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26 Nov 2012 08:32:37

Newslinks for Monday 26th November 2012

8pm WATCH:

5.45pm ToryDiary: David Cameron makes a triumphant post-summit return to the Commons and says "a deal is still do-able" on the European budget

Osborne welcomes Carney5.15pm WATCH: The Chancellor welcomes Mark Carney as "the most qualified person in the world" to be the next Governor of the Bank of England

4.30pm Iain Anderson on Comment: New Governor of the Bank of England will place Britain at the heart of the global debate

3.45pm ToryDiary: Boris attacks the Government's immigration policy (again)

3.15pm ToryDiary: New ConHome survey asks questions on UKIP, Nadine Dorries and the Cabinet

2pm ToryDiary: Grant Shapps "categorically" rules out a pact with UKIP

1pm Local government: Weak LGA response to the Rotherham scandal as Labour council leader dithers

Farage on Sky12.45pm WATCH: Nigel Farage: "The real obstacle to any deal with the Conservative Party is the Conservative Party leader"

Noon Lee Rotherham on Comment: In Rotherham, Denis MacShane’s poisoned legacy is bigger than just expenses

ToryDiary: If anyone believes that it can be business as usual in Fleet Street, there's shurely shome mishtake

MPsETC: Michael Fabricant MP suggests a deal with UKIP could elect twenty extra Tory MPs

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Should Nadine have gone to Australia - or should that be: "should she have been allowed back"?

Hunt graphic

Jeremy Hunt on Comment: The four improvements I want to see in the NHS by 2015

Also on Comment, Christopher Snowdon: The science behind minimum alcohol pricing is based on suspect computer models

Local Government: Social work training is where the seeds of scandal are sown

The Deep End: The Eurozone crisis is only the beginning of the great global debt meltdown

Boris flip-flops on Europe, now saying an in/out referendum is too simplistic

Boris flip flops"Boris Johnson lent support to David Cameron last night by arguing against a referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union. In a surprising gesture, the Mayor of London distanced himself from hardline Tory Eurosceptics by backing Mr Cameron’s view that there should be no in/out vote on the EU. A number of backbenchers, notably David Davis, have recently called for a referendum on whether Britain should stay inside the Union." - Times (£) | Guardian

  • Indian dynamism puts the eurozone to shame. This is where we need to be doing business - Boris Johnson for the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryBoris Johnson WAS in favour of an In/Out referendum. No longer it seems...

Tory vice-chair Michael Fabricant MP tells Cameron: make EU pact with Ukip or face defeat

Fabricant-Michael"Michael Fabricant, a Tory vice-chairman, is urging the Prime Minister to make a commitment on a referendum on membership of the EU in return for a promise from Ukip not to field candidates at the next general election. Fabricant, a Conservative vice-chairman, will become the first high-profile Tory to acknowledge publicly the damage being done by the anti-EU party to the Tories in the marginal seats they need to capture in order to secure an overall majority at Westminster." - Independent

> Today on MPsETCMichael Fabricant MP suggests a deal with UKIP could elect twenty extra Tory MPs

Tim Montgomerie: Cameron's big EU speech must offer a trade relationship with Europe – and an in-out referendum

EU and BRITAIN"Up until now Mr Cameron has followed rather than led his party on Europe. This speech is his chance to change that. To succeed, he must meet two objectives. He must promise a UKIP-disabling and believable commitment to hold an in-out referendum. Second, he must set out a positive vision of a free-trading Economic Europe that, by the time any referendum is held, might exist and thus persuade Britain to “stay in”. Without such clear vision, he risks being the third successive Tory prime minister to be undone by Europe." - Tim Montgomerie for the Times (£)

  • "I believe we need to reinforce our negotiating leverage with an early “mandate” referendum, backed up by a “decision” referendum to persuade Brussels that the threat of departure is real." - David Davis MP for the FT (£)
  • David Cameron knows the value of working with the EU, but his hands are tied by Tory Europhobes and Ukip - Jackie Ashley for the Guardian

> From yesterday:

Leveson 1: Err on the side of a free Press, Hague urges Cameron

Hague Sky Long"William Hague urged David Cameron to ‘err on the side of  freedom’ of the Press yesterday as the Government prepared to receive Lord Justice Leveson’s report into media standards. The Foreign Secretary joined senior ministers in telling the Prime Minister that backing up a new system of Press regulation in law was unthinkable." - Daily Mail

> Today on ToryDiaryIf anyone believes that it can be business as usual in Fleet Street, there's shurely shome mishtake

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryCameron will not agree to statutory regulation of the press when Leveson reports next week

Leveson 2: Maria Miller fighting for "tough" Leveson rules

"Maria Miller, the Media Secretary, wants state regulation of the press to “stay on the table” as an option and is fighting within the Cabinet for “tough” new rules to come out of the Leveson Inquiry. Mrs Miller is understood to be pushing for a “credible” independent system for regulating the press when Lord Justice Leveson's report on media ethics is published on Thursday." - Daily Telegraph

Leveson 3: 45 Conservative MPs (and seven Labour MPs) write letter warning against statutory regulation

Blair Heckler Leveson"At least 45 Conservative MPs and around seven Labour MPs are planning to warn that new press laws should be resisted ahead of Lord Justice Leveson’s report on the media due on Thursday. The MPs decided to act after another group of 42 Conservative MPs... came out in favour of laws governing newspapers. Conor Burns, who organised the new letter in favour of press self-regulation, said the issue has “divided” the Conservative party." - Daily Telegraph

