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April 2012 newslinks

12 Apr 2013 08:29:00

Newslinks for Friday 12th April 2013

5.15pm Tory Diary: Maggie the Revolutionary? Tune in to Channel 4 at 7pm tomorrow evening and find out

5.00pm Local Government: Conservatives have the most candidates in the council elections

4pm LISTEN: ConservativeHome has bowed to pressure from our left-wing friends. The song is here. Ding-dong! The Wicked Witch is Dead 

3.45pm Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

2.15pm WATCH: This evening's Conservative local election broadcast stresses council tax freeze

12.45pm Nicola Blackwood MP on Comment: The horror of rape as a weapon of war. And what we're doing to stop it.

10.30m MPsETC: Karen Allen chosen as Conservative candidate for South Shields byelection

Tory Diary: Where is the national interest in arming Syria's opposition?

Also on Tory Diary: Margaret Thatcher, Compassionate Conservative - not a libertarian (2)

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 08.32.51Iain Dale starts his new weekly Friday diary: Cameron's drinking stories this week about "us working class boys"

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: 1992 - the last elected Conservative Government 

Local Government: Cllr Keith Barrow on The battle for Shropshire

The Deep End: Fiscal conservatism has been betrayed by people who call themselves conservatives

WATCH: Margaret Thatcher knew the price of milk and bread

Guest list released for Thatcher funeral

"The statesmen and political big hitters among the 2,000 guests include Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, and the former South African leader F. W. de Klerk, while there are invitations to every surviving US President. And that is without mentioning the Queen." - The Times (£)

  • Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 08.37.21"Guests from the world of entertainment who have already confirmed their attendance include BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, Welsh singer Dame Shirley Bassey, broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, Lord Lloyd Webber and Sir Timothy Rice. Author Frederick Forsyth, a longstanding supporter of the Conservative Party, has also been invited, as have actresses Joan Collins and June Whitfield." - BBC
  • "A No 10 spokeswoman said: "Those invited include family and friends of Lady Thatcher, those who worked with her over the years, including all surviving members of her cabinets, former chiefs of staff, Conservative associates, peers and MPs, members of the cabinet, peers and MPs, members of the Order of the Garter, members of the Order of Merit, foreign associates and dignitaries and representatives from the wide range of groups she was associated with." - Guardian

TelegraphsongAnger at BBC plans to broadcast song celebrating Thatcher's death

"Three days before the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, the BBC plans to play the song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead on national radio. A campaign by Left-wing agitators has caused the song from the Wizard Of Oz to rise to number 4 in the midweek pop charts. In the past, songs deemed to be too controversial have been banned from the airwaves by the BBC." - Daily Mail

  • "The decision on whether to broadcast the song is the first test for new Director-General Lord Hall, who started in the £450,000-a-year post last week....While Lord Hall believes the campaign to make the song number one is “rather tasteless”, he has told staff it is ultimately an “editorial decision”." - Daily Telegraph
  • "Clearly, the BBC must answer any criticisms and reflect on the totality of its coverage when the funeral is over. Yet with Tony Hall having barely had time to get his knees under the director-general's desk, too many of the complaints seem wildly excessive, wrong, premature and to be pursuing other, even ancestral, agendas." Leader column Guardian

Thatcher attacked Cameron for not being tougher

"Baroness Thatcher not only poured out her frustrations privately to chums — but tore into the PM at social occasions. She accused him of shirking the kind of tough decisions she made as Tory PM in the 1980s to get the nation back on its feet." - The Sun

Riot squad on alert for Thatcher funeral

"A task force will be on red alert to take on anarchists and thugs at potential flashpoints during and after the ceremony. Commander Christine Jones said the Yard was determined to “ensure that events that day pass off safely.” She added: “A mobile team of officers will be deployed ready to respond if needed to events anywhere in London.” - Daily Express

Buckingham Palace "concerned" about full military honours

"Buckingham Palace raised concerns about the ceremonial funeral with military honours for Lady Thatcher that is to be attended on Wednesday by the Queen and more than 2,000 guests including every surviving British prime minister, the Guardian understands." - The Guardian

Rue Margaret Thatcher?

