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Newslinks for Friday 23rd November 2012

9.30pm ToryDiary: Departmental budgets are coming down: 5) CLG. Pickles wins the golden axe award

9pm WATCH: From those Taiwanese illustrators...David Cameron, gay icon?

8.15pm WATCH: Cameron - Brussels is living in "a parallel universe"

7.45pm ToryDiary: A win for the Prime Minister in Europe

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 17.00.01
5pm ROLLING BLOG ON E.U SUMMIT BREAK-UP: Cameron - "We put down a very clear marker"

4.45pm Local Government: Council byelection result from yesterday

4pm WATCH: Nigel Farage - "The isolation from the global market place is caused by our membership of the single market customs union

2.15pm Departmental budgets are coming down: 4) Education

12.45pm Departmental budgets are coming down: 3) Justice

11.45am: Local Government: Seven out of eight offering to adopt are thwarted

11.30am MPsETC: Almost as many Conservative MPs yesterday supported some prisoners voting as opposed all prisoners voting

11am ToryDiary: Departmental budgets are coming down: 2) Cabinet Office

10am ToryDiary: Departmental budgets are coming down: 1) Law Officers

ToryDiary: Osborne and Davey both claim victory over green power deal. Green groups attack it

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MajorityConservatism: Why does so much of the Right treat cutting spending as light entertainment?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: I am now about to libel Lynton Crosby

Nick Pickles on Comment: A pro-business party of law and order should reject statutory regulation of the press

Also on Comment: Lord Ashcroft - My training day with our unsung heroes: Britain’s courageous bomb disposal experts

Local Government: DCLG leading Whitehall in slashing admin spending

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: If we want lower business taxation then we have to accept higher personal taxation

WATCH: Lord Patten greets Lord Hall, the new BBC Director-General

EU budget summit re-opens at mid-day

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.47.29"European leaders will reconvene at noon today after crunch budget talks broke up last night without agreement, leaving David Cameron still facing a fight to protect Britain’s rebate. Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council President and summit host, called time in the early hours and sent the 27 leaders to bed after barely two hours of discussion at a much delayed dinner. Mr van Rompuy said he was confident that leaders would broker a deal today without the summit stretching into the weekend." - The Times (£)

What Cameron said about the budget in public

"Mr Cameron, who had a half hour meeting with Mr Van Rompuy and Mr Barroso, said: 'These are very important negotiations and clearly, at a time when we're making difficult decisions at home over public spending, it would be quite wrong - it is quite wrong - for there to be proposals for this increased extra spending in the EU. 'So we're going to be negotiating very hard for a good deal for Britain's taxpayers and for Europe's taxpayers, and to keep the British rebate.'" - Daily Mail

  • "Doch weder Merkel noch der französische Staatspräsident François Hollande geben sich damit schon zufrieden - auch vom britischen Premier David Cameron ist massiver Widerstand programmiert." - Bild
  • "Le premier ministre britannique, David Cameron, s'est montré inflexible" - Le Monde

What Cameron said about the budget in private

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.51.13
"Prime Minister David Cameron was involved in a tense clash over the call with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso as a crunch EU budget summit opened. Mr Cameron urged them to cut lavish salaries, pensions and perks for EU civil servants. But he was greeted with a frosty response…Mr Cameron set out specific proposals for cuts worth almost £5billion from the EU’s £45billion annual administration budget." - Daily Express

  • Austerity Europe? Not at the European Union's Brussels HQ - The Guardian

How the Prime Minister will declare victory

  • He wanted an EU budget of €885.6bn
  • Van Rompey wanted a budget of €973.2bn
  • The Prime Minister will declare anything in between as a win - The Guardian

UKIP’s popularity has hit ten per cent for the second day in a row, a poll for The Sun showed - The Sun

> Yesterday:

Grayling tells MPs: We can defy Europe over prisoner votes

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.57.59"The Justice Secretary raised the stakes in the Government’s confrontation with the European Court of Human Rights by suggesting yesterday that Britain could defy a ruling over the right of prisoners to the vote. Chris Grayling told MPs that Parliament was “sovereign” and it was up to them to decide whether or not to accept rulings from Strasbourg. Even if fines were imposed on Britain, MPs could decide not to pay them." - The Times (£)

  • Justice Secretary tells officials to review prisoners' use of legal aid to sue Government over voting - The Sun

