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Newslinks for Friday 29th April 2011

7.30pm ToryDiary: Boris Johnson's gift to William and Kate

12.30pm LeftWatch: Peter Hain complains about lack of coverage of Ed Miliband at Royal Wedding

12.15pm WATCH

ToryDiary: Twelve Tory quotes in support of our monarchy

Jill Kirby on Comment: The benefits of marriage are not coincidental

Local Government:

Parliament: Jeremy Hunt proves that Where there's a Will, there's a Way


As political hostilities pause for the Royal Wedding, Cameron visits wedding crowds and names his gift...

Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 07.55.00
"The UK leader confirmed he has selected a compilation of beautiful images of Anglesey as his gift for the couple.  Cameron, who was talking to US journalist Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News, admitted he expects the pair have 'probably got everything', but wanted to make a gesture…Cameron chose the photograph books, which include a number of shots of the Welsh island where William is based with the Royal Air Force, as he believes they will be close to the prince's heart." - Metro 

...And Boris will present Prince William and Kate Middleton with a bicycle made for two

"If William and Kate are still stumped for ideas on how to spend their honeymoon, London Mayor Boris Johnson may have just provided them with the perfect answer.  He will present them with a specially commissioned tandem based on the capital's cycle hire scheme.  He will also address the crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square to watch the wedding on a giant screen, propose a toast and cut a wedding cake." - Press Association

Cameron street party details - Reuteurs 

Hague tears up Syrian ambassador's invitation

"The Syrian ambassador's invitation to the royal wedding was withdrawn at the 11th hour yesterday amid continuing controversy over the guest list.  Foreign Secretary William Hague told Sami Khiyami that his presence at Westminster Abbey – which had been branded 'bordering on grotesque' by Labour MPs – was no longer acceptable." - Daily Mail

Police swoop on squatters "planning to disrupt Royal Wedding" as central London is locked down - Daily Mail

Yesterday: Gallery - Greg Barker decks out Department for Energy and Climate Change with Royal Wedding bunting

Fox and Cameron clash over arming Libyan rebels...

Fox & Cameron
"The PM said: "Well, I wouldn't rule that out." He said the rebels had been given better communications equipment to help protect civilians.  Within hours, Dr Fox had flatly contradicted his boss. He said: "We are not considering arming the opposition forces. We've made very clear that we are not arming them and we are not training them." - The Sun 

...As the Defence Secretary writes about Afghanistan in the Telegraph...

"As we move into the “fighting season” – the summer months when the conflict intensifies even further – it is clear that the next two years will be vital for the success of our mission…I know first-hand how difficult it is as a politician to ask the public for patience, even when things are expected to get worse before they get better. But patience and steadfastness are what we need if we are to avoid failure. So while the media focuses on Libya, we cannot and will not forget about Afghanistan. The task before us is simply too important." - Daily Telegraph 

...and compares his drinking to Winston Churchill's

"This is what Fox said: 'Given that until last night it was the last pint of beer I had I don't think it was entirely unreasonable. It is a bit like asking Churchill if he regrets having a drink during world war two.' " - Wintour and Watt, The Guardian

Hague: I am shocked and saddened by the explosion in Marrakesh - Politics Home (£)

Cameron laughs off Commons sexism row

Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 07.37.36 "Yesterday he brushed off the row and made light of the remarks.  He said: "I don't know what it is about some people on the Left. It seems that when they put the socialism in, they take the sense of humour out.  "I got home last night and my wife said to me: 'What sort of day did you have, dear?' And I told her I was attacked by Harriet Harman and defended by Michael Winner, and she said: 'What on earth were you up to?"' - Daily Telegraph

"This wasn't the first time his mask has slipped when he's under pressure in the chamber…I think it is becoming increasingly clear that this government has a problem with women. Despite promising to lead the most family-friendly government ever before the last election, the PM has shown scant regard for the needs of the 51% of the population who are women since he walked into Downing Street." - Angela Eagle in the Guardian

Calm down, dears - Daily Mail Editorial

Osborne overture to journalist who has erotic dreams about him

"Chancellor George Osborne has sent a suggestive message for a BBC radio presenter after she admitted to having erotic dreams about him.  Mr Osborne's message was played during Shelagh Fogarty's final breakfast show on Radio 5 Live before she moves to a lunchtime slot.  He wished her well in the message, before saying she would enjoy the extra sleep in her new role, adding: "More hours for those dreams you've been having." - Daily Express

Lisa Nandy PMQs cleavage sensation - The Sun

Liberal Democrats vanish from final push Yes to AV leaflets...

Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 07.43.05 "The Liberal Democrats are the party that dares not speak its name, according to the final leaflet of the “yes to AV” campaign, which avoids spelling out Nick Clegg’s support.  The leaflet — delivered a week early by mistake yesterday — names Labour, UKIP and the Green Party as supporting the alternative vote (AV), and includes their party logos. But the words “Liberal Democrat” are missing from the party’s otherwise unidentified “bird of freedom” emblem." - The Times (£)

...As Conservative MPs plan to block AV if Britain votes Yes

"Secret moves are planned by senior Conservatives to overturn the result of next week's referendum on electoral reform if the country votes to scrap the first-past-the-post system.  They would make a last-ditch attempt in the House of Commons to block a switch to the alternative vote (AV) if it is backed on a low turn-out of electors. No-to-AV campaigners would argue that the result lacked legitimacy because such an important constitutional change should have been approved by a majority of the public." - The Independent

Yesterday -

Goldie, Miliband and Clegg campaign in Scotland

"Tory leader Annabel Goldie has set out her determination to replace government with the voluntary sector in delivering some public services.  Miss Goldie wants to see the voluntary sector more involved in the "fabric of social life".  "I know that the third sector is more than capable of stepping in to supply public services, but big government, vested interests and fiefdoms have often got in the way," she said.  She made the comments as UK Education Secretary Michael Gove joined the Tory campaign in Aberdeen." - Scotsman

"Mr Miliband hopes that a night of local election victories on May 5 will give him the platform to start fleshing out his plans, though victory in Scotland could elude him. So too could a Yes vote in the AV referendum, a campaign he has helped lead. What does it say of his leadership that he has been unable to persuade more than half his own MPs to support the change? “I think we’ve been split on this for about 80 years,” he laughs." - Financial Times (£)

Nowhere to shelter for Clegg on visit to Edinburgh - Herald Scotland

Watchdog halts Gove’s plans for shake-up of GCSEs

Michael Gove pensive 2010 "Plans for a radical reform of GCSEs face a long delay after the exams regulator signalled its opposition to early change.  It may be at least four years, and probably longer, before the first pupils sit the restructured exams demanded by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, according to the predictions of awarding bodies. That would fall beyond the scheduled date of the next general election and the term of the current coalition." - The Times (£)

Sir Malcolm Rifkind on the Fatah/Hamas deal

"What is indisputable is that the popular uprisings that have swept through the Middle East now draw strength from Palestinian politics…For both Fatah and Hamas, the imperative is to address the protesters’ demands now before they grow to encompass broader political and economic grievances that are even harder to satisfy.  If Palestinians are given reform, unity and leadership, it will not only be good news for them. It should also give confidence to the Israelis that the time for a viable Palestinian state has arrived." - Sir Malcolm Rifkind in The Times (£)

Can we really trust this sorry lot to clean up Parliament? - Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph

Guy Opperman MP to undergo medical treatment for a brain tumour - Journal Live

Coalition and political news in brief

  • Israel rejects Palestinian unity government with Hamas - BBC
  • Four UK celebrities hiding sex scandals behind legal super-injunctions are named on Wikipedia - Daily Mail
  • Trial by television for Marr as presenter returns to the screen - The Independent
  • Woman in sex session with Nigel Griffiths MP hides behind injunction - Daily Telegraph
  • End to welfare curb ‘may prompt flood of benefit tourists’ - The Times (£)
  • Hospitals told to look for 50% more savings - Financial Times (£)



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