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Newslinks for Wednesday 11th September 2013

11pm MPsETC: Read the full text of Grant Shapps' letter to the UN Secretary-General in protest at their biased Housing investigator

4pm Peter Wilding on Comment: "Europhobes will of course ignore all this. For them the rhetoric is sexier than the reality. Butthe fact is that the British Government has a serious reform plan, has allies to support it and wants to push it through. If repatriation is on the agenda it is repatriation for all, not just for one."  After Barroso, reform with allies to limit EU powers is within Britain's grasp

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 15.42.14
3.45pm LeftWatch: Vince Cable, the Psammead Business Secretary

3.15pm Local Government: "Earlier this year the United Nations Human Rights Council criticised Canada. Among those making the criticisms were representatives from the Governments of Cuba, Iran and North Korea. Now a left wing politician from Brazil complains that our Government's housing policy breaches human rights." Scandal of the UN's attack on the spare room subsidy cut

3pm on Tory Diary, Andrew Gimson's Commons sketch: Nigel Evans thanks his friends and colleagues for their "unstinting support"

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11.45pm Greg Clark MP on Comment: "HS2 offers the prospect of transforming the economic geography of our country. It can make our cities as well-connected with each other as is London itself."  We need cities to drive growth. And we need HS2 to connect cities.

11am ToryDiary: The same refrain from the employment statistics: good topline figures, but problems persist in the detail

10.30am Local Government: John Bald says "The Assistant Head could usefully do up his tie" in a review of a new Channel 4 series Trying hard to educate Yorkshire

ToryDiary: Fewer and equal seats. The benefits and immigration cap. And shale gas. High priorities from Tory members for any Coalition talks

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 05.57.39Columnist Stephan Shakespeare: Should an opinion poll affect the outcome of a critical vote in Parliament?

Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column: HMP Maze peace centre 'killed off' by Castlederg rally

Matthew Elliott on Comment: Barroso's EU plans will enable Britain to change our relationship with Brussels

On Local Government, the third post in our series on sponsored academies: Brooke Weston Trust - boosting standards in Northants and Cambridgeshire

The Deep End: Our banks behave like a bunch of toddlers – but the naughty step of regulation won’t restore order

Obama pulls back from the brink over Syria

Obama-close-up“President Obama postponed the drive towards conflict with Syria last night but sent a clear signal to the Assad regime and a sceptical American nation that he is prepared to use military might if diplomacy fails. After two days of frantic international diplomacy, he went live on prime-time American television to directly blame the Syrian regime for gassing children to death…But he said after some encouraging signs in recent days he had asked Congress to pause while Russia’s plan to put Assad’s arsenal of chemical weapons beyond use could be considered” – The Times (£)

Cable accuses Osborne of being “complacent” about the recovery…

“Vince Cable has criticised a growing ‘complacency’ towards the economy, in a calculated swipe at George Osborne before the Liberal Democrat conference. The Liberal Democrat Business Secretary will suggest today that Britain is not seeing ‘the kind of growth we want’…Dr Cable will add that he sees ‘a number of dangers. One is complacency, generated by a few quarters of good economic data’” – The Times (£)

…but the FT says Osborne is winning the battle on austerity

 “Since unveiling his strategy to reduce the UK’s yawning budget deficit in 2010, George Osborne has faced immense pressure to change tack. In a replay of Margaret Thatcher’s first-term battle in the early 1980s, an alliance of Keynesian economists and the Labour opposition has accused the government of choking off growth. The prophets of doom predicted years of stagnation with soaring unemployment and falling living standards. After a run of positive economic date, Mr Osborne has reason to feel vindicated” – Financial Times Editorial

McLOUGHLIN PATRICK 2McLoughlin mounts HS2 fight-back

“The proposed high speed rail line between London and the north could boost the UK economy by £15bn a year when it is fully opened in the 2030s, the government will say on Wednesday, with the regions benefiting more than London.The claim, based on an analysis by consultants KPMG, is part of a robust defence of the £42.6bn High Speed 2 scheme that the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin will mount in a speech to counter the rising criticism of the project” – Financial Times

  • Why I support HS2 – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)
  • HS2 chief takes three months off with torn calf muscle - Independent