Quit the ECHR, says Nick Herbert

HERBERT CLOSE UP"Nick Herbert called for decisive action to ‘end the writ of the European Court’. He said: ‘That would enable Parliament and our own courts to strike a proper balance between rights and responsibilities, with respect for the democratic will. ‘We shouldn’t defy the European Court of Human Rights – we should resign from it altogether.’ Britain is free to walk away from the court, provided it gives six months’ notice." - Daily Mail

Comment:

  • "A bewildering lack of common sense and political nous" - Quentin Letts on Dominic Grieve, Daily Mail
  • "A more impressive and less invertebrate Attorney General than Grieve would now be recommending a radical course of action: that Britain should withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court altogether" - Daily Express Editorial
  • We must give prisoners the vote - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • "The case for pulling out of the Court grows stronger by the month" - Daily Mail Editorial

> Yesterday:

Les Ebdon: Pupils let down by University "snobbery" - Daily Telegraph 

First UK for-profit University approved - Financial Times (£) 

Osborne and Davey agree energy deal.  Bills will go up over the next two decades by an estimated £178 a year.  Contribution to nuclear and renewables will make up £95 by 2020

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.05.30"Under the biggest reforms to the energy market in decades, households and businesses will have to pay £7.6billion a year towards the cost of building “greener” power stations by 2020. This is three times the current level of £2.35 billion per year, as bill-payers are forced to remunerate companies for several new nuclear plants, thousands of wind turbines and potentially “green” fossil fuel stations. Energy bills have more than doubled since 2004 to more than £1,300 a year per household, largely due to rising gas prices." - Daily Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary - Osborne and Davey both claim victory over green power deal. Green groups attack it

Fund launched to help homeless - Financial Times (£) 

First elected Police Commissioner claims her Chief Constable's scalp

"A mother-of-three elected as a new Police and Crime Commissioner has seen off the current chief constable on her first day in the job. Sue Mountstevens, 57, who was elected last week as an independent candidate, told long serving Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port he must reapply for his own job. He refused, and quit on the spot. He is the first of what is expected to be a number of casualties of the new regime in which elected officials take control of the police for the first time." - Daily Mail

Bailed loyalist supergrass now in hiding - Belfast Telegraph 

Opt-out for churches over gay weddings after legal warnings to Ministers

Gay Pride Flag
"Churches will receive an explicit opt-out from having to perform gay weddings amid legal fears that the Government’s plans to equalise marriage laws may fall foul of European human rights legislation. Ministers have decided to override warnings from lawyers that churches would be vulnerable to pressure from the courts and would end up being forced to marry gay couples…Government sources conceded that some legal advice received by Whitehall suggested that churches that said “no” to gay couples risked losing any case taken to the European Court of Human Rights." - The Times (£)

Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell defies resignation calls - Scotsman 

George Young, James Paice, Edward Garnier, Gerald Howarth and Nick Harvey knighthoods put to the sword by Bernard Jenkin and his committee

"MPs have launched a scathing attack on David Cameron for his decision to bypass the honours system and offer “consolation prizes” to ministers sacked in the reshuffle. In a damning report, they say that the move constitutes a “politicisation of the honours system” that “flies in the face of the stated position of the Government”. Bernard Jenkin wrote: “The honours you have announced may well reward ‘exceptional service’, but there is a danger that they will appear to the public to be political ‘consolation prizes’ for the ministers concerned.” - The Times (£)

Labour complains to police over Respect leaflet's 'closet racists' claim - The Guardian

Lords News 1) Lord Freud: welfare claimants 'have a lifestyle' on the state

David Freud"The government's welfare reform minister has suggested lone parents, sickness claimants and other people on benefits are too comfortable not having to work for their income, saying they are able to "have a lifestyle" on the state. In an interview with House Magazine, Lord Freud is reported to have said the benefits system is "dreadful" and discourages poor people from taking the risks he implied they should be willing to bear to change their circumstances." - The Guardian

Lords News 2) Clarke mulls Lords Justice Bill defeats

"In the wake of the changes, Mr Clarke said: “I will look carefully at these amendments which do not immediately seem to me disastrous, but may well need to be modified. "If we do not get the Bill right the result will be that the taxpayer will pay out millions of pounds to people who have not proved their case and may have terrorist connections." A Lib Dem spokesman said: "There are different views and things have to be agreed on both sides. But Liberal Democrats fully expect the Government to accept the majority of these changes and not to seek to reverse them." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Lords News 3) Lord Hall is the BBC's new Director-General