  • The Leveson report could leave David Cameron in a corner - Guardian

Leveson 4: Implement Leveson proposals on press, Ed Miliband tells Cameron

Miliband Tele iv"Ed Miliband has urged the prime minister to show confidence in Lord Justice Leveson's report into the future of press regulation and says David Cameron should agree a swift timetable for its implementation so long as its findings are proportionate and reasonable. Writing in the Guardian, the Labour leader says: "Parliament set up this inquiry with the power to examine all the evidence and reach conclusions. We need to show confidence in this process, not try and invent a new one."" - Guardian

  • When Leveson reports, parliament must act swiftly - Ed Miliband for the Guardian
  • I've suffered at the hands of the media, but I still believe Press freedom is vital for democracy - David Blunkett for the Daily Mail

IFS: Osborne may have to raise taxes to balance the budget 

Osborne NewX"Weak economic growth and lower than expected tax payments have left a hole in the Chancellor’s plans that may need to be filled by higher taxes or further cuts to public spending, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said. Even under the most “optimistic” forecast, the Chancellor will miss his target for debt to fall between 2015 and 2016 and should abandon the goal, the IFS said." - Daily Telegraph

  • Manufacturers warn economy too weak for more austerity - Guardian
  • Britain's poorest families 'facing 30% cut to their annual income by 2017' as Government slashes spending - Daily Mail
  • Six more years of austerity - Scotsman
  • OBR's supply pessimism could be the ruin of this government - Roger Bootle for the Daily Telegraph

Cabinet split over plans for levy on alcohol

"Moves to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol face a backlash from the drinks industry, economists and even Cabinet ministers. ... [T]he Prime Minister has run into Cabinet opposition, with Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, and Andrew Lansley, the Commons leader, understood to have argued that responsible low-income drinkers would be penalised." - Independent

> Today - Christopher Snowdon on Comment: The science behind minimum alcohol pricing is based on suspect computer models

Coalition "shambles" over John Hayes anti wind farm 'prejudice'

HayesInParliament"Ed Davey, a senior Liberal Democrat, revealed he took legal advice after one of his junior Tory ministers, John Hayes, called an end to wind farms “peppering” the countryside. In a newspaper interview, Mr Davey said he had written to the Prime Minister pointing out the energy minister had spoken out against Coalition policy. He also said there was a “question mark” over whether Mr Hayes should continue to be responsible for green energy." - Daily Telegraph

Charlotte Leslie MP: Ignore the EU, copy the Germans and make doctors pass a language test

Leslie charlotte"[W]aiting for agreement on the working time directive is like waiting for Godot. So... we should simply stop applying elements of EU law that harm patients. We can always remind critics that health systems were not supposed to be touched by the EU at all — so in applying the spirit of the law, we are simply being good Europeans." Charlotte Leslie MP for the Times (£)

Michael Heseltine: "I would have liked to be prime minister"

""Oh I think it would have to be not being prime minister, of course," he admits softly. I almost think I must have misheard. "Yes," he repeats, "life's been very kind to me, so I don't have many disappointments. But I would have liked to have been prime minister."" - Guardian interview with Lord Heseltine

Nick Clegg to lobby PM to back Palestinian statehood

Clegg garden city"Mr Cameron and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, have publicly urged the Palestinians to drop the bid, arguing that it could wreck chances of a return to peace talks. ... But Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is supportive, as is Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. It is understood that Mr Clegg will lobby the Prime Minister and Mr Hague to vote yes, in the belief that the moderate PA need British support more than ever after the recent violence." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday - WATCH: William Hague: "It is time for a huge effort on the Middle East peace process"

Lib Dem Housing Minister announces plan to refurbish empty homes - Guardian

Expenses fraud MP Margaret Moran out and about - Daily Telegraph

We’re not backing the Union – or independence – say trade union leaders

Scottish-flag1"A report by the STUC today warns that it will be wrong to come down one side or the other for the “foreseeable future”, amid concerns over current Labour policies and figures used by the Better Together pro-Union campaign. The report, prepared by STUC official Dave Moxham, says there was “concern and, on occasion, outright anger at some of the economic, social and international policies which have been pursued at Scottish and UK levels” by Labour." - Scotsman

  • Legal aid cuts will not affect people’s right to a fair trial, insists Justice Secretary - Scotsman

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryScottish Conservatives launch new logo and website at National Convention

Faith_and_communitySchools struggling to teach about Christianity in RE - Daily Telegraph

  • "Schoolchildren need to be taught Christianity so they can understand British history and culture, a poll of parents has revealed. Almost two-thirds believe Christianity is key to our history and over half think it is important to help children understand British culture." - Daily Express
  • Women bishops rejection has damaged Church, traditionalist bishop admits - Daily Telegraph

Plans to move some NHS services online criticised by charities - Independent

Storm front expected to move north - BBC

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25 Nov 2012 09:00:53

Newslinks for Sunday 25th November 2012

Boris flip flops7.45pm ToryDiary: Boris Johnson WAS in favour of an In/Out referendum. No longer it seems...

