8.30pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Philip Hollobone said: "we need to have a disorderly breakup so that the whole of Europe and the rest of the world economy can get back to significant economic growth in the future"
6.45pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Martin Callanan MEP said: "If there is any treaty change which creates European fiscal union then clearly that will radically effect the UK and that should be put to a referendum. That is what democracy demands"
6.30pm Andrea Leadsom on Comment: It's vital that the Prime Minister protects the UK's financial services industry at this week's summit
5.30pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Edward Leigh said in Parliament this afternoon: "We have had enough of reading of British prime ministers … coming back from a summit with a kind of Chamberlain-esque piece of paper"
5.15pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty – Nadine Dorries warns "If he misses this opportunity to grasp the nettle and give the British People their say, they may eventually make him pay with the one vote they will have."
4.15pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Nick Boles says "We are going to work out an entirely new kind of outer-tier relationship, and that is a big exercise, it's a very important exercise, and it offers big opportunities for Britain, but it's probably going to take two or three years – it's not the work of a weekend when the global economy is on the precipice."
3.30pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Sir Peter Tapsell says "I feel really sceptical that they can solve to eurocrisis, I don’t expect it to survive"
2.30pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Douglas Carswell says "Yesterday’s headlines about vetoing a treaty that wasn’t in the national interest were unspun before lunch time. Any concocted row to try to appear robust will today have the opposite effect."
1.30pm Bill Cash MP on Comment: We are at a historic crossroads in our relationship with the EU. It's time for a referendum.
12.30pm MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - Mark Reckless says "…the key thing is that whatever the arrangements are in the European Union in the future… we have to have a referendum to decide whether we want to be part of that."
Noon Local government: Any Council Tax rises over 3.5% will trigger a referendum
Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news
11am Jan Zahradil MEP and Martin Callanan MEP on Comment: The Eurozone is within its rights to go one way. We are within our rights to go another.
9.45am MPsETC: Rolling record of Tory MPs' comments on new EU Treaty - John Redwood says: "Mr Cameron has a simple choice. He can either go along with the plans for a German Europe, and be hailed by federalists as a good European, or he can call their bluff and speak for the UK."
David Davis MP on Comment: Britain may never get a better opportunity to create a new relationship with the EU
Jill Kirby on our Columnists' page: George Osborne should listen to Iain Duncan Smith on the benefits system
- Cheating examiners caught on film
- Trafford publishes budget for 2012
- Playground dismantled for breaching EU regulations
David Cameron arrives in Brussels for European summit facing demands for a referendum at home
"David Cameron arrives in Brussels on Thursday night for a European summit, buffeted by the conflicting pressures of a Eurosceptic cabinet rebellion over an EU referendum and increasing isolation in key capitals across Europe. Tory MPs on the right met on Wednesday night to discuss tactics after the Eurosceptic Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Paterson, challenged Downing Street by declaring that a revision of the Lisbon treaty would have to be put to the British people in a referendum." – Guardian
- "Growing Conservative anger over Europe will be further inflamed today by a German rejection of Britain’s demand that the eurozone rescue deal must include legal protections for the City of London." – Daily Telegraph | The Times (£)
- "Germany and France want a new EU treaty … Mr Cameron is under pressure … to resist moves to strengthen the power of Brussels over EU members." – BBC
- "Angela Merkel… and Nicolas Sarkozy… published a joint letter … calling for sweeping measures to enforce fiscal discipline, including near-automatic sanctions for countries with excess debt or deficits." – FT (£)
- Columnist Andrew Lilico: Britain’s refusal to renegotiate stands in the way of the success of the European Project
- James Gray MP on Comment: My message to David Cameron – the countries that can't afford the €urozone should leave it
- Mark Field MP on Comment: We may be no nearer to solving this economic crisis
- ToryDiary: Whack! Now Boris piles more referendum pressure on Cameron
Highlights of comment on Cameron's European troubles
If Cameron doesn't use this opportunity to get a new deal with the European Union, when will he?
"The mantra for David Cameron's leadership campaign was "Change to win". As leader he has changed some things, but not others – in particular the failed orthodoxy of Conservative policy on Europe. And now he finds that he and his government are ill-prepared to deal with the scale of the EU challenge facing Britain. If he does not change direction very soon the UK will lose in Europe, and the Conservatives will continue to lose the support of the country." – Bernard Jenkin MP for the Guardian
- "Politically, it is surprising that a leader who places great store by his ability to persuade should have left so many in Britain baffled about his intentions." – Daily Telegraph editorial
- Cameron must be radical on Europe – City AM's Allister Heath
- Cameron’s chance to prove he is a leader – Daily Mail editorial
- "Now is the moment for the PM to show the leadership his country and party need." – The Sun editorial
- David Cameron's support of the euro is honourable, yet it could ruin him – Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph
- EU cuts off oxygen to members – Norman Lamont for the New Statesman
- IDS: The man who could torpedo Cameron – Andrew Pierce for the Daily Mail
- David Cameron must defend the City of London against EU measures that will wreck our economy – Daily Telegraph letter signed by 30 Conservative MPs
Michael Gove orders inquiry into exams advice given to teachers
"Education secretary Michael Gove has ordered an inquiry into a claim that examiners are giving teachers advice on what questions their pupils should expect in GCSE and A-level papers. Some examiners are giving detailed advice so that schools can focus on teaching to the test rather than covering the entire syllabus … Teachers attending exam board seminars get precise information about what areas will be examined, according to the … Daily Telegraph." – Guardian | Daily Mail
- Exam boards: how examiners tip off teachers to help students pass – Daily Telegraph
- "Exam boards want to attract as many pupils as they can. The best way to do this, it seems, is to make it clear that students will get the easiest ride that the regulators will allow. The result is a race to the bottom in which many schools" – Daily Telegraph editorial
- Children’s services next in line for cuts, experts warn – The Times (£)
Michael Gove responds to the story:
"Our exams system needs fundamental reform. Today's revelations confirm that the current system is discredited. I congratulate the Daily Telegraph on their investigative reporting which is in the finest traditions of public interest journalism. Last week, Glenys Stacey the new Chief Executive of the exams regulator Ofqual agreed plans with my department to investigate exam boards’ behaviour. Today's reports confirm the vital importance of that work being speedy, authoritative and extensive. I have asked Glenys Stacey to investigate the specific concerns identified by the Telegraph, to examine every aspect of the exam boards' conduct which gives rise to concern and to report back to me within two weeks with her conclusions and recommendations for further action. As I have always maintained, it is crucial our exams hold their own with the best in the world. We will take whatever action is necessary to restore faith in our exam system. Nothing is off the table."
