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Newslinks for Sunday 18th November 2012

7.30pm ToryDiary: Previewing a week long ConHome series - The Wrong Right - Tim Montgomerie lists ten of his conservative beliefs

6pm WATCH: Barack Obama: We are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself

David Davis2pm WATCH: David Davis details his two-stage proposal for an EU referendum

12.30pm Local government: Byelection gain secures Conservatives overall control of Waveney District Council

11.45am ToryDiary: George Osborne should arm wrestle David Cameron into considering a deal over council tax bands

LC

On ToryDiary, from yesterday evening:

Paul Uppal MP on Comment: In Jerusalem, I hear air raid sirens go off - evidence of the escalating struggle between Israel and Hamas 

LeftWatch: Ed Miliband attempts to worsen David Cameron’s EU headache — but also gives the PM a painkiller

Cllr Sam Chapman on Local Government: PCC results shows the Conservatives need better candidate selection

Lynton Crosby has been hired by the Tories for 2015...

“Lynton Crosby, known for his political street-fighting skills, is set to start work at the party’s headquarters early next year…. It is understood Mr Crosby will initially work on a part-time basis and move on to full-time work when the election, set for May 2015, gets closer. … A senior Tory source said: ‘The final details are being worked out, but the Prime Minister wants this to happen and we’re confident it will.’” - Sunday Telegraph

  • “Crosby has promised to stick to the PM’s new narrative and will doubtless bring discipline to the Tory battle plan. But everyone will be watching to see if he changes the message too. Cameron can neglect neither his centrist wing nor the UKIP-friendly wing.” – Martin Ivens, Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Lynton Crosby set to become Cameron's chief consultant

...and accused of a "racist rant" in the Mail on Sunday

MoS“According to a source, Mr Crosby said Mr Johnson should concentrate on traditional Tory voters instead of ‘f****** Muslims’. The source added: ‘He definitely used that phrase’ and said: ‘Lynton’s view was that chasing the Muslim vote and other ethnic groups was a waste of time –  and he frequently expressed himself in very strong terms. Some people found it very offensive.’ … In a statement last night a spokesman for Mr Crosby said he had ‘absolutely no recollection’ of using the term.” – Mail on Sunday

The Government gives MPs the chance to block “votes for prisoners” 

“The Ministry of Justice will publish a draft Bill on Thursday which will outline a 'series of options' for MPs to vote on to bring an end to the long-running saga, The Sunday Telegraph has learned. … One of these options will be to keep the present system which sees virtually all prisoners prevented from voting, a move which all but ensures Parliament will give new legal status to the current regime by a massive majority.” – Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The Government prepares a compromise to stop Europe giving prisoners the vote

Is George Osborne prepared to concede a "backdoor mansion tax" to Nick Clegg?

Osborne_with_bberry“The Chancellor is ready to give in to Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg’s demands for new council tax bands on homes worth more than £1 million – in return for freezing welfare benefits. … But in a damaging Coalition split, David Cameron is resisting the move, fearing he will be accused of another U-turn and of hammering Tory voters in Middle England. … The Prime Minister is backed by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who is in charge of council tax. He has destroyed computer records of council tax valuations in a ‘scorched earth’ bid to sabotage the plan.” – Mail on Sunday

  • A Treasury aide has been charged over a 1am bar brawl - The Sun

The Government's "reassessment exercise" is finding that thousands of the "long term sick" are fit for work

“According to the latest figures, among 431,100 claimants whose claims were fully assessed between October 2010 and February 2012 some 145,000, more than one in three, were classed as “fit for work.” Of these, 39,500 had been on incapacity benefit for more than a decade, including 12,400 who had been on the payments for more than 15 years.” – Sunday Telegraph

Chris Grayling to announce a review of youth custody, after figures suggest it costs six times more to lock up young offenders than send them to Eton

Grayling“Mr Grayling told The Sun: ‘It’s no use locking them up if we don’t do something to rehabilitate them and put them on the right path to living a decent, honest life. Many of these youngsters can’t read and write — which is partly the reason why the end up in trouble. … At this price, we would expect — and will be demanding — much better results.’” – The Sun

The wife of an SAS sergeant jailed for possessing a "war trophy" has appealed for David Cameron's help - Sunday Telegraph

Helen Grant caught up in an expenses row

Equalities Minister Helen Grant lives in a £1.8 million family house in Reigate, Surrey, which Commons authorities say is too close to Westminster to qualify for the controversial second-home allowance. … But Mrs Grant is claiming the maximum amount to cover rent on a London flat because her Maidstone constituency, which is more than 40 miles from the family home, is outside the expenses ‘exclusion zone’. … A spokeswoman for Mrs Grant said: ‘Mrs Grant’s constituency has been deemed by IPSA to be a non-London constituency and she is therefore fully entitled to use her rental accommodation allowance either in London or in the constituency.’” – Mail on Sunday

Michael Gove was heckled by teachers at an event yesterday - Independent on Sunday

David Davis attacks the Government's "secret justice" plans, ahead of a Lords debate tomorrow

David Davis“State secrecy should be used to protect real secrets essential to national security, not to cover up crimes committed by agencies of the State. Instead, the current Government has decided to try to gag the courts. Under a new Justice and Security Bill, it is proposing to give the power to Ministers to decide which evidence cannot be heard in court, even when the case is against that same Minister!” – Mail on Sunday

A quarter of Tory voters are considering backing UKIP at the next election, according to poll - Independent on Sunday

  • “According to the polls, ten per cent of the electorate are now behind UKIP and if Cameron’s going to beat Ed Miliband in 2015 he needs to start wooing them. … That means a cast-iron commitment to an in/out EU referendum and an electoral pact whereby Nigel Farage is guaranteed a seat in the next Parliament — and a place at the Cabinet table — in return for UKIP standing down in every constituency where the Tories have a chance of winning.” – Toby Young, The Sun

