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Newslinks for Thursday 22nd November 2012

Clegg garden city8pm WATCH: Nick Clegg announces £225m funding for a new generation of "garden cities of the 21st century"

5.45pm Nick Faith on Comment: Lynton Crosby's three main priorities when he enters CCHQ

5.15pm MPsETC: The Government is simply perpetuating the status quo in economic policy and on Whitehall, argues Douglas Carswell MP

4pm MPsETC: Tory MPs react to Government's response to European prison votes ruling

3pm WATCH: Chris Grayling: While Britain has an obligation to act on the international ruling on prisoner votes, "it remains the case that Parliament is sovereign" and will not change the law unless and until Parliament decides to

Camerons enter Number 101.45pm WATCH: David Cameron's half-term report from Paul Goodman, Iain Martin and Alex Deane

1.15pm Local government: More councils planning Council Tax rises

1pm ToryDiary: Roll up! Roll up! The Michael Gove Spectator awards jokes roll on...

12.30pm Tim Montgomerie writes part four of our 'The Wrong Right' series: Conservatives need (more than occasionally) to say positive things about the State

12.30pm Stephen O'Brien MP on Comment: Cuts to the EU budget should be focused on inefficient areas. Overseas aid is not one of them.

11am WATCH: Nadine Dorries: Andrew Mitchell allowed me "to have the month away", but is now using "clever" words to deny it

CameronUKToryDiary: David Cameron heads off to a European summit with a foregone non-conclusion

Columnist Andrew Lilico: Anti-abortionists should concede neither the science nor the compassion to pro-abortionists

Nick Herbert MP on Comment: On prisoner voting, we shouldn’t defy the ECHR, we should resile from it altogether.

Also on Comment - Mark Field MP: Secret courts are a regrettable necessity

MPsETC: Government "secret court" plans defeated in the Lords

AshcroftLord Ashcroft on Comment: Nadine’s publicity stunt does not look like the triumph she hoped for

MPsETC: Nadine Dorries won't like it but poll finds that David Cameron is much more popular than her in her own constituency

WATCH: Nadine Dorries MP is evicted from I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here

Local Government: Councils that fail to provide weekly bin collections to face financial penalties

The Deep End: Proof that free schools raise standards for everybody

WATCH: Liam Fox MP launches new "Give Us Time" initiative to provide holidays for recovering service families

David Cameron's EU budget showdown summit begins today...

Cameron IV on green"David Cameron is today heading for a showdown over the EU’s vast budget after vowing to veto any deal that threatens the prized rebate from Brussels negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984. ... France’s socialist president Francois Hollande launched a thinly veiled attack on Britain’s ‘lack of solidarity’ with Europe for demanding it maintains its budget rebate. ... [I]n a sign of the scale of disagreement across the Continent, Britain is just one of ten countries threatening to block the proposed deal if changes are not made." - Daily Mail

> From yesterday - WATCH: Martin Callanan MEP: "The EU is not short of money, it just spends the money it has very, very badly"

> Today on ToryDiaryDavid Cameron heads off to a European summit with a foregone non-conclusion

...as he defiantly resists reductions in Britain's rebate

"David Cameron is to tell the president of the European council in Brussels that a compromise plan for the EU budget is unacceptable because it includes drastic cuts to Britain's multibillion pound rebate. The prime minister, who told MPs on Wednesday that he would not agree to any further cuts to the €3.6bn (£2.9bn) annual rebate, is to raise the highly sensitive matter at the start of Thursday's meeting with Herman Van Rompuy." - Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryDavid Cameron finds an unusual EU budget cut ally in Herman van Rompuy - but agreement still looks out of reach

European comment:

  • OBORNEWith Europe on the brink, now is the time for magnanimity, not self-serving posturing - Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph
  • Britain is standing on a ledge, while Europe screams, 'Don't do it!' - Timothy Garton-Ash for the Guardian
  • The eurozone is intent on solving its crisis. We must recognise that and get out of the way - Stephen Dorrell MP, Richard Ottaway MP, Sir Alan Beith MP and Sir Malcolm Bruce MP for the Times (£)
  • "Mr Cameron should have no qualms about turning the club against Britain. For the longer reform is delayed, the less it will be worth belonging." - Daily Mail editorial

George Osborne on course to miss borrowing targets by £13bn

OSBORNE GEORGE NW"Britain's leading experts on tax and spending have warned George Osborne that weak tax receipts from the struggling economy have left him on course to miss his borrowing target by £13bn this year. Adding to the pressure on the chancellor in advance of his autumn statement on 5 December, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said government hopes of a small cut in the budget deficit would be dashed if the trend in the first seven months of 2012-13 continued for the rest of the year." - Guardian

Grayling to set out the Government's ideas for a compromise (or not) on prisoner voting

Grayling Chris Newsnight"Ministers are to set out plans for legislation on the issue of whether prisoners should be allowed the vote. The government is responding to a European Court of Human Rights ruling that a blanket ban on prisoners serving custodial sentences voting is unlawful. ... Updating MPs on Thursday, Mr Grayling is expected to announce plans for draft legislation consisting of three options - keeping the existing blanket ban, giving the vote to convicted prisoners serving up to six months, or giving it to those serving up to four years." - BBC

  • We could defy Europe on giving prisoners the vote, says Chris Grayling - Daily Telegraph

> Today - Nick Herbert MP on Comment: On prisoner voting, we shouldn’t defy the ECHR, we should resile from it altogether.

