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Newslinks for Wednesday 6th February 2013

Staffshospital6.30pm Charlotte Leslie MP on Comment: It is not fair on patients and families to deny who and what was responsible for this shift in NHS culture

5.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron favours accountability and transparency as response to Stafford Hospital scandal

2.45pm WATCH: David Cameron on the Francis Report findings: "In short no one was accountable"

2pm WATCH: PMQs clash over "Bedroom Tax"

1pm ToryDiary: You hate the poor. You can't take any tough decision. Another forgettable PMQs.

11.30am Andrew Lilico on Comment: Cameron's demise is far from certain but the gay marriage vote has undermined party morale, unity and image

10.30am ToryDiary: Michael Gove is redefining what Left and Right mean in education policy

10am WATCH: Opposition to gay marriage among Derbyshire Dales Conservatives

ToryDiary: Can Cameron heal his divided coalition? Here are three suggestions for the Tory leader ...

MPsETC: 127 Tory MPs voted for gay marriage. 136 voted against. 40 abstained.

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Julia Manning on Comment: Notes on a scandal - how the Staffordshire public rose up to seek justice

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Former Treasurer Peter Cruddas wins another battle in his bid to clear his name

Local government: In a guest post from the Systems Thinking for Girls blogger calls for Equality without Paperwork

The Deep End: How ‘progressive’ teaching methods destroy words and the life chances of the poor

Columnist Garvan Walshe: Make aid to Egypt conditional on credible observers for this month's elections

TelegraphgayConservatives split as gay marriage is approved

"The Prime Minister won his first Commons battle to legalise same-sex marriage by a margin of 400 votes to 175. But his victory came at the cost of a major split in the Conservative Party, with more than half of his MPs refusing to back him. Despite his 11th-hour appeal for support, only around 130 of the 303 Conservative MPs last night joined Mr Cameron in voting for gay marriage. 139 voted against and 30 others abstained." - Daily Telegraph

  • "Many Tories resented being asked to vote at all on the issue, criticising it as at best a distraction and at worst an unnecessary and legally flawed attempt to tinker with a centuries-old institution. One senior MP said that Mr Cameron had misjudged dangerously the mood of a party that was already in a febrile state." - The Times (£)
  • "Tuesday night was the latest climax in a disintegrating crisis of Tory party credibility. Revolts on Europe and the House of Lords have now been trumped by Tuesday's revolt against the same-sex marriage plans. A significant section of the Tory party has effectively thrown its full weight against Mr Cameron's Toryism." - The Guardian
  • Guardiangay"Political leaders at Westminster have hailed the significance of the backing for same-sex marriage in England and Wales in a key Commons vote. Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday's vote had been "an important step forward" and Labour leader Ed Miliband called it a "proud day"." - BBC
  • "Those close to the Tory leadership argue that the electorate will pay little attention to tonight’s voting split in 2015. Instead, they argue, that voters will just know that gay marriage has been advanced on Cameron’s watch. But the danger for the Tories is that continued wrangling over this issue makes the country see them as a divided party." James Forsyth Coffee House
  • The debate in full - Hansard 

> Yesterday:

FreerMike Freer among gay MPs to welcome reform

"Mike Freer who entered a civil partnership six years ago, urged his fellow MPs not to deny him “equality”. “I am a member of this parliament. I sit alongside you in committees, in the bars and in the tea rooms. I queue alongside you in the division lobbies,” he said. “But when it comes to marriage, why are you asking me to stand apart and to join a separate queue?" - Daily Telegraph

Conservative newspapers question Cameron's motives on gay marriage...

"Forget the damage Mr Cameron has inflicted on constituency workers’ morale. He has also invited opposition from mainstream religious leaders – including those of the Established Church (once known as the Tory Party at prayer). After last night’s vote, does he seriously believe that pro-gay
marriage voters will switch to the Tories next time?...Only when Mr Cameron gets back to the business that matters will his self-inflicted wounds have a chance to heal." -editorial  Daily Mail

  • "David Cameron’s purpose in pursuing this legislation was to depict the Tories as social progressives, while at the same time marginalising those who had deeply felt reservations about such a policy. To that end, he bounced his party into a reform for which there was no popular pressure and which appeared in neither the Tory election manifesto nor in the Coalition Agreement – while shelving tax breaks for marriage, which was a manifesto pledge." -editorial  Daily Telegraph

