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31 May 2012 08:28:50

Newslinks for Thursday 31st May 2012

6.30pm WATCH: Hunt at Leveson -

4pm ToryDiary: Overheard in the Treasury: Part Three...

3.45pm Local Government: Less red tape for housing associations selling vacant properties

3.30pm ToryDiary: Overheard in the Treasury: Part Two...

3pm ToryDiary: Overheard in the Treasury: Part One...

1.15pm WATCH: Hunt at Leveson: I was sympathetic to the BSkyB bid - but I didn't support it

ToryDiary: Increasingly pessimistic Tory grassroots think Labour government is likeliest outcome of next election

Columnist Andrew Lilico: Whether Scotland stays in the Union is not purely up to the Scots

HOWELL JOHNJohn Howell MP on Comment: Labour always fails when it comes to economic responsibility, as the IMF's 1976 report shows

Local Government: Michael Mates seeks nomination for Hampshire police commissioner

The Deep End: The German banker's cunning plan


Osborne to launch £500m in business loans

Osborne on Marr AM"The government will on Thursday invite bids to manage a further 500 million pounds of credit easing funds, the second tranche of business loans aimed at easing the flow of finance to cash-strapped companies, the Treasury said on Wednesday." - Reuters

  • "Mr Osborne will today pledge to stand by another £500million of cheap loans to struggling businesses. It follows £700million offered up in March’s Budget." - The Sun
  • IEA: Cut Chancellor's pay if he fails to balance Budget - Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne warned of fly-tipping chaos as 'skip tax' gets messy - Independent
  • Brussels launches own plan for growth as leaders argue - Scotsman
  • Illiterate school-leavers and workless households are destabilising UK economy, says European Commission - Daily Mail

Paul Goodman: An in/out referendum promise would be Osborne's biggest gamble yet

Eu_flag"Such a gambit would disrupt the UK Independence party, which is committed to an in-out poll; outmanoeuvre Ed Miliband, who is mulling the same option; and spike the guns of the London Mayor, who is flaunting his eurosceptic views before the Tory faithful like a medieval jester parading his livery. Such a course would carry risks to the party’s unity, to put it mildly, not to mention Britain’s future. But then this chancellor is in the risk business. A renegotiation referendum would be his biggest gamble of all." - Paul Goodman for the FT (£)

> From yesterday - WATCH: Channel 4 News report on ConservativeHome poll showing Tory members want an in/out referendum pledge in the next manifesto

Cameron: I rely on the Queen's Great British common sense

Queen's-Speech-procession"The Prime Minister says the Queen is able to “cut through the fuss and see what really matters” when they discuss domestic and world events in their hour-long conversations. Mr Cameron, the 12th prime minister of the Queen’s reign, says that her “time-tested wisdom” has been invaluable during his two years in office, when he has faced the pressure of keeping a Coalition together as well as running the country." - Daily Telegraph

  • 'Our common sense Queen', by the Prime Minister: Cameron pays tribute in book chronicling Her Majesty's six decades - Daily Mail

Jeremy Hunt's ministerial career in balance as he goes before Leveson

Hunt Jeremy red tie"Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, will set out his version of events to the Leveson inquiry on Thursday as he fights to save his ministerial career amid a weight of allegations casting doubt on his handling of the BSkyB takeover bid. ... Hunt is expected to make a day-long appearance and be grilled on evidence revealed over the past five weeks suggesting that his office set up a private back channel to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation" - Guardian

  • Leveson inquiry questions Jeremy Hunt is likely to face - Guardian
  • Hunt aide told News Corp of licence fee deal - FT (£)

More Leveson coverage

  • Andy Coulson arrested and charged with perjury - Daily Telegraph
  • Top civil servant ‘exposed Cameron to Leveson risks’ - The Times (£)
  • Andy Coulson charge shows how David Cameron's past overshadows his future - Guardian
  • Britain needs a free, aggressive, irreverant press, Ken Clarke tells Leveson Inquiry - Daily Mail
  • Ken Clarke says journalists entitled to bribe in extreme cases - Guardian
  • News Corp made veiled threats, says Cable - Guardian
  • Michael Gove breezed in and said the whole inquiry was fundamentally flawed. No wonder Leveson was irritated! - Melanie Phillips for the Daily Mail

