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Newslinks for Tuesday 5th February 2013

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9.30pm ToryDiary UPDATE: 70% of Tory backbenchers didn't vote with Cameron

9.15pm MPsETC: The Conservative MPs who voted for Second Reading - full list

8.45pm MPsETC: The Conservative MPs who voted against Second Reading - full list

7.45pm ToryDiary UPDATE: More Conservative MPs vote against Cameron than with him

7.30pm ToryDiary UPDATE: Cameron fails to win the support of half the number of Conservative MPs - 152

7.15pm ToryDiary: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE VOTE - AYES: 400. NOES: 175.

4.45pm WATCH: ‪Martin Callanan MEP takes on Francois Hollande‬, France's President

3.30pm Greg Clark MP's weekly Letter from a Treasury Minister: "For instance, one can easily imagine that, in place of the can-do attitude of the Victorians, Bazalgette would have faced one long planning inquiry after another." Lessons for modern government from Victorian visionaries

Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 14.27.132.30pm WATCH: Chris Skidmore MP - Richard III should be buried in Leicester

11.15am ToryDiary: Will more than half the Conservative Parliamentary Party follow Cameron into the Aye lobby this evening?

10.30am Alistair Lexden on Comment: On this day, 225 years ago - the birth of Robert Peel, the first Compassionate Conservative

9.30am Andrew Haldenby on Comment: Yes, Ministers need to reform Whitehall. But they're going the wrong way about it.

ToryDiary: May, Grayling & Hammond launch "a co-ordinated counter-attack" on Osborne over spending

Stephan ShakespeareColumnist Stephan Shakespeare: Don't believe the polls that say gay marriage means certain doom for the Conservative Party

And as MPs prepare to vote on today's same-sex marriage bill, two Conservative MPs put the case for and against:

Cllr Jonathan Glanz on Local Government: Let councils choose where they build

The Deep End: Even at its weakest, the Government's economic policy is stronger than Labour's

Cameron tells Shapps to go all out for Eastleigh...

Grant Shapps"Nick Clegg is facing the nightmare prospect of an unprecedented by-election loss to his Coalition partners after David Cameron ordered Tory high command to ‘go for the kill’ in the battle for Chris Huhne’s marginal seat…Sources said that far from ‘soft-pedalling’ to spare Lib Dem pain, the Tories had decided to go all out for victory – a foretaste of the 2015 election campaign, when they need to win 20 Lib Dem seats to achieve a Commons majority." - Daily Mail

  • A problem for all parties in Eastleigh - Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian
  • Local UKIP campaigner suggests seat is a four-way marginal - The Independent

...But Peter Oborne claims: the Prime Minister would prefer to give Clegg a clear run.  But he can't. His position within his party is too weak

"I have no doubt that in private the Prime Minister would love to avoid a contest, and allow the Lib Dems a free run…If the Coalition were healthy, perhaps David Cameron and Nick Clegg might indeed find a way to reach such an agreement. Both men probably know they would be wise to do so. The truth is that the Prime Minister lacks the authority to attempt anything of the sort. The Tory party in its present febrile and disloyal state would not allow it." - Daily Telegraph

Will Maria Hutchings be the Conservative candidate again?

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"Charlie Daniel-Hobbs, an activist at the Eastleigh Conservative Association, said: “We’re looking forward to the by-election and have been working very hard on the ground and knocking on lots of doors and are confident we can fight a clean campaign.” He also added that Maria Hutchings, the local Conservative spokeswoman, would be a “good choice” to run again in the by-election and explained that “obviously the economy, as everywhere, is high on people’s minds, but gay marriage is not something that comes up on the doorstep in Eastleigh very much”." - The Times (£)

The fall of Huhne: "An unbearable human tragedy"

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"The spectacular downfall of a Cabinet minister was sealed yesterday as Chris Huhne faced the prospect of going to jail after he admitted perverting the course of justice. Huhne’s abrupt change of plea brought to an end a two-year political and personal saga that has embarrassed the Lib Dems and torn apart his family.  One friend of the family who knows Huhne and Vicky Pryce said that the case was “an unbearable human tragedy”." - The Times (£)

The texts from his son that helped cause Huhne's downfall - Daily Mail

Vicky Pryce will return to court today to face trial for perverting the course of justice - Daily Mail

Dominic Lawson: Is Huhne like Richard III?

Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 08.25.46"Chris Huhne’s political annihilation occurring on the day that archaeologists confirmed the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton naturally prompts thoughts of the nature of dramatic tragedy, as set out by William Shakespeare. The convention is that a man of unusual ability and forceful personality in a position of great power (actual or potential) is ultimately destroyed by a flaw in his character. Yet my thoughts, following Mr Huhne’s confession of guilt to perverting the course of justice over claims that another person had taken his motoring speeding points, went more to one of Shakespeare’s comedies." - Dominic Lawson, The Independent

Other Comment:

  • "One of the most intriguing revelations in David Laws’s Five Days In May, his short book on the formation of the coalition, was that Chris Huhne had long been in favour of the Liberal Democrats doing an electoral deal with the Conservative Party." - Times Editorial (£)
  • A modern morality tale - Daily Express Editorial
  • Huhne and Laws gone, Cable shorn of responsibilities - Sun Editorial
  • How my friend Chris thought he was above the 'little people' who abide by the rules - Daily Mail
  • "We want our politicians to be heroes or villains, when in fact they are human beings," Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Same-sex marriage: As MPs prepare to vote on same-sex marriage, YouGov finds majority support for the measure...But that, in introducing it, Cameron has widened a split which Miliband is exploiting. Labour soars to 15 point lead.

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"The exclusive YouGov survey for The Sun makes David Cameron’s feuding Conservatives appear their most divided for a decade. A huge 71 PER CENT of voters branded the party as split. In a knock-on effect, Labour has soared into a huge 15 per cent lead over its main rival. The findings came on the eve of today’s Commons vote on giving gays the same marriage rights as straight couples…Our poll showed a comfortable majority of Brits — 54 per cent — support gay marriage. Only 38 per cent are against." - The Sun

> Today: Columnist Stephan Shakespeare - Don't believe the polls that say gay marriage means certain doom for the Conservative Party

Osborne, Hague and May push for the bill with a letter to the Telegraph...but David Jones is against...

"In an unprecedented joint letter amid a Cabinet split before tomorrow’s parliamentary vote, the ministers, who hold the three great offices of state, have written a letter to The Telegraph saying that “attitudes to gay people have changed”…David Jones, the Welsh Secretary, yesterday emerged as an opponent to gay marriage. In a letter to a constituent in March last year, he wrote: “I believe that marriage is an institution ordained to sanctify a union between a man and a woman.” - Daily Telegraph

...Owen Paterson will oppose the bill...but IDS emerges to back it...

DUNCAN SMITH AITW"At least two Cabinet ministers – Owen Paterson and David Jones – are expected to oppose the plans and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, another opponent of the Bill, is absent abroad. But sources close to Mr Duncan Smith said he has decided to vote Yes today because it is not an issue where he wants to cause trouble for Mr Cameron…And in an outspoken intervention in support of gay marriage, Chris Grayling last night argued that the ‘collapse of marriage and families’ has ‘absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality’." - The Times (£)

  • Gove's constituency Chairman claims that Education Secretary believes that the bill will open up a legal minefield - The Times (£)

...Pro-bill Tory activists fight back...

"Grassroots Tories yesterday mounted an eleventh-hour appeal in favour of same-sex union, urging their MPs to broaden the party’s appeal or risk losing out at the ballot box. “Please do not allow the impression that all Conservative Party activists are opposed to gay marriage. Many of us strongly agree with the proposal,” said a letter signed by more than 50 activists, including Paul Swaddle, president of the party’s national convention." - The Times (£)

Will David Burrowes lose his PPS post?

