 passengers will cover 75 per cent of the costs, compared to about 50 per cent two years ago" - Express
  • "Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said the investment would not come on stream until after the next general election, when the railways needed improvements now. Bob Crow, general secretary of transport union the RMT, said: "What we need is investment in rail today not yet another political promise of jam tomorrow."" - BBC

Immigration Minister Damian Green has said that the UK Border Force would be in full "Olympic mode" as of yesterday - BBC

"Jeremy Hunt sparked fresh fury yesterday by branding the G4S security shambles “completely normal”. The Culture Secretary said some contractors would always fall short on a project the size of the Olympics." - The Sun

> Yesterday's video: Jeremy Hunt: I hope I still have a Cabinet career - but I am focused on the "fantastic" Olympics for the moment

David Willetts unveils open publishing of academic papers

Screen Shot 2012-07-16 at 07.51.37
- Guardian

Treasury refuses to answer questions from Tim Yeo's Energy and Climate Change Committee - Guardian

Brady Graham 470Graham Brady suggests Coalition partners should have a “moment of separation” well before the election in order to set out distinct policies to voters - Telegraph

"We should never lose sight of the real reason Nick Clegg produced his ramshackle plans for a reformed Upper House in the first place. It was a shameless attempt to ensure that his party, the also-rans of British politics, who on just four occasions since the last war have secured more than a 20 per cent share of the popular vote in a general election, would enjoy a king-making role in perpetuity." - Telegraph leader

In contrast, The Independent concludes: "The Liberal Democrats have fulfilled their side of the Rose Garden bargain. The ball is now in Mr Cameron's court."

  • Conservative MPs who opposed Lords reform will face consequences, says Liberal Democrat minister Lynne Featherstone - Telegraph
  • Forget Lords reform and boundary changes; Tories and Liberal Democrats are most likely to fall out over their spending plans - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Lib Dems may only contribute a sixth of the Coalition's MPs but they account for 100% of the Government's majority

Osborne-Headshot3Trevor Kavanagh: Cameron is finished if he doesn't move George Osborne

"It is Mr Osborne, not Nick Clegg’s Lib Dem rabble, who is to blame for the Government’s collapse in public esteem... In a few short weeks, Mr Osborne has shredded his reputation and turned the Coalition into a lame duck administration. It takes a special talent to cast Mr Balls on the right side of an economic argument but Mr Osborne somehow managed to do so. If the Prime Minister cannot grasp this nettle, he is finished. A job swap with William Hague is the solution." - Trevor Kavanagh for The Sun

“This suggestion is ridiculous, it could not be more misinformed. It is completely wrong” - Source close to Osborne dismisses the speculation in The Express

  • Rosa Prince lists what appears to be all resuffle rumours in one blog for The Telegraph
  • The Independent profiles Nick Herbert, one of the candidates for promotion.

The Sun suggests four Whitehall departments might be scrapped

"Jeremy Hunt’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport is being considered for the chop under cost-cutting measures... Savings could also be made by merging the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Offices now each has more devolved powers. The Department for International Development could also have its duties returned to the Foreign Office." - The Sun

Duncan Smith September 2011Benefits cap already pushing thousands of jobless back into work, says Duncan Smith - Daily Mail

Iain Duncan Smith writing in the Daily Mail (bottom of page): "We are already seeing cases of people moving into work, and many others are seeking out the targeted support available to move into employment – all this some eight months before the cap is even introduced. We are witnessing a shift in behaviour as many are finally beginning to realise that a life on welfare is no longer an option."

Daily Mail leader: "The former Tory leader has made a hugely impressive start. For all our sakes, he must stick doggedly to the task – however loud his hand-wringing opponents squeal."

UIS budget crisis could force second U-turn on aircraft carrier - The Sun

All conservative politics pivot on a fundamental commitment – defence of privilege and inequality - Ed Rooksby for The Guardian

Labour launches drive to recruit more working class MPs

"The Labour Party will try to rediscover its roots by launching a search to find a new generation of working-class MPs. The party, once synonymous with flat caps and mining, is to begin a drive to find and mentor people from lower-paid jobs amid concerns that too many MPs have backgrounds as political researchers or special advisers." - Times (£)

> ConservativeMajority: Recruit more northern candidates

Meanwhile... Tony Blair's 28-year-old son Euan also preparing to become MP - Daily Mail

Unidentified immigration may mean UK population is 77 million, not 60 million

"According to the Conservative MP Greg Hands, a leading figure at the TESCO supermarket chain said in 2008 that “they estimate the population of the UK to be closer to 80 million, based on the volume of certain staples that they sell.” This is backed up a major, non-commercial agricultural institution which reckoned that there are 77 million people currently in the UK, this figure again based on how much we eat. Such estimates make sense." - Leo McKinstry in The Express

The Scottish Government has defended its stance over the independence referendum after a former SNP leader branded it defeatist - The Herald

The head of Scotland’s Catholic Church has ­demanded a referendum on same-sex marriage - Scotsman | The Herald

Montgomerie Tim Politics ShowTim Montgomerie on the value of more experienced politicians

"US politics is often ahead of the curve. A defeat for Mr Obama might not just signal the era of Romney, but also the era of politicians who look a lot more like Philip Hammond, Alistair Darling and Angela Merkel. Less celebrity and more competence. Less inspiration and more implementation. Less big personality and more big plan. A period of grey power. I hope so." - Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)

And finally... Boris refuses to be intimidated by the weather

"Blow, winds and crack your cheeks. Blow, you cataracts and hurricanoes, spout till you have drenched our country yet again. We don’t give a monkey’s. We like a spot of precipitation. It intensifies the pleasure of the sun. Made us what we are. And by the way, it still rains more in Rome than it does in London." - Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

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