> From yesterday - WATCH: Vince Cable: Lib Dems were threatened with being "done over" in the News International press if I didn't make the "right" decision on Sky takeover

Damian Green says genuine students don't need to fear crackdown on overseas recruitment

GREEN DAMIAN BLUE BACKGROUND"The immigration minister yesterday insisted genuine foreign students have nothing to fear from a crackdown on overseas recruitment. ... However Mr Green said: ‘There is no limit on the number of genuine students who can come to the UK and our reforms are not stopping them. But we are determined to prevent the abuse of student visas as part of our plans to get net migration down. Students coming to the UK for over a year are not visitors – numbers affect communities, public services and infrastructure.’" - Daily Mail

Justine Greening: Retailers may be forced to pass on price cuts

"Transport Secretary Justine Greening has said she will consider legislation to force petrol retailers to pass on cuts in the wholesale price of fuel. The Department for Transport says pump prices paid by motorists have fallen by just 7p despite a 10p fall in wholesale prices since April. Ms Greening told the BBC she would consider taking further action to ensure motorists "get a better deal"." - BBC

1922 Committee Secretary Nick de Bois warns Government not to make too many u-turns, or risk reputation for competence

Nick de Bois Commons"Nick de Bois has warned that the continuing U-turns by the government are "frustrating" and "irritating" to Tory Backbenchers, suggesting that any more policy reversals could start to seriously damage the coalition's credibility. ... "Eventually there will come a point when competency can become an issue... When it goes from a question of being a listening and responding government, it is quite possible that it becomes a government which has its competency challenged."" - Huffington Post

Sue Cameron: How Whitehall views Cameron's potential successors

10-downing-street"William Hague, the Foreign Secretary. Able and talented, he’s seen to be doing a good job at the Foreign Office ... Michael Gove would be another serious contender. Courteous, he’s a man of steel but a “dreaded choice” for many civil servants ... Philip Hammond ... a safe pair of hands – always high praise in Whitehall terms ... Theresa May is given credit simply for surviving for two years in the notoriously treacherous job of Home Secretary ... Boris Johnson ... Despite his buffoonery, he has the kind of winning streak that civil servants always like" - Sue Cameron for the Daily Telegraph

Douglas Carswell to allow online voters to decide an idea for a private member's bill

"Irritated that he came bottom in a ballot of 20 MPs, Douglas Carswell has decided to let voters decide which of his five ideas for a new law he should attempt to guide through parliament. Without Government support, a private member's bill stands little chance of becoming law, but Mr Carswell hopes one of his ideas might take off and persuade ministers to back it."- Daily Telegraph

Tory donor withdraws funding over tax relief cap

"Venture capitalist Jon Moulton, who has given more than £300,000 to the Conservatives since 2004, has also expressed his disagreement with George Osborne's economic strategy. In a newspaper interview, Mr Moulton called for a swift about-turn on the decision to include charitable gifts in a cap on tax breaks announced in the Budget." - Daily Telegraph

David Cameron to discuss Chagos Islands sovereignty with Mauritius - Guardian

Alex Salmond's £46 billion green 'gamble' with Scotland's economy

SALMOND ALEX"Alex Salmond is gambling with Scotland’s economy by placing a £46 billion “fantasy” bet on green energy despite its “catastrophic” record of making money, one of the world’s leading banks has told MSPs." - Daily Telegraph

  • The tension between developers of wind farms and new housing and Nimbys is sure to grow – but something has to give - Bruce Anderson for the Daily Telegraph
  • "The taxman has confirmed he is under no obligation to collect any new levies introduced by SNP ministers in Scotland if they differ too much from the UK system" - Daily Telegraph

MSPs vote to keep Queen as head of state if Scotland splits from UK

"An attempt to reject the Queen as the head of state in an independent Scotland was overwhelmingly rejected by MSPs in a debate held at the Scottish Parliament to mark the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee." - Scotsman

  • "The Scottish Parliament is to formally to endorse plans for independence, in a vote by MSPs." - BBC

Independent front page 21st May 12Doctors vote to go on strike on 21st June - Independent

  • "The BMA decision to call for industrial action over pensions is not justified. A strike by doctors will hinder the NHS" - The Times (£) editorial
  • "What part of “Britain is broke” do doctors not understand?" - The Sun Says
  • The shameful self-interest of doctors - Independent editorial
  • Shabby, disreputable and just plain wrong - Daily Mail editorial
  • Doctors should know it’s the same bitter pill for all - Daily Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Andrew Lansley is right to reform doctors' pensions