"A Conservative councillor in Paris has proposed that the French capital name one of its streets after Margaret Thatcher. Councillor Jérôme Debus, of the UMP party, will begin his bid for a Rue Margaret Thatcher at the next council meeting last this month." - The Indepedent

KavanaghTrevor Kavanagh recalls press trips with Margaret Thatcher

"Her trips invariably took her into or over danger zones. The RAF jet was equipped with metallic “chaff” to confuse missiles. This proved useful when one was unleashed as we flew out of an African country but failed to hit. ...Aboard the aircraft Margaret Thatcher kicked off her heels, ordered a large glass of scotch and joined the Press for what became a traditional end-of-trip sing-song." - Trevor Kavanagh The Sun

Tim Montgomerie says learn from Thatcher's failures as well as her successes

"For me, Margaret Thatcher was the finest peacetime prime minister of the past century but she didn’t provide the first or the final word on what it means to be a Conservative. On balance, the parliamentary party was wrong to remove her as Prime Minister in 1990 but there were good reasons why it did. Today’s Conservative Party needs to learn from her failures as well as her successes." Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

> Today: Also on Tory Diary: Margaret Thatcher, Compassionate Conservative - not a libertarian (2)


Cameron to fly to Berlin

"David Cameron is flying to Berlin later to press his demands for sweeping reform of the European Union. The prime minister believes the EU needs to change to allow the UK, or other members, not to be bound by all of its decisions. Mr Cameron will accompanied on the visit by his wife Samantha and their three children, following an invitation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel." - BBC

IndependentblairBlair attacks Miliband for offering sympathy not leadership

"In his boldest foray into politics since resigning as Prime Minister six years ago, Mr Blair rejected the Labour leader’s assertion that voters were shifting to the left. He warned that allowing Labour to
retreat to its “comfort zone” of opposing all cuts would reduce it to a party of protest." - The Times (£)

  • "Tony Blair has issued a warning to Ed Miliband about turning Labour back into a left-wing party of protest. In an article for the New Statesman, he says Labour is "back as the party opposing 'Tory cuts'". As a result it is in danger of becoming a "repository for people's anger" rather than a party with answers to the country's problems." - BBC
  • "He wrote: "The guiding principle should be that we are the seekers after answers, not the repository for people's anger. In the first case, we have to be dispassionate even when the issues arouse great passion. In the second case, we are simple fellow-travellers in sympathy; we are not leaders. And in these times, above all, people want leadership." - The Guardian
  • Timesblair"Alan Milburn said: "The closer the election comes, people will stop asking Labour what it is against. They will want to know what Labour is for and what, if elected, it would do. Tony Blair is right to argue that the sooner that process begins in earnest, the better." - The Independent
  • "Mr Miliband’s reply to the article confirmed its criticisms. His rebuttal was full of meaningless soundbites (“political parties need to move forward not backwards”) and offered only one example of how he hopes to “adapt to new times” – by talking tough about immigration. But on the one issue where he has tried to make a clear break from the past, Mr Miliband actually has little new to offer the voters: no explanation of how he will deal with Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, and no plan to address the magnetic effect of our welfare system." Leader column Daily Telegraph
  • "When Tony Blair speaks, shouldn’t Labour listen? These days, they boo. The former PM’s comprehensive attack on Labour’s lurch to the Left under Red Ed is stinging." - The Sun Says

FraserFraser Nelson says Nigel Farage listens to voters concerns

"Farage is extending his message beyond Brussels-bashing. Those expenses-fiddlers in Westminster don’t understand you, he says, not as Maggie once did. Or even Tony Blair. They won’t meet you, or listen to you. And if you’ve had enough, then vote Ukip: we’re on your side. It’s a message intended to be as effective in the town hall as it was in Eastleigh – the formula for Ukip’s transformation. In three weeks’ time, we’ll see if it works." - Fraser Nelson Daily Telegraph

Polly Toynbee says welfare reform is not a vote winner

"Too early to say yet how the Thatcher triumph will play out in the polls: the latest daily YouGov may be a blip, but Labour leapt 14% ahead, with the Tories on a record 28% low. Attlee-like modesty in time of austerity might have touched more voters, but Cameron doesn't do subtle." Polly Toynbee The Guardian

  • Labour lead down to 10% with Conservatives at 32% - YouGov

Dan Hodges on being Glenda Jackson's son

"A friend told me it’s the duty of parents to embarrass their children: “It keeps us honest.” And when the children are grown, and the threat of an early bedtime and frozen pocket money is no longer available, public humiliation is the only weapon left in the armoury. I suspect most parents don’t get the opportunity to unleash it on the floor of the House of Commons, though." Dan Hodges Daily Telegraph

HayekHayek would have predicted crisis

"The problem is that the financial system that emerged in the late 1990s became increasingly “free” in the wrong way: it was freed from the constraints of the discipline of profit and loss, not free in the sense understood by Thatcher and Hayek. In a true free market, governments don’t protect firms, don’t stand behind them with guarantees, and don’t inject money into the economy whenever the stock market starts to fall." Allister Heath City AM

