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Newslinks for Wednesday 17th July 2013

7.30pm In his weekly Red, White and Blue column, Henry Hill writes that Alex Salmond is looking to the Isle of Man to support his currency ambitions

Wrong Ed
6.30pm WATCH: "Wrong, Ed" - the Conservatives' new attack ad highlights Miliband's jobs scaremongering

2.30pm ToryDiary - Andrew Gimson sketches Prime Minister's Questions: David Cameron and Ed Miliband are a disgrace to public life

1.15pm ToryDiary: Good news for the Government in the new labour market statistics

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 10.21.3911am ToryDiary: "Since Conservatives want to make the NHS better, it's attacking Labour's record on the back of critical reports is more likely to help to create a climate for change than fighting by Queensberry rules." Hunt is right to take the fight to Labour on healthcare

10.30am ToryDiary: The Daily Mail launches a sustained attack on Labour

10am Local Government: Two Labour councillors suspended over paying subs for new members

ToryDiary: Claire Perry's porn filter is fantasy policy-making, and it's coming unstuck

Greg Clark MP's Letter to a Treasury Minister: What we've done to reform banking and financial services

Tony Lodge on Comment: As Australia drops its unpopular carbon tax, how long before Britain’s own carbon price floor is axed?

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 07.34.53
Also on Comment: Richard Hyslop - Come and debate the EU at this autumn's Conservative Renewal Conference

Cllr Jonathan Glanz: Let councils borrow to build

The Deep End: Nice, democratic, entrepreneurial India: the unhappy truth

DfE and DCMS fall out over controversial internet porn filter

"A leaked letter from the Department for Education asks the main internet service providers (ISPs) to rebrand their anti-porn filters as being ‘default-on’, giving the impression that adult material is automatically blocked…The extraordinary demand appears to encourage internet firms to exaggerate the level  of protection they are giving families…A source at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is now in charge of dealing with the issue, insisted that the email did not represent government policy, adding: ‘The Department for Education is part of the problem.’" - Daily Mail 

  • Gove strips Doncaster council of children's services - The Times (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - Claire Perry's porn filter is fantasy policy-making, and it's coming unstuck

11 hospitals put into special measures for fundamental failures

"Eleven NHS trusts have been exposed for fostering a culture of “entrenched mediocrity” that resulted in sub-standard care and widespread disregard for patient complaints. In damning findings that prompted accusations from David Cameron of a “cover-up”, Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England, expressed serious concerns about the service received by patients at the trusts." - The Times (£) 

BBC pay-offs risk the corporation's public support, warns Cameron

BBC"The Prime Minister said: ‘The BBC has to be very careful with the money that it spends. The BBC is in a unique position because it has the licence fee. I support the licence fee but going with the licence fee is the responsibility to spend that money wisely and I think it’s quite clear the BBC pay-offs have been too high and there hasn’t been enough rigour in this whole process. The BBC has strong public support but they won’t keep that support unless they spend the money wisely.’ - Daily Mail 

  • £2m pension pot for BBC COO - Daily Express 
  • Savile scandal cost licence fee payers £5 million - Daily Mail
  • Patten to quit after one term - FT (£) 
  • SFO staff payments under fire - FT (£) 

Osborne considering an even lower benefits cap - after Liam Byrne opens the door for him to do so

'"We are very surprised Labour wants to have this debate, given their out-of-touch opposition to the benefits cap, but now they have started it, there is a good argument for testing whether they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is,’ said a  Tory source. ‘Even if the Lib Dems cannot be persuaded to move further, a limit on child-related benefits could be implemented if Labour is really ready to support it.’ Mr Osborne is prepared to consider cutting the overall £500-a-week cap on benefits ‘based on evidence, not politics’, a source confirmed." - Daily Mail 

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

The Coalition has approved billions of pounds of weapons exports to tyrannical regimes 

"The report from the Commons’ Committees on Arms Export Controls revealed the Coalition has approved 3,074 export licences, worth £12.3billion, for military kit to nations the Foreign Office criticised for repression. MPs analysed Britain’s sales following concerns that dictators in North Africa and the Middle East used UK-made hardware to smash uprisings during the Arab Spring. Business Secretary Vince Cable approved 1,163 arms licences worth £1.4billion to China, including cryptography equipment which ‘could be used for internal repression’. Licences totalling £1.8billion to Saudi Arabia, £803million to Iran, £86million to Russia and £54million to Libya also are still valid." - Daily Mail 

