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Newslinks for Saturday 17th November 2012

9.15pm ToryDiary: The Government prepares a compromise to stop Europe giving prisoners the vote

8pm ToryDiary: Lynton Crosby set to become Cameron's chief consultant

ConHome-David-Cameron7.30pm ToryDiary: A quarter of Tory voters would be open to voting for UKIP

2.30pm WATCH: Theresa May: "I'm confident that the turnout at the next election will be greater" when people see what PCCs do

10.15am WATCH: Louise Mensch: "I think a swing of 12%... represents a very respectable result" for the Conservatives in Corby

ToryDiary: Despite the low turnout, David Cameron says PCCs will have more legitimacy than their unelected predecessors. He's right.

Baron JohnJohn Baron MP on Comment: Now is the time to talk to the Taliban - some of them, anyway

Also on Comment - Lord Ashcroft: Corby - A bad result for the Conservatives, but we must keep it in perspective

LeftWatch: Introducing Labour's three new MPs

John Bald on Local Government: Are Guardian readers coming round to Michael Gove?

WATCH: Ed Miliband: "Middle England is turning away from David Cameron and the Conservatives"

Labour get 12% swing in bellweather Corby by-election

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 16.19.07"Andy Sawford overturned a Tory majority of 1,951 to win Corby by a margin of 7,791. Labour took a total of 17,267 votes. Christine Emmett, the Tory candidate, came second on 9,476. Labour secured a swing from the Tories of 12.67%. ... Within an hour of Labour's victory in Corby, which has been held by every governing party for 30 years, Miliband strode into a picturesque village to declare that Middle England is abandoning the Tories." - Guardian

  • "People in Corby were understandably angry at my resignation mid-term to be with my family. I had very little choice in the matter, but nonetheless, I regret profoundly that I was unable to see out my term as I had wished." - Louise Mensch for the Times (£)

> From today:

> Yesterday on ToryDiary:

Tories win plurality of PCC seats...

"The final result was declared just after midnight, with Conservative candidate Tony Hogg winning the election in Devon and Cornwall. In total, the Conservatives won 16 commissioner posts, Labour 13 and independents 12." - Belfast Telegraph

  • Full PCC results - BBC

> Today on ToryDiaryDespite the low turnout, David Cameron says PCCs will have more legitimacy than their unelected predecessors. He's right.

...Prescott is Labour's big loser...

A72m6qnCEAAaO3C"John Prescott’s political career came to a humiliating end last night when he lost his bid to be elected as a Police and Crime Commissioner. Voters in Humberside rejected the former deputy prime minister, Labour’s most high-profile candidate, and elected a little-known Tory instead. Lord Prescott was the most significant casualty on a day of political bloodbaths for the three major parties, which saw voter turnout at record lows." - Daily Mail

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryRejoice! Rejoice! PRESCOTT LOSES IN HUMBERSIDE. 2001: He punches man. 2012: Humberside punches him

...as independents surprise party candidates in a number of seats...

"Twelve independents stunned the parties by winning elections. A former policeman Ian Johnston triumphed in Labour-loyal Gwent, where he was an officer for 33 years, while a former detective Martyn Underhill won in the Conservative stronghold of Dorset. Independents were also returned in North Wales, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, West Mercia, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire and Gloucestershire  and Avon and Somerset." - Independent

...and UKIP claim to be the new third party...

UKIP"Nigel Farage boasted that his anti-Brussels party is the “third force in British politics” after beating the Lib Dems to third place in the Corby by-election with 5,108 votes – a claim that should be sprinkled with a generous pinch of salt. The strong showing for Ukip, the UK Independence party, on Thursday is unlikely to lead to a major reappraisal of the party’s chances of governing Britain; it won just 3.5 per cent of the vote in the general election and controls just one town in the UK – Ramsey in Cambridgeshire." - FT (£)

...but across England and Wales, low turnout prevails

BALLOT BOX 1"Many of the powerful police and crime commissioners (PCCs) for the 41 forces across England and Wales outside London were elected by only 7% of those eligible to vote, with turnout averaging 15% – below the previous 24% low recorded in the 1999 European elections. At one polling station, in Newport, Gwent, no voters turned up at all on Thursday." - Guardian

  • Until voters feel involved, localism is a lost cause - Daily Telegraph editorial
  • Apathy that shames a remote political elite - Daily Mail editorial
  • This week's elections expose the collapse of the public's trust in our institutions - Dominic Sandbrook for the Daily Mail
  • Low votes in the police commissioner elections mean a good idea has made a bad start. But turnout isn’t the ultimate test - Times (£) editorial

Liberal Democrat wins PCC election … by standing as an independent - Guardian

  • Lib Dems seek two recounts in Corby to try to save deposit - Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore: Despite the fiasco of the low turnout, the public have at last got power over the police

MOORE"It is perfectly true that the low turnout is embarrassing for the Conservatives, who devised these reforms. The party invented the policy even before it was led by David Cameron. PCCs featured in its manifesto for the general election of 2005. ... For the first time in British history, it is now possible to fire a chief constable for failing to reduce crime. Naturally, the chief constables are not pleased. Naturally, they found ways of making their displeasure known to a bemused public. So did plenty of Tory councillors who had sat on the old, rejected police authorities." - Charles Moore for the Daily Telegraph