Full list of councils holding elections this year - BBC

Clegg says make drunks pay for the cost of A&E

"Drunk people who get arrested or need treatment in accident and emergency units should be charged to compensate the taxpayer, Nick Clegg has said. Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said he supported the idea of imposing levies on people who get “blind drunk” and end up in hospital or at a police station." - Daily Telegraph

Criminal investigation into Mid Staffs - NHS could face jail - Daily Mail

Pubs demand minimum alcohol price - Daily Telegraph

Cyprus told to find another €6bn - The Guardian

And finally...Chuka Umunna has "no recollection" of editing his Wikipedia enry to compare himself to Obama

"Chuka Umunna’s Wikipedia entry was altered to add a paragraph that described him as “gifted” and quoted a leading human rights activist saying that he “may end up as the UK’s Barack Obama”. The change was made by someone using a computer at Rochman Landau in January 2008, the law firm where Mr Umunna was working at the time. The Shadow Business Secretary has previously complained about journalists comparing him to President Obama." - The Times (£)


> 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.

30 Apr 2012 08:15:34

Newslinks for Monday 30th April 2012

7.45pm Local government: New poll gives Boris a 12% lead, biggest of campaign

6.15pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: "When someone says "Folk should not be permitted to criticise my conduct, as I am incapable of behaving otherwise", there is a lot at stake - an entire vision of society.  No mainstream Christian could ever accept this, and if one wants to allow mainstream Christians in one's society, that Christians will not accept this is something one really must get over." The true person is the actor, not the feeler.

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 18.00.406pm WATCH: Cameron to Skinner - "He has the right at any time to take his pension - and I advise him to do so."

5.15pm MPsETC: Boss (Bercow) gives Man (Cameron) bad day at the office. So Man kicks Cat (Miliband).

3.15pm WATCH: Daniel Hannan MEP - ‪The case for ethnographic frontiers‬

10am Local Government:

ToryDiary: The Cameroons can't beat the Right and the Right can't beat the Cameroons - but we need to get along better

Columnist Bruce Anderson: France's election choice is between a jackanapes and a dunderhead

Annesley Abercorn on Comment: An urgent, coherent strategy is needed from the Government in order to save the Great British Pub

Majority Conservatism: How Conservatives might reach the North and address its "party of the rich" challenge

Local Government:

WATCH: Lord Heseltine on the UK economy

Cameron: Eurozone may face collapse

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 05.02.49"David Cameron issued a stark warning yesterday that the eurozone is facing a renewed threat of collapse as he blamed economic woes on the Continent for Britain's double-dip recession. In comments which will infuriate other European leaders ahead of elections in France and Greece next weekend, the Prime Minister said Europe was not "anywhere near half-way through" its currency crisis. And he predicted that the euro could yet fall apart as countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy struggle to cope with the economic constraints imposed upon them." - The Independent

  • Pickles battles "EU order to fly its flag every day" - Daily Express
  • Monetary union has created intolerable economic stress. Germany must decide if it wants the euro to survive - Times Editorial (£)

> Yesterday:

Local elections loom on Thursday

"David Cameron will face one of his toughest tests this week as his party goes into the local elections after a month of bad headlines, trailing Labour in the polls and with a cabinet minister’s career in the balance. Voters will on Thursday elect local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Conservative party is bracing itself to lose up to 350 council seats after the coalition’s most challenging month yet." - Financial Times (£)

Lib Dems look for salvation in shape of Tories’ disarray

Clegg on Marr"The string of problems hitting the Tories could save the Liberal Democrats from a catastrophic meltdown in this Thursday’s local elections, party chiefs claimed yesterday. The Lib Dems are still expecting to lose up to half their 650 council seats in England and Wales as voters continue to blame Nick Clegg for joining the coalition. They could do even worse in Scottish local elections. But Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Liberal Democrat councillors in England and Wales, said that in the past two weeks there had been signs on the doorstep that voters were blaming the coalition’s current woes on the Conservatives rather than their partners." - The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Prime Minister warned that gay marriage support will cost votes

"David Cameron was warned yesterday against ignoring the views of his party’s traditional backers.The warning came after a poll suggested his support for gay marriage could cost the Tories between eight and 30 seats in a general election. The survey was for the Coalition For Marriage, which campaigns against same-sex couples marrying on equal terms to heterosexuals.  Opposition was very strong among people who voted Tory in 2010 but are intending to support other parties." - Daily Express 

The many are losing the unequal struggle: Charles Moore reviews Ferdinand Mount's new book on how oligarchies now run Britain - Daily Telegraph 

