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Newslinks for Tuesday 16th July 2013

6.30pm ToryDiary: Don't dismiss Bone and Hollobone entirely - a good idea is not always the same as a popular idea

4.30pm Kathy Gyngell on Comment: Killed with kindness. Our tax and childcare policies are destroying marriage and hurting young people

GMB2pm LeftWatch: Only a week after Miliband's pledge to reduce union influence, the GMB boast of their Parliamentary candidates

1pm Two posts on today's Trident review:

Noon Patrick McLoughlin MP on Comment: Why we're bringing certainty and stability to upgrading roads

10am Ruth Lea on Comment: The IEA Brexit Prize – a timely and necessary development

ToryDiary: First drop Crosby's other clients. Then put him completely in charge.

FarageAndrew Gimson interviews Nigel Farage: “Are you trying to destroy the Conservative Party?” “No, I don’t need to. Cameron’s doing that for me.”

Sawssan Abou-Zahr writes this week's Foreign Policy column: Sectarian Lebanon, Syrian Labyrinth

Stephen Tall's Other Half column: A question for those Conservatives desperate to avoid a second Coalition – what's your Plan B?

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: That's enough fantasy politics. "Margaret Thatcher Day" is not a vote winner

Also on Comment, Andrea Leadsom MP concludes her series of articles about European Reform: How to repair the EU’s democratic deficit

Local Government: Cutting the spare room subsidy is already delivering improvements

The Deep End: Look up and smile, the eyes in the sky are multiplying

NHS crisis 1): Tories to attack Labour over their handling of the health service

NHS"Labour was warned of alarmingly high death rates in 25 NHS hospitals and told inspections by health watchdogs appeared ‘fundamentally flawed’, a leaked email reveals today. ... NHS medical director Prof Sir Bruce Keogh is set to detail failings at 14 trusts in England thought to have been responsible for up to 13,000 excess deaths going back years. ... Tories will seize on the findings to attack Labour’s handling of the health service." - Daily Mail

  • "Labour must bear the blame for the shameful decline of the NHS" - Sean Worth, Daily Telegraph
  • "Using the NHS as a football will be a Tory own-goal" - Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

NHS crisis 2): Liverpool Care Pathway branded "a national disgrace"

"The Liverpool Care Pathway was yesterday condemned by ministers as ‘a national disgrace’. ... A devastating inquiry into the system used in hundreds of hospitals also shamed nurses and said their ‘tick box’ treatment of the sick and vulnerable had been ‘uncaring, rushed and ignorant’. ... In all, the scathing report made 44 recommendations – including plans to phase out the Liverpool Care Pathway in favour of a reformed system based on individualised ‘End of Life Care Plans’." - Daily Mail

  • "Let us hope that the resulting system incorporates the compassion and discretion that all too often went missing under the Liverpool rules." - Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "The failings of the Liverpool Care Pathway point to wider problems in the NHS" - Times editorial (£)
  • "Victory for decency in end-of-life care" - Daily Mail editorial

Cameron declines to reveal details of his meetings with Lynton Crosby

LC"David Cameron has been accused of hypocrisy after refusing to reveal details of visits by the business lobbyist Lynton Crosby to Downing Street – despite having vowed to shine “the light of transparency” into the lobbying industry. ... Number 10 claimed ... that it did not hold records 'of any official meetings' involving Mr Crosby, a part-time elections adviser to the Conservative party." - Financial Times

"MPs yesterday questioned why minutes of a meeting between officials and a tobacco company linked to Mr Cameron’s top political adviser had not yet been released." - The Times (£)

Australian health minister Tanya Plibersek adds fuel to Lynton Crosby row over cigarette packaging - The Independent

  • "To clear the air, Mr Crosby should disclose the details of all of his meetings with officials and his client list, in particular where it overlaps with policy initiatives." - Financial Times editorial

> Today on ToryDiary: First drop Crosby's other clients. Then put him completely in charge.

Shapps raises the prospect of further welfare reforms, including a cap on child-related benefits...