6pm Tracey Crouch MP on Comment: Tories will be re-elected if they get the country out of the economic mess, not get themselves into the jungle

5.15pm WATCH: William Hague: "It is time for a huge effort on the Middle East peace process"

4pm Allie Renison on Comment: Cameron jockeys for position in Brussels - and finally wins one

VILLIERS THERESA NW3.30pm MPsETC: Theresa Villiers speaks at the DUP's conference - a further sign of improving unionist-Tory relations

2pm Cameron Penny on Comment: Britain must remain part of the EU and complete the single market, or become a footnote in history

12.15pm Spencer Pitfield on Comment: The Conservative Policy Forum is reaching out to communities across the country

ToryDiary: Cameron will not agree to statutory regulation of the press when Leveson reports next week

Also on ToryDiary from last night: George Osborne is planning for married couples' tax breaks in next year's Budget

Screen Shot 2012-11-25 at 12.02.21Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: In the jungle, people finally saw a Tory MP who could relate to them. I have no regrets and would do it all again.

Chris White MP on Comment: The Chancellor could boost manufacturing and the economy by increasing capital allowances

Local Government: Victory for Bedford Free School in planning appeal

Cameron set to defy Leveson on law to allow state-controlled press

Cameron Scots independence"David Cameron is heading for an explosive confrontation over press freedom this week by resisting calls to introduce heavy-handed new laws to police UK newspapers. But he will order them to ‘clean up their act’ immediately with a tough new watchdog – using the threat of sweeping legal action if they fail to do so." - Mail on Sunday | Independent on Sunday

  • "Downing Street knows that this promises to be, in the words of one No 10 source, ‘the most difficult’ of the three big issues facing the Prime Minister – the other two are the Autumn Statement and the EU budget." - James Forsyth for the Mail on Sunday
  • For the Prime Minister to offer the newspapers a final chance would be both statesmanlike and a complete political nightmare - Matthew d'Ancona for the Sunday Telegraph

> Today on ToryDiaryCameron will not agree to statutory regulation of the press when Leveson reports next week

Gove criticises Rotherham council over "indefensible" decision

GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE"Michael Gove... branded the move "indefensible" and ordered an investigation, while the council's Labour leader demanded a report by Rotherham social services by tomorrow. Mr Gove, himself adopted as a child, said: "Rotherham council have made the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. Rotherham's reasons for denying this family the chance to foster are indefensible." - Independent on Sunday

  • "Nigel Farage... was forced to deny he was using the case for political capital just days before a crucial by-election. Voters in Rotherham go to the polls on Thursday to replace Denis MacShane, the town’s Labour MP who was forced to resign after an expenses scandal." - Sunday Times (£)
  • UKIP leader's fury after member is banned by Barnardo's from caring for children - Mail on Sunday
  • Plan to cut guidance increases risk of abuse, say experts - Independent on Sunday

> Coverage from yesterday:

Budget preview: Osborne will finally introduce married couples' tax breaks

Osborne Number11"Conservative ministers are drawing up plans to deliver tax breaks to married couples from next year in a move which will please their own MPs but spark a new clash with the Liberal Democrats. Senior Tory sources said the “likeliest option” for bringing in the long-awaited but controversial move – worth around £150 a year – was to include it in the Budget in Spring 2013." - Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryGeorge Osborne is planning for married couples' tax breaks in next year's Budget

Autumn Statement preview 1: Osborne to halt 3p fuel duty rise

"George Osborne is planning to freeze the planned fuel duty rise in his autumn statement, after coming under pressure from his backbenchers and receiving support from key Liberal Democrat colleagues. The chancellor is expected to delay the 3p rise in fuel duty scheduled for January, following a campaign by consumer groups and parliamentary colleagues." - Observer

  • 6m cars off the road if fuel bills rise by just £10 a week - Sun on Sunday
  • Osborne needs to end the economic drift - Sunday Times (£) editorial

> Today - Chris White MP on Comment: The Chancellor could boost manufacturing and the economy by increasing capital allowances

Autumn Statement preview 2: Treasury to crack down on offshore tax havens

"Radical plans to force the UK's tax havens to reveal the names behind hidden companies, account holders and trusts have been drawn up by the Treasury. The news has delighted tax justice campaigners, who predict that the move, which is expected to be unveiled in the chancellor's autumn statement and come into force in 2014" - Observer

  • Generous Labour donor causes embarrassment for Ed Miliband as it emerges that he saves £13million using tax haven - Mail on Sunday
  • Now Man Utd stand accused over low level of corporation tax - Observer

Cameron to set minimum price for alcohol

"David Cameron risks a backlash from the drinks industry, health groups and members of his own Cabinet this week over his plans to tackle the scourge of binge drinking by raising the minimum price of alcohol to as high as 50p per unit. The Prime Minister is expected to publish the Government's long-awaited alcohol consultation on Wednesday" - Independent on Sunday

  • "Ministers are locked in a row over plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol of around 45p a unit in an attempt to tackle binge drinking." - Sunday Telegraph

New rights for householders who attack burglars to be unveiled by Chris Grayling

Grayling Chris Newsnight"Changes to the law to ensure householders who attack burglars will not be prosecuted unless they use “grossly disproportionate” force are to be introduced. ... [T]he Department for Justice will move to amend the existing law which says only “proportionate” and “reasonable” force can be used by home owners and tenants who confront criminals. ... Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, declared today that the changes will give householders the protection that they need - the confidence that the law will be on their side”." - Sunday Telegraph

  • How I'm fulfilling my promise on new rights for householders - Chris Grayling for the Sunday Telegraph

Michael Gove announces 2,000 elite teachers to tackle Britain's toughest schools

"A multi-million-pound scheme to increase massively the number  of elite teachers parachuted into Britain’s toughest schools will be announced by the Government tomorrow. ... The money, to be unveiled by Education Secretary Michael Gove, is the latest tranche granted by the Government to the charity Teach First, which was set up to woo high-flyers to swap lucrative City jobs for the classroom." - Mail on Sunday