Conservative party's 301 radicals seek to shake up 1922 status quo

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 07.08.16"The group will on Monday show it is reshaping the Conservative parliamentary party when it takes the distinctly un-Tory step of publishing a slate of candidates for the elections to the executive of the 1922 committee. Candidates of all ages and intakes will be put forward to modernise the "antique" backbench committee, which has a hierarchical structure whereby new MPs have to defer to longer-serving colleagues in the weekly meetings." - The Guardian

  • Kris Hopkins, Charlie Elphicke and George Hollingberry plan "seismic chang" to oust "bloody rude" old guard - The Guardian

In praise of…Iain Duncan Smith - Guardian Editorial

Cameron must make the Conservative Party look like the nation

"Voters would love tougher action on crime, but fear the government won't deliver. Again, the deficit makes things harder, but the government could make some symbolic first steps. How about introducing much tougher penalties for hate crimes? After all, when there is disorder and crime it is not the rich or strong who suffer, but the weak, the poor, and those who are "different". It would be tough and fair. These are the values that should shape the next phase of tory modernisation." - Neil O'Brien, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Majority Conservatism - "For the rich. Selfish. Rubbish." Lord Ashcroft's new study shows what ethnic and religious minorities think of the Conservative Party. (But it's not all bad news, especially among Hindus and Sikhs...)

Labour's Lord Hutton unveiled as leader of Government's 'John Lewis' reform of public bodies - Daily Mail 

Paul Goodman: How Cameron should deal with UKIP

"What is clear is that Mr Cameron’s best means of stopping Ukip have less to do with Europe than with keeping the promises he signed up to in the coalition agreement all those months ago. In particular, he should concentrate on getting immigration from outside the EU down to tens of thousands of people. Mr Cameron must also convince voters that crime really is falling. The next election will be tight. If he fails to focus on the issues that voters genuinely care about, Ukip could deprive him of the handful of seats essential for him to return to No 10." - Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - Cameron's ratings have collapsed, UKIP could cost the Tories 30 seats... but there is SOME good news in the opinion polls

Labour councillor under fire after being pictured holding a rocket launcher - The Sun

Jeremy Hunt: Cameron plays for time...

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 07.28.19
"David Cameron has said he is ready to order an inquiry into whether Jeremy Hunt broke strict ministerial rules - but only after the Culture Secretary has given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. The PM said he will "act" if evidence emerges from Mr Hunt's testimony that the ministerial code was broken. The PM also insisted there was no "grand deal" with Rupert Murdoch for force through the BSkyB deal in return for the support of News International newspapers." - The Sun

  • Labour will press Cameron to come to the Commons today over Hunt - The Guardian
  • ‘Criminal’ BSkyB could lose licence, says Harman - The Times (£)
  • "Tory and Labour members of the culture select committee are at odds over how far to criticise the Murdoch family just days before publishing a report on phone hacking and News International." - Financial Times (£)
  • Michael Gove reveals that Hunt is amazing at dancing the lambada - The Guardian

> Yesterday: WATCH - Michael Fallon MP tells Channel 4 News that we don't need another inquiry into Jeremy Hunt

...And says Brooks Christmas dinner was a mistake

"Attending the infamous Christmas dinner with Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch at which the BSkyB bid was discussed was a mistake, David Cameron confessed yesterday. However, the Prime Minister insisted he made no 'grand deal' with the pair in exchange for their media empire's support for the Tories. The Prime Minister admitted having a conversation with Mr Murdoch over his father Rupert's proposed takeover of BSkyB at a party at the Oxfordshire home of Mrs Brooks, who is now on police bail in the phone-hacking investigation." - Daily Mail

Whitehall cleaners call for pay increase - The Times (£)

Shapps and Green target "beds in sheds"

SHAPPS NEW"The government is setting up a task force to tackle "beds in sheds" by acting against criminal landlords and removing illegal immigrants. Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Immigration Minister Damian Green will discuss the problem later with police, immigration and council officials.
Thousands of sheds and outbuildings are rented out illegally, say ministers." - BBC

  • New immigration rules will keep out human rights abusers - Daily Telegraph
  • Heathrow at 'breaking' point as Border Force struggles to cope, leaked memos warn - Daily Telegraph

BBC promises review of explicit sex film for children following criticism from ministers - Daily Mail

NHS news 1) reform vote set to open old wounds - Financial Times (£)

NHS news 2) Loophole lets foreign visitors get free treatment - The Sun

Talks held on proposal to fly Irish tricolour at Stormont - Belfast Telegraph

Flood chaos to last all week - 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.

