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Cameron repeats vow to resign if he can’t deliver an In/Out EU referendum

CAMERON EU flag“Mr Cameron insists that despite overseeing deep public-spending cuts, the Conservatives do not care more about economic results from “gilt yields and bond markets” than about giving families peace of mind. As postal ballot papers arrive in homes for the European elections, the Tory leader insists that he is not just another politician who will break his promises. “If you’re thinking ‘I’ve heard all this before’ – I get it,” he says, before going on to offer his personal guarantee that he will resign as prime minister if he cannot deliver an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU after the election next year.” – Daily Telegraph

Prime Minister’s Telegraph article in full

Elsewhere:

  • Vaizey hints that Cameron wants a woman as new head of BBC Trust: Baroness Hogg, Patience Wheatcroft, Dame Marjorie Scardino or acting chairwoman Diane Coyle – Sunday Times (£)
  • Cameron and Osborne to co-star in Boris-return-to-Westminster press conference claim – Mail on Sunday
  • American passport-holding Boris “could run for President” – Sunday Times (£)
  • Number 10 cover-up over Patrick Rock arrest claim – Sunday Times (£)
  • Michael Hintze still donating to Tories – Guido Fawkes, Sun on Sunday

Gove wars 1) Birmingham Council Chief warns of “bloody firestorm” over “Trojan Horse plot”

GOVE, Michael blue sky“In a secret meeting last week with heads of the schools affected, Mark Rogers, the council’s chief executive, launched personal attacks on both Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, and Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools. He sought to “challenge” the basis of the inspections and said the council was contemplating involving its lawyers. He also advised the heads that teaching anti-extremism in schools would “play to” The Telegraph, Sir Michael and Mr Gove.” – Sunday Telegraph

Gove wars 2) Laws goes head to head with “zealot” Education Secretary over free schools

“In a dramatic escalation of tensions, the Lib Dems confirmed highly damaging leaked information from a senior government source, who said that Gove had secretly taken the money from the Basic Need fund for local authorities last December, in the face of stiff opposition from the Lib Dem schools minister David Laws. The Basic Need budget is given to local authorities to ensure that they can provide sufficient school places for all children in their area and it is crucial when there is heavy pressure on pupil numbers.” – Observer

  • Gove warned that A-level standards are being ‘fatally undermined’ by ‘celebrity obsession” – Mail on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary – Gove fought the Laws, and the Laws won?

Gove wars 3) Dominic Cummings, Gove’s former SpAd, tears into  the Liberal Democrats

CUMMINGS, Dom“The Lib Dems angrily denied the new allegations,  accusing the Conservatives of using ‘dirty tricks’ to damage Mrs Clegg, who uses her professional name Miriam Gonzalez Durantez. But the Tories hit back after it emerged that Lib Dems with close links to the Party hierarchy have tried to plant unfounded rumours of a ‘crisis’ in the Camerons’ 17-year marriage.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Can Clegg survive another meltdown for the Lib Dems? – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
  • Miliband is blundering about on a ‘crutch’ provided by disillusioned Lib Dem voters – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday

>Yesterday: Joe Baron on Comment – The egregious disregard for its members of the National Union of Teachers

Matthew D’Ancona: There was method in the madness of Labour’s class war broadcast

“Bashing Clegg is an essential part of the party’s strategy for the local and European elections in 11 days’ time and the main event next year. Labour believes it can win 14 seats from the Lib Dems in 2015 and has noticed that in 86 of its 87 Conservative-held target constituencies, the Lib Dem share of the vote four years ago was larger than the Tory majority. The destruction of Clegg may yet hand No 10 to Miliband.” – Matthew D’Ancona, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: LeftWatch – Labour is torn between populism and puritanism

Farage targets Labour voters in drive to wring EU referendum commitment from Miliband

Farage as Santa1“The UKIP leader will release adverts arguing that it is Britain’s membership of the EU that has pushed up the price of food and fuel. The raid for blue-collar votes comes amid growing fears from Labour MPs that their leader is failing to give them the tools to fight UKIP on the doorstep. Senior backbenchers last night warned Miliband that Labour’s failure to offer policies to reduce immigration had bolstered UKIP support in its northern England heartlands ahead of local and European elections on May 22.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Helmer accused of taking researcher Alexandra Swann to a strip club, threatening to ‘trash’ her reputation if she told and then pressuring her to resign – Mail on Sunday
  • UKIP councillor who was filmed calling for all immigrants to be sent home “set to stand for Great Grimsby” – Mail on Sunday

Hammond poised to protect combat immunity

“He will await the outcome of a series of legal cases before deciding his next move, but he gave his clearest signal yet that he is considering introducing a new law to enshrine combat immunity and protect military commanders from being sued. “We require combat immunity … if the decisions go against us, we will have to look at other ways of delivering combat immunity on an ongoing basis. And that could be through the medium of legislation,” he said.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Army pulls out of its last frontline base in Helmand – Mail on Sunday
  • Hammond warns over defence cuts – Sun on Sunday
  • Senior officer defends men who have thumbs up next to body of dead fighter – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Alex Deane on Comment – The soldiers who posed with that dead Taliban fighter deserve our thanks – and instinctive support

I will protect allotments, pledges Pickles

Eric Pickles“Eric Pickles has hit back at campaigners who have called on him to protect Britain’s allotments from being sold off, calling their claims “completely untrue”. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said that alleged plans to allow local councils to sell off allotments “had no basis in fact”, despite a case in Watford, Hertfordshire where the council is seizing a much-loved allotment. Mr Pickles statement was prompted by an 18,000-signature e-petition entitled “Tell Eric Pickles that allotments must not be sold off!”.” – Independent on Sunday

Parish and Hart lead push on end to hunting ban

“Tory backbenchers Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, and Simon Hart, former Countryside Alliance chief executive, are pushing for the Tories to include a hunting pledge in their manifesto amid fears that traditional voters may desert the party for Ukip.
Ukip is already snapping at the heels of the Conservatives on the issue, pledging to introduce local referendums on fox hunting to give people in rural communities the power to decide.” – Sunday Express

News in Brief

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