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5pm MPsETC: "One-man Think Tanks": how the 2010 intake forced their way into the papers

2.30pm LeftWatch: Ed Miliband ought to be having sleepless nights, argues Janan Ganesh

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12.45pm WATCH: How to cut housing waiting lists by 700,000 families. Policy Exchange's Neil O'Brien and ConHome's Cllr Harry Phibbs explain

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 10.18.0510am Jonathan Isaby on Comment: When you discover how much the Government taxes your petrol, you’ll want to support the campaign to FreezeFuelTax.com

ToryDiary: The Left's real target isn't Gove's playing field decisions. It's his education reforms – and it's time we all got wise to their game

David T Breaker on Comment: Why are we extending the welfare state to include free care?

Justin Hinchcliffe on Local Government: The battle for Downhills

The Deep End: Stella Creasy: Labour’s most interesting Member of Parliament

WATCH: Galloway on claims that Assange pinned a woman down with his body and insisted on condomless sex: ‘Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape."

Clarke publicly denies digging in over reshuffle…

Clarke-Ken-long
"He said: “I am totally laid back about a reshuffle and am waiting to see whether or not it affects me.  I have never had any conversations with the Prime Minister or anyone acting on his behalf about a reshuffle.  Mr Clarke, 72, is said to be refusing to budge from the lenient justice policies that have triggered widespread anger…Mr Clarke has held most major offices of state, including Chancellor and Home Secretary, in a ministerial career stretching back to the 1970s." – The Sun

…(But privately he's saying that he "he still has much work to do" as Justice Secretary)

"Behind the scenes, however, Clarke is making clear that he believes he still has much work to do as justice secretary in reforming community sentences, introducing full work for prisoners and reforming the court system. The intervention by Clarke is also designed to protect the position of his closest friend in the cabinet, the Commons leader Sir George Young, 71, who is being tipped for a gentle retirement." – The Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Laws to Business, Cable to Home Secretary, May to the Foreign Office, Hague to CCHQ… Paul Goodman's reshuffle plan

Cameron U-turns over automatic gongs for gold medallists

"But yesterday he appeared to have changed his tune, with sources close to the Prime Minister saying it was his personal wish that every gold medallist be recognised. The mastermind of the 2012 Games, Lord Coe, who will help choose who is to be honoured, and London Mayor Boris Johnson are also keen to see that every champion gets a gong, it emerged. Mr Cameron’s position is a complete volte-face from that he held just five months ago." – Daily Mail

  • Britain's Olympic medallists to lose out to mandarins in honours – Daily Telegraph

More than 20,000 spared jail reoffendDaily Mail

Donations 1) Tory donors: the gift that doesn't necessarily keep on giving

"Some donors have told The Times that they are pessimistic about the next election. Other donors complain about government disarray, lack of action on the economy, irritation at gay marriage plans and the party’s stance on bonuses and bankers. Boris Johnson is attracting some interest from the donor community, according to two of them. Separately, The Times has learnt that a group of Tory ministers have started discussing how to win in 2020 if they lose the next general election. They want the party anchored more firmly on the right." – The Times (£)

Donations 2) Miliband more reliant on Unions than Brown

Miliband Ed Official"Ed Miliband remains more reliant on union backing than Gordon Brown was, despite the return of several wealthy backers. Labour's quarterly income dropped by £478,000 to just over £2.9m, as trade unions cut their funding in protest at Mr Miliband's failure to back strikes by public sector employees. Even so, Labour is heavily dependent on union backing. Yesterday's figures record 185 donations totalling £2,964,471.05 of which more than two-thirds – £2,071,814.94 – came from trade unions." – The Independent

Navy 'running out of sailors to man submarines’Daily Telegraph

Boris is out for gay marriage

"Boris Johnson has risked alienating the Conservative right by publicly backing the Government's plans to legalise full gay marriage. In a short film made for the Out4Marriage campaign the Mayor of London said he was pleased that marriage rates are going up in London and that nobody should be denied the benefits. But perhaps sensitive to the divide in his party over the issue, Mr Johnson backed the proposals without using the phrase "gay marriage" once." – The Independent

> Yesterday: WATCH – Boris Johnson records video message in support of same-sex marriage

Tory police policy in for ‘bumpy ride’ Financial Times (£)