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: A quarter of Tory voters would be open to voting for UKIP

An Observer poll finds that 56 per cent of Britons would vote to quit the EU - The Observer

  • Eu"With Gove, such a close ally in the Cabinet, saying that Britain has 'nothing to fear' from leaving the EU, it is hard to see how this is going to end well for Cameron or for the Conservative Party." - John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • The stakes for Cameron's forthcoming Europe speech could hardly be higher - James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday
  • "'Exit Euro' is the battle cry as Tory rebels turn the pressure up" - Daniel Boffey and Toby Helm, The Observer

The Electoral Commission has begun an inquiry into the low turnout for the Police Commissioner elections – Sunday Telegraph

  • Each vote cast for a Police Commissioner cost the taxpayer £14 – Mail on Sunday
  • The 8 former police officers among the 41 new commissioners - Sunday Times (£)

> Today, by Cllr Sam Chapman on Local Government: PCC results shows the Conservatives need better candidate selection

> Yesterday:

Andrew Rawsley: Politicians and journalists are the blame for low turnout — but so too are the public

“If you just can't be arsed to vote, then the person most to blame is you. It is a persistent complaint, especially from those who don't vote, that Westminster is too ‘remote’ and that the powerful cannot be held to account. Whatever you think of police commissioners, they are at least an interesting attempt to make a very important force in our society more responsive to those they are paid to serve and to do so at a local level.” – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer

Secret Service dossier raises questions about whether Abu Qatada can be tried in Britain

“Hate preacher Abu Qatada issued orders to kill British and American civilians after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a secret MI5 report seen by The Mail on Sunday. … Last night politicians involved in the long-running case and senior lawyers said they had not been told of the fatwa and called for Qatada to be prosecuted here.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Britain has given £10 million in aid money to Jordan for the purposes of deporting Qatada – Mail on Sunday

Vince Cable to take on George Osborne over science spending

Cable“In a speech he will say that spending with the potential to spark economic growth, including the money ringfenced for research in science and engineering, is a ‘basic minimum’ to maintain the country's competitiveness. … Cable will also add his voice to those frustrated at the coalition's totemic Tory target of cutting net immigration to ‘tens of thousands’, by stating: ‘Being open for business means being open to overseas talent as well as overseas investors.’ – The Observer

In an interview with the Observer, Sarah Teather speaks out against the benefit cap

“At times Teather is close to tears as she unburdens herself. She says the day she deliberately failed to vote for the government was ‘extremely difficult’. But then as now – with her decision to speak out – it was a moral judgment she felt she had to make. She says: ‘Driving a sledgehammer through a fault line that already exists between the working poor and the non-working poor – setting up that hostility – is the thing that I find most difficult morally.’” – The Observer

We mustn't muzzle the press — says the Liberal Democrat MP who faced headlines about his "26 mistresses"

“As an MP with a 'colourful' personal life, I have experienced numerous run-ins with newspapers – including The Mail on Sunday. … However, just because I, and many other public figures, might have strong personal motives for shackling the media, it does not mean that we should support the idea of a State-controlled media.” – John Hemming, Mail on Sunday

  • Poll suggests the public prefer the tougher application of existing laws, rather than new laws, when it comes to press regulation - Sunday Telegraph

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Ed Miliband says that we don't need to exit Europe, we need to reform it 

Miliband“Tomorrow he will make a speech to the Confederation of British Industry's annual conference in London, in which he will adopt a new approach: accepting that Euro-sceptics must not be dismissed as wild-eyed extremists, but must be listened to because some of their arguments are right. … The Labour leader has no intention of trying to turn Labour into a red-blooded Eurosceptic party indeed, he repeatedly stresses that Britain's future must remain within the EU. Neither will he pledge a referendum on the issue, for now at least.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “No Labour leader in recent decades could conceivably have speculated so openly about ‘people’s biggest beef’ with Europe…” – Matthew d’Ancona, Sunday Telegraph

Today on LeftWatch: Ed Miliband attempts to worsen David Cameron’s EU headache — but also gives the PM a painkiller

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: Ed Miliband: "Middle England is turning away from David Cameron and the Conservatives"

The former Labour MPs who are gaining taxpayers' money by renting their old homes to politicians - The Sun

Sally Bercow describes Lord McAlpine's lawyers as "big bullies" ... on Twitter, natch – Mail on Sunday

  • "For many on the left it is axiomatic that anyone associated with Thatcher, or even with the Conservative party in its other less abrasive manifestations, must be wicked." - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)

The head of Ofsted urges teachers to stop moaning, and "get on and do it" - Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday, by John Bald on Local Government: Are Guardian readers coming round to Michael Gove?

National Grid documents suggests that power lines could be laid across the Norfolk Broads - Sunday Telegraph

Around 3,600 police officers have retired aged 50 and claimed their pension, only to return to civilian jobs with their old forces Mail on Sunday

Rising number of patients left waiting on trolleys or in ambulances before being admitted to A&E  Mail on Sunday

  • A senior NHS manager is in line for a £1 million payout when his job disappears after reforms - Sunday Telegraph
  • A doctor who helped deliver the Cameron's baby Florence has been struck off - The Sun

Jeremy Paxman is expected to leave Newsnight, reports the Sunday Mirror - Sunday Mirror

And finally... the PIGS go to Mars

Mars“Three skint countries that could bring down the eurozone are blowing £338million on a trip to MARS. … Basket-case Italy will shell out a staggering £278million on the project … Riot-hit Spain — teetering on the edge of financial ruin — has earmarked £58.3million. And bailed-out Portugal — second only to Greece as the “sick man of Europe” — is spending £2.1million on the trip.” – The Sun

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