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Newslinks for Sunday 23rd September 2012

7.15pm LeftWatch updateLord Oakeshott says Tories must "swallow a slice" of humble pie on the mansion tax, and raises the prospect of Nick Clegg not being leader in 2015

6.15pm WATCH: Eric Pickles says he is "very proud to be a pleb" in difficult interview with Andrew Neil

Lib Dems Recontaminating4.30pm LeftWatch: Lib Dem conference update: further highlights of today's anti-Tory speeches

4pm LeftWatch: LIB DEM CONFERENCE ROLLING BLOG - highlights of the party's anti-Tory positioning

1pm: ToryDiary: Who are your conservative heroes?

12.30pm WATCH: Simon Hughes: "We don't think everybody at the top end of the tax system is paying what they ought to"

Percy andrew11.30am ToryDiary update: Andrew Percy MP suggested using the "huge potential" of the "massive international Commonwealth network" a year ago

ToryDiary: William Hague announces new British Commonwealth embassies to head off expanding European diplomatic network

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: If we want to bring our members back to conference, we should allow them to air their views

Martin Parsons on Comment: The future of Afghanistan (part 2) - the west must be willing to invade again if necessary

Local Government: Councillor says Planning Department puts interests of architects ahead of residents

Major new drive to claw back 100 powers from the EU

EU and BRITAIN"With a new deadline for a closer “federation of nation states” set for the middle of 2014, Government sources have confirmed that ministers will examine ways of clawing back sovereignty from the European Union in around 20 different areas. David Cameron is likely to point the way forward to further repatriation in his speech to the Conservative Party conference next month as he attempts to buy time amid calls from Tory Eurosceptics for a landmark referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU." - Sunday Telegraph

  • Cameron to reclaim 100 powers from the EU - Sunday Times (£)
  • Britain would survive if the Euro collapses, says Bank of England governor Mervyn King - Mail on Sunday

Iain Martin: An EU referendum could be the crucial moment of David Cameron's career

MARTIN IAIN"Mr Cameron and Mr Hague, wanting to wait and see what kind of federation the EU comes up with, hope to put off dealing with this until after the 2015 general election. But an interim promise of a referendum... may not satisfy Tory Eurosceptics, or the country. However, it is also an opportunity for Mr Cameron to define his leadership. Either renegotiating the UK’s relationship or taking the UK out, and sealing a friendly free-trade deal with the EU federation, would certainly mark him out as one of history’s consequential prime ministers." - Iain Martin for the Sunday Telegraph

  • "The UK Independence Party is looking increasingly like it could hurt David Cameron and the Conservatives as support for the Eurosceptic party grows" - Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryThe downside of a Con/UKIP pact is bigger than the upside - for the moment, anyway

Hague to launch worldwide network of Commonwealth embassies to tackle European diplomats

Hague William Syria"William Hague will tomorrow  launch a worldwide network of  British Commonwealth embassies to rival the emergence of the EU as a foreign superpower. The Foreign Secretary is in  Canada where he will sign an agreement to open joint UK-Canadian  diplomatic missions abroad. He also hopes Australia and New Zealand will join the initiative whereby the four countries will pool their resources to extend their combined influence on world affairs." - Mail on Sunday

> Today on ToryDiaryWilliam Hague announces new British Commonwealth embassies to head off expanding European diplomatic network

Taxman to target all £1m home owners in new anti-affluence crackdown as government widens net on tax dodgers - Mail on Sunday

Lib Dem conference bonanza: Negative polling for Clegg - good for Cable

  • Cable Vince March 2011"The ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph puts Mr Cable, who has not ruled himself out as a future leader, 11 points ahead of Mr Clegg among voters of all parties. Among Lib Dem supporters, Mr Cable’s lead is seven per cent." - Sunday Telegraph
  • "A poll for Lib Dem Voice of paid-up party members... shows that the Lib Dem leader's personal rating has fallen below zero for the first time, to minus 2 per cent." - Independent on Sunday
  • Liberal Democrat conference split over Nick Clegg's future as leader - Observer
  • ‘Lib Dem leader? I never say never’ - Vince Cable interview for the Sunday Times (£)

> From yesterday:

Lib Dem conference 2: Clegg accuses Tory backbenchers of having a "turbo-charged" right wing agenda

CleggNickDeclaring"“My message to those Conservative backbench MPs who seem to think they have the right to force a turbo-charged right wing agenda on our country is this: You didn’t win the last election. “You do not have a majority. The British people have not given you the right to act like you do. We formed this Coalition in good faith and for the good of the country at a time of crisis. This required compromise on both sides. Liberal Democrats have kept our side of the bargain. You must too.”" - Sunday Telegraph

> From yesterday - WATCHNick Clegg: The Liberal Democrats "are going to hold our nerve and see this through"

Lib Dem conference 3: Tory "Tea Party tendency" putting green energy jobs at risk, warns Ed Davey

Davey Ed"In an interview with the Observer, Ed Davey describes a "Tea Party tendency" among Conservative MPs who question climate change and green investment as "perverse", and says it is creating deep uncertainty for an industry that could do much to help lift the country out of the economic doldrums." - Observer

  • Right-wingers 'in secret plot to replace Clegg' and Labour-Lib Dem Coalition being planned - Mail on Sunday