Civil servants in charge of policy delivery failures to be named and shamed - Daily Telegraph

Number of A&E patients waiting more than four hours is highest since 2004 - Guardian

It may seem painless, but drone war in Afghanistan is destroying the West's reputation - Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph

The people of Syria wonder why the West will not help. Twenty years ago, jihadis stepped into the breach in Bosnia - David Aaronovitch for the Times (£)

  • "International troops could be forced to intervene in Syria if the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad's regime were to leave stockpiles of his chemical weapons vulnerable to terrorists" - Daily Telegraph

The Queen is Defender of all Britain’s Faiths - Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi, for the Times (£)


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

30 May 2012 08:30:17

Newslinks for Wednesday 30th May 2012

8pm WATCH: Alan Milburn: "The glass ceiling might have been scratched, but it certainly hasn't been broken"

4.30pm ToryDiary: Andrew Lansley is right to reform doctors' pensions

Cable at Leveson2.15pm WATCH: Vince Cable: Lib Dems were threatened with being "done over" in the News International press if I didn't make the "right" decision on Sky takeover

1.15pm MPsETC: Tory MPs refute media myth that Parliament being in recess means they are "on holiday"

10.45am LISTEN: "You're English!" - Welsh nationalist gets into heated argument with Welsh MP (and Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee), David TC Davies MP

ToryDiary: Ken Clarke bids to end unjustified compensation payouts for terrorist suspects

Columnist Jill Kirby: It's time to scrap the child poverty target, and replace it with broader measures

Ashworth RichardRichard Ashworth MEP on Comment: In the EU, "austerity" means reality, and growth can only be achieved through competitiveness

Local Government: Independents and Conservatives reach deal to run Mole Valley

The Deep End: What it means to be a conservative

WATCH: Channel 4 News report on ConservativeHome poll showing Tory members want an in/out referendum pledge in the next manifesto

David Cameron is "consulting" on plans to put a referendum in the next manifesto

Cameron pale blue tie"David Cameron is consulting senior Conservatives over plans to promise a referendum on Europe in the party’s next manifesto. ... Chancellor George Osborne is believed to be encouraging senior ministers to make their views known on the issue. ... A senior Government source said the Prime Minister was inviting views on whether to promise a referendum. ‘We are thinking a lot about Europe and wanting to hear Conservative views,’ they said." - Daily Mail

70% of Tories 'want to quit EU'

"Seven out of 10 Conservative members would vote to leave the European Union and eight out of 10 want the party to promise an in/out referendum in its manifesto at the next general election, according to a poll released today. The Channel 4 News survey found that more than one-third of Tories (36 per cent) believe Britain will be outside the EU in 10 years time, while 38 per cent said the UK would remain a member but on renegotiated terms, while just 26 per cent expect the relationship to remain the same." - Independent

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Special ConHome poll: Almost three in four Tory members would vote to leave the EU now

Ministers are "preparing the ground" for a u-turn on the charity tax

Osborne NewX"On Tuesday Conservative MP David Ruffley, a member of the Treasury select committee, told the BBC minsters were "preparing the ground" for another major policy reverse on the plan to limit tax relief for charity donations at £50,000 or 25% of a person's income, whichever was bigger." - Guardian

"Treasury sources confirmed that ministers were considering raising the proposed cap above £50,000 and allowing the tax relief to be rolled over between years. They are also examining whether the proposed rules can be redrawn to protect legitimate UK charities by specifically outlawing donations to bogus foreign charities." - Independent

  • Government turns on petrol fat cats - The Sun
  • Greggs shares leap over pasty tax U-turn - The Times (£)

More U-Turn coverage

  • From secret justice to VAT, coalition U-turns are in the right direction - Simon Jenkins for the Guardian
  • The stakes are perilously high for our winner-takes-all Chancellor - Benedict Brogan for the Daily Telegraph
  • "Mr Osborne’s reputation as the master strategist – the man who persuaded Britain to embrace austerity and who made the country a “safe haven” – has taken a battering." - FT (£)
  • A U-turn every three weeks: Government's 32 major policy retreats in two years - Daily Mirror

> From yesterday:

