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Newslinks for Friday 7th September 2012

4.45pm ToryDiary: 68% of Tory members think Cameron is getting ready to U-turn on Heathrow third runway

2.45pm WATCH:

1.30pm ToryDiary: The hard truth - Most Ministers are sacked. And Cameron had to fire some

12.30pm Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

12.15pm WATCH: A Golden Oldie - New Health Minister Anna "First Lady of Soap" Soubry presents a 1989 Sons and Daughter Special

Screen shot 2012-09-07 at 08.34.24ToryDiary: Three tasks for Grant Shapps: Tell Cameron the truth; Rethink electoral strategy; Target Lib Dem MPs

Columnist Bruce Anderson gives his view of the reshuffle:

  • Warsi: Dorries in a headscarf
  • David Jones: A good egg
  • Herbert: Diddums
  • Sir George: The Greatest of Great Men
  • Berow: Wretched, snivelling, grovelling, worthless and contemptible
  • Knighthoods: Let them roll!

Chris White MP on Comment: Small charities mustn't lose out from the Chancellor's plans for giving

Local Government: The way to have affordable housing is by freeing the housing market

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: Individualism is not conservative

WATCH: ‪Obama tells voters 'You Were the Change'‬ in his speech to the Democratic convention

Cameron launches home improvements plan amidst "Cabernet reshuffle" women row

"Planning regulations are to be relaxed for home improvements, and developers will be freed from the requirement to build a certain number of affordable homes in any new housing scheme if they can prove the rules are holding projects back. The Treasury will put up £10bn in guarantees for new schemes and, in a coalition deal negotiated over many months, Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, insisted that £300m would be made available to provide an additional 20,000 affordable homes." - Financial Times (£)

 Housing 1: Pickles threatens to strip councils of their planning powers

PICKLES & CAMERON
"Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, has warned he will strip local councils of their planning powers and hand them to a centralised planning inspectorate if they show a record of poor-quality or slow decision making. The threat is designed to force councils living in "an economic la la land" to allow more housebuilding in their areas. The inspectorate would be able to override all agreements between councils and developers to reduce affordable homes, making a development more profitable, and hence more likely to be built." - The Guardian

  • “The Right Honourable Gentleman is a millionaire and an aristocrat,” said Mr Pickles dryly, “so he’s probably not used to measuring land other than in terms of acres. But speaking as a working-class lad who is proud to own a detached house, and whose garden is smaller than the Right Honourable Gentleman’s croquet lawn…” - Michael Deacon features the Communities Secretary's reply to Hillary Benn in his Commons sketch, Daily Telegraph
  • As home change plan is launched, nine year-old boy stares at Cameron with baffled disbelief - Daily Mail

Housing 2: Cockell raises LGA worries about home extension plans

Screen shot 2012-09-07 at 07.25.38"Planning experts also raised concerns about the proposals. Sir Merrick Cockell, Tory chairman of the Local Government Association, said: ‘Any amendments to local planning rules, such as making it easier for residents to make changes to their homes, must ensure councils retain enough powers to maintain and improve the character and integrity of local areas.’ " - Daily Mail

  • We must all become Nimbys to save our countryside from the bulldozer - Anthony Horowitz, Daily Mail
  • An extensions free-for-all? It’ll be war in the suburbs - Clive Aslet, Daily Telegraph
  • Don't blame the countryside for our lack of housing - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • These grand designs won’t solve the problem - Philip Collins, The Times (£)

> Today: Local Government - The way to have affordable housing is by freeing the housing market

> Yesterday: Local Government - Nick Boles - planning can't work: the video

Reshuffle women fallout 1) Did the Prime Minister really "neck plonk" while sacking Cheryl Gillan? Downing Street denies it

"David Cameron has been accused of necking plonk while sacking ministers during his first haphazard reshuffle. Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan was said to have been furious after being ordered to the House of Commons and finding the PM “drinking wine” and “chillaxing”. Downing Street said there may have been booze in the room but insisted Mr Cameron would not have drunk it as it would have been “disrespectful”." - The Sun

Reshuffle women fallout 2) Did the Prime Minister really tell Caroline Spelman (54) that she was too old? Downing Street denies it

SPELMAN Caroline NEW"No 10 aides denied that Mrs Spelman was axed because she was not young enough but refused to be drawn on whether the PM may have made the comments. Asked if he disputed the account of the sacking the Prime Minister's official spokesman replied: "I don't want to get into private conversations that the Prime Minister has had with his ministers over the last few days but the answer to the question (was she sacked because she is too old) is no." - The Independent

Reshuffle women fallout 3) Did the Prime Minister really have "turbulent exchanges" with Justine Greening? Ms Greening's SPAD says she enjoyed running Transport

"Justine Greening suggested that she had little appetite for the job of International Development Secretary during reshuffle conversations with the Prime Minister and his aides on Tuesday…Three sources told The Times that Ms Greening questioned the work of the department and its budget during turbulent exchanges. Ms Greening’s special adviser said yesterday that it was little secret that she had enjoyed running the transport department." - The Times (£)

A reshuffle non-woman fallout: Angry Cameron plans revenge on Boris

"Mr Johnson admitted on Wednesday that Downing Street was “cross” with him, but on Thursday it became clear that Mr Cameron is not going to take the attacks on his leadership lying down. "We will see what happens the next time he comes around with the begging bowl,” said one Downing Street official. “He might need us one day.” The veiled threat suggests Mr Cameron could withhold government support for projects Mr Johnson regards as vital to the capital, unless the mayor tones down his attacks on the government." - Financial Times (£)

