5pm Conservative News Links

« Reactions to PMQs and a review of the UK-US extradition treaty lead our teatime newslinks | Main | No. 10 pressing on with NHS reforms and William Hague's recognition of Syrian opposition lead our teatime newslinks »

David Cameron's Somalia conference and William Hague's Syrian intervention comments lead our teatime newslinks

David Cameron's Somalia conference

Net migration to the UK stuck at 250,000 despite Cameron's tough talk on slashing numbers - Daily Mail

Andrew Lansley appears to reject the possibility of another Cabinet position

LANSLEY-ANDREW-LONG"Responding to speculation that he will be moved in a summer reshuffle, he makes clear that he wants no other job. "I'm not in politics in order to be up the greasy pole or anything like that. I think there is probably nothing more important than to give the NHS the kind of foundation it needs for the future."" - Evening Standard interview

William Hague presses for tougher sanctions against the Syrian regime 

  • Hague William New Headshot"William Hague, the foreign secretary, has signalled plans to step up sanctions in a bid to bring down the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, amid a rising toll of civilian victims. The day after Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were among the 80 killed in an artillery assault on Homs, Hague said he believed president Assad should go, and called for a diplomatic and economic stranglehold to be imposed on the regime. "Time is against the Assad regime," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. "I wish it were faster"." - Guardian
  • Jeremy Brier on Comment: Economic measures will not stop the Syrian regime. Only a military response will work.
  • Assad must pay for Marie Colvin's murder - Con Coughlin

Labour suspends MP Eric Joyce over assault allegations

"The Labour MP Eric Joyce has been suspended from the party after allegations of an assault in a House of Commons bar. Joyce remains MP for Falkirk but cannot take the Labour whip in the Commons until the completion of a police investigation into the incident. Scotland Yard confirmed that officers detained a man in his 50s after being called to reports of an incident at a bar within the Palace of Westminster at around 10.50pm on Wednesday. He was taken into custody at a central London police station." - Guardian

  • Eric Joyce, and what the Commons drinking culture tells us about the life of an MP - James Kirkup

Eurozone predicted to contract by 0.3% in 2012

Eurozone"The European Commission has predicted that the eurozone economy will contract by 0.3% in 2012. In its previous forecast in November, it said that the economy would grow by 0.5%. "The unexpected stalling of the recovery in late 2011 is set to extend into the first two quarters of 2012," the Commission said." - BBC


  • "Grayling’s stock is on the rise. If Cameron wishes to promote a right-winger to the Cabinet in his post-Olympics reshuffle who has strong managerial skills, he will be a very strong candidate." - James Forsyth
  • Council workers face third year of pay freezes - BBC
  • Head of discredited health watchdog quits ahead of critical report - Daily Mail
  • "Following consultation, the Government has today announced there will be no charge on graduates repaying their loans early" - BIS website
  • Could Clegg kill the NHS bill? - New Statesman
  • "Ballot papers have been sent out in the Plaid Cymru leadership election. ... Lord Elis-Thomas, Elin Jones and Leanne Wood will attend a final campaign hustings in Neath on Thursday evening." - BBC

And finally... Sir George Young says he was "disappointed" that singer Adele's acceptance speech was cut short at the Brit Awards - BBC