Michael Gove warns Leveson on liberty

Gove on Marr"The case for more regulation of the press needs to be very strong "before we further curtail liberty", Michael Gove has told the Leveson Inquiry. The education secretary said he was "concerned about any prior restraint and on their [journalists'] exercising of freedom of speech." He said existing laws should be used to judge individuals and institutions."" - BBC

  • Michael Gove plays a blinder at Leveson - David Hughes for the Daily Telegraph
  • Links between media and MPs can be too close, says Gove - Scotsman
  • Michael Gove: Rupert Murdoch is an 'impressive and significant figure' - Guardian
  • Michael Gove open-minded over state schools being run for profit - Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: If Michael Gove wants to stop the party leadership talk...

Secret court hearings still under attack, despite concessions

CLARKE KEN FRESH"The Government's original plans for a major extension of "secret courts" in civil proceedings have been substantially scaled back in the face of protests from lawyers and MPs of all parties. But the Justice and Security Bill, which was finally published after wrangling within the Coalition, still faces widespread criticism for undermining fundamental British principles of open justice. Critics also warned that the revised proposals could still prevent the public from learning about allegations of complicity in rendition by the intelligence services." -Independent

  • "If the Justice and Security Bill passes, the security services will have greater jurisdiction to withhold information" - John Kampfner for the Independent
  • 'Nobody's going to stop me chillaxing:' Clarke brushes aside photos of him yawning at the cricket and vows to carry on - Daily Mail

Damian Green says the Government's student immigration policy will not harm Britain

GREEN DAMIAN BLUE BACKGROUND"Immigration Minister Damian Green said the government was "determined to prevent the abuse of student visas as part of our plans to get net migration down to the tens of thousands." "Students coming to the UK for over a year are not visitors", he said. "Numbers affect communities, public services and infrastructure." - BBC

  • Immigration policies will damage higher education, say education experts - Guardian

Daniel Finkelstein: The Government needs Police Commissioner elections to succeed to help restore trust in politicians

"The Right cannot afford the November police commissioner election to be a similar flop. It needs to take very seriously the fears that turnout could be low and candidates could be of poor calibre. The elections are not a minor event; they are a major test of a central idea. Because, when it comes to trust in politicians, if this fails, what else is there?" - Daniel Finkelstein for the Times (£)

William Hague kicks out Syrian diplomats

"The country's Charge D’Affaires is being expelled along with two other diplomats as an expression of “horror” at the regime, Foreign Secretary William Hague said. ... Mr Hague said there was no desire by the United Nations Security Council for a military intervention but said international pressure on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad would continue to be increased." - The Sun

  • Syrian diplomats expelled across world as outrage over Houla massacre grows - Guardian
  • The time has now come to act and show that the Assad regime is wrong - Times (£) editorial

A new special relationship: Cameron holds eight conversations with Blair on how to run the country


"David Cameron has developed a ‘special relationship’ with Tony Blair, holding at least eight conversations with him on how to run the country. Mr Blair visited Mr Cameron’s official country residence of Chequers last July – a meeting that has previously never been disclosed by Downing Street. The pair have also had at least seven phone conversations since Mr Cameron took the keys to No10, a rate of around once every three months." - Daily Mail

Work Programme has made £9bn ‘black hole’ - The Times (£)

Wildlife minister under fire in another game-shooting case - Independent

Nick Clegg unveils "flexi-hours" for parents

Clegg Nick welfare system"Parents will be able to drop their children off earlier and pick them up later under a new shake-up of childcare rules, it will be announced today. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will unveil plans which offer greater flexibility to mums and dads over how they use their 15 hours a week of free childcare. ... But this time limit will now be extended by two hours so that parents can use their free entitlement from 7am to 7pm." - Daily Mail

> From yesterday - Alistair Thompson on Comment: Cowardly Clegg - and his attempt to distract attention from his own links to the Murdochs

'First nuclear station for 30 years': Ministers 'on cusp' of signing new deal - Daily Mail

Labour 'underestimated Galloway in Bradford by-election'

GALLOWAY George"The Labour Party "massively underestimated" the threat from George Galloway and Respect in local elections in West Yorkshire, a report has said. The report found that the Labour Party in Bradford West failed to engage with the community, which has a large population of Asian origin. ... The report, conducted by the party's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), said Labour had failed to win the trust of Bradford West voters." - BBC