Complaints about reshuffle knighthoods.  Bernard Jenkin's Public Administration Committee will discuss the awards next week

JENKIN-BERNARD"This has prompted complaints from across the political spectrum, and will be discussed by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee next week, its chairman, Bernard Jenkin, has told The Times. The issue will be particularly toxic for Mr Clegg since he has spent two and a half years opposing the principle of patronage in his unsuccessful fight to reform the House of Lords. Lib Dem Voice, the leading grassroots website, called the decision “shabby”." - The Times (£)

And penultimately, on the reshuffle...Cameron grappled with writing poem based on A.A.Milne's Furry Bear** for son Elwen - Daily Telegraph

And finally on the reshuffle...Commons debated burial space as Prime Minister sacked Ministers: MP says "It was the night of the living dead in Parliament" - The Sun

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Michael "Jules Winnfield" Fallon and Matthew "Vincent Vega" Hancock make their Commons debut as they escort prisoner Cable to the despatch box...

Screen shot 2012-09-07 at 07.49.05"In the place of these luminaries there have arrived the following: Michael Fallon, Matthew Hancock and Jo Swinson. They sat around Mr Cable at Business Questions yesterday. Vince looked as though he was under house arrest. He is Westminster’s Aung San Suu Kyi. All three newcomers, in one way or another, have been sent to snoop on the troublesome Mr Cable." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

...And it's time for them to "go to work": reports again emerge that the Business Secretary has been texting Miliband

"One report said Mr Cable had texted the Labour leader to congratulate him on his conference speech last year, saying it was ‘one of the best arguments for social democracy made in years’…His spokesman later confirmed the pair had exchanged a number of text messages, saying: ‘Like many Liberal Democrats, Vince has always been willing to talk to politicians of all parties to discuss important areas of public policy." - Daily Mail

What do we want? Predistribution!  When do we want it? Now! Miliband wows voters with exciting new catchphrase

Miliband Ed Open Mouth
"Companies bidding for contracts with Whitehall would have to pay their employees 25 per cent more than the minimum wage, under plans being explored by Labour. Ed Miliband is looking for ways to encourage bosses to pay a “living wage” after warning that a future Labour government would be unable to afford a significant increase in State handouts. The details emerged yesterday as Mr Miliband sought to introduce his big idea for the party conference season: predistribution, or trying to boost pay packets rather than redistributing wealth with tax credits." - The Times (£)

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - How Balls and Miliband are wooing LibDem MPs while stealing their voters

Soames warns Commons: “The Prime Minister has given his word that this Government will bring net migration down to tens of thousands" in e-petition immigration debate

"Rising immigration threatens social chaos for Britain, David Cameron was warned by a leading Tory yesterday, as he was urged to cut the soaring number of new arrivals. “Heads must come out of the sand,” MP Nicholas Soames told the Commons as he declared the UK has been witnessing the greatest wave of immigration in nearly 1,000 years…The issue, he said, was of “fundamental importance to the future of the country”. The Tory grandee spoke out as MPs debated an e-petition on immigration backed by more than 100,000 people." - Daily Express

  • May says border forces will need 'several years' to get up to standard - The Independent

Osborne repeats that an independent Scotland wouldn't be able to keep the pound...

OSBORNE BLUE TIE"In a keynote speech to the Scottish CBI in Glasgow, the Chancellor insisted: "Scotland walks taller and shouts louder as part of the United Kingdom." Mr Osborne also declared the UK economy was healing, basing his assertion on private-sector job creation, increased investment and growing exports. The SNP Government said his claim "beggared belief", given the OECD think-tank slashed its forecast for Britain's annual growth from +0.5% to -0.7%." - Herald Scotland

...As OECD says that UK economy will contract by 0.7% this year

"Britain’s economy is set to contract by 0.7 per cent in 2012, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted on Thursday, becoming the latest institution to bring down its forecasts as the Bank of England left monetary policy on hold. The Paris-based international organisation for developed countries estimates that output would fall by 0.7 per cent in 2012, compared with its previous forecast in May that the economy would expand by 0.5 per cent." - Financial Times (£)

  • Stock markets soar as Draghi repeats ECB Euro plan - The Sun
  • Greeks stage mock hangings in protest at austerity measures - Daily Mail

Claire Perry takes web porn control petition to Downing Street - Daily Mail

Maude-IDS tensions over the universal credit

"Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reform programme faces "lots of challenges" and is not yet ready to work, a senior minister has said. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said that implementing Mr Duncan Smith's plan for a single universal credit for benefits claimants is proving "difficult". There are tensions between Mr Duncan Smith and George Osborne, the Chancellor, over the implementation of the scheme." - Daily Telegraph

Fraser Nelson: Owen Paterson is a right-wing hero who hates wind turbines and is a Cabinet champion of shale gas

PATERSON OWEN NW"Owen Paterson is far from a household name, but the significance of his appointment as Environment Secretary has not been lost on the green lobby groups…It is just as well, then, that Paterson has spent two years at Northern Ireland, learning the art of political combat. For his critics are quite right to detect a shift in policy. According to Downing Street, his mission is to revive the rural economy – and the main species he has been asked to protect is the humans trying to make ends meet." - Daily Telegraph

Knife crime: Four out of every five thugs caught carrying knives to escape jail - Daily Express

Knife crime: Soft justice for knife thugs is totally unacceptable - Daily Express Editorial

MPs expenses claims rise by a quarter - Daily Telegraph

Obama issues rallying cry to voters at Democratic convention - Financial Times (£)

* * "If I were a bear,
      And a big bear too,/
      I shouldn’t much care
      If it froze or snew…"

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