Philip Hammond to warn armed forces of more pain in coming years
"The defence secretary will on Thursday warn the military that there is likely to be more pain for the armed forces as the Ministry of Defence struggles to cut costs and reform itself over the coming years. In his first major speech, Philip Hammond is expected to say that "eliminating the black hole in the defence budget is the only way to sustain military capability over the long term."" – Guardian
- Hammond: New front opening in Afghanistan – Spectator
- Call to axe minister over 'Gaddafi' insult to Arctic Convoy heroes in medal campaign – Daily Mail
New NHS pensions offer expected from government
"Low-paid nurses and other health staff earning under £26,500 will be spared any increase in pension contributions next year in a big concession to striking public sector workers. The Government’s move… means that 630,000 NHS workers will pay nothing more next year. But a further 700,000 higher-paid staff, including doctors and matrons, will pay hundreds of pounds extra" - The Times (£)
- "Trade unions reacted angrily on Wednesday when George Osborne announced that he had written to the pay review bodies across the public sector to draw up plans for local pay bargaining by next July and given them the freedom to recommend the abolition of national pay bargaining." - Guardian
- Nick Seddon: The NHS can never recover if Whitehall is deciding the cure - The Times (£)
- Clegg slams Tory colleagues who “polarise” public v private sectors – FT Westminster
> Yesterday - John Glen MP on Comment: The real challenge of innovation lies within the NHS
George Osborne to review public sector pay levels – with cuts of 10% expected
"George Osborne yesterday ordered pay bodies to look at slashing state sector workers' wages by ten per cent in some regions. The Chancellor claims some earn so much that local private sector businesses struggle to compete. Setting a breakneck timetable for the review, he wants to enforce the changes in just 16 months time." – The Sun
> Yesterday: Anthony Browne on our Columnists' page: National pay bargaining is already fraying at the edges
Tim Montgomerie: With the Treasury empty, we can't afford Labour's solutions to poverty
"The conventional wisdom is that austerity is killing David Cameron's compassionate conservatism. The consensus is that his kinder, gentler message cannot survive six years of cuts, cuts and more cuts. In reality the Conservative approach to poverty is the only game in town. With the Treasury empty there's no money for Labour's spend, spend, spend approach. It has to be the Tory belief in family, education and work." – Tim Montgomerie for the Guardian
Britain to pay "hundreds of millions" to disabled foreigners if UK loses court battle, Chris Grayling warns
"Under the ‘right to reside’ test, Europeans coming from the other 26 EU member states can settle in the UK if they can prove that they can support themselves independently. However the European Commission wants to force Britain to let in economically inactive Europeans, claiming that the current test discriminates against them. Mr Grayling told MPs that his department had now commenced legal action against the European Union. He said that the action will take up to 18 months." – Daily Telegraph
Nick Herbert considers plans to allow magistrates to hand out summary justice in police stations
"Nick Herbert, the police and criminal justice minister, will today signal a dramatic new role for magistrates to ensure out of court penalties are used appropriately. The punishments have come under intense criticism that they are being overused and handed out to criminals whose offences are so serious they should appear before a court." – Daily Telegraph
- 60,000 hearings a year scrapped to speed up justice – The Times (£)
Let all towns and cities borrow to pay for new trams and shopping centres, Nick Clegg says
"Councils will be able to go into debt to fund new tram lines and shopping centres by being allowed to borrow against future tax revenues, Nick Clegg will announce today. The Government is hoping that the new powers which trigger a swathe of new infrastructure projects to help fuel economic growth in towns and cities across the country." – Daily Telegraph
Clegg steps back from lobbying reforms because of fears of conflict with his wife's work
"Nick Clegg has ‘abdicated’ responsibility for cleaning up the lobbying industry because of fears it could bring him into conflict with his wife’s business interests. The Deputy Prime Minister, once a champion of lobbying reform, has secretly withdrawn from any involvement in overhauling the £2billion-a-year industry. Responsibility has been passed to a junior minister." – Daily Mail
The benefits of England's publicly owned forests were "greatly undervalued" by the planned state sell-off, a report will say today – Guardian
- Geoffrey Lean: Governments forge ahead with new climate legislation, even as international negotiations falter – Daily Telegraph
NHS computer farce to cost another £2bn – Daily Telegraph
And finally … Jingle Balls! The Shadow Chancellor gets dressed up for charity Christmas party - The Times (£)
> Yesterday: WATCH: Claire Perry MP reveals that Ed Balls is Father Christmas
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