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Teatime newslinks for Monday 31st October 2011

THERESA MAY TO ANNOUNCE NEW, TOUGH MEASURES FOR GUN CRIME

  • "Theresa May is expected to announce plans to make possessing a gun with intent to supply a specific offence, it has emerged." - Guardian
  • "Changes to the law on self defence are likely to have little or no impact on the justice system, according to the government's own assessment. Last week, the Ministry of Justice said they would "strengthen people's rights to use force to defend themselves from intruders in their own homes". But the MoJ's impact assessment says the move "seeks to clarify the law rather than making material changes"." - BBC

LIAM FOX SPEAKS TO THE BBC - HE HOPES FOR A FRONTBENCH RETURN, EVENTUALLY

  • "Liam Fox has told BBC Bristol he hopes to return to the front benches - but is also looking forward to being freer to say what he thinks as a backbencher. The ex-defence secretary admitted he was "careless" in not having a civil servant present at a Dubai meeting with a potential defence contractor. He "paid the price" for that, which fitted with his belief that people should take responsibility for actions. No 10 said it was unsurprising Mr Fox was keen on return to government. The PM's official spokeswoman said: "He did good work while he was defence secretary. But he resigned only a few days ago."" - BBC
  • Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, has admitted that he is still in touch with Adam Werritty and accused the media of making "a meal" of the relationship with his friend and self-styled adviser. - Daily Telegraph

REGIONAL GROWTH FUND SPENDING ANNOUNCEMENT

  • FT Westminster reports the odd, rushed appearance Ministers are giving with the announcement of the Regional Growth Fund investments
  • PoliticsHome (£) covers Number 10's lobby briefing: "The spokeswoman also defended the decision to award money under the Regional Growth Fund to large companies such as JCB. She said: "I imagine they are providing jobs in areas that need jobs, and that's one of the key things of the Regional Growth Fund is that we've looked very carefully at those people who have, or those companies that have, bid for investment, and one of the key things is that the investment that we provide will provide leverage for much greater investment in the private sector.""

LORD YOUNG WAS NEVER SACKED - HE HAS BEEN WORKING FOR NO. 10 FOR MONTHS

  • "Remember Lord Young? He is the former trade and industry secretary who was given the task of reviewing health and safety regulation for Number 10 last year. ... Lord Young apparently came back to Number 10 last month to work as Cameron’s “enterprise adviser”. His return was not announced by any press notice or prime ministerial statement: rather journalists spotted Lord Young walking along Downing Street and figured out he was back. Except he wasn’t back, not strictly. In fact I am told he never actually left. His “resignation”was little more than a media stunt and he kept working for free for Number 10 throughout."
  • "What’s more, in a sign of the high regard in which he is held by the prime minister, I am also told he is only one of two people to have his own office in Number 10 – everyone else has to share. The other, of course, is the PM himself." - Both points from the FT's Kiran Stacey

DAVID CAMERON'S ADOPTION DRIVE

  • WATCH: David Cameron: "We need a real culture change in this country to be more pro-adoption"
  • Children's Minister Tim Loughton: "I’m absolutely clear that it's not about targeting the number of kids we bring into adoption because every child is different. It's a judgement of Solomon and we don’t appreciate just how difficult a call it is for social workers particularly, making an assessment as to whether to intervene, whether to take that child into care or whether there is a safe way back to their family." - PoliticsHome (£)

ST PAUL'S PROTESTS

  • "The dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London has resigned, saying his position had become untenable. The Very Rev Graeme Knowles said the past fortnight had been a testing time." - BBC
  • "The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has warned that "urgent" issues raised by the protesters at St Paul's Cathedral must be properly addressed as the Dean Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, resigned." - Daily Telegraph
  • Archbishop Cranmer tweets: "Ironic that a protest against greedy bankers and selfish capitalists has claimed the scalps of two sympathetic Christian socialists."
  • Newsnight's Paul Mason adds: "[The protest] hasn't started a revolution but seems to have kicked off a second Reformation"

LABOUR NO LONGER SUPPORT A THIRD RUNWAY - Daily Telegraph

PALESTINE JOINS UNESCO

  • "Palestine became a full member of UNESCO on Monday, in a highly divisive breakthrough that could cost the agency a fifth of its budget and that the U.S. and other opponents say could harm renewed Mideast peace efforts." - AP
  • Reuters: "White House says vote to admit Palestinians to UNESCO is "premature""

OTHER POLITICAL NEWS  

  • Paul Waugh reports on the Tory MP who made a bet on the number of rebels on last week's vote
  • GCHQ chief reports 'disturbing' cyber-attacks on UK - BBC
  • EU in bid to veto UK bank reform - City AM
  • World population hits 7 billion - Reuters
  • Amusing read: "Why do these swivel-eyed, ­mouth-foaming, ear-steaming ­Eurosceptics keep banging on and on and on about a referendum? We had one as recently as 1975! A mere 36 years later, and these drooling Little Englanders keep demanding that the British people should have more of a say in the running of Britain. Nutty or what? Look, the bigoted xenophobes need to understand that our politicians are united on this subject – Tories, Lib Dems and Labour have all broken manifesto promises to hold a ­referendum on Europe. It’s called democracy." - Tony Parsons in the Daily Mirror

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