Newslinks for Wednesday 24th October 2012
7pm MPsETC update: New Conservative Select Committee members elected
3.30pm PMQs videos:
- David Cameron: "No-one should be in any doubt: prisoners are not getting the vote under this Government"
- Ed Miliband: "It's not the ticket that needs upgrading, it's the Chancellor of the Exchequer"
3pm Rory Broomfield on Comment: Eurosceptics aren't merely get-out-ers, but outward-looking globalists
12.30pm Tory Diary Update: Cameron slaps down Grieve at PMQs. Grayling and Cameron must quash votes for prisoners. If they don't, the Commons must do so instead.
11.15am John Glen MP on Comment: Unpaid work would be a practical, restorative, and compassionate means of paying court fines
11am Tory Diary Update Grayling and Cameron must quash votes for prisoners. If they don't, the Commons must do so instead. "Mr Grieve is this morning suggesting that the Government will seek to introduce votes for some prisoners while also saying that the matter is ultimately one for Parliament. But since we already know what the Commons thinks, why introduce an unpopular bill that MPs will vote down anyway - further damaging David Cameron's authority? Downing Street must sort this one out - and fast."
Richard Ashworth MEP on MPsETC: We will continue to resist the EU's call for a bigger budget with steady determination
Iain Anderson on Comment: Five months and five ideas to reshape and bring more purpose and clarity to this Government
Local government: Two Labour councillors in Southampton quit to form rival group
Government preparing to give in to Europe on prisoner voting?
"The government is planning a draft bill introducing limited prisoner voting rights to comply with the European court of human rights, despite fierce opposition from Eurosceptic backbenchers. But embarrassed government ministers are likely to defer the hugely controversial announcement until... after the police commissioner elections on 17 November. One government source said: "No party wants to put this in their 'last week grid' for these elections. The final decision will be made very late." The announcement is still causing friction, with one coalition source saying most of the dispute is now "a blue-on-blue row", within the Conservative party." - Guardian
- "The government is in the final stages of negotiations over a European Court ruling that it must allow prisoners the right to vote, it has confirmed. But government sources denied reports that the coalition was planning to introduce a draft law to allow some prisoners to vote in elections." - BBC
> From yesterday - Christian Guy on Comment: David Cameron's speech yesterday may be the crucial step to making the justice system fit for purpose
Clegg gives Cameron the nod to veto EU budget rise that demands another £12bn from British taxpayers
"The Deputy Prime Minister told the Cabinet it would 'not be appropriate' to allow Brussels a real-terms rise in spending at a time of austerity. But in a move that Downing Street sources described as ‘detached from reality’, the European Commission and the European Parliament both yesterday demanded huge rises in the EU budget. With countries across Europe tightening their belts at home, the Commission asked for a further £7.3billion for the current year, adding £700million to Britain’s bill." - Daily Mail
- Clegg: Economic recovery 'slow and fitful' - BBC
> From today - Richard Ashworth MEP on MPsETC: We will continue to resist the EU's call for a bigger budget with steady determination
> Coverage from yesterday:
- ToryDiary: Unwillingly and unhappily, Cameron is being slowly hauled towards a referendum on EU exit
- WATCH: William Hague: The EU "is part of, but far from all of, the solution to the fundamental challenges we face"
- MPsETC: Cameron hears Tory consternation about European budgets and banking union - and receives grilling on in/out referendum
- Charlotte Leslie MP on Comment: We could save £1billion and 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by ending the dual-seat arrangement of the EU
- Iain Anderson on Comment: Will Britain vote for enhanced co-operation on a Financial Transaction Tax?
