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Newslinks for Friday 10th May 2013

Boris Brolly
6.15pm: WATCH: Boris defends his island airport...and battles with his own umbrella

Anatole Pang1.30pm: Anatole Pang on Comment: To succeed with China, we must learn to play the underdog

12.45pm: Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

10.45am: LeftWatch: Labour's growing civil war over candidate selection

10am: ToryDiary: Cameron should vote for the amendment on an EU referendum bill

Two EU-related pieces lead ConservativeHome this morning:

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 08.30.59Iain Dale's Diary: My secret plan to succeed Keith Simpson MP in Broadland, Norfolk. (Not.)

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: CND are not the best people to ask what Scots think of Trident

Also on Comment: Simon Gordon - Rent Controls are not, and never have been, the answer

Majority Conservatism: Five ideas for Cameron - 5) Work some magic on Merlin

Local Government: 11% fall in number of Council bureaucrats earning over £100,000

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: The rich keep getting richer because the state keeps giving them money

EU Exit

Cameron allows free vote on EU referendum amendment - including for ministers

"Well-placed sources indicated that all Tories would be free to support the amendment, which has been tabled by the MPs John Baron and Peter Bone, if and when it is called next week. It sets up the extraordinary prospect of the governing party voting against its own legislative agenda. Senior Tories defended such a move. “Clearly, the Conservative Party has a policy that we want a referendum on the EU,” said senior sources. Mr Cameron has blamed Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats for his inability to introduce a referendum Bill, even though before last week’s county council elections Downing Street had dismissed the idea out of hand. “The amendment reflects the Conservative position,” said the sources." - The Times (£) 

  • Nadine joins in - The Times (£) 
  • Boris: Leaving the EU would be a shot in the arm for democracy - Daily Telegraph
  • Farage: Boris would take votes from UKIP - Daily Telegraph
  • David Davis: Major parties can't just sneer at UKIP - Daily Express
  • PM seeks to reassure international investors - Financial TImes (£) 
  • Malcolm Rifkind: Nigel Lawson is wrong - The Guardian
  • Alistair Darling: Let's stay in the EU - The Times (£)
  • We should have a referendum now, not in 2017 - Martin Wolf, Financial Times (£) 
  • We should have a referendum now, not in 2017 - Daily Express Leader
  • We shouldn't have a referendum at all, ever - Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • Frederick Forsyth: Time for a Tory-UKIP pact - Frederick Forsyth, Daily Express
  • Nadine Dorries came close to joining UKIP - The Sun
  • Fears that Romania will be a back door for illegal immigration - Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - John Baron MP and Peter Bone MP table a cunning EU referendum amendment

>Today: ToryDiary - Tories should be proud to argue about Europe: the Germans wish their politicians had done so

Osborne: Tax-evaders - we are coming for you 

"Officials are unsure what sums are at stake but pointed out that a crackdown on millionaires who hid money in Liechtenstein is expected to raise £3billion. Last night George Osborne said: 'The message is simple: if you evade tax we're coming after you. This data is another weapon in HMRC's arsenal. The Chancellor said he was shocked by the extent to which the wealthy were exploiting tax loopholes." - Daily Mail 

  • Osborne under fire from pensioners for "celebrating" cuts - Daily Mail
  • PM: Let's end banker-bashing - The Times (£)
  • ONS finds billions wasted in the welfare budget - Daily Express
  • Conservatives enjoy strong poll lead on making tough decisions - The Guardian
  • NIESR and the ONS predict rising growth - Daily Mail
  • The economy is starting to heal - Daily Mail
  • Beware a politically motivated mini-boom, Chancellor - Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Major investor fears UK lack of private capital - Financial Times (£)  

GoveFlagMichael Gove attacks Mr Men dumbing down

"In particular, Mr Gove criticised the teaching of history, reasserting his enthusiasm that pupils should grow up “knowing the story of our islands’’. He highlighted one GCSE-level teaching resource which suggests that students should be asked to describe Nazi protagonists as a Mr Men characters choosing appropriate figures from the children’s books to depict Hitler, Hindenburg and Goering."" - Financial Times (£) 

