Published:

3.30pm ToryDiary: As the growth row over Heathrow goes on, don't forget the one over housing – and building on the Green Belt

2.30pm Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Prince Harry is a force for good – so let’s not persecute him over his Las Vegas antics

Rudd Amber 21.30pm Amber Rudd MP on Comment: More reasons to be positive about the UK economy

Noon David Rutley MP on Comment: It's not just the size of the state that matters, but its shape

ToryDiary: Iain Duncan Smith prepares to cut winter fuel payments – by temperature-testing them. Why not means-test them?

Also on ToryDiary: New Tory rebellion after advisers to ministers are asked to share bedrooms at party conference

SteveHiltonGuru on Comment: A Boris leadership shouldn't be considered a fait accompli – there will be plenty who oppose him

MPsETC: Louise Mensch defends Sun's decision to print naked photographs of Prince Harry but nearly all Tory MPs are silent on issue

Cllr Nickie Aiken on Local Government: How councils can still help drive up school results

The Deep End: Never mind plan B, here’s plan H – a helicopter drop of made-up money

Gove doesn't want to bring back O-levels

GOVE MICHAEL NW"Education Secretary Michael Gove last night rowed back from plans to bring back O-levels to replace GCSEs. Speaking to BBC News, he insisted his aim was to strengthen and reform GCSEs and ruled out any idea of a two-tier system with a second rung of exams along the lines of the former CSEs for less-able pupils. A leak earlier this summer suggested he wanted a return to O-levels and a "son of CSE" for the less able." – Independent

  • First fall in GCSE grades for 24 years – Times (£)
  • Anger at GCSE 'manipulation' as top grades fall for first time ever – Independent
  • After decades of exam inflation, yesterday’s GCSE results herald a return to credibility – Anthony Seldon for the Daily Telegraph
  • The best teachers should be properly rewarded – Daily Telegraph editorial

> From yesterday: 

More Justine Greening/Heathrow reshuffle speculation

Greening Justine BBC"David Cameron is coming under increasing pressure to appoint a new transport secretary in next month’s cabinet reshuffle after the prime minister shifted his support towards the expansion of Heathrow – a policy implacably opposed by incumbent Justine Greening. … One senior Tory added: “It would be bizarre to keep her in that job when her position over aviation is now the polar opposite of the prime minister and the chancellor.”" – FT (£)

  • Greening gave up successful career to enter politics – FT (£)

Government stands firm on tax reforms

"The Treasury yesterday refused to back down on plans to reform corporation tax for multinational companies, despite accusations from backbench MPs and charities that it will severely harm developing countries. In March George Osborne said that UK firms would no longer pay “top-up” tax on income earned in countries with low-tax regimes. The aim was to convince multinational firms to remain domiciled in – or return to – Britain." - City AM

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryIs Osborne really stepping back from electoral strategy?

IDS to introduce "temperature test" to fight European rules on winter cash for expats

PENSIONERS"Iain Duncan Smith… is fighting “ludicrous” European rules that mean the winter fuel payment must be made to an estimated 440,000 British pensioners living abroad. Taxpayers face a £100 million bill for the annual hand-out to people who have retired to the Continent in order to live in sunnier climes. Mr Duncan Smith announced yesterday that he intended to introduce a new “temperature” test to prevent pensioners receiving the benefit if they live in warm countries and do not need extra money to spend on winter fuel." – Daily Telegraph

  • Pensioners are not hurt by quantitative easing, says Bank of England – Daily Telegraph

> Today on ToryDiary: Iain Duncan Smith prepares to cut winter fuel payments – by temperature-testing them. Why not means-test them?

Fraser Nelson: Our jobs market is broken – and Germany may have the answer

Nelson Fraser pink shirt"The most powerful insight of the Hartz reforms was that Germany’s real problem wasn’t the supply of jobs but producing a supply of willing workers. The federal government could borrow all it wanted, but resurfacing the autobahns wouldn’t have much effect if it couldn’t find enough Germans to do the work. Better to cut taxes on low-paid work and create a proper incentive for people to take the jobs that were actually going." – Fraser Nelson for the Daily Telegraph

  • It’s time the Government got serious about our long-term growth – Paul Johnson of the IFS for the Daily Telegraph

Cameron Scots independenceDavid Cameron says Team GB Paralympic athletes 'geared up' to overhaul Beijing medal recordDaily Telegraph

  • Celebrate Paralympians, but remember they needed state help to get there – Polly Toynbee for the Guardian

David Cameron meets Bahrain's king in low-key talks

"The prime minister discussed opportunities for British businesses in the Gulf state during the meeting, his third with the king, that was not given the usual prominence by No 10 officials. But the prime minister also raised human rights when he pressed the king to implement in full the recommendations of a commission of inquiry that was set up after the violence in Bahrain in 2011." – Guardian

Chris Grayling finds more pernicious health and safety rules to scrap

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRT"Women have been needlessly banned by health and safety officials from heating up baby food in cafés and taking children to a local allotment, a Government panel has found. … Chris Grayling, the employment minister, said: “It’s hugely frustrating when excuses are being made in the name of health and safety. The Myth Busters Challenge Panel is helping the man and woman on the street to fight back against the jobsworths.”" – Daily Telegraph

Daniel Hannan MEP: Far from considering Orwell 'Left-wing’, we conservatives rather admire the writer – Daniel Hannan MEP for the Daily Telegraph

MPs: stripping train line from Sir Richard Branson may not be good for taxpayers

"The decision to strip Sir Richard Branson of the West Coast rail line will be investigated by parliament’s spending watchdog over fears the move will not offer “value for money”. The Public Accounts Committee will scrutinise the Government's plans to hand the contract to First Group amid concerns the higher bidder will not deliver all the improvements it promised for £5.5 billion." – Daily Telegraph

Quangos spend millions on lobbying the GovernmentDaily Telegraph

Asil Nadir money should be returned, ex-Tory treasurer saysBBC

Ian Birrell: The Lib Dems don't need a new leader. They need a point

Clegg on Marr"After two torrid years in office, a fundamental question hangs heavy over the Liberal Democrats: what is the point of them these days? The party has long been ill-defined, split between social democrats on the left and market liberals on the right. In many ways, their brilliance as they grew under successive leaders over the past four decades was this blurred brand, ensuring disgruntled voters of any persuasion could see their own views reflected back when looking at the party." – Ian Birrell for the Independent

  • Clegg has betrayed Lib Dems – says Lib Dem Policy Committee member - Linda Jack for the Guardian

> From yesterday

Blair's £400,000-a-year bill to taxpayersDaily Mail

Labour MP drives 200 miles without wheel nutsGuardian

  • RBS may be bigger Libor culprit than Barclays, says MP – Guardian

MPs and peers have blown a staggering £230,000 of taxpayers’ cash on artThe Sun

Forces’ morale plunges as cuts bite

ARMED FORCES"The Ministry of Defence’s latest continuous attitude survey showed morale in all three services had fallen in the two years since the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), with the army particularly hard hit. Overall, across the three armed services, the proportion describing morale as high was only 15 per cent, down from 18 per cent last year and a ten-point drop from 2010." – Scotsman

  • Special Forces ready on border to take out Assad’s chemical weapons – Times (£)
  • Scandal of soldiers denied a pension – Times (£)

> Yesterday on ToryDiaryCameron and Obama inch closer to intervention in Syria

Greek PM says country 'to sell off islands' in bid to avoid bankruptcy - Daily Mail

  • Germany and France keep the onus on Greece – City AM
  • Obama asks eurozone to keep Greece in until after election day – Independent

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