Child benefit chaos continues as 24,000 families overseas still receive the payment
"Taxpayers have shelled out more than £36million in child benefit for 40,000 foreign-based children, it emerged last night. The figures emerged as Chancellor George Osborne plans to remove the weekly payment for more than a million middle-class parents. Child benefit was sent to 24,000 families who do not live in Britain, at an estimated cost of £36.6million in one year." - Daily Mail
- Child benefit chaos for divorced couples - Daily Telegraph
Chaotic homes are creating children incapable of learning, says Michael Gove
"Children are arriving at primary school incapable of learning because of their ‘chaotic’ home lives, Michael Gove warned yesterday. Teachers are having to deal with four- and five-year-olds in nappies who are unable to speak in sentences or distinguish between letters and numbers. The Education Secretary said children are being harmed through not being brought up in nurturing families where their brains can develop and where they become socialised." - Daily Mail
- Michael Gove attacks schools' 'low standards' in Labour-led inner cities - Guardian
- "Michael Gove is blasted by one of his ex-ministers today for failing to protect kids who perform on TV. Tim Loughton, who was sacked as Children’s Minister last month, said Mr Gove refused to bring in vital rules." - The Sun
- Gove calls Ed Miliband a "small-c conservative" - Scotsman
> Yesterday on Local government: The local authorities with the worst GCSE results
Nick Herbert: Boris Johnson proves the power of elected police commissioners
"If you live in London you get the Met. If you lived there between 2005 and 2008, you got Ian Blair. And there wasn’t a thing you could do about it. But then along came Boris. With the democratic mandate of a newly elected mayor, he swiftly despatched his police chief. No wonder the victim opposes this policy. And that’s the power of the reform: it puts the people in charge. It makes the police accountable for their actions and, in turn, the elected representatives who supervise the force have their feet held to the fire." - Nick Herbert MP for the Daily Telegraph
- The battle between the Police Federation and the government on police reform rages on - Simon Heffer for the Daily Mail
Jeremy Hunt: I will not tolerate British patients being put at risk
"I want to be absolutely clear that I will not tolerate British patients being put at risk. I have asked the regulator — the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) — and the British Orthopaedic Association to bring forward plans to do more to make sure patients can be confident they will get the highest quality of devices when they need them." - Jeremy Hunt for the Daily Telegraph
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Patients being put at risk by implants scam, says Jeremy Hunt - Daily Telegraph
Lord Heseltine to present "provocative" plan to boost the regions
"Michael Heseltine will next week set out plans to boost growth in Britain’s regions, with a focus on giving business leaders and chambers of commerce more say in setting policy and deciding how money is spent. Those who have worked with Lord Heseltine in preparing the industrial policy review – commissioned by George Osborne... expect the work to be “provocative” with wide-ranging conclusions on Britain’s competitiveness... Heseltine’s refusal to share his conclusions in advance with ministers or senior officials has sent a frisson of concern around Whitehall" - FT (£)
I'll vet every aid deal over £1m, says Justine Greening
"Justine Greening is to examine every aid contract worth more than £1million in a bid to tackle her ministry’s reputation for waste. ... Her intervention will mean a major tightening of the rules – her predecessor Andrew Mitchell took personal control only when contracts cost more than £40million. Deals worth less were handled by junior ministers or even officials." - Daily Mail
- Cut income tax by 2p by using foreign aid cash, says Labour peer - Daily Telegraph
More than half of people who have been claiming incapacity benefit are "fit for work"
"More than half of people claiming Incapacity Benefit have been judged fit for work, ministers said today. Checks carried out to assess people being moved onto a new benefit revealed thousands were able to carry out at least some work. The Department for Work and Pensions said new claims for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) showed that 54 per cent of people assessed could do some work, while 46 per cent were eligible for the benefit." - Daily Mail
Conservatives reluctant to give Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg an equal platform in 2015 election debates
"When Mr Cameron failed to win an overall majority in 2015, some senior Tories argued he had been wrong to demand Britain’s first TV election showdowns. Next time, some Tory advisers may argue that, as Prime Minister, he should not allow Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg an equal platform." - Independent
> From yesterday:
- ToryDiary: No sign that Labour is extending its opinion poll lead BUT the Cameron-Miliband gap is closing
- MPsETC: Lib Dem collapse in Corby should worry every Tory facing a second-placed Labour candidate
The Guardian profiles Tim Montgomerie and ConservativeHome
""I and almost everyone else I know in the party read it at least once a day," said Wind-Cowie. Jesse Norman, Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, said: "Very few younger MPs don't check it." Halfon added: "There are a lot of people in the Commons who say 'we don't look at it' when they look at it 50 times a day." Wind-Cowie, Norman and Halfon are all contributors – few prominent youngish Tories are not – but the site is also respected by bloggers on the left. Sunny Hundal, editor of Liberal Conspiracy, said: "As a political operation I think ConHome sets the benchmark for everyone else."" - Andy Beckett for the Guardian
Olympics set to come in "under" budget - FT (£)
Blame Nixon & Co for today’s deadlocked US - Daniel Finkelstein for the Times (£)
Millions desert Labour because of immigration with 80% of supporters wanting drastic curbs on numbers - Daily Mail
> Yesterday on LeftWatch: 'Majorities of Labour voters hold extremist right-wing views on Europe and immigration'
BBC director general tells MPs Newsnight editor axed Savile inquiry without any undue influence
"The editor of Newsnight, Peter Rippon, was named as the man solely responsible for pulling an investigation into the paedophile activities of the late Jimmy Savile, as the head of the BBC tried to clear the corporation’s name yesterday." - Scotsman
- 'Get a grip Mr Entwistle!' MPs order the Director General during humiliating grilling over Jimmy Savile scandal - Daily Mail
- BBC Trust chairman and Maria Miller exchange strongly-worded letters after George Entwistle's Commons appearance - Guardian
- The Jimmy Savile witch-hunt sets us on a path to paranoia - Sir Simon Jenkins for the Guardian
- It was the culture of neglect that allowed Jimmy Savile to flourish - Mary Riddell for the Daily Telegraph
- The BBC can’t be trusted to uncover the truth - Daily Mail editorial
Alex Salmond on brink of losing majority - Daily Telegraph
Welsh government budget likely to win borrowing powers - BBC
Civil servants could strike over new work conditions - Times (£)
More "green-on-blue" attacks expected in Afghanistan - Daily Telegraph
Despite the cuts and increases to contributions, you're still better off with a public sector pension - Daily Mail
> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.