Conservative Home

« Newslinks for Tuesday 26th March 2013 | Main | Newslinks for Maundy Thursday 2013 »

Newslinks for Wednesday 27th March 2013

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 19.09.10
7pm WATCH: ‪Samantha Cameron visits Syrian refugees in Jordan‬

5.15pm Spencer Pitfield on Comment: Charles Heslop becomes the Conservative Policy Forum's Voluntary Vice Chairman

3pm WATCH: David Miliband explains why he's leaving the Commons

2.30pm Local Government:

12.15pm ToryDiary: What is causing the stagnation of wages? Matthew Hancock MP sets out a Tory agenda for the low-paid.

Noon ToryDiary: Making business uncompetitive. Moving emissions abroad. Blighting the landscape. Soaking poorer voters. Problems with the Government's climate change policy

10.15am Local Government: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cited to justify planning notices

ToryDiary: The once-cautious Theresa May is turning into a risk-taker

Lord Flight on Comment: How the current account deficit has returned to haunt us

MajorityConservatism: Jesse Norman files the latest report from our Victory 2015 Conference - We need a 2015 manifesto that is short, engaging, clear and focused

MPsETC: Martin Callanan MEP provides his monthly update on events from the European Parliament

LeftWatch: David Miliband's flight from the Commons is a sign of the times

Local Government: More Council Tax rising asset hoarders investigated

The Deep End: As Russia proves, democracy isn’t just about elections

Hunt tells the Commons that NHS staff will now have "duty of candour"...

"Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday promised a ‘radical overhaul’ of the NHS, putting a far greater emphasis on old-fashioned care in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal. He said one measure could be to introduce a system of pay rises which would see staff rewarded if they show ‘compassion, dignity and respect’ when treating patients." - Daily Mail

...But his announcement doesn't halt the anti-Nicholson barrage.  It's Full House as the Quad fires off its big guns

  • Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 07.58.33BANG! "Letting the disgraced Nicholson stay encourages health staff to think there is one rule for bosses and another for workers." - Sun Editorial
  • CRASH! "How can Mr Hunt speak of a blacklist, when the Man With No Shame - who oversaw the culture of neglect at Stafford - continues to enjoy his support as Chief Executive of the NHS?" - Daily Mail
  • BOOM! "Without [Nicholson's] removal anything Mr Hunt announces really is only “tinkering round the edges”." - Daily Express Editorial
  • POW! "It is good news that those managers who fail could be barred from such work (including, one hopes, Sir David Nicholson, the NHS chief executive, who bears his share of the blame for Mid Staffs)." - Daily Telegraph Editorial

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - The new politics of the NHS ringfence

£286 green tax on energy bills: By 2020 green taxes will have risen by over 150 per cent

"The levy will more than double until a quarter of each power bill goes on wind, solar, nuclear or home insulation schemes. Energy Secretary Ed Davey insisted last night that households will be better off thanks to the benefits of electricity-saving initiatives. But families will be able to claw the money back only if they buy more efficient domestic appliances and boilers." - Daily Mail

  • Greg Barker says that soaring gas prices show that the market is working - Daily Express
  • Tackling climate change doesn’t cost the earth - Ed Davey, Daily Telegraph
  • What planet are they living on? - Christopher Booker, Daily Mail

May springs surprise by scrapping Border Agency

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 05.10.34"The Home Secretary was scathing about the failures of the arms-length agency, which she condemned as "closed, defensive and secretive". Her surprise intervention was welcomed by MPs of all parties and will further fuel speculation over her ambitions to succeed David Cameron. But it also represents a high-risk move as she and her ministers will have to take responsibility for any failures or blunders in Britain's immigration system." - The Independent

> Today: ToryDiary - The once-cautious Theresa May is turning into a risk-taker

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - Theresa May splits up the UK Border Agency

"Taxman hits stay-at-home mothers"

"The average family with one worker and two children loses 27. 9 per cent of their wages in tax, compared with 26.2 per cent before the Coalition was elected, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found. The study comes amid claims that the Government is punishing stay-at-home mothers with its policies, and a week after a former barrister confronted Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, on the issue during a live radio phone-in." - Daily Telegraph

The Coalition's treatment of full-time mothers is "disgraceful" - Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express 

Pickles to push on housing plans as first NPPF anniversary passes...

Pickles Eric Close Up"Senior ministers agreed at Tuesday’s weekly cabinet meeting to press ahead with the plans, under which all “sustainable development” must be waved through by any council that has not drawn up new local plans. A third of local authorities have still not had their plans approved, leaving them open to unwanted building. Eric Pickles, communities secretary, wants to go further and allow more liberalisation of the planning system as part of the coalition’s attempt to generate economic growth." - Financial Times (£)

  • Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion claims that the countryside is being wrecked - The Guardian
  • New Homes Bonus needs better scrutiny, say MPs - BBC
  • Trust me: I won't let the bulldozers wreck Middle England - Eric Pickles, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: Greg Clark's latest Weekly Letter from a Treasury Minister - The National Planning Policy Framework is one year old – it’s already succeeding

…And the Treasury concedes that Osborne's housing plans may inflate prices

"Osborne’s mortgage aid plans may backfire and spark a housing boom, say official watchdogs.
The schemes to lend £130billion to help priced-out people buy a first home were the jewel in the Chancellor’s Budget. But quizzed by MPs, Treasury forecaster Steve Nickell said he believed the two plans would “drive up” house prices in the short term. Mr Nickell, of the Office for Budget Responsibility, added he believed they would rise “a bit, but not very much”." - The Sun