Scottish independence supporters disagree about celebrating the Diamond Jubilee 

"Divisions in the Yes Scotland camp over the monarchy will be laid bare in parliament today when Alex Salmond proposes a motion praising the Queen. ... However, the wording of the motion will not sit easily with those in the parliament, including SNP MSPs Roseanna Cunningham and Christine Grahame, who believe that an independent Scotland should dispense with the monarchy." - Scotsman

Bob CrowOlympic Tube strike averted - Independent

Blackberrys for police scheme fails to cut costs, say MPs - BBC

Decision due on doctors' industrial action vote - BBC

  • Medical profession must open doors to poor students, says Alan Milburn - Guardian

School children need compulsory body image lessons, say MPs - BBC

Ignorant officials sidelining religion, warns Archbishop of Canterbury - Daily Telegraph

Sinn Fein faithful back meeting the Queen and Troubles apology - Belfast Telegraph

And finally... The odd couple: Angelina Jolie brings Hollywood to the Foreign Office as she teams up with William Hague to tackle sexual violence in warzones - Daily Mail


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

29 May 2012 08:30:28

Newslinks for Tuesday 29th May 2012

5.15pm ToryDiary: If Michael Gove wants to stop the party leadership talk...

3.30pm ToryDiary: Special ConHome poll: Almost three in four Tory members would vote to leave the EU now

12.30pm Local Government:

Noon Alistair Thompson on Comment: Cowardly Clegg - and his attempt to distract attention from his own links to the Murdochs

Tory Diary: The Government is wrong to U-turn on the pasty tax

Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 12.12.40Dr Eamonn Butler on Comment: It's Tax Freedom Day today. Yes, for almost five months you've been working just to pay taxes.

Local Government: 

The Deep End: How the internet eats the economy


George Osborne backs down on pasty (and caravan) tax

Sun_290512"Pasties and other bakery items will no longer attract Vat if they are “cooling down” after being removed from the oven. The Chancellor controversially proposed in the budget that any food served above ambient temperature would be taxed at 20 percent to address an “anomaly” in the system. ... He also said that plans to tax static caravans at 20 percent will be altered. They will now attract Vat at a reduced rate of five percent from next April. Static caravans do not currently attract any Vat." - Daily Telegraph

  • "Pasty la vista, taxman" - The Sun
  • "The pasty rollover is a start. But the Government needs more bright ideas to regain voters’ trust. So as they are in the mood to listen to The Sun, here’s another bit of advice. Slash fuel duty." - The Sun Says
  • Pasty tax: U-turn 'a shambles' says Labour - BBC
  • A brief history of the pasty tax - Guardian
  • Osborne's got it wrong on the economy, warns public - Independent

Cameron in Eurozone contingency talks - Theresa May ready to suspend EU free movement rules if crisis causes migration

Cameron-eu"In the City, banks have been told to work out the legal and financial implications of various scenarios – ranging from a Greek exit from the eurozone to larger government defaults... [M]inisters are drawing up their own contingency plans; the Foreign Office is considering how it would help British tourists in Greece if the cashpoints ran dry and if disruption to ferry services left them stranded on Greek islands. Theresa May... has not ruled out some kind of suspension of the EU’s free movement rules if a crisis spreads across the eurozone triggering large-scale migration" - FT (£)

  • Cameron demands proof UK is ready for eurozone collapse as he summons Bank chief for crisis talks - Daily Mail

U-turn on secret court hearings

Clarke ken_small.ashx"Plans to introduce closed inquests with evidence heard in private have been dropped from the government's "secret justice" bill to be published on Tuesday following a dispute between David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Government officials heralded the move as the main concession in one of the most controversial pieces of legislation contained in the Queen's speech. It follows a well-publicised row behind the scenes which delayed publication of the bill for almost a week." - Guardian

  • Lib Dems force Tory retreat in plan for private courts - Independent
  • "Victory for the Mail's campaign as Clarke says inquests WON'T be held behind closed doors" - Daily Mail
  • My plans were too broad. The Mail has done a service to the public interest - Ken Clarke for the Daily Mail
  • Government has made a move in the right direction - Sir Malcolm Rifkind for the Times (£)

Michael Gove and Theresa May to appear before Leveson

"Home Secretary Theresa May and Education Secretary Michael Gove are to appear before the Leveson Inquiry into media standards later. Mrs May faces questions over Scotland Yard's phone-hacking probe, and the closeness between the press and police. Mr Gove will be asked about his relationship with Rupert and James Murdoch, and other News Corps staff." - BBC

