5pm Conservative News Links

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Today's 5pm newslinks include the all-smiles Cameron/ Sarkozy press conference


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  • It was all smiles and handshakes as the Prime Minister and the French President could not stop complimenting each other during their joint press conference in France - Telegraph
  • "The Prime Minister came close to giving an endorsement to the French president, who is trailing behind Socialist rival François Hollande, saying he "wished him well"" - Evening Standard
  • "Mr Cameron said of the election: “I wish him well,” then added “I want to take the chance to wish him well in the battles ahead. “Were it not for the leadership of the President, Libya would not be free to chose its own future… When you look at the foreign and defence policy issues today I don’t think there has been closer French-British co-operation than at any time since the Second World War.”" - Times (£)
  • The Prime Minister and the French President put their difference on Europe aside today to sign a deal worth more than £500million on nuclear strategy - Express | Video
  • David Cameron took a quarter of his cabinet with him to Paris - Sky

May Theresa in blackTheresa May to travel to Jordan to resolve Abu Qatada issue

  • Theresa May is to travel to Jordan in an effort to strike a deal over the deportation of Abu Qatada - BBC | Guardian
  • Hate cleric could still remain in Britain for years - Telegraph
  • Senior Tory MPs are muttering about why does Britain not just suspend its membership of the ECHR, deport these people and then re-join - James Forsyth

Economic news

  • Prospect examines stronger-than-expected retail sales data.
  • New figures uncovered by Labour Uncut reveal that investment in the UK by foreign companies has plummeted by a third

More on Scotland

  • Earlier today Bruce Anderson gave a big thumbs up to Cameron's Scottish speech. Over at Prospect David Torrance has joined in the praise: "The tone was pitch-perfect, but then that’s always been one of David Cameron’s strengths. His Edinburgh speech covered all the bases and anticipated likely criticisms; it targeted the head and the heart."
  • Cameron's offer to Salmond makes him look weak - Melanie Phillips
  • The New Statesman thinks "an Eton-educated millionaire" is Salmond's perfect English PM.
  • The Lords constititution committee said there is a "profound difference" between independence and devolution max and having them as options on the same referendum paper would "conflate" two "distinct constitutional outcomes" - BBC

BMA fears introduction of new 111 health phone number is being rushed - Daily Mail

Britain is to supply £2 million-worth of aid to Syrian civilians - Independent

Miliband Ed GreenEd Miliband vows to put NHS at heart of next election campaign

  • Ed Miliband today: "Before he became Prime Minister, David Cameron concealed his plans for creeping privatisation of our National Health Service. So people didn't get a vote on these plans at the last election. But I give you my word that if he goes ahead, they will be a defining issue at the next."
  • "It's worth noting that the NHS is only a middling priority for the public at the moment" - Pete Hoskin

Rupert Murdoch backs staff and says Sun on Sunday 'to launch soon' - Sun

"By cancelling the suspensions of the arrested Sun journalists he will have quelled the rebellion in the ranks. And by pledging to launch the Sun on Sunday he will have given the staff a sense of a long-term commitment to the paper and his UK empire." - Roy Greenslade


  • Edwina Currie reduces struggling mother to tears live on the radio by putting her debts down to living 'a very good life indeed' - Daily Mail
  • Treasury estimates 100 senior civil servants may have been paid through companies - FT (£)
  • Ken Livingstone has provoked fresh controversy, after telling an audience: "Hang a banker a week until the others improve." - Guardian | Sun
  • Gordon Brown has earned more than £1.4m since he quit as Prime Minister - Huffington Post