More than 150,000 forced off benefits after refusing to participate in Iain Duncan Smith's back-to-work scheme

DUNCAN SMITH 2"More than 150,000 jobless people have been stripped of benefits after refusing to accept help to get back into work. One in ten long-term unemployed on the Government’s flagship back-to-work programme opted to go without benefit rather than accept help to get them a job. And thousands more voluntarily stop claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance as soon as they are referred to the Work Programme." - Mail on Sunday

  • Jobless stripped of benefits in Government scheme - Sunday Telegraph
  • "The cost of welfare spending has surged by almost 8% in the past year, far outpacing the 1.8% rise in average pay for people in work." - Sunday Times (£)

Mark Pritchard MP: Only an in-out referendum will do

PRITCHARD"A repatriation referendum, or mandate referendum, would do nothing to address the systemic loss of British sovereignty and independence over four decades. As Nick Clegg correctly asserted in his recent Chatham House speech - the repatriation of powers back to Britain is a “false promise”. ... Sooner or later a Prime Minister, hopefully a Conservative Prime Minister, will accept that an in/out referendum will be the only way of assuaging the British people." - Mark Pritchard MP for the Sunday Telegraph

  • Tories cheer Cameron in Europe and demand referendum - Sunday Telegraph
  • The EU is the model of what happens when a governing class remains in denial - Janet Daley for the Sunday Telegraph
  • David Cameron's boldness over Europe does him credit - Iain Martin for the Sunday Telegraph
  • Those who want Britain out of Europe are raising a glass to themselves far too soon - Andrew Rawnsley for the Observer
  • "Tony Blair will this week admit that Britain's future in the European Union is no longer certain" - Sunday Telegraph

The backlash against Lynton Crosby

Crosby Lynton Headshot"The move is understood to have alarmed Andrew Cooper, director of strategy at No 10 and Cameron’s personal pollster. Some observers have suggested that Crosby’s arrival may even prompt Cooper... to step down from his role early next year... Such are the sensitivities surrounding Crosby’s appointment that the Australian will work from the offices of his company, CTF Partners, in Mayfair, central London, instead of at Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) in Millbank or at No 10." - Sunday Times (£)

  • 'Some will say PM's fixer is racist': Top Tory attacks Cameron's chief over foul-mouthed rant at Muslims - Mail on Sunday

Cameron to create 100 new peers

"[T]he prime minister is preparing to write to Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, and Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, asking them to draw up a list of nominees. The move has been met with incredulity by Lords reformers who accused Cameron of using taxpayers’ money to create more titles. Labour sources charged him with “gerrymandering” to manufacture more Tory support in parliament." - Sunday Times (£)

Nadhim Zahawi MP: We need to make council taxes fairer

Zahawi"[T]here’s one area of our tax system that isn’t adhering to that principle: council tax. The highest council tax band in England is Band H – which includes any property that in 1991 would have been worth more than £320,000. Today, such a property in London would be worth at least £1.2million and in the West Midlands around £880,000. As a result, someone who has worked hard and saved their whole life to buy an admittedly very comfortable Band H home in  Stratford-upon-Avon pays £3,000 a year in council tax. Yet the billionaire oligarch in his  £25 million Band H pad in Chelsea pays just £2,150 a year" - Nadhim Zahawi MP for the Mail on Sunday

Oxford Tories seek minority status after being persecuted by fellow students - Sunday Times (£)

Gordon Brown's think-tank hit by theft - Sunday Times (£)

Independence campaigners tell Salmond to get rid of the Queen

Scottish-flag1"The Queen should not be head of state of an independent Scotland, the chairman of the pro-independence Yes campaign has said. At a Radical Independence Conference yesterday, former Labour MP Dennis Canavan criticised the Scottish Government’s proposal to keep the monarchy in place if Scotland backs independence." - Scotsman

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryScottish Conservatives launch new logo and website at National Convention

Peter Robinson: A majority of Catholics supporting staying in the United Kingdom - BBC

3,000 Eurocrats earn more than British PM - Sunday Times (£)

Knives out at the Bank of England as race for top job hots up - Observer

Swathes of green belt land sacrificed for new housing developments - Sunday Telegraph

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24 Nov 2012 09:01:35

Newslinks for Saturday 24th November 2012

9.45pm ToryDiary: George Osborne is planning for married couples' tax breaks in next year's Budget

5.45pm Local government: Labour should be ashamed of Rotherham Council

4.15pm WATCH: Ed Miliband calls for an investigation into UKIP fostering fiasco

New Scottish Conservative Logo3.30pm ToryDiary: Scottish Conservatives launch new logo and website at National Convention

Noon MPsETC: Tory MPs - and Michael Gove - react to Rotherham council UKIP foster parents story

ToryDiary: Shapps signals that election debates may not happen in 2015

Also on ToryDiary: If we agreed a pact with UKIP, we would own their pain - and their problems

Local Government: Rotherham Council remove foster children from couple as they support UKIP

Simon Reevell MP on Comment: Gay marriage legislation will eventually be enforced against the conscience of the church

MPsETC: The 118 Tory MPs the Daily Mail lists as being opposed to gay marriage

MajorityConservatism: The final part of the Wrong Right series, on the need for civility on the Right

EU budget talks collapse as David Cameron says "non" to Brussels

Cameron pale blue tie"Talks on a new European Union budget have collapsed after David Cameron won German support in a row with France about his demands for more cuts in spending. The Prime Minister accused Brussels of 'living in a parallel universe' and said there could not be a 'deal at any cost.' Speaking at the end of the failed summit Mr Cameron said... 'Frankly the deal on the table was just not good enough. It wasn't good enough for Britain and neither was it good enough for a number of countries.'" - Daily Telegraph

> Coverage from yesterday:

Cameron leads a Nordic alliance of budget cutters - including Germany

"In a major breakthrough for the once-isolated Mr Cameron, he recruited powerful German leader Angela Merkel to back his defiant stand. The duo were joined in their new alliance by the leaders of the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The group, all big EU contributers, laid down a “very clear marker” for far bigger cuts, the PM insisted last night." - The Sun

  • "Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is determined not to isolate David Cameron, the UK prime minister, in the EU budget negotiations." - FT (£)

But will Merkel use her support of Cameron to get an agreement on a banking union?

