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Tougher rules planned to make unemployed work for their dole

mailbenefits“The long-term unemployed are to be told they must do an unpaid full-time job or be stripped of their benefits. A dramatic extension of the conditions attached to unemployment handouts  will be unveiled at the Conservative party conference next week, according to well-placed sources.” – Daily Mail

Councils forced to drop excess parking charges

“A massive shake-up of parking rules will stop town halls milking parking restrictions just to raise cash. Tory ministers want to outlaw “unfair” parking penalties and ensure that video technology is used for fighting crime rather than squeezing money out of hard-pressed drivers. More than nine million parking fines are issued every year.” – Daily Express

  • “A Conservative Party briefing says using CCTV for parking enforcement “is detrimental to natural justice”, as penalty notices are received in the post “with no opportunity for the driver to examine the parking location as it was at the time of the alleged contravention”.” – BBC

>Today: Pickles and McLoughlin promise to ease parking charges

Osborne asks Bank to monitor Help to Buy scheme

“Chancellor George Osborne has asked the Bank of England to take a bigger role in ensuring his Help to Buy housing scheme does not fuel a property boom.” – BBC

Sharp rise in number of adoptions

timesadoption“The number of adoptions has surged to a 21-year high with almost 4,000 children finding permanent new homes in the past year. Older children and mixed race youngsters waiting to be adopted fared particularly well with a sharp rise in placements for both groups, usually considered difficult to place. The figures suggest that sweeping reforms to a system riddled with bureaucracy and inertia are beginning to bear fruit.” – The Times (£)

  • “Adoptions have risen to a 20-year high of nearly 4,000. The total has increased by more than 28 per cent in just two years following pressure from ministers to relax rules that excluded couples taking a child of a different race. Children’s Minister Ed Timpson said the increase was ‘hugely encouraging’.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Adoption rate increases – but remains scandalously low

Brady says Cameron must spell out EU powers to be won back

“David Cameron must spell out which powers he intends to win back from Brussels before the European Parliament elections next year, the leader of his party’s backbench MPs has said. Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said that Mr Cameron must flesh out a “radical renegotiation” before the polls next May, at which the Conservatives face the prospect of a rout by UKIP.” – The Times (£)

Conservative Renewal call for six point pledge card

“A group backed by the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, is to urge the Conservative party next week to support a six-point pledge card that will include promises to raise the minimum wage, cut fuel duty, build new homes and appoint a consumer affairs secretary at cabinet level. It wants the measures to be the start of a decade-long drive to reposition the Tories as the workers’ party.” – The Guardian

  • “In a Manchester pub on Monday, MPs and activists will launch a “pledge card” calling for policies to attract working-class voters in the North. The card, from the campaign group Renewal, will include demands for northern cities to gain more powers over planning as well as improved welfare-to-work schemes. Similarly, a group of North West MPs, including Ben Wallace, Paul Maynard and Eric Ollerenshaw, hold regular meetings on the sorts of policies the party needs to develop in order to keep northern voters happy.” – Isabel Hardman Daily Telegraph

>Today: Homes jobs and savings for all

Ditch green taxes to cut energy bills demand Tory MPs…

“Tory MPs have challenged David Cameron to bring down energy bills by cutting green taxes. Helping smaller firms to compete with the dominant Big Six would also lower prices, they added.” – Daily Mail

  • “As to the energy companies, they are partly to blame for their own mauling. They jumped into bed with politicians, agreeing to embrace
    expensive green energy, rather than fighting for their customers’ interests; they are now paying the price for their own high prices.” – Allister Heath City AM
  • “Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, warned there was great “danger” that the debate will lead Tory right-wingers to put pressure on Cameron to row back on the green agenda. “[Tory backbenchers] will think it’s a popularist issue and think: ‘stuff this green nonsense’,” he said. “It’s dangerous in that way.” – The Guardian

…as Caroline Flint goes to war with Mandelson

“A row erupted within the Labour Party yesterday over Ed Miliband’s plan to freeze energy bills. A Shadow Cabinet minister accused Lord Mandelson of being driven by his own financial interests after the peer said that the policy could damage Labour’s standing in the business community.” – The Times (£)

Fury as Lord Rennard is cleared

telegraphrennard“Some of the women who claim they were sexually harassed by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard, expressed anger and frustration on Thursday night after the Metropolitan Police announced he would not face criminal charges.” – Daily Telegraph

May rules out illegal immigrants amnesty

“Home Secretary Theresa May has quashed calls for an amnesty for illegal immigrants, arguing this would give “people the wrong message”. Some prominent Conservatives, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, have suggested the change, saying it could boost the economy.” – BBC

 Is Cameron a feminist? He doesn’t know.

