1.30pm ToryDiary: Justine Greening enjoys improved Cabinet rating in pre-reshuffle survey
Alex Morton on Comment: Housing – why planning powers should be reshuffled to local people and a new Secretary of State
Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Former Treasurer Peter Cruddas accuses The Sunday Times of “selective” editing and “distorting” the facts
Local government: Planning rules eased on new homes above shops
John Moss on Local government: Montague's proposals for boosting housing investment don't go far enough
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GCSE marking row
"Mr Gove will be pleased that Ofqual exonerated him of the charge of political interference in the exam results. The Education Secretary is now expected to go on the front foot, arguing that the current row underlines the need for a radical overhaul of the exam system in England." – BBC
Baroness Warsi quoted in The Telegraph: “If I genuinely had a choice, I would like to stay doing what I’m doing. If you look at the demographics, at where we need to be at the next election, we need more people in the North voting for us, more of what they call here 'blue collar’ workers and I call the white working class. We need more people from urban areas voting for us, more people who are not white and more women. I play that back and think: 'I’m a woman, I’m not white, I’m from an urban area, I’m from the North, I’m working class – I kind of fit the bill. All the groups that we’re aiming for are groups that I’m familiar with.”
Other reshuffle speculation
- The Independent speculates that Grant Shapps will become the new Tory Chairman and that Justine Greening will remain Transport Secretary.
- "Ms Greening was too much of a rare commodity in the Conservative Party (female, comprehensive-educated), and too competent a minister, for demotion." – Economist
- "David Laws, the highly regarded Lib Demo who quit his job over an expenses scandal just a few weeks after becoming Osborne's number two in 2010, is expected to return to a ministerial role with an economics brief." – Reuters
- Tories pressure PM to ditch Cable claiming he's blocking shake-up of employment laws and slowing economic recovery – Daily Mail
- The Sun names Brian Binley and Nick de Bois as wanting Cable to move.
But, says The Telegraph: "However much Mr Cameron shuffles his pack, his fate largely rests on his own shoulders. Voters don’t want a “chillaxed” chairman of the board, but a Prime Minister devoted to improving their lives."
Government will make a series of announcements over weekend before reshuffle – Guardian
One of those announcements is likely to concern planning laws. The Telegraph's Geoffrey Lean concludes: "The Government is gunning for the Green Belt".
"David Cameron and Nick Clegg are set to intervene in the increasingly fractious row over whether Heathrow should have a third runway by asking an independent commission to review the future of Britain’s airports. The commission could provide the Conservative prime minister with the political cover to perform a U-turn and authorise Heathrow’s expansion, most likely if the Tories win the next election." – FT (£)
- Simon Heffer urges the Government to U-turn on Heathrow: "A Heathrow expansion would create jobs, build confidence and help secure a prosperous future. It would also show we had a government that grasped what business — the only creator of wealth — actually needs." – Daily Mail
Welfare reforms under threat as private contractors struggle to find work for unemployed – Telegraph
The Coalition is going ahead with its plan to ban retailers from imposing excessive or surprise charges on people who pay by debit or credit card – BBC
110,000 people have signed Claire Perry's petition against internet porn – Daily Mail
The Conservative candidate for the job of Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner is pulling out due to a "minor offence" committed 44 years ago – BBC
Three highlights of Nick Clegg's interview in The Times
- Lib Dems will select candidates for the next election on existing boundaries, ruling out any lingering hopes in No 10 that he might back Mr Cameron’s Tory-friendly review in return for changes to party political funding.
- Mr Clegg said that a “rat-a-tat barrage” of measures from the Government would soon help businesses and households.
- "There was a “big deal” to be done over increasing taxation levels on assets in return for lower taxes on work and aspiration, but he accepted that many Tories would never accept a wealth tax.
More in The Times (£).
LibDem MPs attack Lord Oakeshott for questioning Clegg's future
"Duncan Hames, a Lib Dem MP, said: “Such navel-gazing is self-indulgent, when the country needs us to be focused on lifting the economy out of its current difficulties.” Don Foster, another backbencher, said: “Lord Oakeshott is being a backseat driver. He certainly doesn’t speak for the vast majority of members in the Commons or the Lords on this particular issue.” – FT (£)
- Andrew Grice says Team Clegg blames ex-Labour, ex-SDP figures for his internal troubles – Independent
"Vince Cable would not be so dismissive of left-of-centre voters and
might be able to win back some of them. He also enjoys a reasonable
relationship with Ed Miliband, a partnership that might assume
importance after the next election. But that is for another day. For
now, senior Liberal Democrats must focus on what they can do with their
limited power and, as Paddy Ashdown argued yesterday, give full support
to their leader." – Independent leader
Simon Hughes says Cameron must take heed of Lord Leveson
"In the wake of a Times report on Friday that the prime minister is planning to give the industry another chance to improve self-regulation, Simon Hughes said that a series of scandals had shown this system has failed." – Guardian
Andrew Pierce spotlights the simmering feud between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls – Daily Mail
Tony Blair to sit for sculpture that will join those of other former leaders in the members' lobby of parliament – Guardian
Leaving the €uro might be the best course for Spain – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)
Both British and US interests would be best served by a victory for Mitt Romney – Dan Hannan MEP for The Telegraph
John Redwood comes close to saying Romney is the best best for US President.
"The case Republicans presented in Tampa was that the economy needs to be fixed and that Romney is the man to fix it. They point to a CV that shows Romney has succeeded in every task he has undertaken, whether as governor of Massachusetts or salvaging the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. So what if he can't emote and looks permanently awkward? He's a proven turnaround artist and, as his wife, Ann, said on Tuesday: "This man will not fail."" – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian
The MP for Mid Bedfordshire clambers on top of a House of Commons table in £550 high heels to be photographed.
The MP also uses the interview to launch a fresh assault on George Osborne, describing him as ‘a Machiavellian who manipulates people and practises dark arts’.
See photos and interview highlights in the Daily Mail.
"Boris Johnson tried his hand at sitting volleyball with teammate Barbara Windsor today, putting in his usual flamboyant enthusiasm" – Express
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