Cameron and merkel"One school of thought in Brussels suggests that Merkel was happy to support Cameron at this summit so that she can have a greater sway over him at the next EU summit on 13-14 December when an EU banking union will be on the agenda. Cameron will need Merkel's support at the next budget summit, possibly in January or February, increasing the chances that he will agree to water down British concerns about the banking union, goes the new theory." - Guardian

118 Tory MPs set to defy Cameron and trigger biggest Tory party rebellion in modern times

Gaywedding"They are an eclectic bunch – including a former breakfast TV presenter, a former top City investment manager, a Liverpool football fan and a gay friend of Margaret Thatcher. But all have one thing in common: they are among the many Tory MPs who bitterly oppose David Cameron’s controversial policy to make gay marriage legal. Altogether, there are at least 118 Tory MPs (out of a total of 303) who, the Mail can reveal, have condemned the proposal to redefine the centuries-old institution of marriage." - Daily Mail

  • "A majority of the population backs holding a referendum on same-sex marriage rather than leaving the decision to MPs, polling suggests." - Daily Telegraph

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Osborne wants international action against tax avoidance

Osborne George purple tie"George Osborne has joined forces with his French and German counterparts to call for faster progress on a drive against tax avoidance by multinational corporations. The Chancellor, Wolfgang Schäuble of Germany and Pierre Moscovici of France, have written to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calling on it to urgently address loopholes that allow Amazon, Google and Starbucks to legally avoid tax." - Times (£)

Maria Miller: "It's very disappointing that the Church of England has taken this decision"

MILLER-MARIA"Maria Miller... has urged the Church of England to review its internal democracy, describing it as not reflective of the overwhelming views of its members following its botched attempt to allow women to become bishops. In her first official comments on the issue, which has plunged the established church into turmoil, Miller told the Guardian it was "extraordinary" and "very disappointing" that a vote on long-awaited legislation had failed despite the overwhelming approval of grassroots members." - Guardian

  • Full Maria Miller interview with the Guardian
  • Turnround challenge beckons for Welby - FT (£)
  • Church and State must loosen their bonds - Matthew Parris for the Times (£)

Grant Shapps: "If you work hard and want to get on in life we are the party for you"

SHAPPS GRANT"Mr Shapps [hiring Lynton Crosby] is not a sign that the party is returning to a “core vote” approach, focusing on crime and immigration... “You don’t win a British election with a dog whistle but by keeping the supporters we have already and winning the support of people we didn’t get last time,” says the chairman. “We need to broaden our appeal politically and geographically. If you work hard and want to get on in life we are the party for you. I need to deliver our strategy with the sharpest, best-managed campaign and that is why we hired Lynton.”" - Times (£) interview with Grant Shapps

  • "The Conservative Party chairman, Grant Shapps, said that it was not certain that Mr Cameron would debate with other party leaders in 2015, as he did in 2010, when televised debates were held for the first time." - Independent

> Today on ToryDiaryShapps signals that election debates may not happen in 2015

> From yesterday - Columnist Bruce Anderson: I am now about to libel Lynton Crosby

Tory minister sent by No.10 to keep tabs on Vince Cable says Lib Dem keeps 'slipping his electronic tag' to attack business

Fallon BBC DP"A Tory minister in Vince Cable’s business department has described his frustration that his boss frequently ‘slips his electronic tag’ by making anti-business speeches. In a sign of increasing rifts at the top of the Coalition, Michael Fallon – a close ally of Chancellor George Osborne – said the Lib Dem Business Secretary sometimes went off-piste by criticising wealth creators." - Daily Mail

Grayling's new mission: Crackdown on sex in prisons to stop "cosy" relationships between cell mates

Grayling Change"Chris Grayling... is understood to be looking at banning prisoners from setting up “cosy, domestic” living arrangements as part of his drive to make sure jail is not seen as a comfortable place. There is no data on how many inmates are in same-sex relationships but the prison authorities accept there is a "degree of inevitability" to sex in jails." - Daily Telegraph

Nadine Dorries backs Boris Johnson to take over from David Cameron

DORRIES NADINE"Rebel Tory Nadine Dorries last night vowed to use her I’m A Celebrity fame to topple PM David Cameron. The 55-year-old MP... blasted his “controlling” Downing Street regime. She said: “I long for the day Boris Johnson is Prime Minister.” And she declared: “Boris is my King of the Jungle.” ... “He is a good man and a hero of mine, and he can reach people other politicians can’t. ... I do believe this will happen, and that he will be Prime Minister. If he doesn’t, it might be the day I consider giving up being an MP." - The Sun

Sir Malcolm Rifkind resigns from Conservative Friends of Russia amid homophobic smear allegations

