Noon ToryDiary: Happy Christmas to all readers. We return on 27th December.
ToryDiary: 2011 was the Year of The Right
Rehman Chishti MP on Comment: What more can countries of origin, communities and Governments do to combat the evil of Honour Violence?
John Bald on Local government: Restoring rigour to the exam system
Police have recommended that both Chris Huhne and his estranged wife be charged over claims that he dodged a speeding penalty – Times (£)
"Detectives believe they have presented the Crown Prosecution Service with enough evidence to charge Mr Huhne with speeding and, more seriously, attempting to pervert the course of justice, according to The Times. A file sent to the CPS is understood to say that Vicky Pryce should also be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice after claims that she accepted penalty points on her licence after her husband was caught by a speed camera on the M11, the newspaper said." – Daily Mail
Nick Clegg is pressing for the Liberal Democrats to be represented at European Union summits
"Nick Clegg has sparked fury among Tory MPs by declaring he wants to attend the next EU summit with David Cameron… Lib Dem sources say their leader wants to "set the agenda" when European chiefs meet again in Brussels on January 27… Tory Philip Davies said: "There's only one Prime Minister and he did a perfectly good job on his own at the last summit. The last thing we need is Nick Clegg sticking his nose in."" – The Sun
"One Tory backbencher said yesterday: “If he wants to go to Brussels then he should go there for good. It’s where he belongs.”" – Express
- "EU rules say that summits are attended only by heads of government, not their deputies. There are several coalition governments in the EU, and ministers from smaller parties do not routinely attend summits." – Telegraph
Liberal Democrats want new powers for HMRC to pursue tax dodging big firms
"The reforms have worried the City amid warnings that any tightening of tax laws would give too much power to HMRC and make Britain a less attractive place to do business. They come as Vodafone made a fierce counter-attack against accusations that it had been “let off” a £6 billion tax bill by HMRC." – Times (£)
"The only real option open to the Lib Dems is to move into a confidence-and-supply arrangement" – Deborah Orr in The Guardian
Channel 4 graphic.
"Behind Whitehall's doors, Mr Clegg's party has learnt how to fight its corner and get under the Tories' skin. What hurts Mr Cameron and his team most are Lib Dem attacks that portray them as "the same old Tories" or "out of touch" – the Achilles heel which could again stop them winning an overall majority at the next election." – Andrew Grice in The Independent
Cameron plans crackdown on sexualised advertising – Scotsman
- "David Cameron is planning tougher action against 'unscrupulous' companies that use sexualised advertising and 'pester power' to sell goods to children." – Daily Mail
Cameron's Christmas pledge to Falkland Islanders: 'We will NEVER negotiate your sovereignty away' – Telegraph
The private sector could run MoD's procurement of weapons and equipment
"Defence officials stressed that no decision had yet been made, but the procurement minister, Peter Luff, said it was "unlikely" that he would stick with the status quo, under which multimillion-pound purchasing decisions are made by ministers and civil servants." – Guardian
More than £300million worth of historic child maintenance debts is to be written off – Telegraph
Theresa May and Charlotte Vere praised as champions of women
"Britain’s equality chief has praised Theresa May, the Tory Home Secretary, arguing that she fights just as hard for women’s rights as Labour’s fiercest advocate on the issue. “Theresa May, in my opinion, is just as aggressive as Harriet Harman was on women’s equality,” he said… Charlotte Vere, founder of the group Women On and a former Tory candidate, said she agreed with Mr Phillips that both women were just as passionate about women’s rights — but in different ways. She said that Mrs May was fighting for a “level playing field” while Ms Harman’s view was that “the level playing field should be tilted”." – Times (£)
"My women of the year are Charlotte Vere and Janice Atkinson-Small, who have started a think tank called Women On… They think women should succeed on merit, rather than via tokenism, all-female shortlists etc. In short, they are everything Harriet Harman is not."
Many Tories voice concerns about Iron Lady movie – FT (£)
Lord Heseltine is hopeful of €uro resolution
“The situation is very serious and it could go horribly wrong and, if it does, it will have devastating consequences here,” says Lord Heseltine. “I think that on balance, the French and Germans will lead a way through.” – FT (£)
Agency workers in the UK are set to receive a pay and conditions boost today as EU Directive comes into effect but employers fear impact on recruitment of casual staff – BBC
Alex Salmond angry at Westminster's draft plans to control timetable of independence referendum
"The SNP has criticised Westminster plans to force the timing of an independence referendum, after the Scotland Office confirmed it was considering handing new powers to Holyrood to hold the vote within a strict timeframe." – Scotsman
The money has run out and that raises huge questions for the Left – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)
- Fabian/ YouGov poll finds opposition to inequality and profit – Independent
Centre for Social Justice: A quarter of a million over-75s will spend Christmas Day on their own
"A poll for the Centre for Social Justice found that an estimated 370,000 over-75s – a quarter of those living alone – spend no time at all with other people, even though the majority of them have children living in the UK. Some 246,000 will spend Christmas Day alone. The think-tank said the fact that two in five marriages fail has serious repercussions for the elderly. Family breakdown has led to more and more young people becoming estranged from their ageing relatives, as many have to divide their time between parents and step-parents." – Daily Mail
More at the Centre for Social Justice.
And finally… a thought for Christmas from Graeme Archer… in The Telegraph: "Take care of your neighbours and the world will look after itself".
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