29 Apr 2012 09:03:42

Newslinks for Sunday 29th April 2012

8pm ToryDiary: Boris, "the Heineken Tory" who reaches parts of the electorate that other Conservatives don't

Screen Shot 2012-04-29 at WATCH: "Not-Again-Ken" video to tune of "In The Navy"

5pm ToryDiary: Clark, Davis, Fallon, Grayling, Laws, Shapps and Redwood are top hopes for Cabinet

4pm WATCH: It is now clear that Jeremy Hunt wasn't acting impartially, claims Harriet Harman

Noon WATCH: Cameron should give more up-close-and-personal TV interviews and fewer speeches

Screen Shot 2012-04-29 at 09.29.47

10.15am ToryDiary: The Coalition is strong and focused on delivering over five years, says Cameron in confident Marr Show interview

ToryDiary: Cameron's ratings have collapsed, UKIP could cost the Tories 30 seats... but there is SOME good news in the opinion polls

AshcroftPaul Goodman on Majority Conservatism: "For the rich. Selfish. Rubbish." Lord Ashcroft's new study shows what ethnic and religious minorities think of the Conservative Party. (But it's not all bad news, especially among Hindus and Sikhs...)

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: The Tory leadership should listen to the activists and councillors who work so hard for the party

Kevin Andrews MP on International: Australian Labor is on the ropes

Jillian Lilico on Comment: 'Local procurement' could help maximise the effectiveness of UK aid spending

Ben Locker on Local government reports that Lib Dem MP for Colchester Sir Bob Russell seems to think that those with jobs should not be councillors

WATCH: Michael Fallon MP tells Channel 4 News that we don't need another inquiry into Jeremy Hunt

Hunt Jeremy red tieJeremy Hunt is the firewall between Cameron and the Murdoch crisis - Independent on Sunday

"David Cameron has issued a devastating private warning that the crisis over Ministers’ links with Rupert Murdoch is ‘going to get worse before it gets better’ – amid fears at No 10 that George Osborne is being drawn into the heart of the row." - Mail on Sunday

"Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive who is under investigation by Scotland Yard over her role in the hacking affair, is understood to be ready to disclose any text messages and emails between herself and David Cameron if required." - The Sunday Times (£)

  • Sir Michael Lyons, former BBC Trust chairman, says Jeremy Hunt was 'far too close' to News Corporation - Observer
  • "Jeremy Hunt’s crucial role in planning the Olympic Games makes him too important to be sacked , a Tory MP said last night." - Sunday Express
  • If Hunt misled the House, it's all over for him - John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday
  • "The Murdoch affair has exposed the shadowy figures paid to influence ministers, and the advisers who deal with them. Iain Martin shines a light into a dark corner of politics." - Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph
  • Labour calls for inquiry into Alex Salmond adviser's relationship with Rupert Murdoch - BBC

Opinion Poll graphicSunday newspaper polling

  • "According to the YouGov poll for The Sunday Times (£), Ed Miliband’s party is on 40%, the Tories are on 29% and the Liberal Democrats are on 11%, with UKIP hot on their heels at 10%. The popularity gap between Cameron and Miliband has narrowed from 23 points to seven points in a week."
  • Cameron is being deserted in droves — with four in ten supporters saying they won’t vote for him again - Sun on Sunday
  • 82% think Government is "out-of-touch" - Sunday Express

Lack of appeal to minorities costing Tories seats - The Sunday Telegraph

"The Tories' reputation among ethnic-minority voters will not change overnight. First, the party must understand the anxieties and aspirations of people from these backgrounds – and that many do not believe Tory principles extend to the concern for others that are an essential part of their own religious and cultural identity. Otherwise, it will continue to be seen as a party of middle-class white people which talks only to other middle-class white people." - Lord Ashcroft in The Sunday Telegraph

Matt Chorley records the last 39 days of terrible headlines since the Budget - Independent on Sunday

  • A summary of another terrible weekend for the Conservative Party - Spectator
  • "It is not a paradox that a fixation on spin should produce appalling headlines. Unless a government appeals to its natural supporters and delivers concrete improvements in living standards it is doomed. So long as Cameron continues to obsess over liberal-metropolitan shibboleths while ignoring the concerns of real people, he will remain in a spin himself. Until spun out of No 10 at the next election, that is." - Neil Hamilton in the Sunday Express

Boris Johnson: We need more tax cuts - The Sunday Telegraph

Screen Shot 2012-04-29 at 08.21.19

> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary: Boris tries to shore up his core support, calling himself a "tax-cutting Conservative"

A Boris victory is the only thing that can save the Tories now - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday

HeinekenTim Montgomerie in the Mail on Sunday: "Cameron will also be aware that a re-elected Boris will become a huge new force in Conservative politics. Boris would have twice done what Cameron has failed to do – win an election outright. Moreover he would have won in a city where it’s very hard for Conservatives to win. Boris is ‘the Heineken Tory’ – reaching parts of the electorate that other Conservatives, notably Cameron, cannot seem to reach."