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.21.57"The BBC has appointed Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - as the new Director General of the corporation.  Lord Hall, who is currently chief executive of the Royal Opera House, was head of  BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001. He is expected to start in the role in early March, and the BBC said in the interim period Tim Davie will remain as Acting Director General. The appointment of Lord Hall follows a tumultuous few months for the BBC, which culminated in the resignation of the former" - The Independent

> Today: WATCH - Lord Patten greets Lord Hall, the new BBC Director-General

Lord Justice Leveson news: his report will be published next Thursday

"The Leveson report on press standards will be published next Thursday, it emerged yesterday. The report is expected to include recommendations on regulating newspapers. David Cameron established the process after claims, now disputed, that the News of the World hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone and deleted messages after she disappeared in 2002. The first part of the inquiry into press culture, practices and ethics began in September last year under High Court judge Lord Justice Leveson." - Daily Express

> Today: Nick Pickles on Comment - A pro-business party of law and order should reject statutory regulation of the press

Care homes ‘failing to meet basic standards’ - The Times (£)

Chris Skidmore MP: It's time for new Beveridge Report

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.19.27"A Free Enterprise Group report, A New Beveridge, recommends a return to the principles laid out in the original document. Principles of contribution, personal responsibility and an incentive to find work rather than claim benefits. The report diverges from Beveridge’s original plan, acknowledging the fact that Beveridge never projected spending past 1965. Had he anticipated the significant rises in life expectancy and population, it seems likely that his report might have been more conservative in some areas." - Daily Telegraph

Pickles to councils: restore weekly bin collections - or lose funding

"Today I’m making it absolutely clear that it’s wholly unreasonable to expect Government grants to go, in the long term, to councils that are operating fortnightly bin collections.  That support is designed to provide weekly collections on the grounds of public health. This is a basic service that people expect…councils should be in no doubt that we will change the way this funding works. " - Daily Mail

End of AIDS in sight says UN report as new HIV infections continue to fall - Daily Mail

Nick Hurd: Give 1% of your income to charity

"Nick Hurd, the charities minister, said he gives one per cent of his £98,740-a-year salary to charity and "so much could be done with that money" if everyone did the same. In an interview with Spear's Wealth Management Survey, he said that charitable donations ought to be "a social norm" and giving away one per cent seems "fair and right". Mr Hurd said the culture of giving in Britain ought to be more like the one in America, which gives 2.4 per cent of its national income to charity." - Daily Telegraph

Egypt's Morsi issues constitutional declaration immunising all his decisions to legal challenges - Financial Times (£)

Nadine: I'm working from Australia...

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.29.39
"She insisted she was already back at work, saying: “There’s an office set up in my hotel room.” Defending her move, she said yesterday: “Some of the emails and stuff I’ve seen states I’m not there for my constituents. Well, I worked until the second I left and all through summer recess. I only had four days away when other MPs were abroad for four or five weeks at a time. “I did my surgeries right up until the minute I left. So it’s interesting, some of the flak thrown at me.” - The Sun

...Local Association: We haven't heard from her...

"Budge Wells, deputy chairman of the Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association, last night said he has still to hear from his MP, adding: ‘She has not been in contact with me or anyone else in the association…‘As I understand it she has set up an office in her hotel and says she has gone straight back to work but we have not heard from her….I’m looking forward to having her back in the constituency; we would like to discuss with her the whole matter of what has gone on since she went away." - Daily Mail

...Nadine: Andrew Mitchell is being "clever with words"

"Yesterday she continued to claim she received permission from then-Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell to have a month away in November…Mr Mitchell insisted again yesterday that she neither sought nor was given permission to appear on I’m A Celebrity. But Mrs Dorries accused him of being “clever with words” in a way that “epitomises politicians”. She said: “He is trying to be clever with words and say that he didn’t give me permission for the show." - Daily Express

  • Whips say ball is in Nadine's court, senior Tories say her readmittance to Parliamentary Party is "far from clear" - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

The Independent joins this week's media MP stampede with an investigation into foreign trips

100 mph gales set to batter Britain - Daily Express

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