RIFKIND NEW"Chris Bryant, the former Labour minister... last night made accusations relating to a “smear” campaign after an old photo of him in his underwear was posted online. The picture of Mr Bryant was posted on the website of a pressure group called Conservative Friends of Russia (CFoR)... The photograph was later removed from the website, but it triggered the resignation of the former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, from his position as honorary president of CFoR." - Independent

Lib Dems claim a victory over Tories in green energy battle

Davey Ed 2"The Liberal Democrats are claiming to have won a victory in the now open warfare with their Tory coalition partners over green energy... The chancellor has vetoed the original Lib Dem plan to introduce a de-carbonisation target before the next election, but the energy secretary, Ed Davey, claims that the Treasury has sanctioned him to give advice to the National Grid on the need to prioritise renewable energy" - Guardian

  • Full Ed Davey interview with the Guardian
  • "In a manner all too typical of their infantile approach to policy making, both halves of the Coalition were yesterday claiming the government’s Energy Bill as a ‘victory’ for themselves." - Daily Mail editorial

> Today on ToryDiaryOsborne and Davey both claim victory over green power deal. Green groups attack it

Foster parents 'stigmatised and slandered’ for being members of UKIP 

"A couple had their three foster children taken away by a council on the grounds that their membership of the UK Independence Party meant that they supported “racist” policies. The husband and wife, who have been fostering for nearly seven years, said they were made to feel like criminals when a social worker told them that their views on immigration made them unsuitable carers." - Daily Telegraph

  • Why Cameron will regret his 'fruitcakes and loonies' insult - Simon Heffer for the Daily Mail

> Today: 

Public sector pay squeeze may have to be extended until 2017 - Times (£)

Charles Moore: My industry must stop behaving like trade union leaders and show a willingness to change

MOORE"The Leveson report on the press will be published on Thursday. The press should welcome it. Note that I just said welcome it: I did not say agree with it. ... We in the press have insulted Leveson. We have issued massive, reader-bewildering denunciations of one member of his panel of advisers. We have impugned the motives of MPs who disagree with us. And we have threatened David Cameron, in vague but menacing terms, about what might happen to him if he does not see us right." - Charles Moore for the Daily Telegraph

  • David Blunkett backs non-statutory press regulation - Guardian

> From yesterday - Nick Pickles on Comment: A pro-business party of law and order should reject statutory regulation of the press

Sally Bercow abandons Labour ambitions after Twitter child abuse furore - Daily Telegraph

  • Sally Bercow and Alan Davies among 20 'high-profile' Tweeters still being pursued for damages by Lord McAlpine over false sex abuse claims - Daily Mail

Dozens of new life peers to be appointed to House of Lords - Guardian

Radicals threaten Salmond and Scottish independence campaign

SALMOND ALEX"Alex Salmond will tomorrow face a major challenge from leftwingers in his attempt to win over moderate Scots to the independence cause... The Radical Independence Conference has brought together the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Socialists, some of the more militant trade unionists, nuclear-disarmament campaigners and anti-monarchist republicans." - Independent

  • MacAskill accused of misleading public as legal aid row grows - Scotsman
  • Holyrood wind farm inquiry an 'unbelievable whitewash' - Daily Telegraph
  • Religious hate crime in Scotland up a quarter - Daily Telegraph

Just one in 20 aided by back to work scheme - Daily Telegraph

  • Back-to-work scheme scrapped by Cameron 'produced net gain for UK' - Guardian

Charities fear huge rise in repossessions of family homes - Times (£)

George Galloway criticises Syrian opposition for not "lifting a finger for jihad" - Daily Telegraph

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23 Nov 2012 08:28:51

Newslinks for Friday 23rd November 2012

9.30pm ToryDiary: Departmental budgets are coming down: 5) CLG. Pickles wins the golden axe award

9pm WATCH: From those Taiwanese illustrators...David Cameron, gay icon?

8.15pm WATCH: Cameron - Brussels is living in "a parallel universe"

7.45pm ToryDiary: A win for the Prime Minister in Europe

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 17.00.01
5pm ROLLING BLOG ON E.U SUMMIT BREAK-UP: Cameron - "We put down a very clear marker"

4.45pm Local Government: Council byelection result from yesterday

4pm WATCH: Nigel Farage - "The isolation from the global market place is caused by our membership of the single market customs union

2.15pm Departmental budgets are coming down: 4) Education

12.45pm Departmental budgets are coming down: 3) Justice

11.45am: Local Government: Seven out of eight offering to adopt are thwarted

11.30am MPsETC: Almost as many Conservative MPs yesterday supported some prisoners voting as opposed all prisoners voting

11am ToryDiary: Departmental budgets are coming down: 2) Cabinet Office

10am ToryDiary: Departmental budgets are coming down: 1) Law Officers

ToryDiary: Osborne and Davey both claim victory over green power deal. Green groups attack it

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.42.01
MajorityConservatism: Why does so much of the Right treat cutting spending as light entertainment?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: I am now about to libel Lynton Crosby

Nick Pickles on Comment: A pro-business party of law and order should reject statutory regulation of the press

Also on Comment: Lord Ashcroft - My training day with our unsung heroes: Britain’s courageous bomb disposal experts

Local Government: DCLG leading Whitehall in slashing admin spending

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: If we want lower business taxation then we have to accept higher personal taxation

