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Newslinks for Saturday 8th September 2012

11.30am ToryDiary: Tory members give their overall verdict on the reshuffle

SoubryClarkeToryDiary: The new Ken Clarke? The new Health Minister, Anna Soubry, certainly gets off to controversial start by backing a right-to-die

Mark Pawsey MP on Comment: To benefit from planning changes, the powers of external bodies need to be curtailed

Local government: 130 more sponsored academies opened this month

WATCH: Could Boris become PM? The Daily Politics does some vox pops

Justine Greening wants to do 'more for less' with international aid budget

Greening long

"Miss Greening is understood to harbour doubts about the Prime Minister’s pledge to increase foreign aid by 34 per cent to more than £12billion, even as domestic spending is slashed." - Daily Mail

  • Daily Mail leader: "Miss Greening is an aid sceptic – believing the country has a duty to achieve more from its aid budget while spending less. There is every reason to hope she will recognise the madness of the plan to enshrine in law Mr Cameron’s aid commitment and kill the idea stone dead."
  • Express leader: "Ms Greening was moved to the aid portfolio primarily to get her out of the Department for Transport because of her opposition to a third runway at Heathrow Airport. But if someone who puts the national interest above political vanity has taken the reins at the Department for International Development then the British public will breathe a huge sigh of relief."
  • The Sun Says: "Downing Street is flying in the face of public opinion by setting in stone an annual aid handout of £12billion. We are not a mean country. We have a proud history of generosity to the suffering. But when Brits are struggling so badly at home, why are we sending fortunes to booming nations like India — rich enough to have its own space industry? It is arrogance for No10 to ignore the views of the nation."

...but the FT (£) pours cold water on the idea of a change to policy: "Downing Street has insisted it will stand by its commitment to raise international aid to 0.7 per cent of British output by next year, despite concerns that the new development secretary could back away from the policy."

Former Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan says her 'claws' are out over David Cameron's HS2 plans

GILLAN-CHERYL"Mrs Gillan also criticised Mr Cameron for now appointing three transport secretaries in two years, after chief whip Patrick McLoughlin replaced her this week. Mrs Gillan said the lack of continuity in the role was “terrible” but added she has already asked Mr McLoughlin, former Chief Whip, to scrap the project altogether." - Telegraph

  • The Independent predicts that Cheryl Gillan and Nick Herbert may cause trouble for David Cameron.

Newly-promoted health minister Anna Soubry has criticised UK rules on assisted suicide as "ridiculous", adding that legislation needs to "evolve"

Soubry Anna Twitter"She said it was "appalling" that the terminally ill who needed help to end their lives had to go abroad. "I think it's ridiculous and appalling that people have to go abroad to end their life instead of being able to end their life at home. The rules that we have about who we don't prosecute allow things to happen but there's a good argument that we should be a bit more honest about it."" - Sky News | BBC

> Read the original remarks from Ms Soubry in The Times (£).

The newspaper describes Anna Soubry as the new Ken Clarke: "The Conservative MP from Nottingham is a state-school-educated, clever barrister who loves cricket, beer and shoes. She’s straight-talking — “I hate bullshit: if you don’t know the answer, fess up,” she says. With a raucous laugh, a ballsy attitude and a wicked sense of humour, she seems normal. In Parliament, she is part of the girls’ gang but she is also welcomed by the boys."

> Today's ToryDiary on Ms Soubry.

New planning minister Nick Boles grew up in glorious countryside... but won't say green belt is sacrosanct - Daily Mail

New Culture Secretary Maria Miller to meet suspicious gay rights groups - Independent

Screen Shot 2012-09-08 at 08.35.29Ben Wallace MP is The Sun's hero of the week for turning down Whip job

The Sun salutes the backbench Tory who proclaimed: “I don’t want to spend the next three years ratting on my mates.” It writes: "Ben put his Parliamentary friends – as well as the constituents he is now free to speak out for – before his own aggrandisement. For that he is our hero of the week."

  • "Dominic Raab, Rob Wilson and Ben Wallace have no wish to be remembered for forcing colleagues to support mushy Lib Dem-inspired policies in the division lobbies." - Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

A lurch to the Right?

Screen Shot 2012-09-08 at 08.36.27"The atmosphere in some Whitehall departments has already changed after right-wing Tories were installed to change policy (Owen Paterson at Environment, Chris Grayling at Justice) or rein in Liberal Democrats (Michael Fallon to "mind" Vince Cable at Business and John Hayes to squash Ed Davey at Energy and Climate Change)." - Andrew Grice in The Independent

Matthew Parris, in The Times (£) noting promotions for Owen Paterson and Chris Grayling, warns you can never "reach a settlement with the Right".

Other reaction to the reshuffle:

  • Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail welcomes the promotions of Owen Paterson and Liz Truss but sees too many cronies on Cameron's ministerial benches.
  • On education, drugs and foreign policy, Cameron made bad appointments in the Culture Wars - Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail
  • "Of the 121 government posts – ministers and whips – just 23 are now held by women.  That’s only 19 per cent, well short of the 33 per cent target... Sixteen male Tory MPs got new jobs, and just six women Conservative MPs, a rate of just over 27 per cent." - Michael Crick for Channel 4
  • "Calculations by The Daily Telegraph suggest the pay outs to ministers will total £249,027 – excluding payments to special advisers who have lost jobs with their ministers."

HUNT JEREMY NWJeremy Hunt becomes third cabinet member to be booed by the Paralympic crowd - Daily Mail

Google blacklists websites run by family of Grant Shapps - The Guardian

Has the €uro really been saved? John Redwood isn't as hopeful as the BBC.

The Conservatives need something more than an economic message - Janan Ganesh in the FT (£)

Patrick O'Flynn: Much more needs to be done about immigration

"The coalition may be nibbling away at the massively excessive total of net immigration of more than 200,000 a year. But its measures are not remotely equal to the size of the task." - Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

No bacon rolls at the all-vegetarian Green Party Conference - Chris Mason for the BBC

Party conferences have become outmoded, says Westminster review - Guardian

Teachers vote to strike over 'erosion of pay and working conditions' "The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said its ballot of members had shown that 82.5 per cent were in favour of walkouts, with a turnout of 27 per cent. Members also voted for industrial action short of strikes, with 91.6 per cent in favour, the union said." - Daily Mail

Jonathan Freedland on lessons from Bill Clinton's speech

Clinton Bill"Clinton is uniquely skilled at formulating an election in the terms that suit him and his party, all the while sounding fair and reasonable. This is not about phrase-making. The analysis comes first; the language follows. On Wednesday the former president framed the coming contest not as a referendum on Obama – which Obama would lose – nor as a question of whether Americans are better off now than four years ago, but as a choice between a "winner-take-all society" and one of "shared prosperity and shared responsibility"." - Jonathan Freedland for The Guardian

The law is on the side of homeowners who are faced with an intruder, but it doesn't always feel that way - Graeme Archer in The Telegraph

Hilton Steve BackAnd finally... Is Steve Hilton on his way back?

"The Prime Minister hopes Mr Hilton will come back to help write his speech for the Tory conference in Birmingham next month — though a source close to Mr Cameron said: “We won’t know Steve’s really coming back until he’s actually here.” - The Sun

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