  • Our parties must rid themselves of this stench of nepotism - John Harris for the Guardian

Put children before parents, says Michael Gove

Gove IDCC

"Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, signalled a major expansion in the care system accusing social workers of being too afraid to step in to take children away from their parents. In a speech that he said he hoped would trigger an angry reaction, he accused the courts of giving the rights of biological parents too much weight and warned that the “fear of offending adults” was being placed over the needs of children." - Daily Telegraph

  • Seven-year-olds to get lessons in Greek and Latin under reforms to introduce compulsory language classes - Daily Mail
> From today - John Bald on Local Government: Are Guardian readers coming round to Michael Gove?

Patrick McLoughlin full of praise for high-speed rail

McLOUGHLIN PATRICK"As he points out, Lille was once a city in decline, following the demise of its coal and textile industries, but it has been given a new lease of life by becoming a hub for the French TGV network and Eurostar. “Lille was originally a mining area that was a bit run down. High-speed rail has reinvigorated the place. The station isn’t directly in the middle of the city but has extended it. I think the station is very much part of the city and has had a dramatic impact on Lille as an area.”" - Daily Telegraph interview

  • Young drivers could be banned from carrying non-family passengers - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on Local GovernmentMcLoughlin's call to end clutter

Cameron to ensure parents are led through a filter process on all new computers to tackle online pornography

"David Cameron is to toughen up controls on internet pornography to protect children. In future, anyone buying a new computer or signing up with a new internet service provider will be asked whether they have children when they log on for the first time. Those answering ‘yes’ will automatically be taken through the process of installing anti-pornography filters and a series of questions about how stringent they want restrictions to be." - Daily Mail

Justine Greening pulls plug on aid to Uganda over fraud concerns

Greening Justine parliament"Britain last night froze direct aid to the Ugandan government amid growing evidence of a multi-million pound fraud. Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, halted the transfer of the final £11million of £27million routed to the office of prime minister Patrick Amama Mbabazi. ... [L]ast night there was growing speculation at just how much of the £16milion already transferred has been siphoned off." - Daily Mail

Cabinet split over cheap alcohol pricing

"Education Secretary Michael Gove and Commons leader Andrew Lansley are among ministers who have voiced concerns, believing that the move will do little to stop drunken mayhem in town centres. Critics also say the plans could be illegal under EU competition laws." - The Sun

Lawyers say Clarke's justice bill smacks of repressive and undemocratic regimes

CLARKE KEN ON ITN"Secret trials and withholding evidence are reminiscent of "repressive regimes and undemocratic societies", the legal profession warns in a letter opposing the government's justice and security bill. Ken Clarke's plans will erode core principles of justice and "fatally undermine the courtroom as an independent and objective forum", according to the organisations representing solicitors and barristers." - Guardian

  • "A last-minute amendment to the Justice and Security Bill, which comes before the Lords for a vote on Monday, scales down the scope of the new powers." - Times (£)

Green Deal "in tatters" as no-one registers - Daily Telegraph

Don’t use marriage as a "political football", Archbishop tells George Osborne

"The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, questioned claims from the Chancellor that same-sex marriage would be a vote winner for the Tories, insisting that he detected “deep unease” over the issue." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on The Deep End: Heresy of the week: Catholicism is the future of conservatism

Tory MP Kris Hopkins says "gangs of Muslim men are going round and raping white kids"

Hopkins Kris"A Tory MP has sparked controversy after claiming "gangs of Muslim men are going round and raping white kids at this moment in time". Kris Hopkins, MP for Keighley, said the extraordinary claim was a "fact" and urged government agencies to tackle the problem. ... Mr Hopkins, a former leader of Bradford city council, also claimed Muslim men were ‘fundamentally’ sexist towards women, and politicians had to challenge behaviour and culture." - Daily Mail

Minister in cash row keeps £27,000 profit from sale of second home

"A Treasury minister who said it was “morally wrong” to pay tradesmen cash-in-hand is keeping thousands of pounds from the sale of his taxpayer-funded second home. David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, made £67,000 in profit from the sale of his London flat, but under parliamentary rules is not required to return all the profit he made to the expenses watchdog." - Daily Telegraph

Andrew Grice: Patten should defy his Tory foes and stay as chairman

Patten"Lord Patten hasn't covered himself with glory in the crisis. "He has looked a bit off the pace," one of his remaining friends at Westminster told me. But after the loss of the director-general, David Cameron's instincts that he should remain at the BBC helm are surely right. Lord Patten was a good minister and European Commissioner. He now needs to be a good BBC Trust chairman; ministers are said to detect signs that he knows what needs to be done." - Andrew Grice for the Independent

Nadine Dorries v Louise Mensch: it’s a war for the Tory soul - Matthew Norman for the Daily Telegraph

Prepare for work or lose your benefits, long-term sick are told - Daily Telegraph

Cutting down trees is such a fuelish notion - Matt Ridley for the Times (£)

Israel air strikes hit Hamas HQ - BBC

> From yesterday:

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