Lib Dem conference 4: Coalition cuts have been too deep, says key Clegg aide

"[Clegg's] recently departed director of strategy, Richard Reeves, believes the coalition has squeezed spending too tightly and been blind to the benefits of investing in the economy. According to a pamphlet written by Reeves, the policy may have choked Britain's economic growth and pushed the country into the double dip... Reeves's admissions are particularly incendiary because he only left his position at the heart of government weeks ago and was known to have Clegg's ear." - Observer

Roundup of other Lib Dem conference stories

  • "Nick Clegg's plan to block Conservative plans for Westminster boundary changes receives huge support from delegates" - Observer
  • Some NHS services cut despite pledge, says ex-minister Paul Burstow - Observer
  • LAWS DAVID"In the first keynote speech of the Liberal Democrat conference, Education Minister David Laws... confirmed the government will increase the pupil premium for children from poorer backgrounds to £900." - Scotland on Sunday
  • Can 'three jobs' Laws really save the Lib Dems? - James Forsyth for the Mail on Sunday
  • Lynne Featherstone: 'We are the whipping boys, even though we're the good guys' - Independent on Sunday
  • Lib Dem Transport Minister hints at road tax scrap - Sunday Express

Lib Dem conference comment

  • The Sun's Page 3 pictures 'cause domestic violence' - Independent on Sunday
  • The Lib Dems aren't going to rescue themselves by being timid - Andrew Rawnsley for the Observer
  • Tories need Clegg to show some fire - Toby Young for the Sun on Sunday
  • You’ll be sorry as the wolves circle, Clegg - Martin Ivens for the Sunday Times (£)
  • Clegg's apology hands the leadership to Cable - John Rentoul for the Independent on Sunday

Home Secretary claims death penalty would not have prevented officer deaths

May Theresa in black"Theresa May moved yesterday to damp down calls for a return of the death penalty after the murder of  Manchester policewomen Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone. ... The calls were supported last week by Paul Beshenivsky, widowed husband of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, who was shot dead in Bradford in 2005. ... ‘The murder of Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone was a callous and  cowardly act,’ she said. ‘But I do not believe in the death penalty, and I do not believe that the death penalty would have acted as a deterrent in this case.’" - Mail on Sunday

Andrew Mitchell disputes reported version of encounter with police officer - denies using "pleb", but admits to swearing

Mitchell Andrew Feb 2011"The Sunday Telegraph understands that the Chief Whip’s version of events is that after asking officers to open the main gates to Downing Street for his bicycle, and being refused, he said: “You guys are supposed to f***ing help us.” A friend of Mr Mitchell said he was “100 per cent adamant” he had not used the word “plebs” or “morons”, despite contradictory reports, although he was not calling anybody a liar. “He lost it a bit,” the friend said." - Sunday Telegraph

  • "Mitchell is the Chancellor’s man as well as the Prime Minister’s. He is infinitely more alert than last week’s appalling incident suggests. He will know he has played into the posh-boy stereotype from which Cameron has been struggling to free the party. Mitchell isn’t the most popular inhabitant of the Westminster village, and knives are out for him. Managing Tory MPs will now be even more of a challenge." - Paul Goodman in the Mail on Sunday

> Coverage from yesterday:

Matthew d'Ancona: I don’t believe that Andrew Mitchell let loose the explosive P-word

"This is the kernel of the case, the flinty, irreducible core. Swearing, silly moments of grandeur, frayed tempers: all that can and should be dealt with by censure, apology and a well-deserved day in the stocks. But the “p” word – well, that takes us into an entirely different realm. ... Decent people say disgustingly snobbish things, it is true, but I do not believe that this is one such case." - Matthew d'Ancona for the Sunday Telegraph

Grant Shapps has said he was born in both London and Hertfordshire

SHAPPS NEW"New Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps was under fresh  pressure last night over his alleged ‘double life’ after it was disclosed that he gave voters contradictory details about where he was born. When Mr Shapps was standing for a parliamentary seat in the capital,  he wrote in his campaign literature that he was ‘a Londoner by birth’. But since his successful 2005  campaign to win Welwyn Hatfield, his leaflets have proudly declared that he was ‘born in Hertfordshire’." - Mail on Sunday

Jeremy Hunt in new "row" over bid to hire adviser from private health sector Observer

Douglas Carswell MP: The West’s political and social model is in crisis

CARSWELL DOUGLAS"The digital revolution will reinvigorate the West, lifting us out of our big-government-induced stupor. The West arose because Europe, unlike the empires of the Ming, the Mughals or the Ottomans, was never politically centralised. Europe progressed because no oligarchy could ever impose its idea of what progress should look like. Since the Treaty of Rome, Europe has stagnated because a centralised elite is trying to run a whole continent on the basis of blueprints. Maths and technology are about to do to the grand planners in the West what the collapse of Communism did to the socialist planners in the old Soviet bloc. We are about to be set free not only from the grand plans, but from the conceit of the grand planners." - Douglas Carswell MP for the Sunday Telegraph

Legal tourists are making a mockery of our legal system - Nick Cohen for the Observer

More than 20 MPs are risking hefty fines by illegally handling constituents’ personal data - The Sun on Sunday

Mitt Romney’s message is good – it just needs restating - Janet Daley for the Sunday Telegraph

British still giving hundreds of millions of pounds in aid to wealthy countries - Sunday Telegraph

Scottish teenagers say 'NO' to independence in blow for Salmond - Mail on Sunday

Living standards report shows bleak future of a divided Britain - Observer



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