Warsi fights back over expenses

Warsi Cardiff"Baroness Warsi has asked the Lords Commissioner for Standards to examine allegations she claimed for accommodation while staying rent free with a party colleague. ... “I take these allegations very seriously," Warsi said yesterday in Malaysia, where she was on an official visit. “It’s why I said right at the outset that I would fully cooperate with any investigation,” she told ITV, denying that she had done anything wrong." - City AM

  • Charges with a whiff of a witch-hunt - Independent editorial

> From yesterday - WATCH: Baroness Warsi's landlord says he never charged rent

Bowing to Murdoch turned politics rotten, says Clegg as he launches attack on senior Tories

Clegg on Marr"Nick Clegg will today launch an attack on David Cameron and other senior Tories for their decision to ‘bow and scrape’ before Rupert Murdoch. The Deputy Prime Minister will condemn the behaviour of the Prime Minister and successive Labour leaders in what he terms Britain’s ‘broken establishment’.  He will condemn the ‘sordid spectacle of phone hacking’ and say cosying up to the media baron is evidence of the death of ‘clean politics’." - Daily Mail

  • Clegg: we must reform our broken establishment - Independent
  • "The deputy prime minister’s team dismissed as “absolute madness” speculation that the party could bail out of the coalition months before the 2015 election and leave a minority Conservative government to struggle on until polling day." - FT (£)
  • Tax plastic bags across UK, Liberal Democrats say - Daily Telegraph

Blair denies striking deal with Murdoch

BLAIR Tony"Tony Blair defended his “working relationship” with Rupert Murdoch on Monday, insisting that it was a bond based on power but denying he had struck any deal with the media mogul. ... Mr Blair started his evidence by saying he had taken a strategic decision to “manage” but not confront a powerful media." - FT (£)

  • Leveson protester calls Tony Blair a 'war criminal' - The Sun
  • 'War criminal' protest makes mockery of courts' security system - Independent

> From yesterday - Blair confronted by heckler during Leveson evidence in security breach

Leveson comment

  • Blair Heckler Leveson"Blair at Leveson provided no revelations, and anyone who was expecting news should have known better" - John Rentoul for the Independent
  • "Labour's all-time winner stopped trashing his own legacy at the Leveson inquiry and reminded us of his great talents" - Polly Toynbee for the Guardian
  • "A political generation grew up in Tony Blair’s shadow. But both Left and Right misunderstand what made him special" - Rachel Sylvester for the Times (£)
  • "Pull the other one, Tony. You let Murdoch shape policy" - Lance Price for the Independent
  • "Kid gloves and the damning questions Mr Blair WASN'T asked" - Stephen Glover for the Daily Mail

CSJ: scrap child poverty targets - Daily Telegraph

Richer pensioners should lose some benefits, says thinktank - Guardian

Teachers to strike again - after summer holidays - The Sun

Waltham Forest council scraps plans to relocate residents to Walsall - Independent

Male-dominated boards will fall behind rivals, says report - Daily Telegraph

Fifteen more university technical colleges to open in next two years - Guardian

  • At last, schools for getting your hands dirty - Lord (Kenneth) Baker for the Times (£)

Queen's-Speech-processionPoll says Britain has changed for the worse under Elizabeth II - Reuters

  • Our public service Queen has a lot to teach her failing politicians - Mary Riddell for the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - Columnist Bruce Anderson: The Diamond Jubilee is a time for rejoicing and gratitude

Spain says help not needed to save banks - FT (£)

  • Whatever Rajoy says, more Spanish banks will need bailing out - Alistair Osborne for the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday:


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

28 May 2012 08:30:26

Newslinks for Monday 28th May 2012

6pm Ben Howlett on Comment: Today's start-up loans scheme backs young people

3.45pm Spencer Pitfield is the new director of the Conservative Policy Forum

1pm WATCH:

ToryDiary: Lord Young launches new business loans scheme for young people

Screen shot 2012-05-28 at 07.33.47Columnist Bruce Anderson: The Diamond Jubilee is a time for rejoicing and gratitude

Laura Sandys MP on Comment: We must be on customers' side - and be seen to be on their side

