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1) Queen’s Speech: Cameron says it will keep him busy

Queen's Speech“David Cameron has hailed the Queen’s Speech as “a packed programme of a busy and radical government” amid claims the coalition has run out of steam. He was defending the 11 new bills that make up the coalition’s plans for its final year in power before an election.” – BBC

>Yesterday:

2) Queen’s Speech: Anger at weakening of MP recall provisions

Zac Goldsmith“Government plans to allow voters to sack their MPs were today dismissed as ‘worse than meaningless’. The long-awaited bill to allow MPs to be ‘recalled’ by constituents was announced in the Queen’s Speech. It will give constituents the opportunity to sign a petition demanding a by-election if an MP is jailed – or if the House of Commons ‘resolves that an MP should face a recall petition’. But the proposals were slammed by Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith, who said MPs should not have a role in deciding whether or not they should face a petition to be sacked.” – Daily Mail

  • “The move giving voters the right to sack errant MPs announced in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech was a total fudge that puts David Cameron on very dodgy ground. After the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009 we were promised that everything would change. Lessons learned. A new kind of politics.” – The Sun Says
  • The coalition doesn’t trust voters to discipline their MPs – City AM

3) Queen’s Speech: Pensions revolution leaves us free to spend our own money

“A ‘revolution’ in pensions forms the centrepiece of the Government’s final legislative programme. The Pensions Tax Bill will allow people to withdraw their funds when they retire, instead of being forced to take out an annuity which pays a guaranteed income until they die. Critics say it risks some people spending all of their nest egg at once, leaving them cash-strapped in their retirement. But Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg said: ‘By no longer forcing people to buy an annuity, we are giving them total control over the money they have put aside over their lifetime and greater financial security in their old age.’ ” – Daily Mail

4) Queen’s Speech: A boost for fracking

Shale Gas“The Government vowed to strip back the planning restraints on industry from fracking to housebuilding in a Queen’s Speech it claimed was “unashamedly pro-business”. The Infrastructure Bill will be used to scrap trespass rules to allow shale gas explorers to drill under private land without consent. David Cameron and Nick Clegg said they planned to make Britain “energy independent”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Greenpeace oppose fracking plans – BBC

>Today: The Deep End: It’s grim down south – or why ministers would rather not find shale gas under Sussex

5) Queen’s Speech: Penny Mordaunt wows the House

mordaunt“The afternoon belonged to Penny Mordaunt (Con, Portsmouth N), whose speech in the traditional first slot of the debate was the best I have heard. She spoke up for her city, inserted just enough politics, spoke strongly and said – with a deep, statuesque breath – that she would have worn her Naval Reserve uniform had the customs of the House not forbade it – and had she not feared it would pop the blood pressure of her lusty colleague ‘Bosnia’ Bob Stewart.” – Quentin Letts Daily Mail

  • “Penny Mordaunt (Con, Portsmouth North) showed shocking disregard for parliamentary tradition by giving a speech that was actually funny. It featured a Navy story about “how to care for your penis and testicles in the field”.” – Michael Deacon Daily Telegraph
  • “The Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt had the House of Commons in stitches as she became only the second woman to propose the loyal address in Queen Elizabeth II’s reign – and certainly the first to mention testicles.” – The Guardian
  • Penny Mordaunt’s Loyal Address in full – Guido Fawkes

6) Queen’s Speech: Reaction

“There’s nothing on migration or the fiasco of human rights law. Nothing on knife crime. Even the much-trumpeted promise to sack law-breaking MPs crumbles to dust on closer inspection. Indeed, about the best that can be said for the Speech is that it doesn’t include a law to force increases in overseas aid. As for urgently needed practical measures, such as approving more airport capacity in the South East, these will have to wait until we have ministers who can agree among themselves. Until then – and we’ll have to wait at least 10 months – we’re doomed to an administration treading water. Spare us from another coalition in 2015.” – Leader Daily Mail

  • “The final session of the current parliament yesterday ushered in one of the lightest legislative programmes for more than 60 years – and that is no bad thing. Too much importance is attached to the quantity rather than the quality of law-making; indeed Labour’s principal criticism of the Queen’s Speech – that it contained too little in the way of statutory reform – will for many people be its most creditable attribute.” – Leader Daily Telegraph
  • “Ed Miliband told a nice early joke at his own expense about his disastrous sandwich photocall. But then he allowed himself to be knocked off his stride by a series of well-rehearsed interventions from the Tory backbenches on Labour’s national insurance plans, and he never recovered. It was telling that when David Cameron rose to speak there was no reciprocal co-ordination from the Labour whip’s office. ” – Dan Hodges Daily Telegraph
  • “The coalition decided to fix its own term at five years instead. It might have hoped this would buy it more time to do big things. But with its founding agreement now largely implemented, insofar as it is going to be implemented at all, on Wednesday’s evidence it has bought itself 12 months of watching the clocks and twiddling its thumbs.” – Leader The Guardian
  • Queen’s speeches are usually weird but this one was weirder than usual – Martin Kettle The Guardian