WATCH: Lord Patten greets Lord Hall, the new BBC Director-General

EU budget summit re-opens at mid-day

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.47.29"European leaders will reconvene at noon today after crunch budget talks broke up last night without agreement, leaving David Cameron still facing a fight to protect Britain’s rebate. Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council President and summit host, called time in the early hours and sent the 27 leaders to bed after barely two hours of discussion at a much delayed dinner. Mr van Rompuy said he was confident that leaders would broker a deal today without the summit stretching into the weekend." - The Times (£)

What Cameron said about the budget in public

"Mr Cameron, who had a half hour meeting with Mr Van Rompuy and Mr Barroso, said: 'These are very important negotiations and clearly, at a time when we're making difficult decisions at home over public spending, it would be quite wrong - it is quite wrong - for there to be proposals for this increased extra spending in the EU. 'So we're going to be negotiating very hard for a good deal for Britain's taxpayers and for Europe's taxpayers, and to keep the British rebate.'" - Daily Mail

  • "Doch weder Merkel noch der französische Staatspräsident François Hollande geben sich damit schon zufrieden - auch vom britischen Premier David Cameron ist massiver Widerstand programmiert." - Bild
  • "Le premier ministre britannique, David Cameron, s'est montré inflexible" - Le Monde

What Cameron said about the budget in private

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.51.13
"Prime Minister David Cameron was involved in a tense clash over the call with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso as a crunch EU budget summit opened. Mr Cameron urged them to cut lavish salaries, pensions and perks for EU civil servants. But he was greeted with a frosty response…Mr Cameron set out specific proposals for cuts worth almost £5billion from the EU’s £45billion annual administration budget." - Daily Express

  • Austerity Europe? Not at the European Union's Brussels HQ - The Guardian

How the Prime Minister will declare victory

  • He wanted an EU budget of €885.6bn
  • Van Rompey wanted a budget of €973.2bn
  • The Prime Minister will declare anything in between as a win - The Guardian

UKIP’s popularity has hit ten per cent for the second day in a row, a poll for The Sun showed - The Sun

> Yesterday:

Grayling tells MPs: We can defy Europe over prisoner votes

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 07.57.59"The Justice Secretary raised the stakes in the Government’s confrontation with the European Court of Human Rights by suggesting yesterday that Britain could defy a ruling over the right of prisoners to the vote. Chris Grayling told MPs that Parliament was “sovereign” and it was up to them to decide whether or not to accept rulings from Strasbourg. Even if fines were imposed on Britain, MPs could decide not to pay them." - The Times (£)

  • Justice Secretary tells officials to review prisoners' use of legal aid to sue Government over voting - The Sun

Quit the ECHR, says Nick Herbert

HERBERT CLOSE UP"Nick Herbert called for decisive action to ‘end the writ of the European Court’. He said: ‘That would enable Parliament and our own courts to strike a proper balance between rights and responsibilities, with respect for the democratic will. ‘We shouldn’t defy the European Court of Human Rights – we should resign from it altogether.’ Britain is free to walk away from the court, provided it gives six months’ notice." - Daily Mail

Comment:

  • "A bewildering lack of common sense and political nous" - Quentin Letts on Dominic Grieve, Daily Mail
  • "A more impressive and less invertebrate Attorney General than Grieve would now be recommending a radical course of action: that Britain should withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court altogether" - Daily Express Editorial
  • We must give prisoners the vote - Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • "The case for pulling out of the Court grows stronger by the month" - Daily Mail Editorial

> Yesterday:

Les Ebdon: Pupils let down by University "snobbery" - Daily Telegraph 

First UK for-profit University approved - Financial Times (£) 

Osborne and Davey agree energy deal.  Bills will go up over the next two decades by an estimated £178 a year.  Contribution to nuclear and renewables will make up £95 by 2020

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.05.30"Under the biggest reforms to the energy market in decades, households and businesses will have to pay £7.6billion a year towards the cost of building “greener” power stations by 2020. This is three times the current level of £2.35 billion per year, as bill-payers are forced to remunerate companies for several new nuclear plants, thousands of wind turbines and potentially “green” fossil fuel stations. Energy bills have more than doubled since 2004 to more than £1,300 a year per household, largely due to rising gas prices." - Daily Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary - Osborne and Davey both claim victory over green power deal. Green groups attack it

Fund launched to help homeless - Financial Times (£) 

First elected Police Commissioner claims her Chief Constable's scalp

"A mother-of-three elected as a new Police and Crime Commissioner has seen off the current chief constable on her first day in the job. Sue Mountstevens, 57, who was elected last week as an independent candidate, told long serving Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port he must reapply for his own job. He refused, and quit on the spot. He is the first of what is expected to be a number of casualties of the new regime in which elected officials take control of the police for the first time." - Daily Mail

Bailed loyalist supergrass now in hiding - Belfast Telegraph 

Opt-out for churches over gay weddings after legal warnings to Ministers

Gay Pride Flag
"Churches will receive an explicit opt-out from having to perform gay weddings amid legal fears that the Government’s plans to equalise marriage laws may fall foul of European human rights legislation. Ministers have decided to override warnings from lawyers that churches would be vulnerable to pressure from the courts and would end up being forced to marry gay couples…Government sources conceded that some legal advice received by Whitehall suggested that churches that said “no” to gay couples risked losing any case taken to the European Court of Human Rights." - The Times (£)

Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell defies resignation calls - Scotsman 

George Young, James Paice, Edward Garnier, Gerald Howarth and Nick Harvey knighthoods put to the sword by Bernard Jenkin and his committee