Nick Clegg accused of treachery over Liz Truss nursery plans

"Clegg was forced to concede he had rejected a key plank of the coalition's childcare strategy. Faced by massive opposition from pre-school lobby groups, Clegg said he was now opposed to previously agreed plans to relax staff-to-child ratios in nurseries. "When we as a government consulted on changing the number of little toddlers that each adult can look after, the response from experts, from parents from nurseries was overwhelmingly negative," Clegg said. "They felt that the risks outweighed the benefits and it wouldn't necessarily reduce costs. So that's what I still have reservations about, about this change."" - The Guardian 

  • Lib Dems' spurious reasoning reveals political motive - Times Leader 
  • I welcome Liz Truss' brave reforms - Sir Martin Narey, Daily Mail 
  • Nick Clegg needs one-to-one nannying - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail 

Priti Patel exposes civil servants paid bonuses "just for doing their job"

"Perks such as a 'disturbance grant' of £2,325 for staff working away from home on special projects were revealed in a Parliamentary answer to Conservative MP Priti Patel. Mrs Patel said: 'In this day and age, civil servants should not be getting bonuses in addition to their pay just for doing their job. Now is a good time ahead of the comprehensive spending review to say that we have got to be spending our money more wisely." - Daily Mail 

Jesse Norman: Edmund Burke foresaw our rampant individualism

Jesse Norman"The extraordinary fact is not that Burke was occasionally wrong, but that he was so often right – and not through luck, but because his powers of analysis, imagination and empathy gave him an extraordinary gift of prophecy. Burke foresaw some of the greatest discontents of the modern era, including its extreme liberalism and individualism. Various disasters have gravely undermined conventional beliefs in the primacy of the individual will, in the power of human reason alone to resolve political and economic problems, and in the capacity of unfettered individual freedom to deliver personal or social well-being." - Jesse Norman in the Daily Telegraph 

Rescue launched for crisis-stricken A&E units

"Urgent care boards" are to be established across England with a remit to devise "local recovery and improvement plans" for each A&E department in their area, in response to growing concern about lengthening waiting times. However, internal NHS England messages suggest that the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, had wanted to announce a £300m-£400m rescue fund to "solve" problems in A&E, but had to be dissuaded owing to confusion about finances. The plan announced today made no mention of a £400m pot, and last night the Department of Health denied that the Health Secretary ever intended to announce such funding." - The Independent 


Transport Select Committee tries to sink Boris Island in favour of Heathrow

"Its report, published today, says that there is an urgent need for a third runway at Heathrow and proper evaluation should be made of plans to double capacity at the airport by building two more runways. The committee concludes that a four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary would be untenable because of the cost to the public purse of building road and rail links and environmental degradation. It also argues that plans promoted by Mr Johnson to move the hub airport to the east of London would result in the inevitable closure of Heathrow. This, the MPs argue, would impose an unacceptable cost on businesses and people living in West London and the M4 corridor." - The Times (£)

IPSA goes on the expenses warpath

A Tory MP is being sued by the expenses watchdog after refusing to hand over the capital gain on his taxpayer-funded second home. Stewart Jackson vowed he will not pay £54,000 – the amount the watchdog said represents his constituency home’s increase in value while he was claiming mortgage interest on his expenses. The news comes after it emerged that MPs have jointly made more than £1 million by selling their second homes. - Daily Mail

Town Hall Rich List finds 2,500 council staff on six figures

"The number of local authority employees earning more than £100,000 fell by 11 per cent in 2011-12, compared with last year, according to data compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance. However, 103 councils were employing more staff on that level than ever and 42 people took home more than £250,000. The highest-paid chief executive was Katherine Kerswell, group managing director of Kent County Council, who received £589,165." - The Times (£)

  • LGA warns of 'meltdown' unless council budget ringfencing is abandoned - Financial Times (£) 

News in brief

  • IDS criticised by statistics watchdog - The Independent 
  • Don't give up on politics - Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • Pay ex-offenders to help rehabilitation of newly released prisoners, says Grayling - Daily Mail 
  • Stephen Hawking boycotts Israel...which is where the chip that helps him talk was invented - Douglas Murray, Daily Mail
  • SuperEd Miliband comes to the rescue - Daily Mail 
  • Betty Boothroyd gives up paragliding....aged 83 - Daily Express 



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