Reaction to PMQs and the welfare reforms being voted on by MPs lead our 5pm newslinks
- ToryDiary: PMQs: Miliband attacks on health and banking, but Conservatives launch benefits cap counter-attack
- WATCH: David Cameron: "It was the last Labour government... that agreed an RBS bonus pool of £1.3billion"
- "We saw the prime minister quote Tony Blair, the Speaker praise David Cameron's vocabulary and a jab at the follicly-challenged shadow work and pensions secretary. It was all rather unparliamentary today at PMQs." - Total Politics
- "But in the main clashes between the two leaders, which were on top pay and the NHS, Miliband actually did pretty well. He caused Cameron some discomfort" - James Forsyth
- "Whichever Conservative came up with the line that "no family should receive more in out-of-work benefits than the average family receives for going out of work" deserves some sort of prize. This prime piece of populism saved David Cameron from what looked like certain defeat at today's PMQs." - George Eaton
- "Ed Miliband... [i]s clearly enjoying his new role as self-styled nemesis of capitalism. So much so that it was a surprise to see him arrive in the chamber wearing a rather understated dark suit and fetching mauve tie. I’d half expected him to appear in army fatigues, with black beret and Havana cigar, and a pistol strapped to his waist." - Dan Hodges
- "As the debate got under way on Wednesday, MPs voted by 324 to 265 to back the government over plans to stop young disabled people who have never worked from being able to claim "contributory" ESA. They backed ministers by 332 to 266 over plans to means-test the same allowance after 12 months. And they voted down a peers' amendment that would have exempted cancer patients from means testing by 328 to 265." - BBC
- "Ministers are prepared to use "financial privilege", a tradition under which the Lords does not defy the Commons on financial legislation, to overturn amendments made to the welfare Bill by peers." - Evening Standard
- "Labour's position is untenable. They should be opposed to the cap or they should be for it. Instead, they are stuck atop a particularly spiky fence, and all totally unnecessarily." - Daniel Knowles
- "Labour’s opposition to welfare reform looks pretty suicidal. Labour MPs would argue they agree with the central thrust of the reforms, but oppose some measures on principle. This may be so, but it’s a hard nuance to get across to the public" - Tom Bradby
DAVID MILIBAND RE-EMERGES
- He writes for tomorrow's New Statesman: "For some, this will be seductive. It is what I shall call Reassurance Labour. Reassurance about our purpose, our relevance, our position, even our morals. Reassurance Labour feels good. But feeling good is not the same as doing good - and it gets in the way when it stops us rethinking our ideas to meet the challenges of the time. And now is a time for restless rethinking, not reassurance."
- "Reassurance Labour's" preference for the central state, warning that "the weaknesses of the "big society" should not blind us to the policy and political dead end of the "Big State". The public won't vote for the prescription that central government is the cure for all ills for the good reason that it isn't."
NICK CLEGG'S CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES
- "Nick Clegg set out his support for Scotland to have "greater discretion" and "freedom" for how they spent public money, during an evidence session in parliament on Wednesday." - Huffington Post
- "The brutal fact is that if the bill isn't in the programme, Lords Reform won't happen in this Parliament. The government needs to be able to at least make a credible threat that it will over-ride their lordships, should they throw out its plans for their future." - Mark d'Arcy
OTHER TORY & POLITICAL NEWS
- "This year, many of the coalition's localist policies come into effect. What will this mean for how we see local politics?" - Total Politics
- German jobs miracle as Latin unemployment soars - Daily Telegraph
- Local government: Boris to cut the Council Tax precept by 1%
- Let state schools be run for profit, says former Department for Education chief - Guardian
- UK’s public debt is about to exceed that of the US for the first time - Left Foot Forward
- Why has the coalition delayed its aid bill? - New Statesman