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Newslinks for Thursday 13th December 2012

Go6.30pm WATCH: The banking union deal is a "model of the way Britain's relationship with Europe will work in future," says George Osborne

5.30pm Michael Ellis MP: We need new legislation to prevent dangerous people from exploiting new technologies — and quick

5.00pm Local government: Councils with the highest proportion of failing primary schools

2.45pm Local government:  Abolish the Architects Registration Board

2.30pm Stephen Hammond MP on Comment: Delivering a better service for the motorist

Noon Jury: What can and should still be done now to reduce the danger of a future debt burden?

10.15am Michael Burnett on Comment: Three options for Cameron at the EU summit

CAMERONToryDiary: You integrate if you want to, the PM’s not for integrating

Lord Bates on Comment: Time to give the licence fee payer a say at "their BBC"

Alex Morton on Comment: Crisis? What Crisis? Why Andrew Lilico is wrong to say the UK has no shortage of housing

John Bald on Local Government: First steps in English grammar

The Deep End: If marriage dies then conservatism will die with it

WATCH: The public's fears over fracking

David Cameron's apology over the death of the Pat Finucane

PF"David Cameron said the Government was ‘deeply sorry’ yesterday after a report into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane found the security services colluded with the loyalist terrorists who killed him. ... A review of the case by Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, found the father-of-three would probably not have been executed by the Ulster Defence Association without the encouragement of British agents." - Daily Mail

  • "His apology was necessary but is unlikely to be the end of the affair, since it leaves open troubling questions about accountability and justice in a country that aims to practise what it preaches about the rule of law." - Times leader (£)

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: David Cameron's statement on the murder of Pat Finucane

The policy tussle between Mr Cameron and Ed Miliband that could define the next election

"Amid all the bawling and honking and (false) hatred and general ape-whooping baloney of the Commons circus, something notable happened at Prime Minister’s Questions. We saw crystallisation of a policy tussle which may decide the next general election. ... Labour’s bigger benefits or the Tories’ lower taxes? There lies the centre ground of British politics. If voters decide they want benefits claimants to have more moolah, Miliband moves to 10 Downing Street and Ed Balls (if he has not completely blown a gasket by then) will be in No 11." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail 

> Yesterday:

The PM is preparing to back the creation of a eurozone superstate (but has delayed his Europe speech again)

Eurozone"The Prime Minister will travel to Brussels for a summit with European leaders on Thursday to discuss a proposed two-year timetable to a political union in which countries lose the right to set their own budgets. ... But he has postponed a landmark speech setting out how he will give voters a say over the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU until next year." - Daily Telegraph

> Today on ToryDiary: You integrate if you want to, the PM’s not for integrating

George Osborne set to win safegaurds against Europe's banking union

"Britain was last night on the cusp of securing long-coveted safeguards against Europe’s nascent banking union, in a breakthrough that sets a precedent for London’s relations with a more integrated euro area." - Financial Times (£)

  • Who will be our next European Commissioner? - James Forsyth, The Spectator

No.10 denies threatening the Daily Telegraph over their original story about Maria Miller's expenses...

MM"On Wednesday, this newspaper’s scrutiny of Mrs Miller’s expenses claims was at the centre of a government row over the regulation of the press following the Leveson Report. ...[Craig] Oliver pointed out Mrs Miller’s central role in drawing up the new press rules during a conversation with The Daily Telegraph’s editor Tony Gallagher last Friday about the newspaper’s investigation into the minister. The communications chief denies that the reference was a threat or warning." - Daily Telegraph

  • "It would be hard to find a clearer illustration of why the state must be kept well away from these decisions." - Daily Telegraph leader
  • "This unmistakable act of intimidation shreds Downing Street’s claim to be a champion of a free Press and starkly reveals the threat of state censorship from ALL politicians." - Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • James Harding resigns as editor of the Times - Guardian

...as the paper publishes another story about Maria Miller's financial arrangements 

"The Culture Secretary rented a home from a major Conservative donor and property developer in a private deal that has not been declared to Whitehall officials, The Daily Telegraph can disclose." - Daily Telegraph

Jeremy Heywood's civil service isn't working, says Sue Cameron - Sue Cameron, Daily Telegraph

  • The MoD civil servant who charged the taxpayer £23,000 for his stays in hotels - Daily Mail

In a leaked letter, Baroness Warsi asks for “clarity” on the same-sex marriage laws

Warsi"Writing to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who unveiled the planned legislation on Tuesday, Lady Warsi raises a series of questions about the change in the law. ... She demands ‘clarity’ on how the new law will properly ‘protect religious freedom’ and asks: ‘What legal support will be afforded to churches and other places of worship if they’re challenged individually or as an organisation?’" - Daily Mail

  • "With attitudes changing, the Prime Minister is right to think most voters wish homosexuals well. But he is wrong to believe this is his ‘Clause IV moment’, as important to him as the rejection of nationalisation was to New Labour. ... There are much more important issues to engage his considerable talents." - Daily Mail leader
  • "I'm a compassionate conservative, but I oppose gay marriage" - Charlie Elphicke, interviewed in The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Theresa May warns about the effect of immigration on house prices

"She said: ‘More than one third of all new housing demand in Britain is caused by immigration. ... ‘And there is evidence that without the demand caused by mass immigration, house prices could be 10 per cent lower over a 20 year period.’" - Daily Mail