Private sector workers' pension contributions collapse

"The number of private sector workers saving into company pensions has collapsed to 2.9million, the lowest level since records began 60 years ago, official figures reveal. It means only 12 per cent of the private sector workforce of 24million are saving into such schemes. In the 1960s, a peak of more than eight million private sector workers had a company pension. Now experts are warning that an entire generation will be ‘unable to afford to retire’ after a lifetime of hard work." - Daily Mail 

  • Government pension body defrauded of £1.4 million - The Times (£) 

Cameron Long Wide
CBI attacks Cameron's tax rhetoric

"Mr Cridland criticises comments by the Prime Minister and other senior government figures attacking companies over the level of corporation tax that they pay. “Careless talk from politicians can cost jobs,” he says. He singles out Mr Cameron’s speech in Davos in January in which he called on companies to “wake up and smell the coffee” — a reference to Starbucks,which, at that point, had not paid corporation tax for five years." - The Times (£) 

GCSE grades to full further as standards rise

GoveFlag"Ofqual, the regulator, fears a backlash from parents and teachers who think that last year’s drop in headline GCSE results, the first in 24 years, was a one-off driven by the row over English grades. Many teachers believe that their GCSE results will bounce back in August and they may not have grasped that Ofqual’s robust approach to policing standards may deliver another dip in key subjects. “This is what standard-setting looks like, based on some of the best practice in the world,” an Ofqual source said. “Results will move around. They can’t keep going up.”" - The Times (£) 

  • Pupil Premium offers primary schools £500m - The Sun 
  • Five-year-olds may face testing - The Guardian 

Lobbying bill to be published, as Crosby row rumbles on

"David Cameron is poised to publish a bill cracking down on union funding as the Tories try to shift the spotlight away from their elections adviser Lynton Crosby, a lobbyist for several industries. The main thrust of the bill is to force all third-party lobbyists to publish a full list of their clients to shine a light on the dealings between government and outside interests." - FT (£) 

  • Tobacco meeting details were held back - The Times (£) 
  • Matthew Parris: Len McCluskey has a three-cheeked bottom. Allegedly. - The Times (£) 
  • There should be greater accountability - John McDermott, FT (£) 
  • Cameron to pressure MIliband over Unite opt-in - The Sun

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

Replace Trident

Lib Dems Trident"If Britain is to have a nuclear stance, a submarine-based system is the best option. Basing missiles on land makes them vulnerable to a pre-emptive strike and thus reduces their effectiveness as a deterrent. Modifying the current Astute-class attack submarines to carry Cruise missiles would be a false economy: the missiles would be vulnerable to interception and have a shorter range…Trident is an integral part of Britain’s defence capability within Nato. It should be replaced — and the task should be done properly." - The Times Leader (£)

  • Danny Alexander calls for an end to round-the-clock deterrent - FT (£) 
  • The Lib Dems explored delivering nuclear weapons by hand - The Sun
  • Labour to study cutbacks to Trident - The Times (£) 
>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Trident or no Trident, today’s report doesn’t really matter
>Yesterday: Alistair Thompson on Comment - Philip Hammond is right – a part-time deterrent is no deterrent

Hague: Britain could still arm Syrian rebels

"The Foreign Secretary's comments appeared to contradict reports earlier this week which claimed that David Cameron had decided against the move. Senior military figures had apparently warned him that sending small arms and missiles would make no difference to the conflict either way. Addressing a committee of MPs, Mr Hague said Britain had not ruled out sending weapons to opposition forces, despite concerns they could fall into the wrong hands or prove largely ineffective." - Daily Telegraph 

Murderers, rapists and paedophiles among 800 prisoners are on the run

"More than 800 missing prisoners, including killers and rapists, are at large despite being recalled to jail more than a year ago. Figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that more than a dozen prisoners at large were serving life sentences for murder. Hundreds more disappeared while serving jail terms for offences ranging from assault, robbery and fraud, to “gross indecency with children”." - The Times (£) 

  • Justice officials defend decision to release killer - Daily Express 

News in brief


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