The Sunday Telegraph also examines the secrets of Boris' success: "What Mr Johnson does not say is as important as what he does. He does not spend his time trumpeting the virtues of wind farms, or increasing overseas aid, or promoting single-sex marriage".

  • Lord Sugar: I’m at a total loss as to why the Labour Party has decided to back Ken Livingstone in the mayoral election - Sun on Sunday

Cardinal O'Brien, Leader of Scotland's Catholics, accuses David Cameron of 'immoral' tax stance - BBC

"In a BBC Scotland interview, he said: "My message to David Cameron, as the head of our government, is to seriously think again about this Robin Hood tax, the tax to help the poor by taking a little bit from the rich. "The poor have suffered tremendously from the financial disasters of recent years and nothing, really, has been done by the very rich people to help them."" - BBC

Screen Shot 2012-04-29 at 08.07.29

"Britain's wealthiest people are richer than they have ever been with a combined fortune of £414 billion, even though the rest of the country is mired in its worst recession since the 1930s. The Sunday Times Rich List 2012 (£), published today, reveals that the 1,000 richest men and women in the country have increased their wealth by 4.7% on last year’s total of £395.8 billion, surpassing the previous high of £412.8 billion recorded before the 2008 financial crash."

HALFON-robertRobert Halfon MP says party needs more gritty spokespeople like Esther McVey - Mail on Sunday 

  • Under Cameron and Osborne the Conservatives have become a club - Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
  • ""Arrogant posh boys" will be glued to Messrs Cameron and Osborne as indelibly as "something of the night" was to Michael Howard" - Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer
  • The proles don’t mind the posh that much, but they’re not necessarily ultra-keen on super-sophisticated intellectual elites that pretend to be just like them - India Knight in The Sunday Times (£)
  • "Have you ever tried to look at David Cameron’s face? I mean, really look at it? I find it almost impossible. His skin has a sort of eerie sheen that means one’s eyes glide right off. And Nick Clegg (when you actually catch a glimpse of him) is scarcely better. He’s remarkably unremarkable. Meanwhile Miliband Jnr and his cohorts on the opposite benches hardly provide an alternative to get excited about." - Clare Heal in The Sunday Express

Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin has privately assured anxious Tory backbenchers that the gay marriage issue will never come to a vote and will be kicked into the long grass

Gay Marriage Cake"The pressure on Mr Cameron has been increased by warnings that a Tory rebellion in the Commons would eclipse last year's EU referendum revolt, when 81 Conservatives defied the Prime Minister. Backbenchers are reporting an 'avalanche' of protests from Conservative supporters over the gay marriage initiative championed by Mr Cameron." - Mail on Sunday

  • Within a story headlined about Boris, The Sunday Telegraph reports: "A survey by pollsters ComRes suggested Mr Cameron’s strong support for same-sex marriage could cost his party up to 30 seats in a general election."

New measures will allow ministers to bar entry of non-EU citizens accused of serious charges such as torture or murder - Observer

The Sun on Sunday joins the Daily Mail in calling for a internet service providers to block porn as the default setting on their service - Sun on Sunday

If freedom means seeing our kids defiled by porn, I opt out - Minette Marrin in The Sunday Times (£)

> Friday's Deep End made the case for Claire Perry MP's bid to protect kids from online adult content



"More people would like Mrs Thatcher to be in charge than the current prime minister or his predecessors, a poll reveals. The Iron Lady scored 4.5 out of 10 in a YouGov poll — pipping David Cameron into second, with 4.2 out of 10. Nick Clegg was the least favourite of all party chiefs, scraping 2.9." - Sun on Sunday

The Mail on Sunday gives Ed Miliband its main editorial page to attack David Cameron

Miliband Ed June 2011"Any government is bound to make its share of mistakes, but from the Budget to the cash-for-access scandal and from the recession to Murdoch, the events of the last few weeks show this Government’s true colours. They are a direct consequence of being out of touch with the many and in touch with only a privileged few." - Ed Miliband in the Mail on Sunday

Ed Balls warns of a decade of Japanese-style stagnation without a plan for jobs and growth - The Observer

The BBC has launched an inquiry which could lead to a ban on MPs being paid to appear as guests on programmes - The Sunday Telegraph

All of the latest opinion polls look bleak for Sarkozy - Electionista

And finally... David Cameron's heartbroken former lover becomes a nun called Sister John Mary - Mail on Sunday


> 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.

