5pm Conservative News Links

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The Camerons to stay with the Obamas and how Huhne's departure weakens Clegg in Cabinet lead our 5pm round up

THE CAMERONS TO VISIT WASHINGTON FOR TWO DAY VISIT TO THE OBAMAS - Telegraph

Cameron & Obama

Fox: "The White House says Obama and Cameron will discuss the upcoming NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago. Other topics on the agenda include the Middle East, Iran and the global economy. Britain has been a key U.S. ally on foreign policy matters, including war in Afghanistan and the bombing campaign in Libya that led to the removal of Muammar Qaddafi. The White House says Obama and Cameron have also developed a strong personal bond."

THE FALL AND DEPARTURE OF HUHNE

Screen shot 2012-02-03 at 17.30.00

FULL wall chart of new Govt (PDF)

THERE IS AGREEMENT THAT THE LIB DEMS WILL BE WEAKER IN THE CABINET...

HuhneLarge

  • The former environment secretary, replaced by Ed Davey, had that big beast quality that put him on a par with Clegg and Cable - The Lib Dems will miss that says Patrick Wintour
  • "Mr Huhne had unusually wide political latitude, coupled with a huge self confidence, to adopt a more muscular approach in Cabinet. He repeatedly showed that he was prepared to fight for Lib Dem interests behind closed doors, whether that was challenging the Prime Minister over his conduct in the AV referendum or criticising George Osborne over the coalition’s approach to climate change. Mr Huhne was unique because he does not rely or seek the patronage of the Prime Minister for preferment. This gave him a freedom to act which Mr Clegg, as Deputy Prime Minister, could never imitate. But to suggest it wasn’t hugely welcome would be wrong." - Sam Coates
  • "Whatever one’s view of Mr Huhne, he was a strong voice around the Cabinet table fighting his party’s corner and unafraid to stand up to the Prime Minister. Nick Clegg may be marginally happier as his great rival for the party leadership departs from the frontline." - James Chapman
  • " for all that there was no love lost between Huhne and Clegg, it has sometimes been useful having a voice in the cabinet who is not altogether "coalicious", as they say. The kind of scratchy,abrasive dissent that never fully erupts into opposition - Huhne's speciality - operates as a safety valve for the purposes of party unity, reassuring ordinary members and MPs that their leaders haven't been entirely captured by the Tories." - Rafael Behr
  • "We all have our list of 'favourite' Huhne outbursts. He made very strong attacks on Andy Coulson, Sayeeda Warsi, Theresa May and George Osborne. He was not trusted by Tories. Relations around the Cabinet table might now improve." - ToryDiary

OTHER HUHNE REAX

  • "While he played a critical part in bringing the coalition into being, he had lost trust among colleagues who suspected him of self-serving leaks – and Clegg himself would be an unusual politician if he didn't feel some tiny, secret relief at the downfall of such a close rival." - Gaby Hinsliff
  • If Huhne goes to jail the LibDem-Tory contest in Eastleigh will be destabilising for the Coalition - Benedict Brogan
  • "The wider impact politically is that the “Politicians – They’re All The Same” Party (let’s call them “Potats” Party) gets another surge in support. Even though Chris Huhne denies the charges, that won’t be how many cynical of politicians and tuned out from most political discourse will see it." - Gary Gibbon
  • Huhne is innocent until proven guilty - Cranmer on the need for a fair trial...
  • Liberal Vision doesn't think he should have had to resign until/ if he was PROVEN guilty.

ED DAVEY

BBC profile: "Ed Davey, who has been named Energy and Climate Change Secretary following Chris Huhne's resignation, is a close confidant of Nick Clegg. The 46-year-old was the party's foreign affairs spokesman prior to the 2010 election and may have hoped to get a Cabinet position after the Lib Dems entered the coalition government with the Conservatives. Instead, he was given a middle-ranking ministerial position within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - led by his colleague Vince Cable. He is regarded as having performed well in the generally low-profile role, where his brief included responsibility for the Post Office, Royal Mail, employment relations, consumer policy and competition rules."

  • Bagehot believes Mr Davey might modernise climate change policy and less confrontational than Huhne that will be good for the environment.
  • Neil O'Brien says climate change policy DOES need correcting. 
  • Caroline Flint calls for Davey to stand up vested interests in energy sector - LabourList

WIDER RESHUFFLE

  • The Telegraph publishes a technical profile of Norman Lamb, Ed Davey's peplacement.
  • Chris Huhne reshuffle is a missed opportunity to promote women; there are still just five women – all Conservative – in the Cabinet - Hélène Mulholland

CAMERON READY TO BLOCK CABLE'S CHOICE OF UNIVERSITIES TSAR - The Daily Mail reports concerns at social engineering.

AND SO IT BEGINS: THE NHS CREAKS AS BUDGETS ARE SQUEEZED

LANSLEY-ANDREW-LONG

  • More than 20 hospitals will get a £1.5 billion taxpayer bail-out because they are at "severe risk" of failing patients - Telegraph
  • Mr Lansley said he was determined to end the practice of giving NHS trusts cash "on the quiet" - Independent
  • Enraged Royal College of GPs says entire health bill should be scrapped - Daily Mail

BBC ‘IS £3M BRUSSELS PROPAGANDA ARM’ - Express

TORIES CAN WIN THE NEXT ELECTION - John Redwood responds to Tim Montgomerie's piece about Downing Street pessimism

LABOUR LINKS

  • Ed Miliband will broaden his attack on the coalition's divided Britain by calling a Commons vote next week to urge an end to the bonus culture - Guardian
  • City of London urges reform of Ed Miliband - Iain Martin
  • The Right is outraged by curry and cricket India awarding a fighter jet contract to the French, but it is this arrogance that damages our relationship - Tristram Hunt

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