“Mr Cameron seemed unsure how to answer and stared out of the window for ‘rather a long time’, according to the article in Red. He finally replied, hesitatingly: ‘Umm… I… I don’t know what I’d call myself… it’s up to others to attach labels. But I believe men and women should be treated equally.” – Daily Mail

Most UKIP supporters would consider switching to Conservatives

ukip“Nearly nine out of ten UKIP supporters say they could be persuaded to vote Tory in 2015, offering a major boost to David Cameron. However, Brits in general still liken the Tory leader to a SNAKE. An exclusive YouGov poll for The Sun today reveals just 12 per cent of voters who back anti—EU party UKIP would NEVER vote for the Conservatives. The vast majority said they are ready to think about switching if Mr Cameron promises to do more on the issues that matter to them.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Many UKIP supporters detest Cameron. But they now know for sure that a strong UKIP vote all but guarantees the most left-wing Government in memory. They may passionately believe UKIP’s causes are right for Britain. Under Miliband, none will come to pass.” – The Sun Says (£)

Labour would “betray Yorkshire” if it wobbles on HS2 Cameron tells Yorkshire Post

“We will be making the case very strongly for it,” Mr Cameron said. “The rest of the world is adopting high-speed rail technology. We should be doing the same. I don’t believe Labour in the end will go wobbly on it, because they’d be completely turning their backs on the north of England. They would be betraying people in Yorkshire; they would be letting down people in Manchester. They would be cementing a position as the party for the past, and not for the future.” – Yorkshire Post

Well refreshed Boris takes taxi home

“London Mayor Boris Johnson was so legless as he staggered from a boozy bash that he could not cycle home.Bleary-eyed BoJo, 49, instead tumbled into a taxi and dumped his bike in the boot.And the mayor was so merry after his posh champagne bash that he even SANG and DANCED with a Mexican street band — as fellow revellers clapped and laughed at his drunken antics.” – The Sun (£)

  • Boris hints at return to Westminster – FT

Red Ed’s socialist message could prove popular says Fraser Nelson

frasernelson“Tories can say this is economic madness, but they cannot deny Miliband has a tempting message: vote Labour and we’ll freeze your fuel bills. Cameron has always struggled to come up with doorstep messages, which is why he failed to win a majority at the last election. Voters struggled to see just how they’d be better off under the Tories. Yet he cannot fight the next election saying that Miliband’s theory is doomed because it violates Stigler’s law of supply elasticity. He’ll have to come up with his own clear offer. He will need to offer tax cuts.” – Fraser Nelson Daily Telegraph

  • “I was always wary of asking for clarity from Mr Miliband. I had more than a suspicion that I would then pine for the days of indecision.” – Philip Collins The Times (£)
  • Tories are plunged into panic – Polly Toynbee The Guardian

>Yesterday: Ed Miliband’s “new generation”: Labour select 11 ex-MPs to fight their old seats in 2015

News in brief

  • Middlesbrough votes to keep elected Mayor – BBC
  • Spain step up pressure on Gibraltar – The Times (£)
  • MPs ask how an independent Scotland would defend itself – BBC
  • Eric Joyce MP to face trail  – The Independent
  • Taxpayers being “ripped off” by BT over rural broadband – BBC
  • Climate change “would make Britain cooler” – Daily Telegraph
  • Royal Mail valued at £2.6bn – £3.3bn – FT

And finally…Iain Dale says sorry

“The publisher of Damian McBride’s memoirs has accepted a police caution for common assault after being caught on camera tackling an anti-nuclear protester in Brighton. Iain Dale, the managing director of Biteback Publishing, issued an abject apology to Stuart Holmes after grabbing the veteran campaigner, eventually pulling him to the ground. He has offered to buy the pensioner a new placard as recompense.” – The Times (£)

 

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