Times"Child-related benefits for the jobless should be capped at two children, the Tory party chairman declared last night. ... In another proposal, the minister said under-25s who are unemployed should be denied housing benefit, so they have to live with their parents rather than be funded by the taxpayer to move to a place of their own. ... Mr Shapps insisted the plans could be implemented in this Parliament, despite Lib Dem opposition." - Daily Mail

"George Osborne is considering a further lowering of the amount households can receive in benefits as Tory MPs press him to reduce a newly-imposed cap by another £6,000. ... A limit of £26,000 a year was imposed on claimants yesterday, but the Chancellor is facing calls to take a harder line from backbenchers who want it cut to £20,000 as part of a post-election assault on welfare spending." - The Times (£)

  • "As a symbol, the cap is powerful and popular. In a democracy that can be reason enough to do something. But examining the evidence we have about the cap’s probable impact suggests that as a piece of public policy it is decidedly cynical." - John McDermott, Financial Times
  • "The Government has taken an important step towards ensuring that a life in work is more rewarding than a life on benefits" - Times editorial (£) Iain Duncan Smith accuses the Beeb of "politically-motivated" coverage

BBC"Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith today accused the BBC of launching a ‘politically-motivated’ attack on government plans to cap benefits at £26,000." - Daily Mail

  • "Duncan Smith was fully justified  in accusing the BBC of making a ‘politically motivated’ attack." - Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
  • "It’s a start-the-day pleasure to hear them being kicked up their bien pensant backsides by IDS." - the Daily Mail's Ephraim Hardcastle column
  • "The BBC’s undisguised bias in its reporting of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms is disgraceful — but utterly predictable." - Sun editorial
  • "Mr Duncan Smith still has only questionable statistics with which to defend his muddled policy objectives." - Guardian editorial

> Yesterday:

Former defence secretaries warn: don't ditch Trident

Trident"In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, five former Conservative and Labour ministers have joined military chiefs to say that downgrading the Trident programme would risk national security. ... Their intervention comes on the day that a Liberal Democrat review into alternatives to replacing Trident is published. It will be presented by Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury." - Daily Telegraph

"David Cameron 'strongly' believes that Britain's submarine nuclear deterrent should not be downgraded at a time when there are 'growing threats' from rogue states." - Daily Telegraph

  • "Deterrence can’t be done on the cheap" - Daily Telegraph editorial

Poll puts the Tories level with Labour – is it an outlier?

"The Conservatives have surged to sit alongside Labour in the polls for the first time in nearly 18 months, largely owing to a sharp fall in support for Ukip, according to the latest ICM monthly poll for the Guardian. ... The shares of the vote are Conservatives 36% (+7 on last month), Labour 36% (no change), Liberal Democrats 13% (+1), Ukip 7% (-5), and others 8% (-2)." - The Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Wow! Conservative support surges by seven points with ICM. The Party draws level with Labour. But is the poll a rogue?

Of the Tory groups in the news yesterday, Renewal has the edge, claims the Independent

Indy"Of the two, it is Renewal that has the better ideas. The group has been formed with the goal of extending the party’s support not just among the self-identifying working class, but in the North, in the public sector and among ethnic minorities. The instinct is a healthy one and should be encouraged." - Independent editorial

> Yesterday: 

May faces backbench anger over the European Arrest Warrant, as Government delays report

TM"David Cameron has been accused of delaying a report into Britain’s relationships with Brussels to avoid stoking a row over Europe. ... The Government faced anger in the Commons last night over plans for the UK to remain part of the controversial European Arrest Warrant." - The Times (£)

  • "A Muslim terror fanatic banned from Britain for being a threat to national security has been given legal aid in a bid to win a UK passport." - The Sun

> Today, by Andrea Leadsom MP on Comment: How to repair the EU’s democratic deficit

> Yesterday:

Peers approve the Same-Sex Marriage Bill

"Gay marriage is set to be legalised in England and Wales after peers gave the Same Sex Couples Bill an unopposed third reading in the House of Lords. ... The Bill now goes back to the Commons for MPs to consider changes made to it in the Upper House." - The Independent

Ministers to outline their £28 billion plan for improving Britain's roads

Motorway"Ministers will today announce plans to spend billions improving roads and easing congestion, promising to spend £28billion over six years. ... But the plans also set out the first steps towards the full-scale privatisation of highways and open the floodgates for toll roads." - Daily Mail

  • "The biggest-ever upgrade of the road network will blight national parks and beauty spots, countryside and environmental campaigners claim today." - The Times (£)

The Government's green policies will cost consumers, warns energy supplier

PAY RISE"RWE npower became the first of the big six power suppliers publicly to warn that the government’s green policies will cost consumers more, saying energy bills would rise by more than 19 per cent by the end of the decade. ... The intervention mounts a forceful challenge to the government, which has claimed that bills will actually fall thanks to coalition energy measures." - Financial Times

