Newslinks for Friday 1st February 2013
5.15pm J P Floru on Comment: In every single country that introduced gay marriage, it stopped being an issue the day after
4.15pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday
12.30pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: Two fallacies about transfers and consumption
11.30am WATCH: Stop the Strasbourg Circus! Vicky Ford talks to other MEPs about the EU having TWO parliaments...
Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The Europe speech has cheered Tories... but it has not moved votes
Part V of our Little Guy Conservatism series: Harriett Baldwin MP and Justice for England
Cllr Phil Yerby on Local government: It is wrong to increase Council Tax in Aylesbury Vale
The Deep End's Heresy of the Week: The boom before the bust never happened
"David Burrowes, the Conservative MP, said he had surveyed his colleagues’ views and believed that up to 200 of the 303 Tory MPs could refuse to vote for the Bill." - Telegraph
Equalities Minister, Helen Grant, explains why her Christianity is consistent with gay marriage - Daily Mail
David Cameron under friendly fire from military chiefs for allegedly reneging upon deal to increase defence spending after current review
"In a BBC interview on a trip to Libya, Mr Cameron repeatedly refused to say if the entire defence budget would rise in 2015-16. Instead, he gave only an assurance about the budget for equipment, and offered no guarantees about funding for personnel." - Telegraph
"Sources familiar with the negotiations said Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, chief of the defence staff at the time of the strategic defence and security review in October 2010, signed up to cuts on the understanding that spending would increase after the next review... Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, tried to clarify the position in a round of radio and TV interviews on Thursday. He said he had been given a commitment that the equipment side of his budget – accounting for roughly half of MoD spending – would rise in real terms." - Guardian | Sun
- If the Prime Minister truly wants to confront the threat from Islamists in Africa, he must find the money to increase the defence budget - Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph
- The Financial Times leader (£): Bolster Britain's defence budget by relaxing aid spending
Hammond, Gove and May want deeper welfare cuts to protect their budgets - Independent
- It’s tough, but wealthy pensioners should not get winter fuel allowances - Times leader (£)
David Cameron visits Tripoli, admitting Libya 'dangers' and pledging further support to country's new government - Independent
Cameron wants UN's next generation of poverty targets to focus on eliminating absolute poverty - BBC
Philip Collins in The Times (£) insists the aid budget is helping Africa to succeed: "Progress is being made in Africa. Between 1990 and 2011 sub-Saharan Africa has seen a 39 per cent decline in the mortality of children under five. HIV infections peaked in 1997 and have fallen by a quarter since. In 1998 polio was endemic in 30 African nations. Now that is true only in Nigeria. Life expectancy has risen by almost four years in a decade."
Tory rebels shift attention to George Osborne - threatening campaign to oust him if Britain falls into triple dip recession - Daily Mail
A hardcore group of 40 to 50 Tory MPs are ready to eject David Cameron if Tory opinion poll ratings fail to improve by the summer of 2014 - Guardian
The Guardian's Nick Watt names five Tory MPs from the 2010 intake as possible future Tory leaders - Andrea Leadsom, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, Jesse Norman and Priti Patel - Guardian
In her blog for the Daily Mail Melanie Phillips blames an ape-ing of Left-wing values for the decline of the British Conservatives and US Republicans: "When they failed to win the 2010 general election, forcing them into coalition with the extreme left Liberal Democrats, the Cameroons said the reason was they hadn’t been left-wing enough. The outcome is widespread contempt on both left and right for the Conservative party".
David Cameron's lie about the national debt was scripted for a party political broadcast and is all the more serious as a result - Andreas Whittam Smith in The Independent
Ken Clarke sparked fury yesterday by claiming Britain will agree to hand back 30 EU criminal justice laws - The Sun
Chris Grayling under pressure to impose stiffer sentences after figures confirmed that more than a quarter of criminals are reoffending within 12 months - Express
"Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, backed down in the face of local anger yesterday when he overruled a recommendation to close the unit in South London. But his decision to downgrade it to deal only with less serious cases prompted fresh protest from patients and a threat of legal action. The controversial decision on Lewisham is seen as a crucial test case as the NHS prepares for a series of contentious decisions across the country as it seeks to improve care and save money." - Times (£)
A Telegraph leader notes how difficult it is to rationalise NHS services when local people feel so attached to even under-performing local hospitals.
Greg Clark MP condemns "cruel" ways in which banks "conned" small firms - Daily Mail
The Sun Says: "Barclays, HSBC, and taxpayer-rescued Lloyds and RBS face massive compensation claims after watchdogs found 90 per cent of complex loans had been mis-sold. In perhaps the most damning indictment of banks uttered by a Government minister, Treasury Secretary Greg Clark said small businesses had been “conned by the very people they trusted into buying products that were worthless for them.”"
MPs, led by Anne McIntosh, will criticise the government's response to the flood threat, saying that not enough has been done to combat the devastating effects of flooding around the country - ITV
Less government intervention would give universities the freedom to compete - John Glen MP in The Telegraph sets out next steps for university reform
Nick Clegg ridicules Tory plan for transferable tax allowance for married couples - Daily Mail
Daily Mail leader: "If Mr Clegg wants an example of an ‘unfair’ policy, he should look no further than the decision to strip child benefit from couples in which one person earns £60,000, but leave untouched a household in which two parents earn £50,000 each."
Paddy Ashdown pours scorn on the Tories as “a party of little Englanders” - Express
"David Cameron’s plan to negotiate a better deal with Europe is likely to fail and the British people will see through any “make believe” new settlement, Lord Lawson says. The former chancellor said he would take a great deal of persuading to campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, if Mr Cameron won the next election and carried out his plan for a referendum in 2017." - FT (£)
Ed Miliband opens door to election debate spot for Nigel Farage
"Mr Farage has said he should be included in the leaders’ debates in 2015 as opinion polls have placed his party third, ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who are expected to take part. David Cameron has dismissed the suggestion but Mr Miliband indicated that he would be prepared to consider giving Ukip a platform." - Telegraph
"Thugs who hurl abuse at our Armed Forces should face harsher punishments, Labour will say today. The party will launch a radical bid to treat attacks or threats against our troops as a hate crime." - The Sun
A Home Affairs Committee report said the Independent Police Complaints Commission is woefully underequipped and is failing to get to the truth of allegations of wrongdoing - BBC
- 200 police officers facing disciplinary panels retire or resign in order to avoid misconduct proceedings - Telegraph
- "The number of police officers has fallen to is at its lowest level in 11 years as forces implement Whitehall imposed Government budget cuts. Police numbers in England and Wales fell by four thousand over the past year to 132,235." - Times (£)
In planning, defenders of nature are 'nimbies', opponents 'vandals'. To end the shouting match we need a new language - Simon Jenkins in The Guardian
If we don't have a common language we all suffer - Stephen Pollard in The Express
The government is pandering to anti-immigration feeling. It should be trying to reduce it - The Economist's Bagehot
A third person is arrested as investigation into police handling of Andrew Mitchell incident continues - Express
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