Loughton and mystery Tory Education News account clash on Twitter

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 08.06.23
"Loughton hit back at the accusation that he had lied by claiming that he had originally been in favour of publishing the Edlington serious case review. He tweeted: "@toryeducation time 4 a senior DfE source to come out from cloak of anonymity and face scrutiny rather than rewriting history shamelessly?" Loughton then added in another tweet: "@toryeducation now we know there were only 5 people in room privy to me being blocked from publishing SCR so shall I name them?"" - The Guardian

Eurozone policymakers at loggerheads over Cyprus knock-on

"Policymakers in the single currency area were at loggerheads on Tuesday over the long-term implications of the Cyprus bailout and whether savers across Europe will be exposed to raids on their bank accounts in future rescues. The European commission and influential MEPs involved in drafting new laws on resolving bank failures confirmed that the proposed rules would include "bail-ins", which are favoured by Germany and would see investors and savers taking the hit instead of taxpayers." - The Guardian

  • Cyprus 'to impose weekly limits on cash withdrawals' - Daily Mail
  • Europe's flesheaters now threaten to devour us all - Seamus Milne, The Guardian
  • Ministers’ alarm over new EU "mission creep" on justice - Daily Express

> Today: MPsETC - Martin Callanan MEP provides his monthly update on events from the European Parliament

Davidson backs more powers for Scottish Parliament

Davidson Ruth Smiling"Scottish Party leader Ruth Davidson unveiled plans today for an expert group to examine the existing devolution settlement which will allow the party to set out a clear alternative to independence in next year’s referendum. The move has the blessing of the Prime Minister, Ms Davidson revealed in Edinburgh today. Former Scotland Office minister Lord Strathclyde will head up the new working group which will also include former Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie and ex-Holyrood Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson." - Scotsman

  • "The problem for the Tory leader is that the position she now espouses so passionately is diametrically opposed to that on which she stood for the leadership." - Herald Scotland Editorial

Clegg suffers further popularity slump among Liberal Democrat members

"After the Lib Dems’ victory in last month’s Eastleigh by-election, Clegg allies said he was certain to lead his party into and beyond the 2015 poll. But some grassroots activists want to install a new leader, such as Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, before the election. A survey of 650 party members by the Lib Dem Voice website found that 50 per cent are dissatisfied with Mr Clegg’s performance as party leader, a rise of nine points since December." - The Independent

  • Mike Hancock to be investigated by Portsmouth Council over claims he sent lewd text messages to single mother - Daily Mail

David Miliband leaves the Commons

Miliband David on stage
"David Miliband will quit as an MP today in a huge blow to brother Ed. The former Foreign Secretary is standing down to take on a “dream job” heading up a charity in New York. His resignation will trigger a May by-election in South Shields, South Tyneside, where he has been MP since 2001. Mr Miliband has been on the backbenches since being beaten to the Labour crown by his younger brother in 2010 after a bitter battle that caused irreparable damage to their relationship." - The Sun 

> Today: LeftWatch - David Miliband's flight from the Commons is a sign of the times

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - David Miliband to stand down as an MP, according to reports 

Under its new Editorship, the Times praises Boris

"He is fortunate for not having to straddle the gap between Conservative traditionalists and the political centre with every policy pronouncement. He is lucky, too, that his colourful personal life merely seems to amuse voters.But it is not just luck that has made him a contender. He is a driven, mainstream centre-right conservative who leavens his ambition with accomplished slapstick and makes people feel good about themselves. He has the ability to rewrite the rules of politics such that he can survive seemingly catastrophic interviews that would destroy less likeable rivals." - The Times (£)

Jacob Rees-Mogg: The press must resist this assault on liberty

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 08.19.43"If the choice were between a free and irresponsible press or a responsible state-controlled one then freedom must prevail. The powerful and politicians will never like this because it can threaten their authority. This is where Hacked Off has been so clever, for it has exploited the sad stories of a handful of people who came briefly into the public eye as a cloak for the peccadilloes of celebrities. It will not say who funds it, but some of the luminaries in favour of licensing have disreputable pasts." - Daily Telegraph

  • Sun journalists turn out to back executive in 'illegal payments' court hearing - Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Terror fears over British jihadis fighting in Syria - The Times (£)
  • Lord Browne attacks management of big projects - Financial Times (£)
  • Last-ditch bid to dilute "secret courts" plan fails - The Guardian
  • Anti-austerity march hopes to break Iraq rally record - The Independent
  • CRB changes mean thousands of teachers and doctors will not have to disclose minor criminal convictions - Daily Telegraph
  • Lord Chief Justice demolishes Harman's murder defence for battered women - Daily Mail
  • The secret war in Thailand's deep south - The Independent
  • Top US court starts key gay cases - Daily Express
  • Speaker escapes hike in his pension contributions - Daily Telegraph
  • Soldier dies in hospital after being injured in suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan - Daily Mail
  • Syrian opposition appeals to NATO - The Guardian
  • London councils warn that benefit changes threaten low-income families - Financial Times (£)
  • No decision on Northern Ireland corporation tax until after Scotland referendum - Belfast Telegraph
  • MPs fear flood-risk homes will be left high and dry - The Times (£)
  • Farmers in crisis as big freeze worsens - Daily Express


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.