Local Government: Sir Clive Loader chosen as Conservative candidate for police commissioner in Leicestershire

MPsETC: What is the Fresh Start Project? Matthew Barrett profiles the Tory MPs trying to forge a new UK-EU relationship

The Deep End: From Grexit to Spexit

WATCH: Baroness Warsi's landlord says he never charged rent

Hague flies to Moscow after Houla massacre

HagueSquare"William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, who is leading attempts to draw up a hard-edged UN resolution, flew to Moscow to press Russia to lift its protective hand from the Assad regime. Kofi Annan, representing the UN and the Arab League on Syria, flies to Damascus today in a last-ditch attempt to save his ceasefire plan…Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office Minister responsible for the Middle East, said the UN had to ensure that all the options were on the table “to show that the international community cannot be thwarted”." - The Times (£)

  • Assad’s gangster regime needs to be isolated; the people it represses need direct protection - Times Editorial (£)

> Yesterday: WATCH - Nick Clegg on Syrian Olympics officials: "If you've been shown to have abused human rights, you're not allowed in"

Grayling orders 40,000 to work for their dole

"Ministers will double the number who are signed  up to a work-for-welfare scheme to nearly 40,000. Those who refuse to take up the month-long placements will lose their jobseeker’s allowance, which can be up to £71 a week. Employment Minister Chris Grayling hopes to expand the programme, which targets those suspected of playing the system, to include thousands more claimants who repeatedly defy attempts to help them into work." - Daily Mail 

Lord Young launches loan scheme for under-25s

"My report is essentially a primer for all those who wish to start their own business. Compared with the 1980s, there is an enormous amount of help, from the private as well as the public sector, available today to the budding entrepreneur and it is my ambition that many tens of thousands of the businesses of the future will have their genesis in StartUp Loans. The only qualification needed is to be under 25, ambitious, to have a plan and to be prepared to work for yourself. We will help you with the rest." - The Times (£)

"A new breed of Iron Lady". Claire Perry is profiled in the Guardian

Claire Perry"The MP for Devizes is as good an example as any of the new generation of Tory women trying to change the image of the party, despite the fact that she entered parliament just six years ago. Credited with persuading the government to review internet porn earlier this month, involved in this week's putsch of the influential 1922 backbench committee and frequently in trouble for her shoot-from-the-lip behaviour, it is clear that Perry has no trouble being noticed in Westminster." - The Guardian 

Cameron must quickly rediscover progressive conservatism - Gavin Kelly, Financial Times (£)

Warsi Day Two: Graham attacks, Fallon defends...

"Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said: “At the moment it all looks very muddy and blurred and worthy of a full investigation.” Speaking to Sky News, he suggested that if the standards commissioner decided to investigate then Lady Warsi should relinquish her ministerial office until any inquiries were complete…Michael Fallon, the Tory deputy chairman, said the controversy was “embarrassing” but added that Lady Warsi believed she acted within the “spirit and letter” of the rules." - Financial Times (£) 

...And the man who made the claims speaks out

"Asked about Baroness Warsi’s statement that she paid Mr Khan, Dr Moustafa said: ‘It’s for her to explain not me. ‘Naweed described the baroness as his guest but they were both my guests. He didn’t have any authority to receive money as it was not his house. He didn’t even pay for himself. If this is true [he received money], and I don’t believe it is, he was swindling the baroness.’ " - Daily Mail

Hunt Day 83...or whatever it is: Culture Secretary to face Leveson this week.  David Mellor says that Hunt "will probably have to go"

Screen shot 2012-05-28 at 07.52.49"With three days to his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry, fresh pressure was piling on Jeremy Hunt over his links with News Corp. The Culture Secretary, pictured, was urged to quit by one of his Tory predecessors, while Nick Clegg delivered a warning about politicians ending up "in the pockets of media moguls". David Mellor, who was National Heritage Secretary in John Major's government, said: "Jeremy Hunt will probably have to go."" - The Independent

Vaizey accused of information leak - Financial Times (£)

Blair to face Leveson today

The former prime minister is due to face a full day of interrogation at the Leveson Inquiry over his courting of the billionaire media mogul. Questioning is expected to focus on claims that he ‘cut a deal’ with Mr Murdoch in return for support from the Sun newspaper at the 1997 election. He is also likely to be asked about his decision to act as godfather to Mr Murdoch’s daughter Grace." - Daily Mail