  • Study reveals widespread scepticism about energy firms' claims to environmentalism - Daily Mail

Miller and Alexander will chair a committee to consider the press's own idea for press regulation

"Other key ministers involved in the process will be Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, Attorney General Dominic Grieve and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. ... They will all sit on a Privy Council committee which will examine the Press’s own plans for a new Royal Charter to back a tough new regulator. ... The committee will decide whether to accept or reject the industry blueprint in the autumn, only looking at a Commons-backed version if it is rejected." - Daily Mail

Nick Clegg is still in a powerful position, writes Janan Ganesh

NC"The ultimate winners of this disillusion with the main parties are not, as the hype has it, Ukip, whose vaunted flowering is unlikely to end with many, if any, parliamentary seats. It is the Lib Dems. If the next election yields a hung parliament, they might again end up in power and choose who to share it with." - Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

Vince Cable takes on "errant" bosses

"The directors of companies that go bust could be forced to pay compensation to customers and creditors left out of pocket. ... Business Secretary Vince Cable hit out at ‘errant’ bosses who operate ‘in the shadows’ to avoid being held to account if their firm runs into trouble." - Daily Mail

Labour intends to act against employers who deny jobs to reserve troops

"Bosses could be sued if they discriminate against reserve forces looking for work, Labour will announce today. ... They would make it illegal to deny part-time soldiers a job just because they have to spend time away on training and deployment." - The Sun

"Is Labour’s enthusiasm for HS2 on the wane?" - David Millward, Daily Telegraph

MPs attack Prince Charles over his taxes

Chales"Prince Charles was last night accused of paying a lower tax rate than his servants. ... The criticism came as Charles’s principal private secretary, William Nye, appeared before MPs on the Commons spending watchdog, the public accounts committee. ... Chairman Margaret Hodge said it was ‘shockingly wrong’ that the Prince was paying so little tax on the duchy’s profits." - Daily Mail 

  • "Prince Charles should be wary of clashing with MPs who are questioning whether he pays enough tax on the Duchy of Cornwall’s income." - Sun editorial

The Institute of Economic Affairs launches a "Brexit" competition

"A prize of €100,000 is being offered by a rightwing think-tank for the most compelling explanation of why Britain would be better off if it left the EU ... The award, sponsored by the Institute of Economic Affairs, will be judged by a number of eurosceptics including Lord Lawson, the former Tory chancellor, who recently announced his support for an exit." - Financial Times

  • "We must answer the 100,000-euro question" - Gisela Stuart, Daily Telegraph

Ian Birrell: We shouldn't be afraid of politicising the civil service

IB"The problems lie with a machine still operating on the lines of its creation a century ago, with a culture of departmental fiefdoms, of anonymity in advice and neutrality in officials. This looks increasingly archaic in a digital age in which government is being slimmed down fast while responsibilities keep rising." - Ian Birrell, The Guardian

  • "As a result of the story (which we published on Friday), Mr Cameron has been forced to delay [his plan to remove Sir Bob Kerslake] – to avoid a potentially damaging public row and accusations that he was compromising the neutrality of the Civil Service. But it will happen." - Oliver Wright, The Independent

News in brief

  • "Internet providers have been secretly asked by the Government to make it appear they are offering greater protection against children accessing internet pornography purely for political benefit, according to a leaked letter." - The Independent
  • Almost half of all cases are "screened out" by the Met, and not investigated - Daily Mail
  • Broadcasters face Ofcom probe for interviewing Anjem Choudary after Lee Rigby's murder - Daily Mail
  • There are three times as many millionaire bankers in Britain as in the rest of the EU - Daily Mail
  • Campaigners to target MPs with "a charter to save the English countryside" at the next election - Daily Mail
  • Montserrat aid programme comes under fire from UK watchdog - The Guardian

And finally... an architect compares Boris to Hitler, sorta

"Sir Terry Farrell said the London Mayor’s plan for a £65billion airport was ‘mad’. ... Sir Terry said: ‘When people say that you have got to have vision, well Hitler had vision. ... Sir Terry, who is working on Gatwick’s bid to build a second runway, said closing Heathrow and moving the capital city’s main airport to the east would mean  ‘flipping London’." - Daily Mail

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: Boris makes the case for a new airport hub


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