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Newslinks for Wednesday 27th June 2012

7.45pm WATCH: Nick Clegg gets on his soapbox to preach Lords reform to the (not so) masses

6pm Bill Cash MP on Comment: We need a referendum on the proposed Fiscal Union

5.45pm MPsETC updateMore backbench Tory MPs react to Lords reform proposals

Tax Take5pm ToryDiary: Reacting to fuel duty decision, 78% of Tory members want more tax cuts funded by faster spending cuts

4.45pm WATCH: Maria Miller: People respect that this Government is taking tough decisions, especially cutting welfare

4pm Angie Bray MP on Comment: In praise of the expanded National Citizen Service as it enters its second year

3pm Peter Cuthbertson on Comment reviews "Chavs" by Owen Jones: "In Jones’ world, the working class is almost entirely passive in its politics, gullibly believing whatever myths are concocted by right-wing politicians and press barons"

2.15pm WATCH: David Cameron: "We've been discussing [Lords reform] for a hundred years, and it really is time to make progress"

2pm ToryDiary: Owen Paterson welcomes Queen's handshake with Martin McGuinness

PMQs 27th June1pm ToryDiary: PMQs: Miliband fails to land any blows, even as Cameron is unable to explain fuel duty u-turn

11.30am MPsETC: Ahead of PMQs, backbench Tory MPs make clear their opposition to Lords reform proposals

10.30am Local government: Taxpayer funded groups fighting Cameron's welfare reform proposals

10.15am WATCH: David Cameron heckled at Olympics event

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 11.10.06ToryDiary: Patrick McLoughlin grants an interview without coffee to J.Alfred Prufrock MP to discuss Lords Reform

Also on ToryDiary: The end-June ConHome survey is ready and waiting for you

Columnist Jill Kirby: Now Cameron's opened up clear blue water on welfare, let's see him do the same for families and marriage

Charlie Elphicke MP on Comment: Why I'm introducing a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Baroness Nicholson on Comment: A democratic Lords may mean disabled people have a weaker voice

MPsETC: Is Robert Halfon MP David Cameron's passport to Essex Man? (II)

Local Government: £2.3 billion of Council Tax arrears in England

The Deep End: OPEC (Oil Prices Explain Crisis)


Lords reform Bill to be tabled today

Lords_Chamber"A parliamentary bill to introduce a mainly elected House of Lords will be published on Wednesday after receiving "strong support" from the cabinet, Downing Street has said." - BBC

"Ministers aim to make the Bill law by the spring but a defeat on the timetable would pave the way for as much as four or five weeks of debate in the autumn, which would swallow up time needed for other business." - Belfast Telegraph

  • "Conservative MPs claim they have been told it will ‘not be career-ending’ if they vote against Coalition plans being unveiled today to replace the House of Lords with a mainly elected Senate." - Daily Mail
  • Nick Clegg tells colleagues Lords reform is game on - Guardian
  • "[Ed Miliband] announced that the Opposition would support the Bill to reform the second chamber next month, on its second reading. Although Labour will vote against the Government's immediate attempt to cut short debate on the measure." - Independent
  • Lords reform gives Ed Miliband a glorious chance to make mischief - Mary Riddell for the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday:

Tanks for that! George Osborne u-turns on fuel duty rise

Sun Tanks"George Osborne scrapped a 3p rise in fuel duty yesterday in yet another Budget U-turn. The Chancellor said the move – greeted with delight by campaigners and motoring groups – reflected the ‘very difficult economic times’. A duty rise in January had previously been axed and the latest freeze knocks £2.10 off the cost of filling up a typical family car." - Daily Mail

  • The Chancellor should be applauded for postponing the fuel duty increase - Daily Telegraph editorial
  • George Osborne branded a coward after Tory minister's "Newsnight disaster" - Guardian

> From yesterday - WATCH: Chloe Smith asked if the 3p fuel duty cut is an unfunded tax cut, a U-turn, a fiscal stimulus... or all three?

