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Newslinks for Tuesday 17th July 2012

Hague6.30pm WATCH: William Hague: "We are determined to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East"

5.45 ToryDiary: The rising SpAd population isn't in itself a bad thing for Britain

3.30pm WATCH: Barack and Michelle Obama caught on "kiss cam" during a basketball game

3pm Paul Goodman on Comment: Rising population isn't in itself a bad thing for Britain

1.30pm WATCH, from yesterday's defence questions: Andrew Robathan MP describes the G4S situation as a "debacle"

11.30am Local government: John Bald on Nick Gibb's mission that Young children should be taught to multiply and divide

Yin10.30am LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's yin and yang politics

ToryDiary: If the Coalition is serious about surviving, then it must think about Europe

Columnist Peter Hoskin: For their own sake, the Conservatives should stop whipping up a Red Scare

Peter Bone MP on Comment: A case for a Conservative Minority Government

Local Government: Cllr John Moss on  The battle for Larkswood

The Deep End: From Blue Labour to Red China: Another argument against Ed Balls

Reaction to David Cameron and Nick Clegg's show of commitment to the Coalition

"Pointing to radical reform of welfare and education, as well as the reduction of Britain's vast deficit by a quarter, the two leaders said they were 'more committed' to coalition now than they were in May 2010. ... They announced plans for a new, slimmed-down Coalition agreement in the autumn. ... The Prime Minister dismissed Tory MPs who have suggested the party would be better off governing as a minority administration without the Lib Dems – insisting that with no Commons majority, it would not be able to carry legislation." - Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Cameron"Most damaging of all is the developing speculation about when the coalition will end, such as indulged in by Graham Brady on Sunday night. Unchecked this will become self-fulfilling and make government impossible, just as it did for Tony Blair's promised "full third term", which eventually lasted only two years." - Guardian editorial
  • "The Conservatives will boost their chances of winning outright next time if they show that they can work with the Lib Dems. It is, ironically, only by proving that that he really is a liberal Conservative willing to reach out beyond his own tribe that Mr Cameron can hope to stand in the Downing Street Rose Garden without Mr Clegg. One moderniser describes calls for a return to a more traditional agenda as the ’Allo ’Allo! approach to politics: shout louder in your own language in the hope that the foreigners will understand. 'We can either be in coalition with Lib Dem MPs or go into coalition with Lib Dem voters,' he says." - Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • "When the beleaguered Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister use an announcement about the railways to show how they are going to kick-start the economy – and incidentally to tell us that they are still good friends – it is clear that ministers see the revitalised rail industry as a key part of Britain’s infrastructure for the 21st century." - Christian Wolmar, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

As Conservative MPs devise ways to make the coalition last

Raab"The only plausible source of a relevant, tangible policy agenda, based on common principles, is the liberal glue that binds large sections of both parties. In practical policy terms, to shore up its erratic communications the coalition should focus on free enterprise, liberty and social mobility." - Dominic Raab, Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday on Tory Diary: Tory Ministers of State form new group to think about implementation of the Coalition's agenda... and winning the next election

George Osborne under pressure after IMF cuts its growth forecast

"The Chancellor suffered a new blow yesterday when the International Monetary Fund slashed its growth forecast for Britain. ... The financial watchdog predicted the UK economy would grow at a minuscule rate of 0.2 per cent this year and just 1.4 per cent next year. ... That is 0.6 percentage points less  for each year than the IMF forecast at its spring meeting in April and underlines the mammoth task ahead for George Osborne as he seeks to fire up the economy." - Daily Mail

  • According to a new Populus poll, only 18 per cent of people think Osborne is doing a good job AND Laboour are seen as the "most competent" party - The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Announcement on windfarm subsidies delayed as Osborne wants deeper cuts

Windfarm"A senior Government source revealed that an announcement on the subsidies, due today, has been delayed until the autumn. ... 'It's all stalled,' the source said. 'George has dug his heels and no agreement has been reached.' Treasury sources last night said Mr Osborne was not insisting on a 25 per cent cut but made it clear that he was not ready to sign of on a drop as low as 10 per cent." - Daily Mail

  • Windfarm pylons will cost every home £88 as part of a plan to link them to the National Grid - Daily Mail

Guardian reports rumour that Elizabeth Truss will replace Michael Gove in a reshuffle, with Gove going to the Home Office

Liz Truss"Rumours abound in Whitehall that Michael Gove is to be moved in a reshuffle widely expected in September. A name whispered to replace him is Elizabeth Truss, the combative backbencher who was once deputy director of Reform thinktank. ... And what of Gove? The rumour is that he is off to the Home Office." - Guardian

  • "There is a real danger that free schools become the sole preserve of those with the resources and capacity to take on such a huge undertaking, such as faith groups or independent schools." - Toby Blume, Guardian

