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Newslinks for Tuesday 14th August 2012

7.15pm WATCH: Zip-wires, Mobots, Terminators and leadership ambition denials - the best of Boris during London 2012

3.45pm MPsETC: Speaker Bercow expresses "sadness" for his "embittered" and "resentful" Parliamentary critics

Hunt Jeremy1pm WATCH: Jeremy Hunt: London 2012 saw "surely the biggest and best Cultural Olympiad ever"

11.15pm Dalibor Rohac on Comment: Europe doesn't need an Alexander Hamilton - it needs leaders who will stand against bailouts

10.30am LeftWatch: Gordon Brown attacks Scottish independence as creating "a race to the bottom" to cut spending and raise taxes

ToryDiary: Relaxation of Sunday trading will upset churchgoers, family campaigners and a good number of Tory MPs

Also on ToryDiary: Tory MPs shouldn't vote for more state funding of party politics

Columnist Peter Hoskin: Paul Ryan has at least tried to educate the American people about their debt challenge

Opperman NorthGuy Opperman MP on Comment: Long-term relationship building, no no-go areas and active grassroots memberships are key to Northern success

Local Government: Sunderland City Council spends £210,000 on flights

The Deep End: Cameronism: The ghost of an idea

WATCH: David Burrowes MP (debating with Russell Brand and Peter Hitchens): The Government will not pay for addicts to get into treatment, it will pay to get them out of it

Senior Tories want Cameron to ease Sunday trading rules

PICKLES ERIC 2009"Plans to let shops stay open for longer on Sundays will be considered by David Cameron, Downing Street said yesterday. Senior Tories are pushing to make permanent the extended Sunday trading hours which were brought in for the Olympics. ... Some ministers, including Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, want to make the extension permanent. They risk a row with some Liberal Democrats, who fear the response of the unions, and MPs on the Tory right, who want to ‘keep Sunday sacred’." - Daily Mail | Daily Telegraph

  • Total deregulation may sound tempting, but Sunday trading law stirs strong emotions - Philip Johnston for the Daily Telegraph
  • London 2012 proved the absurdity of restrictions on Sunday shopping - Mark Wallace for City AM

The Coalition should use free parliamentary time to cut red tape, Tories tell Cameron...

"Tories say free market moves should fill the gap left in the Parliamentary calendar by the decision to abandon reforms to the House the Lords. ... Nadhim Zahawi... said he wanted a more flexible labour market to help business grow. Elizabeth Truss... called for legislation to allow a new four-runway “hub airport” in the South-east and for employment reform to exempt small firms from claims alleging unfair dismissal." - Daily Express

...and backbenchers call for a more Eurosceptic Europe Minister

LIDINGTON DAVID NEW"Senior Conservative backbenchers are pressing David Cameron to appoint a more Eurosceptic Europe Minister in his upcoming reshuffle. The post has been held since the 2010 election by David Lidington – a moderate figure ... [N]ow backbenchers are pressing Mr Cameron to move Mr Lidington in the reshuffle... Some are pressing him to bring back [Mark] Francois or offer the job to Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee." - Independent

  • "[B]ackbenchers fear Foreign Secretary William Hague is no longer as Eurosceptic as he once was. One said: ‘The future of our relationship with Brussels is going to be decided over the next three years. It’s vital we have someone with balls in the role of Europe Minister.’" - Daily Mail
  • Time to stop the EU navel-gazing - Bill Cash MP for the Daily Telegraph

Clegg's boundary change threat 'could cost Conservatives 800 votes per seat at next election'

Clegg Nick welfare system"Nick Clegg's threats to block boundary changes could cost the Conservative party 800 votes per parliamentary seat, new research has revealed. ... New research by leading pollster Peter Kellner has found that if the Lib Dems block the boundary changes it will be 'significantly' harder for the Tories to win the next election. The YouGov President warned that under the current boundaries, the Tories would need a seven point lead in the popular vote." - Daily Mail

> Yesterday on - LeftWatch: By 48% to 19%, Lib Dem members prefer coalition with Labour

Hague and May take charge as Cameron and Clegg go on holiday - Daily Mail

  • "Coalition partners Nick Clegg and Cameron are jetting off (separately) to Spain, while Labour’s Ed Miliband has plumped for Greece." - City AM

Boris, echoing Heseltine, says he "cannot foresee" the circumstances in which he would become leader

Johnson Boris Red Background"Boris Johnson... has said that he “cannot foresee the circumstances” in which he would seek to become leader of the Conservative Party, echoing the words of Michael Heseltine before he launched a challenge to Margaret Thatcher. ... Speaking in an interview with ITV News, he praised the Prime Minister for “doing a wonderful job in tough circumstances”. Asked if he had any ambition to run for the Tory leadership, he said: “In the immortal phrase of Michael Heseltine ‘I cannot foresee the circumstances’.”" - The Times (£) | The Sun