"MPs have launched a scathing attack on David Cameron for his decision to bypass the honours system and offer “consolation prizes” to ministers sacked in the reshuffle. In a damning report, they say that the move constitutes a “politicisation of the honours system” that “flies in the face of the stated position of the Government”. Bernard Jenkin wrote: “The honours you have announced may well reward ‘exceptional service’, but there is a danger that they will appear to the public to be political ‘consolation prizes’ for the ministers concerned.” - The Times (£)

Labour complains to police over Respect leaflet's 'closet racists' claim - The Guardian

Lords News 1) Lord Freud: welfare claimants 'have a lifestyle' on the state

David Freud"The government's welfare reform minister has suggested lone parents, sickness claimants and other people on benefits are too comfortable not having to work for their income, saying they are able to "have a lifestyle" on the state. In an interview with House Magazine, Lord Freud is reported to have said the benefits system is "dreadful" and discourages poor people from taking the risks he implied they should be willing to bear to change their circumstances." - The Guardian

Lords News 2) Clarke mulls Lords Justice Bill defeats

"In the wake of the changes, Mr Clarke said: “I will look carefully at these amendments which do not immediately seem to me disastrous, but may well need to be modified. "If we do not get the Bill right the result will be that the taxpayer will pay out millions of pounds to people who have not proved their case and may have terrorist connections." A Lib Dem spokesman said: "There are different views and things have to be agreed on both sides. But Liberal Democrats fully expect the Government to accept the majority of these changes and not to seek to reverse them." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Lords News 3) Lord Hall is the BBC's new Director-General

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.21.57"The BBC has appointed Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - as the new Director General of the corporation.  Lord Hall, who is currently chief executive of the Royal Opera House, was head of  BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001. He is expected to start in the role in early March, and the BBC said in the interim period Tim Davie will remain as Acting Director General. The appointment of Lord Hall follows a tumultuous few months for the BBC, which culminated in the resignation of the former" - The Independent

> Today: WATCH - Lord Patten greets Lord Hall, the new BBC Director-General

Lord Justice Leveson news: his report will be published next Thursday

"The Leveson report on press standards will be published next Thursday, it emerged yesterday. The report is expected to include recommendations on regulating newspapers. David Cameron established the process after claims, now disputed, that the News of the World hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone and deleted messages after she disappeared in 2002. The first part of the inquiry into press culture, practices and ethics began in September last year under High Court judge Lord Justice Leveson." - Daily Express

> Today: Nick Pickles on Comment - A pro-business party of law and order should reject statutory regulation of the press

Care homes ‘failing to meet basic standards’ - The Times (£)

Chris Skidmore MP: It's time for new Beveridge Report

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.19.27"A Free Enterprise Group report, A New Beveridge, recommends a return to the principles laid out in the original document. Principles of contribution, personal responsibility and an incentive to find work rather than claim benefits. The report diverges from Beveridge’s original plan, acknowledging the fact that Beveridge never projected spending past 1965. Had he anticipated the significant rises in life expectancy and population, it seems likely that his report might have been more conservative in some areas." - Daily Telegraph

Pickles to councils: restore weekly bin collections - or lose funding

"Today I’m making it absolutely clear that it’s wholly unreasonable to expect Government grants to go, in the long term, to councils that are operating fortnightly bin collections.  That support is designed to provide weekly collections on the grounds of public health. This is a basic service that people expect…councils should be in no doubt that we will change the way this funding works. " - Daily Mail

End of AIDS in sight says UN report as new HIV infections continue to fall - Daily Mail

Nick Hurd: Give 1% of your income to charity

"Nick Hurd, the charities minister, said he gives one per cent of his £98,740-a-year salary to charity and "so much could be done with that money" if everyone did the same. In an interview with Spear's Wealth Management Survey, he said that charitable donations ought to be "a social norm" and giving away one per cent seems "fair and right". Mr Hurd said the culture of giving in Britain ought to be more like the one in America, which gives 2.4 per cent of its national income to charity." - Daily Telegraph

Egypt's Morsi issues constitutional declaration immunising all his decisions to legal challenges - Financial Times (£)

Nadine: I'm working from Australia...

Screen shot 2012-11-23 at 08.29.39
"She insisted she was already back at work, saying: “There’s an office set up in my hotel room.” Defending her move, she said yesterday: “Some of the emails and stuff I’ve seen states I’m not there for my constituents. Well, I worked until the second I left and all through summer recess. I only had four days away when other MPs were abroad for four or five weeks at a time. “I did my surgeries right up until the minute I left. So it’s interesting, some of the flak thrown at me.” - The Sun

...Local Association: We haven't heard from her...

"Budge Wells, deputy chairman of the Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association, last night said he has still to hear from his MP, adding: ‘She has not been in contact with me or anyone else in the association…‘As I understand it she has set up an office in her hotel and says she has gone straight back to work but we have not heard from her….I’m looking forward to having her back in the constituency; we would like to discuss with her the whole matter of what has gone on since she went away." - Daily Mail

...Nadine: Andrew Mitchell is being "clever with words"

"Yesterday she continued to claim she received permission from then-Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell to have a month away in November…Mr Mitchell insisted again yesterday that she neither sought nor was given permission to appear on I’m A Celebrity. But Mrs Dorries accused him of being “clever with words” in a way that “epitomises politicians”. She said: “He is trying to be clever with words and say that he didn’t give me permission for the show." - Daily Express

  • Whips say ball is in Nadine's court, senior Tories say her readmittance to Parliamentary Party is "far from clear" - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

The Independent joins this week's media MP stampede with an investigation into foreign trips

100 mph gales set to batter Britain - Daily Express

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