Indgay...but The Independent praises him

"By insisting on pressing ahead in the teeth of such opposition, the Prime Minister has been accused of fiddling while Rome burns. Instead he should be congratulated on his clear judgement, his common decency and his leading from the front." -editorial  The Independent

Gove says Labour are the "Downton Abbey Party when it comes to educational opportunity"

"Children from disadvantaged backgrounds risk being left behind after missing out on the chance to study rigorous disciplines and proceed on to the best universities, according to the Education Secretary. In a speech, he accused Labour and the left-wing establishment of constructing a two-tier education system that effectively blocked access to core subjects such as foreign languages, history and geography for many pupils." - Daily Telegraph

  • "In a speech on Tuesday, Michael Gove promised to rid the curriculum of "vapid happy talk" and ensure pupils had a structured "stock of knowledge". New curriculums for schools in England are expected to be published shortly." - BBC
  • "Dipping into popular TV culture, Gove said: "The current leadership of
    the Labour party react to the idea that working-class students might study the subjects they studied with the same horror that the Earl of Grantham showed when a chauffeur wanted to marry his daughter." - The Guardian

GrantshappsGloves off for Eastleigh byelection

"Tory high command moved swiftly to exploit Liberal Democrat agony over Chris Huhne’s lies yesterday as they rushed a by-election plan into action. Grant Shapps, the Tory chairman, sent officials from London to the disgraced former minister’s Eastleigh constituency; the by-election campaign is due to start at the weekend. " - The Times (£)

  • "The Tories signalled their intention to fight an aggressive campaign against their Coalition partners as the party chairman, Grant Shapps, tore into Mr Huhne’s “lies”. He said Eastleigh’s voters would take a “dim view about having been lied to by their Lib Dem MP”. The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, dashed speculation he could stand despite the party’s second place 10 weeks ago in the Rotherham and Middlesbrough by-elections." - The Independent
  • Vicky Pryce "wanted revenge" over Chris Huhne - BBC

BorisBoris says Stamp Duty is "a tax on London"

"The mayor argues that stamp duty is becoming a London tax, with the lion’s share of higher-rate duty paid in the capital. The average price of property in London is £371,223 – attracting stamp duty of 3 per cent – compared with an average of £162,080 elsewhere in England and Wales, payable at 1 per cent." - Financial Times

OwenpatersonOwen Paterson says all dogs to be microchipped

"Under the measures to be unveiled by Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, dog owners will also now face prosecution if an animal attacks anyone in their home. Those plans will be welcomed by postmen.." - Daily Telegraph

Clegg warns of more "tit for tat" rebellions

"The Liberal Democrats could derail more Coalition proposals if Conservative backbenchers stage more rebellions, Nick Clegg has warned. The Deputy Prime Minister said he could only “minimise” future instances of rebellions, insisting that “collective responsibility applies when a collective decision has been made”." - Daily Telegraph

New adoption rules mean birth parents lose right to contact children

"Currently, it is up to social workers to decide whether contact is maintained or not. ...Adoptive parents are then compelled to honour the agreement, even if it proves upsetting for the child." - The Times (£)

  • "The children and families bill, which had its first reading on Monday, delivers on this government's determination to radically and permanently reform adoption so that neglected and abused children get the stable and loving homes they need. I'm very proud that much of the bill flows from recommendations I have made to Michael Gove and, until recently, children's minister, Tim Loughton." - Martin Narey The Guardian

Scottish independence plan

"Scottish independence will be declared in March 2016 if voters back leaving the UK in the referendum next year, under plans outlined by the SNP government." - The Scotsman

Labour's poll lead back down to 10% on YouGov - YouGov

DaviesMayor of Doncaster Peter Davies quits English Democrats - BBC

The richer you are the happier you are - Allister Heath Daily Telegraph

£10,000 paid to Conservative funds for chance to meet Justin Bieber - The Sun

And finally...Richard III should be give a state funeral

"The Government — which is so keen to re-establish history at the forefront of the curriculum — should grasp this moment to light the imagination of the nation, by holding a state funeral for Richard III at Westminster Abbey. Instead of being treated like the remains of some Egyptian pharaoh and subjected to endless scientific tests, the bones of the last British monarch to die in battle now must be treated with dignity and venerated properly, as is only right for a former head of state." Andrew Roberts Daily Mail

> Yesterday: WATCH: Chris Skidmore MP - Richard III should be buried in Leicester

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