BURROWES PORTRAIT"The decision of the whips to impose a three line whip means that David Burrowes, aide to Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin and a leading member of the no camp, is expected to abstain in the "programme motion" vote. Burrowes will vote against the second reading without jeopardising his position as parliamentary private secretary. Burrowes' supporters expressed anger at the government's tactics. "David Cameron has made great play of how he is offering us a free vote," one said. "But it is highly qualified. We are being whipped to enable this bill." - The Guardian

Hate mail complaints from both sides - The Independent

Comment:

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Three Conservative Cabinet Ministers fight Osborne over spending squeeze...

Osborne silhouette
"Mr Osborne knew he would face a backlash from the departments at risk, but he may not have predicted such an immediate and co-ordinated counterattack from his colleagues…Philip Hammond, defence secretary, Vince Cable, business secretary, Theresa May, home secretary and Chris Grayling, justice secretary, all told the chancellor in blunt terms that he should rethink his strategy.  At the heart of the dispute is the decision by the leaders of both coalition parties to continue making cuts at the same pace and in the same proportions as those already made." - Financial Times (£)

...As the Chancellor sets out his plans for banking

"Brits could soon be able to transfer money instantly to pals using mobile phones without the need for fiddly account details. The move would allow friends to split a restaurant bill easily by paying into each other’s bank accounts via one simple text on a smartphone. It is part of a massive overhaul of the banking system by Chancellor George Osborne aimed at helping people transfer cash more quickly." - The Sun

> Today: ToryDiary - May, Grayling & Hammond launch "a co-ordinated counter-attack" on Osborne over spending

> Yesterday: Mark Field MP - Bash the banks and global companies if you must, but we need them more than ever

Retail sales rise strongly in January - Reuters

Cameron demands more cuts to the EU budget

Cameron Union Flag + EU"David Cameron was facing another showdown in Brussels last night as he demanded more cuts in  the next European Union budget. Downing Street said the Prime Minister was determined to ‘secure further reductions’ in a proposed £810billion EU budget covering the years 2014-2020. No 10 added that Mr Cameron had secured the crucial backing of German chancellor Angela Merkel for his demands during a phone call on Sunday." - Daily Mail

  • Joe Biden claims that a British exit from the European Union would damage world peace and prosperity - Daily Express
  • Prime Minister reasserts green policy agenda - Financial Times (£)

Mitchell to sue the Sun over "Policegate"

"Andrew Mitchell is set to sue the Sun for libel over its report that claimed he had called Downing Street police officers "plebs" during an argument as he left Number 10. The Tory MP's lawyer has sent the Sun a "letter before action", the first stage in litigation, putting them on formal notice that he intends to sue over its scoop last September which revealed the row Mitchell had with police over taking his bicycle through the main gates." - The Guardian

McLuskey to Miliband: we want more power

Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 08.37.18"When Ed Miliband asked the leading union baron what three wishes he could grant if Labour wins power, the answer was straightforward. ‘Trade union freedoms, trade union freedoms, trade union freedoms’ came the immediate response from Len McCluskey, who runs the giant Unite union. Leaked details of the conversation last night sparked claims that a Labour government would seek to usher in new pro-union laws." - Daily Mail

Labour MP Thomas Docherty in wrangle with lobbyist - Herald Scotland

Reform says that Ministers should appoint their own staff to overcome 'amateurism' - The Times (£)

MoD errors blamed for jump-jet fiasco - The Times (£)

Karzai refuses to criticise prince for remarks comparing war to video games - The Guardian

We’ve been mugged, say Yorkshire villagers over HS2 rail route - Yorkshire Post

Enforcer for Islamist rule in Timbuktu captured by rebels after French air strikes - The Independent

NHS flaws that led to Mid Staffs scandal - Daily Telegraph

Ten-inch deluge of snow on the way - Daily Express

Actress who played the young Thatcher says that former PM had 'psychopathic tendencies' - Daily Mail

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