Cameron presses ahead with gay marriage vote

"A historic vote to legalise gay marriage will be held in the new year after David Cameron decided to make the reform a top priority. [M]inisters will now find time in the Commons timetable in the new year to hold a free vote on the move. It is certain to be passed as it is supported by the vast majority of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs – even though up to 100 Tory backbenchers could oppose the reform after being inundated with protests from party members" - Independent

Michael Gove lampoons Lord Justice Leveson at Spectator awards

GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE"Michael Gove openly mocked Lord Justice Leveson and questioned his judgement ahead of the publication of his report into press standards. [Gove]... questioned Lord Justice Leveson’s “commitment to truth telling” during a speech at a political awards ceremony. His comments reflect growing concern among senior Conservatives that Lord Justice Leveson will recommend a form of statutory regulation of the British press in his report, which is expected later this month." - Daily Telegraph

  • Don't even think about regulating Britain's free press: Boris issues warning to MPs - Daily Mail
  • "The Leveson Inquiry is casting a "shadow" over Britain's free press and state regulation would set a "disastrous" precedent for the rest of the world, the head of the Foreign Press Association has warned." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on MPsETCBoris Johnson, Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom, Liz Truss, Charles Walker and Jesse Norman amongst the stars of the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards

Restore weekly bin collections or lose funds: Pickles orders councils to scrap fortnightly schemes - Daily Mail

> Today on Local GovernmentCouncils that fail to provide weekly bin collections to face financial penalties

Government secret courts plans defeated in Lords

Lords_Chamber cropped"The government has been defeated three times in the House of Lords over plans to allow ministers to order secret court hearings to consider evidence in cases relating to national security." - BBC

> Today:

Free Enterprise Group say wealthy pensioner bus passes should be scrapped

Free Enterprise Group"Pensioners with incomes of more than £50,000 should lose their free TV licences, bus passes and winter fuel allowances to help cut the deficit, senior Tory MPs have said. Ministers must be “brave enough” to tell the wealthiest that they will no longer receive any more from the state than a pension, despite a lifetime of hard work, if Britain is to remain “financially solvent”, it said." - Daily Telegraph

  • Savers could be offered pension guarantees under Government plans - Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - Patrick Nolan on Comment: The pension system needs reform, but "raiding" funds is not the way to build a culture of savings

Nadine Dorries first to be voted off I’m a Celebrity

Nadine"Nadine Dorries must return to face the music in Westminster after being the first contestant voted off I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here. Ms Dorries, 55, the Tory MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, was the first serving politician to appear on the reality TV show but her stint was short lived and she was dismissed by viewers after ten days." - Times (£)

> Today:

Stephen Dorrell MP reported to sleaze watchdog over secret flat rent deal - Daily Telegraph

Has Cameron realised that Tory government is not our default setting any more? - Rafael Behr for the New Statesman

SAS sniper Sgt Nightingale "could be home in time for Christmas" after Cameron intervention

"Lawyers for Danny Nightingale were granted a full hearing next week by Britain's most senior judge, after David Cameron threw his weight behind the case. It was expected to take months before the appeal could be argued in full before a court but Sgt Nightingale's lawyer said the decision to hear it so quickly reflected the intense public interest in his fate." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Immigration chiefs accused of misleading Parliament after report exposes Border Agency incompetence

SelectCommittes"Immigration chiefs were last night accused of misleading Parliament after a “devastating” report exposed a catalogue of incompetence and inefficiency at the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Efforts to trace tens of thousands of asylum seekers were abandoned after minimal efforts to find them and despite promises to MPs that “exhaustive checks” would be carried out, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration concluded." - Independent

MSPs reveal blueprint for Scots Devo-plus

Scottish-flag1"Plans to strengthen the powers of the Scottish Parliament and set out the future of the union if Scots reject independence in the 2014 referendum have been launched. The Devo-plus organisation’s blueprint for change includes a “Statement of the New Union” and would see Holyrood raise the majority of its own ­spending." - Scotsman

  • Alex Salmond 'should allow business leaders to speak out against independence' - Daily Telegraph
  • Independent Scotland 'would have to start afresh as EU member state' - Guardian
  • "Alex Salmond is facing accusations of secretly changing the Scottish Parliament’s records to cover up the fact he had exaggerated the number of jobs supported by wind and wave farms." - Daily Telegraph

A Tory MP who fantasised on Twitter about shooting a deer in his garden has apologised – for naming the wrong weapon to use.

Glyn Davies tweeted: ‘Beautiful  antlered stag in the garden, browsing on the shrubs border, “Ooh,” said all the family. I just wished I had my  12-bore handy.’

The Montgomeryshire MP immediately drew the ire of the animal rights lobby, who admonished him for promoting blood sports.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235088/Stag-hunt-row-MP-gives-animal-rights-lobby-barrels-Tory-apologises--naming-wrong-weapon.html#ixzz2CkUdOCg8
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Cyril Smith abuse claims investigated - Scotsman

  • "David Cameron and senior ministers have been accused of “compounding the cover up” over sex abuse allegations about Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP, by failing to produce a police dossier allegedly seized by MI5." - Daily Telegraph

Paul Tucker hot favourite to be next Governor of the Bank of England - FT (£)

Academies programme £1bn over budget, says watchdog - BBC

Vulnerable universal credit claimants may struggle, say MPs - BBC

The 41,000 tax dodge schemes that HMRC can’t crack - Daily Telegraph

Cease-fire appears to be holding in Gaza - CNN

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