Shapps gives MPs tweeting tips - Politics Home (£)

Boris Johnson: "Put out the bunting. This is the age of the Second Elizabethans"

"In her 60 years on the throne she has seen the people of this country grow incomparably richer, healthier and (arguably) happier than they were in 1952. If we measure monarchical success by the growth in longevity or per capita GDP of her subjects, then she is the most successful monarch in history." - Daily Telegraph

Abu Qatada to press for bail release - BBC

Robert Halfon leads move to cut petrol duty

HALFON-robert"MPs from all major parties will today demand a cut in fuel duty. Politicians want scrapped a planned 3p per litre rise, due to come in during August after being revealed in this year’s Budget. In a cross-party campaign on an “unprecedented scale”, MPs will table a formal clause for an amendment. The charge is led by Tory MP Robert Halfon, who has hosted House of Commons debates on the prices of petrol and diesel." - Daily Express

Cameron to warn François Hollande against challenging EU rebate

"Britain is to tell the new French government that it will demand major cuts in generous EU subsidies to farmers in France if President François Hollande challenges the annual £2.7bn British rebate. In a sign of how traditional tensions could complicate the prime minister's attempts to woo the new president, Britain is planning to warn Paris that Hollande would be well advised to abide by an informal deal struck with Nicolas Sarkozy." - The Guardian

  • Sinn Féin surges as leader of anti-treaty forces as referendum looms - Irish Times

> Yesterday: WATCH - George Eustice MP: An EU vote would mean "the vast majority who are somewhere in the middle don't get given the option they want"

Geldof's obsession with aid hurt Africa. But now trade is healing the scars - Ian Birrell, The Independent

Clegg: Tory MPs MUST be whipped to vote for gay marriage...

"Mr Clegg warned yesterday that the vote should not become “a great free-for-all”, adding that providing equal marriage rights should not be seen as a matter of conscience. Tory whips have been concerned about the prospect of forcing their MPs to vote in favour of the legislation, which has become a resigning issue for some. Last week Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, became the first Cabinet minister to reveal that he could not support the change." - The Times (£)

  • Clegg will this week announce that childcare support is to be more flexible for mums and dads who start work early or finish late. - The Sun

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - As Cameron allows a free vote on gay marriage, 45% of Tory MPs say it's the top issue constituents write to them about

...And as for open borders.  What's the problem?

Screen shot 2012-05-28 at 08.13.07"Nick Clegg yesterday denied that Britain is planning to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ to prevent an influx of foreign workers from crisis-hit eurozone nations. The Deputy Prime Minister hit out at ‘apocalyptic’ warnings that Britain could be hit by a wave of immigrants from Greece and other struggling countries if the euro crisis deepens.  His intervention came after Theresa May disclosed contingency planning was under way to deal with a potential influx of would-be immigrants." - Daily Mail

  • MigrationWatch says Government policy needs radical change if Ministers are to hit immigration target - Daily Express
  • 'Children were frightened by protesters', says Clegg - The Independent

Apathy poses threat to plan for elected police chiefs - The Times (£)

The Coalition could break up before May 2015, says Vince Cable

"Mr Cable was asked on last night’s Pienaar’s Politics on Radio Five Live whether the Lib Dems would break away “just short of the election…He replied: “Everybody involved knows that before the next general election - the two parties will have to establish their own separate platforms and identity but how that disengagement takes place, over what time period is very much an issue for the future, certainly not something we’re talking about at the moment.” " - Daily Telegraph

Chairman of the Senior Salaries Review Body says: Boost top officials’ pay or lose best people - The Times (£)

"Stronger together, weaker apart": will this be the No campaign's slogan in Scotland?

"Scotland's anti-independence campaign is considering using the slogan "stronger together, weaker apart" in the battle for votes ahead of the 2014 referendum. Coalition sources last night admitted the phrase is a strong option after the use of the word "union" was ruled out due partly to its negative associations with west of Scotland and Ulster politics. Pro-UK sources believe their proposed motto encapsulates the basic argument of why Scots should vote for Scotland to remain part of the UK." - Herald Scotland

  • Influential SNP backer Sir Tom Farmer says he doesn't want independence - Scotsman

McGuinness offers to meet dissident republicans - Belfast Telegraph

Google stole information but executives 'covered it up' for years - Daily Mail


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