28 Apr 2012 09:01:40

Newslinks for Saturday 28th April 2012

9.15pm ToryDiary: Boris tries to shore up his core support, calling himself a "tax-cutting Conservative"

Miliband Tele iv5.30pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: "In my view, Jeremy Hunt shouldn't still be in his post given the evidence against him"

4.15pm MPsETC: Sir George Young reminds Labour of their failure to take action against Damian McBride while in office

3pm International: One man confronted a whole hemisphere for Britain and the Falkland Islanders. It wasn't Barack Obama. It was Stephen Harper. Friend of Israel. Low tax conservative. Social conservative. All round good man.

2.30pm LISTEN: Alex Salmond: "Meetings I had with News International were about jobs and investment in Scotland"

TimesToryDiary: Iain Duncan Smith says cutting welfare is difficult, but opens the door to withdrawing middle class benefits

Simon Reevell MP on Comment: Pressing ahead with Lords reform without a referendum misrepresents what voters agreed to

Glyn Gaskarth on Local Government: The politics of pensions schemes

Local Government: Council byelection from yesterday


David Cameron cornered over Jeremy Hunt

HUNT JEREMY FORMAL"Lord Justice Leveson will not rule on whether Jeremy Hunt broke the Ministerial Code in his dealings with the Murdoch empire, sources have disclosed. The judge’s position will undermine David Cameron’s refusal to order a Whitehall investigation into the Culture Secretary’s conduct in relation to the News Corporation bid for full control of BSkyB. Sources said that Lord Leveson, who is carrying out a public inquiry into media standards, “does not consider himself to be the arbiter of the code”." - Daily Telegraph

  • Inquiry tells No 10: It's your job to decide whether Hunt broke rules - Independent

> From yesterday: 

Leveson inquiry rejects Jeremy Hunt's bid to appear early

"Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has had his request to appear at the Leveson Inquiry early refused after pledging to hand over his private emails about the BSkyB takeover bid. A spokesman said Lord Leveson had decided not to change the scheduling "in the interests of fairness to all"." - BBC

  • "Pressure mounted on beleaguered Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday, as a Westminster sleaze watchdog called for a swift investigation of allegations over his handling of News Corporation’s takeover bid for BSkyB." - Scotsman
  • "From George Osborne to Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May, the Tories tipped for the top job are pulling up lame. But Boris Johnson could gallop up on the outside" - Matthew Norman
  • The worst days of Major and Brown felt like this – but the public should not rush to judgment - Charles Moore

The Telegraph pile on Hunt, saying he "avoided £100,000 tax bill in deal just days before rate rise" - Daily Telegraph

Iain Duncan Smith says suggested £10bn welfare cuts will be tough

Duncan Smith On Marr"George Osborne will be blocked if he attempts to raid a further £10 billion from the welfare budget, a former Tory leader is warning, as a major faultline opens up in the Cabinet over the next round of spending cuts. Iain Duncan Smith has told the Chancellor that welfare spending is not an “easy target” and rejects the call to squeeze the bill by £10 billion between 2014 and 2016 to protect spending in other Whitehall departments." - The Times (£)

IDS interview: ‘You fester on incapacity benefit. No one cares, and you get worse’ - The Times (£)

Tory backbenchers urge party to reduce fuel duty and soften tone of language to appeal to ordinary voters

"Robert Halfon, a member of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, urged ministers to drop their aggressive language about unions and pleaded for a cut in fuel duty to help ordinary families "crushed" by soaring petrol prices. ... Mr Halfon said the Tories found it difficult to convey the appeal of policies – such as raising income tax thresholds – designed to help "hardworking people, strugglers or strivers"." - Independent

"Cameron is urged by senior Tories to bring the Cabinet reshuffle forward after turbulent month sees poll ratings crash"

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRT"Middle-ranking ministers being tipped for promotion include housing minister Grant Shapps, employment minister Chris Grayling and disability minister Maria Miller. Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke are widely predicted to be axed, while party chairman Baroness Warsi, who is admired by senior figures but thought unsuited to her current post, is expected to be moved to a new portfolio." - Daily Mail

Grant Shapps rejects Newham "social cleansing claims"

SHAPPS NEW"My view is that it's unacceptable to say to families, we're going to move you 130 miles away without giving you a say. Some people might want to start a new life. Fine. But you don't do that behind their backs, writing to housing associations and setting it up. It's also borderline illegal. I'm absolutely clear that, given the housing cap of £21,000 – and in Newham it's something like £15,000, because it depends where you are – there are places available for rent, so why would you do this?" - Grant Shapps interview in the Guardian

Damian Green summoned to Parliament to explain Heathrow chaos

"Damian Green, the immigration minister, has been summoned to explain a crisis at border control to MPs after a spate of lengthy queues and increased waiting times spread to Heathrow’s flagship terminal. Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, told the Financial Times that he had asked Mr Green to appear before the panel of MPs as reports of “chaos” at British airports gathered pace." - FT (£)

  • Passengers are being forced to wait up to an hour and a half to get in to the UK as the Border Force routinely misses its daily targets for queue times - Daily Telegraph

Patrick O'Flynn: "not only is the Lib Dem presence in the Government damaging the country, it is now also doing potentially lethal damage to Conservative electoral prospects."