  • More face-to-face interviews with migrants, in a bid to end visa abuse - Daily Mail

> Yesterday, by Samuel Kasamu on Comment: With one in four primary schoolchildren from an ethnic minority background, Conservatives must face the demographic facts

Michael Gove urges schools to take "robust action" against protesting teachers

MG"Education Secretary Michael Gove wrote to headmasters saying they can dock the pay of those taking industrial action. ... He accused the staff of being ‘highly irresponsible’ and demanded ‘robust action’." - Daily Mail

  • Mr Gove is interviewed in The Spectator - Fraser Nelson, The Spectator
  • One-in-four adults has the maths skills of a 9 year-old - Daily Mail
  • "One in three pupils in the final year of primary school is either obese or overweight" - The Sun
  • According to a report, "In 2012, the [university] entry rate fell for both men and women but the decrease for men was four times greater than for women" - Daily Mail

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Michael Gove issues a battle cry over teachers’ pay

Nick Boles defends his remarks about house-building

"He said: 'What I was doing was making an argument about how little developed this country actually is, contrary to many peoples’ belief and how little land would be required to completely resolve any housing problem at all. ... What I absolutely don’t believe in it setting any kind of new target, or plan or expectation about what might happen or need to happen over the next 10, 20 or 30 years.'" - Daily Telegraph

Mark Hoban welcomes yesterday's employment figures...

I front cover"Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: ‘Once again, these figures show that the private sector is creating far more jobs than are being lost in the public sector. ... 'It is a credit to British businesses that they’re proving wrong those cynics who claimed the private sector wouldn’t be able to step up.’" - Daily Mail

...as the Government reassesses those who are out-of-work and claiming disability benefits

"The Government is to reduce or stop disability allowance for hundreds of thousands of claimants in a bid to end unchecked ‘welfare for life’. ... Ministers intend to reassess an initial 560,000 claimants, and expect that 330,000 – nearly 60 per cent – will get no award or a reduced sum after the checks." - Daily Mail 

The Government's climate advisers warn that bills will be higher if the country has to rely increasingly on gas - Guardian

Liam Fox warns that Egypt's future "hangs in the balance"

"But right now, Egypt’s future — and that of the whole region — hangs in the balance. The prize, in front of us all, is a modernising, enlightened Egypt spearheading a stable and energised region. But a slow descent into the quicksand of fundamentalism, dragging down neighbouring nations, would be a disaster with incalculable consequences for us all." - Liam Fox, The Spectator

And Peter Oborne warns the Tory Party against an uncritical relationship with Israel

PO"There are times in personal as well as political life when friendship involves a great deal more than the kind of genial back-slapping with which the Prime Minister treated the Israel lobby on Tuesday. The brutal truth is that Benjamin Netanyahu is leading his country down the path to self-destruction. If he is allowed to go ahead with the latest plans for settlement construction, all hopes of Middle East peace will vanish and die." - Peter Osborne, Daily Telegraph

Ed Davey set to give the go-ahead for fracking

"If drilling is approved, Mr Davey is likely to insist on very tough environmental regulations. He is much more sceptical about the potential for shale gas to bring down energy prices than the Prime Minister and the Chancellor." - Daily Telegraph

Norman Lamb could be setting the stage for "care in the community II", warns Ross Clark - Ross Clark, The Times (£)

  • Mental health patients to be given new rights - Guardian

Dan Hodges: Ed Balls's demise has been exaggerated - Dan Hodges, New Statesman

The New Statesman profiles Labour's new guru - George Eaton, New Statesman

Matthew Parris: Jacintha Saldanha's suicide was just tragic fate, so the media should stop their blame game - Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

> Yesterday, by columnist Jill Kirby: Why has Keith Vaz rushed into the prank phone-call tragedy?

The Bank of England's chief economist warns of a "long and painful" road to recovery - Daily Mail

  • BoE"The Bank of England needs to realise that banks have got the message about reducing their risk: the danger is that the public are still suffering collateral damage of a different kind." - Camilla Cavendish, The Times (£)
  • George Osborne should heed Mark Carney's message - Chris Giles, Financial Times (£)

Google's boss on his company's tax planning: "It's called capitalism" 

"MPs on the influential Public Accounts Committee last month slammed the group’s methods as ‘immoral’. ... But when asked about the arrangement which saw the group funnel billions of pounds to Bermuda, a renowned tax haven, the company’s chairman Eric Schmidt said: ‘It’s called capitalism.’" - Daily Mail

The average Brit spends a £1,000 a year online — the most of any major country - Daily Mail

And finally 1)... Politicians, lower your voices like Margaret Thatcher did!

MT"Studies have demonstrated that both men and women prefer leaders of both sexes in politics or business to have lower voices. ... The new research shows this rule even extends to leadership positions traditionally occupied by women." - Daily Mail

And finally 2)... Young Ukip's Christmas party

"They may be few in number, and overwhelmingly white and male, but Young Independence (YI) members see themselves as the saviours of British democracy." - Independent

And finally 3)... Sam Cam and the Zara Effect

"[High street clothing retailing Zara] has bucked the high street gloom by racking up profits of £1.3billion in the first nine months of the year. ... [They] took centre-stage at the Tory party conference when Samantha Cameron wore a pair of high-waisted, orange cigarette pants (£39.99) and a grey jumper (£19.99) from the same store." - Daily Mail

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