Published:

8pm WATCH: Theresa May announces separation of UK Border Agency and UK Border Force

5pm David Cameron's health summit and Les Ebdon's university appointment lead our teatime newslinks

4pm WATCH: Cameron says health reforms are already delivering better outcomes but Coalition needs to "bust some myths" about the NHS Bill

Screen Shot 2012-02-20 at 13.55.592pm WATCH: Hostile protestors greet Andrew Lansley as he arrives for Downing Street NHS summit

Noon ToryDiary: Will Brian Binley and Mark Pritchard be targeted in the coming '22 elections?

11.30am International: At massive re-election rally Sarkozy stresses paying off France's debts and burqa ban

11.30am ConHomeUSA newslinks: McCain warns negativity of primary campaign is boosting Obama

ToryDiary: Tory peers threaten to scupper Coalition legislation if Cameron and Clegg proceed with plans for elected Lords

Building Majority 2
The fifth part of our Building a Conservative Majority series: English votes for English laws

Columnist Bruce Anderson: The Second World War was the key to the history of the EU and it still is

Charlie Elphicke MP and Robert Halfon MP: Tax cuts for the many, not the few. Let's increase the personal allowance to £10,000.

Christopher Snowdon on Comment: Plain packaging proposals for cigarettes may actually harm the public

Cllr Colin Barrow on Local government: Westminster delivers Council Tax freeze for fifth year running

Twenty rebel Tory peers ready to sabotage Coalition legislation if Cameron proceeds with Lords reform

Screen Shot 2012-02-20 at 06.57.34

"Rebel Conservative peers are threatening to sabotage the Government’s entire legislative agenda if David Cameron and Nick Clegg try to establish an elected House of Lords. A group of about 20 Tories has said that it is ready to go on strike, refusing to support any government Bill while doing everything possible to obstruct reform to the upper chamber." – Times (£)

MPs from the 2010 intake prepare to challenge for places on the 1922 Committee

"A swath of MPs from the 2010 intake is expected to challenge for posts on the 1922 Committee after their success in a symbolic backbench poll. MPs seized on the election of George Hollingbery to the executive of the 1922 Committee as the first step in a shake-up of how the party at Westminster presents itself. David Cameron will be privately urging on any challengers to the hierarchy of “the ’22”, a body with which he has occasionally frosty relations." – Times (£)

David Cameron accused of divide and rule on health bill as opponents of NHS reforms are frozen out of special summitGuardian

Cameron NHS Stronger

  • "The British Medical Association, the Royal Colleges representing GPs, nursing and midwives and health unions said they had not been invited to the discussion with Mr Cameron and Mr Lansley. Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, said: "The NHS means too much to too many people for the Government to play this dangerous game of divide and rule." – Independent
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "You don't get progress on the NHS by shutting the door of Downing Street on doctors, nurses and patients' groups" – Sky
  • "The health and social care bill is now a wreck. After the amendments ministers have had to accept, it is like a car resting on piles of bricks, its doors off and its engine in pieces. Yes, it's still theoretically a car, but it won't take you anywhere." – Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

Chris Grayling: Employers should give young British jobseekers priority over applicants from abroadTelegraph

Grayling May 2011"The Office of National Statistics last week revealed 208,000 British-born workers have joined the dole queue in the past year — as 212,000 more foreigners landed jobs here. Mr Grayling branded that situation "not one that I think is acceptable and not one we should tolerate"." – The Sun

The Sun urges Cameron to promote Grayling to the Cabinet: "Grayling has completed his rehabilitation by conviction and sheer hard work. He is now due for promotion back into the Cabinet at the next available opportunity."

George Osborne is facing a cross-party chorus of demands for tax cuts, with Conservative MPs, Lib Dems and the Labour Party all urging emergency moves to stimulate growth in the BudgetTelegraph

The Lib Dems appear impervious to the scale of the crisis in the public finances – Telegraph leader

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Where does George Osborne stand on the three big tax debates in British politics?

On PoliticsHome Chloe Smith sets out the help the Coalition is giving to hard-pressed families despite the difficult public finances.

The backbench Free Enterprise Group urges more freedom for small firms to be able to sack employees

Truss Liz"The Free Enterprise group of Tory MPs is urging George Osborne to follow the example of Germany in exempting micro businesses from dismissal rules. The idea is included in a pamphlet extolling the measures Germany has taken to encourage flexible working and making it easier for mothers to go back to work." – Times (£)

  • In an OpEd for The Times (£) Liz Truss MP urges Cameron to embrace aspects of the German model
  • Quarter of our smallest firms fearing collapse in the next two years – Daily Mail

The Coalition’s university admissions reforms are a “direct assault” on the quality of education, say Conservative MPsTelegraph

  • Tory MPs to demand Commons showdown over college access tsar in 11th hour bid to halt appointment – Daily Mail
  • "Poor students don’t need positive discrimination. They need good schooling. Shouldn’t David Cameron simply veto the appointment of this patronising social engineer without delay? Mr Cable and the Lib Dems would squeal with indignation at the interference but so what? Which is more important, protecting academic standards for future generations, or petty Coalition politics?" – Mail comment
  • Professor Les Ebdon will force our best universities to take less well-qualified candidates – Telegraph leader
  • "Universities have been divided by the appointment of the new head of the higher education admissions regulator, who is expected to press England’s most prestigious universities to do more to help poorer students gain places." – FT (£)

Lord Forsyth says David Cameron is playing into SNP hands by backing more devolutionScotsman

Fraser Murdo Aug 2011In the same piece The Scotsman notes support for Mr Cameron from Murdo Fraser MSP: “David Cameron has strengthened the position of the pro-Union campaign because those who are sympathetic to more powers for the Scottish Parliament are more likely to vote no to independence if there is further devolution on offer. Thinking unionists will warmly welcome the Prime Minister’s new approach, which is more likely to deliver a clear majority in support of Scotland’s place in the UK rather than the tired old tactic of simply saying no to every proposed new reform.”

David Cameron must make brave steps towards a federal UK – Tim Montgomerie in The Guardian

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore: 16 and 17-year-olds should be barred from voting in a referendum on independence for ScotlandTelegraph | Video

Iran's terror plots endanger world peace, says HagueBBC video

Conservative MP Robert Halfon warns that Iran is "at crisis point" and is the "new Soviet Union of the Middle East" – PoliticsHome

Brussels is slowly beeting the life out of our sugar industry – Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

Former Archbishop of Canterbury launches strong attack on Coalition's gay marriage proposals

Gay Pride Flag"This Government’s proposal constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history. The state does not ‘own’ the institution of marriage. Nor does the church. The honourable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way." – Dr Carey in the Daily Mail

Government spends £30m on agency staff after "headlong rush" to civil service redundanciesGuardian

  • Why are we paying bonuses to public sector employees? – Leo McKinstry in The Express

Baron Carr, former Tory cabinet minister dies, aged 95

Telegraph obituary: "Following the Tories’ victory in the 1970 election, he was appointed Employment Secretary and given the task of steering the Industrial Relations Act through Parliament. The measure which was designed to curb the power of the trade unions, placed placed limits on the right to strike and effectively outlawed the closed shop."

And finally… John Prescott refuses to share green room with Sunday Times journalist after newspaper runs negative story about his support for Ed MilibandTom Newton-Dunn

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