Census 2011: the biggest population rise since records began

"Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that the population of England and Wales grew by 7.1 per cent to 56.1 million, twice the rate recorded in the previous decade. ... More than half the population growth has been driven by immigration, with two thirds of immigrants coming from non-EU countries. " - Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • "The biggest question of all is the age of the British population. A century ago, there were 13,000 people in Britain alive past the age of 90. Now there are 430,000. The median age, which was 25 100 years ago, is now 39. There are more pensioners in Britain than there have ever been and one in six of the nation is over 65 years of age. ... This means that this is a country that needs to work out how to pay the growing price of healthcare." - Times (£) editorial
  • "Today’s shocking statistics underline why immigration is such a hugely important issue for voters. ... David Cameron pledged to slash the numbers. ... He has a mountain to climb to make that happen." - The Sun editorial
  • "The UK’s booming population also reminds us that GDP growth is a misleading indicator – what counts is GDP growth per person. The UK’s recent performance has thus been even poorer than previously thought." - Allister Heath, City AM

Now police and US agents are being used to bolster Olympic security

Sun"The beleaguered leadership of the global security firm G4S is facing intense pressure after it emerged that hundreds of police officers from nine forces across England have been drafted in to fill gaps in Olympic security after staff the company was meant to supply failed to turn up for work. ... The home secretary, Theresa May – who announced last week that 3,500 troops would be drafted in to cover the security shortfall left by G4S – told MPs the firm had repeatedly assured ministers it would overshoot its recruitment targets. Labour raised the prospect that more troops may be needed when the final security figures become clear in the next few days." - Guardian

"US agents are being drafted into London Heathrow and other British airports to bolster security during the London Olympics, it was claimed last night. ... Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers are expected to help US airlines with security during the Games, which start next Friday." - Daily Mail

  • "Athletes began arriving in London for the Olympic Games yesterday — to be greeted by road chaos, a deepening security shambles, bungling bus drivers and pouring rain as Britain’s damp squib summer continued." - The Sun
  • "Olympic security chaos hits headlines around the world" - Guardian
  • "Concern was raised today over the number of soldiers who will miss out on promotion because they had been called up for Olympic duty as part of the Government’s emergency response to the G4S crisis. ... Richard Drax, Conservative MP for South Dorset and a former Coldstream Guard, said that he had been alerted to the problem of troops being forced to take themselves off promotion courses by a serving member of the Armed Forces." - The Times (£)

Comment:

  • Boris"We have just staged a flawless Wimbledon; huge crowds are turning out for the torch relay, whatever the weather, and all enjoying themselves; the parks are heaving with joyous concerts, rain or shine. And even if we are about to enter a little Ice Age, the last ones didn’t seem to impede Britain’s rise to a position of global dominance." - Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • "These Games will not be another Beijing: the Chinese brought the efficiency of autocracy to their Olympics, displacing thousands of residents and bending even the clouds to their whim. They will instead be woven into the fabric of one of the world’s greatest and oldest cities. That may not be a perfect fit, but it is precisely the combination of ancient capital and modern spectacle that will make these Olympics a very special event indeed." - Daily Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday's video: Boris tells BBC Breakfast that military will add tone, style and efficiency to Olympics

National Audit Office: The performance of the UK Border Agency has "dipped" after staff cuts

"The National Audit Office found that the performance of the UK Border Agency and the Border Force has been hampered by faster-than-expected staff reductions. ... In some areas, managers are now having to recruiting new staff to fill gaps created by their own job loss programme, the NAO found." - Daily Telegraph

Nigel Farage challenges David Cameron to a public debate about the EU

Farage"David Cameron has been challenged to publicly debate Britain’s membership of the European Union. ... Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, personally delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street yesterday calling on the Prime Minister to face voters over the issue. ... He added: 'I believe the British people, along with many of your own backbench MPs, want and deserve a straight in/out choice in a referendum. ... I propose a public debate between us where we can put our respective cases forward. My challenge to you is an open and honest one and I hope you will afford me, and the people of this country, a proper say on the matter.'" - Daily Express

  • "Europe's human rights chief triggered outrage last night for demanding that Britain gives prisoners the right to vote" - Daily Express

The final report of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War will be delayed (again)

"The long-awaited official inquiry into the Iraq War will not now report until the second half of next year, it was announced yesterday. ... Yesterday [Sir John Chilcot's] frustrated five-strong team blamed the latest setback on a wrangle with Whitehall over which classified documents can be published alongside its report." - Independent

Ed Miliband launches Labour drive to woo and recruit businesspeople

"Tonight, Ed Miliband, pictured, will launch an appeal for capitalists to come forward and be Labour MPs. He will tell business people at Chartered Accountants' Hall in the City that the party badly needs more MPs with business backgrounds. Anyone showing an interest can apply to join a scheme and have a Labour MP as a mentor. They do not even have to be party members." - Independent

Scottish Cabinet to discuss plans for gay marriage - BBC

> Yesterday on Comment: David Skelton: Equal marriage would be good for gay people, good for the institution of marriage and good for society

Bob Diamond accused of being "less than candid" in his evidence to the Treasury Select Committee over Libor fixing - Daily Telegraph

"The 148 BBC stars avoiding tax" - Daily Mail

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