Miliband blinks first in union stand-off

“Ed Miliband retreated from a showdown with the unions yesterday amid warnings that he would fail to secure curbs on their influence. After weeks of expectation that the Labour leader was going fundamentally to change the unions’ grip on policy-making, he was accused of backing down at the TUC conference… ‘There is no question that this is a retreat,’ a senior figure on the Blairite wing of the party claimed – The Times (£)

  • Red Ed fled – The Sun Says
  • Labour and the unions face disaster – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour’s links with the unions are its biggest asset – Seumas Milne, Guardian
Hunt promises to boost A&E consultant numbers at night

Hunt Jeremy 15“The number of senior doctors working in A&E at night is to be boosted after the Daily Mail revealed there are only five across all of England. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said a portion of the £500million being given to hospitals over the next two years to ease A&E pressures would go towards paying consultants to work out-of-hours. At nearly all A&E units in England consultants go home between 8pm and midnight, leaving patients in the hands of junior doctors” – Daily Mail

  • The changes I want to see in the NHS – Jeremy Hunt, Daily Telegraph
  • Treat heart attacks and strokes at home, says senior doctor – Daily Telegraph
  • NHS problems could wreck coalition’s election chances, says former adviser - Guardian
  • Why I’m furious to be denied rare calves’ liver at the House of Lords – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph

IFS says benefit reforms will improve incentives to work

IDS TO CSJ“Iain Duncan Smith’s plan to  persuade millions of people that working is more lucrative than living on benefits could succeed, Britain’s leading economic think tank said today. Reforms will widen the gap between wages and the income of people living on handouts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said. It added in its report that tax increases, benefit cuts and Mr Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit system ‘will strengthen people’s incentives to work’” – Daily Mail

…but Cameron casts doubt on timetable for introducing IDS’s plan

“The Prime Minister said he was not ‘religious’ about the timetable for introducing the new benefits regime by 2017. Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has repeatedly said the deadline will be met. The Prime Minister also appeared to reject Mr Duncan Smith’s claims that civil servants were to blame for management problems with the reforms” – Daily Telegraph

  • “Shocking” bedroom tax should be axed, says UN investigator - Guardian

CPS accused of targeting stars after actor cleared of child abuse charges

Snip20130911_3“Actor Michael Le Vell was celebrating his dramatic acquittal from child abuse charges last night amid claims he was the victim of a ‘celebrity witch-hunt’. The popular Coronation Street star, 48, walked free after a jury decided unanimously in just four hours that he did not carry out a series of assaults on a six-year-old girl. But Le Vell’s angry family and friends questioned why child-sex charges were ever brought. They claimed the actor was the victim of a hysteria prompted by last year’s Jimmy Savile scandal and accused the Crown Prosecution Service of targeting stars” – Daily Mail

Nigel Evans charged with eight sexual offences

“Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans was last night charged with a string of sex attacks on seven young men. The 55-year-old Tory MP was told he will stand trial accused of eight offences, the most serious of which carries a maximum life penalty. The decision to charge the openly-gay politician – a popular figure in Westminster – came after he was arrested for a third time yesterday morning…Evans has now resigned from his Speaker duties, but last night said he would ‘robustly’ fight to prove his innocence from the back benches” – Daily Mail

Will this weekend’s meeting of Tory MPs be plotting against Cameron?

“David Cameron suspects an innocent-sounding meeting of the Conservative Renewal group at the Castle Hotel, Windsor, on Saturday is in reality a nest of leadership plotters. Welcomed by local Tory MP Adam Afriyie – a moneybags figure suspected of coveting Cameron’s job – the throng includes other Dave-averse Tories such as Douglas Carswell, Daniel Hannan, Tim Loughton and Jesse Norman” – Ephraim Hardcastle, Daily Mail

News in brief

And finally…Sarah Vine (Mrs Michael Gove) celebrates the end of the holidays

“Love my children, obviously. Love my husband, too. But honestly, having them hanging around the house all summer is a complete nightmare. The mess, the noise, the constant demands for food. The bellowing of the radio, the battles over the TV remote control. The sheer amount of stuff: books, papers, toys, half-finished homework, displaced cushions, muddy sports equipment — and the washing. Oh Lord, the washing” – Daily Mail


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