LibDemDead"The Lib Dems have worked out that damaging the Tories is in their interest. Twice as many of the 57 Lib Dem MPs have Tories in second place in their constituencies as have Labour in second place. So by depressing the Tory rating through acts of sabotage the Lib Dems can expect to save twice as many seats as they would by concentrating their fire on Labour. If this strategy results in Labour becoming the largest party after the next election the Lib Dems will just swap sides, so what do they care?" - Patrick O'Flynn in the Daily Express

  • Most voters think the Lib Dems have sacrificed too many of their principles - Independent
  • 'I'd vote for the Lib Dems again, on one condition: That they ditch the Tories' - Independent

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Liam Fox calls for spending cuts, urges deregulation, attacks the LibDems - and does all this in cahoots with George Osborne

Boris Johnson: ‘He’s a barefaced . . .’ [pauses] Liar? ‘Yes’

Johnson Boris On Tube"He says his opponent, who is accused of using a company to minimise tax, has still failed to produce evidence of his own full earnings. “It is unbelievable,” he snipes. “He is a barefaced . . .” Liar? “Yes.” No regrets there, then. ... Asked about national politics, Mr Johnson squirms. “I’m far more interested in driverless trains.” And then he hits out at Mr Livingstone again. “‘I won’t automate the Tube,’ ” he says, mimicking his opponent’s voice. “LUDDITE. The guy is a Luddite.”" - Boris Johnson interview in the Times (£)

> Yesterday on Local Government: New poll shows Boris 8% ahead - but could he get his budget through the London Assembly?

How a decade of cuts banished the depression of the 1930s

"‘There is no magic in it,’ Chamberlain said in his triumphant 1935 Budget interview screened in cinemas up and down the land. 'The application of the principles of sound finance has established confidence in industry. Confidence has begotten enterprise and enterprise has increased employment and profits, so revenue has increased faster than expenditure.’ ... In other words: cuts in public spending, balancing the Budget, low interest rates and, finally, tax cuts." - George Trefgarne for the Daily Mail

  • Liberal Democrat describes Tory plans for 5% spending cuts as 'self-harm' - Guardian
  • How to pull Britain back from the brink - Alistair Darling in the FT (£)

Chief constable quits over police reforms - The Times (£)

Scottish council elections: ‘Jobs for all’ promise from Ed Miliband - Scotsman

Alex Salmond is an ‘undercover lobbyist’ for Murdoch, says Ed Miliband

SALMOND ALEX"Mr Miliband said this week’s revelations about the “warm” relationship between the SNP leader and the press baron were “shocking”, adding that Mr Salmond should have been “open” about the fact that he was prepared to talk to Jeremy Hunt about the BSkyB bid. Mr Salmond has defended himself by saying that he nurtured his relationship with the Murdoch empire and was prepared to lobby for the News Corp take-over of BSkyB in order to protect and bring jobs to Scotland." - Scotsman

  • "Cracks have started to appear in Alex Salmond’s Cabinet over his decision to lobby for Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of BSkyB after his deputy lashed out at the BBC and suggested she does not approve of the media mogul" - Daily Telegraph

Graeme Archer: When did Britain become the kind of country that tolerates voting fraud?

LIVINGSTONE KEN@DEMO"In the London borough of Tower Hamlets, where a Ken Livingstone supporter is mayor, the number of registered voters increased by a “surprising” 7,023, in a single month, between April and May 2010. Likewise, in a borough with a large Bangladeshi community – not a society to which the concept of communal voting is unknown, or one famous for its liberated women – the proportion of postal votes has inexorably grown." - Graeme Archer for the Daily Telegraph

There's only two Derek Rowleys! Labour cries foul as Tories field namesake in 'lookalike' election - Daily Mail

Taxi for Tory donor: Tycoon loses contract after rows over cash-for-access, cyclists and bus lanes - Daily Mirror

"Former Labour MP Margaret Moran will not face a jury on charges of fiddling her expenses, after a judge determined that she is not fit to plead." - Scotsman

Cops want power to nail internet pervs - The Sun

Martin McGuinness hints he is willing to meet the Queen - Scotsman

And finally... "David Cameron has shown he is totes clued up about The Only Way Is Essex" - The Sun