George Osborne: My fuel duty cut shows the Government is on the side of Sun readers

Osborne on Marr AM"I will always do what I can to help drivers whenever we can afford to. So we will now stop the fuel duty rise that was due in August and freeze it for the rest of the year — something I know The Sun has been campaigning hard for. There will be more good news in April when the amount you can earn tax free will increase by £1,100 to £9,205. Now we will have frozen fuel duty for 21 months — proof again that this Government is on the side of Sun readers." - George Osborne for the Sun

> Coverage from yesterday:

Michael Gove announces 377 failing primary schools will become sponsored academies


"Gove yesterday called for a massive expansion of the Government's free schools and academies programme, claiming the present education system was not "morally defensible". As a result, every failing primary school and those already given "notice to improve" by inspectors – 377 in all – will become sponsored academies in the next year." - Independent

  • Michelle Rhee: 'Witchfinder general' of America's classrooms flies in to give Gove her gospel - Independent

Benedict Brogan: David Cameron’s game of tease over an EU referendum has left his party badly divided

Cameron Union Flag + EU"Europe has proved itself to be a story of disappointed expectations for Conservatives. Mr Cameron no longer has the credibility required with his party to survive another disappointment. And the voters can tell when a politician is offering them something from a position of weakness. If he plans to let us down, he should do so now." - Benedict Brogan for the Daily Telegraph

  • Angela Merkel rules out eurobonds for 'as long as I live' - Daily Telegraph

Daniel Finkelsten: Psychology suggests we tend not to regret our toughest decisions. So austerity could still be a vote-winner

"Most people... do believe austerity is necessary and right. They don’t think that there is much alternative. The Government must work all the time to reinforce this feeling and the solidarity of those who hold it. When cuts are made that hit people hard, the temptation for the Government is to argue that the impact is overestimated. The correct strategy is the opposite. It is to emphasise that the cost is indeed great and to thank those making the sacrifice." - Daniel Finkelstein for the Times (£)

David Willetts: More focus needed on agricultural research, including GM

Willetts David DP"David Willetts said a new approach was needed to ensure basic science from Britain’s “world class” research institutions is quickly converted into improvements for farmers. Failure to do so would not only see Britain lose its position as a leader in agricultural science but profoundly affect the developing world where rapid advances are needed to feed the growing population, he said." - Daily Telegraph

  • A Tory MP supporter of "Frankenstein food" incorrectly claims healthy broccoli sold by Marks and Spencer is genetically modified - Daily Mail

Nick Clegg announces extra help for young jobless in 20 troublespots - Guardian

Clegg: Eurozone banking union musn't threaten single market

Clegg speech"On Thursday we will urge eurozone states to be bold in their approach to a banking union but alive to the risks to the single market. We will not be a part of this deeper banking union but we have a strong interest in its success. Yet we have just as strong an interest in making sure its success does not come at the expense of the EU’s greatest success: the single market. ... I want to see the UK standing tall in Europe, not forced to the sidelines or, worse, out the door, for reasons of clout and also for jobs." - Nick Clegg for the FT (£)

> From yesterday: Luke D Coffey on Comment: On Trident the Liberal Democrats are dangerously wrong

Unison and GMB join forces to fight state spending cuts

Cuts protest"Two of Britain's most powerful trade unions, Unison and the GMB, are joining forces in an anti-austerity alliance that will combine the resources of organisations representing nearly two million public and private sector workers. The GMB and Unison will campaign together on issues ranging from housing benefit to public sector pension reforms" - Guardian

King MervynSir Mervyn King says Britain is ‘halfway through’ recession - Scotsman

  • Welfare soars 12% while workers end up £1,000 worse off - The Sun
  • Falling tax receipts show that we’ve forgotten Laffer’s lesson - Allister Heath for City AM

Jersey threatens independence after a "barrage of regulatory clampdowns" - Guardian

More than 20 NHS trusts are in financial crisis with combined debts of nearly £130m - Daily Mail

  • Health watchdog concerned over NHS trust failing to meet care standards - Guardian
  • The NHS is paying for Labour’s dodgy PFI deals - Daily Telegraph editorial

The Queen and McGuinness to shake hands - Belfast Telegraph

  • "The idea of the Queen shaking an ex-IRA leader’s hand may feel like a defeat. It isn’t" - The Times (£) editorial
  • Despite the Queen's handshake with Martin McGuinness there is little reconciliation - Sir Simon Jenkins for the Guardian

Big Ben to be named the "Elizabeth Tower" in Jubilee tribute - The Times (£)



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