Lord Coe rejects return to frontline politics

Coe seb 2"After delivering what has been hailed at home and abroad as a triumph – one Italian newspaper on Monday called it "the miracle of London" – Lord Coe was short and to the point when he was asked if he fancied a return to frontline politics. "Politics left me in a very big way in 1997," he said." - Guardian

  • Invest in elite sport for grassroots legacy, says Lord Coe - Guardian

Brits say the Olympic Games have boosted Britain

"The first post-London 2012 opinion poll shows a massive 69 per cent say we were right to host them. That’s up from just 53 per cent in the week before the 17-day spectacular started. .... Despite fears about the lasting impact, 88 per cent think the Games were a success — compared to 71 per cent who believed they would be before they started, YouGov found." - The Sun

  • Boris Johnson: We will reap economic rewards for years - Daily Telegraph
  • For the coalition, Olympic cheer will quickly subside - Polly Toynbee for the Guardian
  • Olympic Britain can avoid a post-games crash - Gideon Rachman for the FT (£)
  • Cameron can't count on any gains from the Olympic feel-good factor - Dominic Lawson for the Independent
  • "So the Olympics have been a welcome distraction. But summer's coming to an end boys and girls and it's time for the usual political games to begin again" - Alex Massie for ThinkScotland
  • London’s East End shows limits of the state - Janan Ganesh for the FT (£)

> From yesterday:

G4S proves we can't always rely on private sector, admits Philip Hammond

Hammond Philip on Newsnight"Philip Hammond said the G4S saga had caused him to rethink his scepticism towards the public sector – and made him appreciate there were some things that only state organisations like the Army could be relied upon to do. Mr Hammond's frank admission of the limits of the private sector... will be welcomed by senior military commanders." - Independent

Army says it will take two years to recover from Olympics

ARMED FORCES"The armed forces will take two years to recover from their involvement in the Olympic Games because so many personnel have been deployed at short notice and taken away from normal duties... In an interview with the Guardian, Wing Commander Peter Daulby also warned that critics who wanted a smaller military put the country at risk of not being able to cope with these kind of civil emergencies, or a "national strategic shock"." - Guardian

  • 79% think British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan immediately (31%) or within a year (48%) - YouGov poll via Twitpic

Women get angry too. Let them punch it out - Charlotte Leslie MP for the Times (£)

Coalition plans housebuilding stimulus

LETWIN OLIVER 2"Ministers are preparing to unveil a new package of measures to stimulate the flagging house-building sector next month, in an attempt to help drag Britain out of recession. The plan has been drawn up by Oliver Letwin, the prime minister’s head of policy, along with Grant Shapps, housing minister, and Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury." - FT (£)

Home Office chief joins Whitehall exodus after friction with Theresa May - The Times (£)

  • Dame Helen Ghosh's Home Office exit leaves Whitehall 'maler and paler' - Guardian
  • Summer exodus of mandarins 'has left a leadership vacuum' - Independent

Government hints it may back down over planned rail fare increases in the face of mounting opposition

"Passenger groups and unions are stepping up pressure over train fares with a day of action, as the government hinted it may back down over planned rises that would result in some season tickets costing £1,000 more in 2015 than in 2011. ... The transport secretary, Justine Greening, said she would ask for government money to keep fares down." - Guardian

Climate committee chairman Tim Yeo under pressure over industry links - Daily Telegraph

Andrew Whitaker: Ruth Davidson must step up Scottish Conservative revival to prevent fresh thoughts of party breakaway

Screen shot 2011-09-11 at 16.16.26"She has performed well enough at First Minister’s Questions, without really landing too many punches on Alex Salmond during the weekly political joust at Holyrood. She also seems to have managed to avoid any continuation of the splits that gripped the party during last year’s lengthy leadership election... However, there has been no obvious sign of how and why the Scottish Conservatives would fare any better in Scotland come the next Holyrood and general elections" - Andrew Whitaker for the Scotsman

Team GB shows the strength of the Union, argues Gordon Brown

Brown Wood Background"Gordon Brown entered the battle for the future of Britain yesterday with an ominous warning that devolving full fiscal powers to Scotland would result either in higher taxes or drastic cuts to public spending. Mr Brown also dismissed calls for a so-called devo-max option, but said that he was in favour of some extension of Holyrood’s jurisdiction." - The Times (£)

  • There can be no doubt that Alex Salmond is desperate to avoid a simple yes or no vote on independence - Alan Cochrane for the Daily Telegraph

David Cameron intervenes in Adam Jones Qatar 'kidnap' case - Independent

Nearly half of Britons would vote to leave the EU

EU-FLAG"In the online survey of a representative national sample of 2,004 British adults, 54 per cent of respondents believe that EU membership has been negative for the United Kingdom, while only one third (33%) deem it positive. ... Almost half of respondents (46%) say they would vote against the UK remaining a member of the EU if a referendum on this matter were held tomorrow, while just 29 per cent would vote to keep the UK in the EU."- Angus Reid polling

One in three Lords' staff 'linked to outside firms' - The Herald

Independent police commissioner candidates urge Government to grant them a free mail-shot - BBC

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