IPSA and HMRC go head to head over MPs' expenses

"HM Revenue and Customs is embroiled in a dispute with the expenses watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which is defending the right of MPs to employ a professional to fill in expenses forms and tax returns for their offices and insisting that the cost – up to £5,000 a year for each MP – should be tax deductible.  Ipsa insists that, despite being on the parliamentary payroll, MPs are more akin to small businesses, which can reclaim such costs. The row has now reached a standoff, with neither authority willing to compromise." – The Guardian

Eurozone can cope with Greek exit, says ECB insiderThe Times (£)

Nick Gibb hits back at Labour over school playing fields

GIBB NICK"Mr Gibb went on to accuse Mr Twigg of jumping on a 'political bandwagon' by attacking the Coalition over school field sell-offs despite a promise by Labour leader Ed Miliband to put the legacy of the Olympics 'beyond party politics'…And he demanded that Mr Twigg retract a 'slur' against Education Secretary Michael Gove that he 'tried to cover up ten sell-offs in official figures', when in fact an 'innocent error' had been made." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: MPsETC – Philip Davies MP gets assurances from Michael Gove that EU must not brainwash Britain's schoolchildren

Olympic exposure prompts NHS to sell services around the worldThe Independent

Ian Birrell: It's time to send bulldozers into the Green Belt…

"Freeing up just 1% of green belt could provide space for 300,000 new homes. Instead, outdated planning policies penalise the most successful and productive parts of the country. Do we want to lose more playing fields, see more garden-grabbing, cram more families into the wrong properties, dash more young people's dreams and watch more landlords get rich at our expense from soaring housing benefit? If not, it is time to send the bulldozers into the green belt." – The Guardian

…Downing Street: We won't do that – end of story

"In recent weeks there has been a series of report suggesting that Mr Osborne wants to reopen the debate by encouraging a new wave of house building. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman emphasised it was a commitment in the Coalition Agreement not to interfere with the green belt. He said: “We set out the position on the green belt in the national planning policy framework. “The coalition agreement commits the Government to safeguarding the green belt – that policy framework sets that out very clearly. The policy is as set out in that policy framework.” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: Local Government – Selling expensive voids to increase social housing supply? Southwark shows the way

Osborne forcing middle class ‘to foot bill for extra nursery places’ claimThe Times (£)

Janan Ganesh: Poor ratings, bad perceptions, vulnerable on policy – Miliband's poll lead is more fragile than it looks

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 08.20.20"A change of leader could also send left leaning voters flocking back to the Lib Dems, splitting the anti-Tory vote. The Lib Dems need only lure back a modest share of their voters from Labour for Mr Miliband to look suddenly bereft. This kind of thing would have kept Mr Blair up at night and determined to win over as many Tory voters as possible to protect himself against it. Little of this restless vigilance, this determination to dominate the centre rather than unify the left, survives in Labour today." – Financial Times (£)

Assange: View from the Left 1) Galloway: What he did wasn't rape

"The Respect MP claimed Assange should not be facing a rape charge in Sweden as he was accused only of ‘bad sexual etiquette’…the MP for Bradford West said he did not believe the two women who had accused Assange of rape and sexual assault. He added: ‘Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape." – Daily Mail

Assange: View from the Left 2) Now it's right to identify an alleged rape victim.  Craig Murray thinks so, anyway

"Last night, another supporter of Assange provoked anger by appearing to name one of the alleged  victims on BBC2’s Newsnight. Craig Murray, 53, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the name twice during a debate claiming it was in general circulation, sparking a rebuke from host Gavin Esler…Mr Esler told him: ‘You should not be naming a potential rape victim.’ " – Daily Mail

  • Twitter consensus: Assange is really John Inman – Daily Mail

Assange – View from the Right: Dominic Raab MP says that Assange will end up in Sweden, and quite right too

Dominic Raab"The UK is not entitled to storm the embassy but nor is it under any international obligation to recognise Ecuador’s granting of diplomatic asylum on UK soil. The Ecuadorean use of diplomatic premises for these purposes violates the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations…The history of such diplomatic impasses suggests there will be a negotiated solution…Expect Mr Assange to end up in the dock of a Swedish court." – Financial Times (£)

  • Let’s make sure Assange stays in the wrong – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)
  • Julian Assange threatens to make the EU look good – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

Scottish Ministers face calls to take addicts off methadone and put them on abstinence programmesScotsman

UUP man in broadside over Rasharkin ‘ethnic cleansing’Belfast Telegraph

Lib Dems face backlash from angry students at ballot boxYorkshire Post

Blair meets locals during Marbella holiday Daily Mail

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