The spat between Gove and May continues

cameronrift“A furious David Cameron was struggling last night to contain the fallout from an explosive row between two of his most powerful cabinet ministers after it overshadowed the Queen’s Speech. The prime minister rebuked Michael Gove personally after the disclosure that the education secretary believed that Theresa May, the home secretary, was failing to take robust enough action to prevent Islamic extremism in schools. He was also furious that the Home Office retaliated by releasing an internal letter accusing Mr Gove of failing to act over fundamentalists targeting schools, despite warnings going back four years.” – The Times(£)

  • “The highly unusual publication of Mrs May’s barbed letter in the early hours of yesterday morning caused particular surprise. ‘This is internal Cabinet correspondence and the Home Office decides to put it out at 2 o’clock in the morning? I’m afraid it looks like the sort of rush of blood to the head that Theresa May is normally very good at avoiding,’ said one minister.” – Daily Mail
  • “The education secretary is correct to argue that Islamic extremists should not necessarily have to turn violent in order for the authorities to take seriously their attempts to impose their unacceptably intolerant interpretation of their faith on impressionable young minds. The home secretary, meanwhile, can be forgiven for stating that while combating terrorism forms part of her brief, the composition of school governing bodies does not.” – Leader The Times(£)
  • Has Theresa May the mettle to follow the Iron Lady? – Sue Cameron Daily Telegraph
  • Judge prevents May sending asylum seeker back to Somalia – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: May and Gove should snog and make up

Conservatives in big last push for Newark by-election

shappsnewark“Up to 1,000 Tory activists are due in Newark on Thursday in an unprecedented all-out effort to stop the UK Independence Party winning its first ever MP. The activists are due to report to five campaign centres in what should be one of the Conservatives’ safest Parliamentary seats. …The day starts at 4.45am when Lord Feldman of Elstree and Grant Shapps MP, the party’s co-chairmen, lead a series of “dawn raids” by posting leaflets through the doors of households across the area.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “A poll by Tory donor Lord Ashcroft on Monday put the Tories on 42 per cent, Ukip 27 per cent, Labour 20 per cent and Lib Dems 6 per cent. But a YouGov poll for The Sun last night showed that nationally Labour is still way ahead on 37 per cent, Tories on 32, Ukip on 13 and Lib Dems on 7. ..Newark’s Ukip candidate Roger Helmer insisted the anti-EU party could pull off a win. He wrote on his blog: “I’d say the odds are fifty-fifty. Maybe better. We’re coming up fast on the rails.” – The Sun(£)
  • Farage abandons his troops in Newark for conference in Malta – The Times(£)

Tax cuts for low paid planned for Conservative manifesto

“A tax cut for millions of Britain’s lowest earners is being considered by the Tories in an attempt to win their vote at the next election. An ambitious proposal to slash the national insurance payments demanded from low-paid workers is among the options being considered for inclusion in the party’s election manifesto. Jo Johnson, the Tory MP for Orpington, who is putting together ideas for the Conservatives’ election pitch, is to deliver a first tranche of policy ideas to David Cameron later this month.” – The Times(£)

  • “The policy pledges approved by the Tory leadership will start flowing from the autumn conference onwards. Mr Johnson is tight-lipped but my understanding is that the manifesto will include a judicious mix of what I would call slog, snog and snug.” – Tim Montgomerie The Times(£)

Adonis in coalition talks with the Lib Dems

Andrew Adonis“Key allies of party leaders Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have met to discuss what common ground there is between the two parties, the BBC reported. The Labour peer Lord Adonis, and Lord Wood, one of Ed Miliband’s closest advisers, met Jonny Oates, Mr Clegg’s chief of staff and Neil Sherlock, a prominent Liberal Democrat and donor, the BBC’s Newsnight programme said.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “One Liberal Democrat source told Newsnight that despite four years of coalition, it would be “easier to build a platform” with Labour than with the Conservatives after the next election. Relationships between the two parties have thawed since the first couple of years of the coalition when Labour continually described the coalition as the “ConDems”. But one minister suggested doing a deal with Labour would be “as close to a nightmare as you can imagine”.” – BBC

Juncker would offer Britain a “fair deal”

“Jean-Claude Juncker is “waiting for a phone call” from David Cameron after declaring that Britain has all but failed to stop him becoming
president of the European Commission. The former Luxembourg prime minister is attempting to open negotiations with Mr Cameron, claiming that he is prepared to offer a “fair deal” for Britain. He has already ruled out changes to the four founding principles of the European Union, including freedom of movement, which will infuriate Tory eurosceptics.” – The Times(£)

  • Juncker “confident” he will be next EU boss – The Sun(£)

Darling compares Salmond to Kim Jong-il

Alistair Darling“Alistair Darling has compared the behaviour of Alex Salmond to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and said the Scottish independence referendum campaign has become mired in threats and intimidation. In an interview in the New Statesman, the leader of the pro-UK Better Together campaign argues: “[Salmond] said on the BBC that people voted Ukip in Scotland because English TV was being beamed into Scotland. This was a North Korean response. This is something that Kim Jong-il would say.” – The Guardian

News in brief

  • Labour would “roll back” NHS competition
  • Boris says NHS doctors must speak English – Daily Mail
  • Cancer drug breakthrough – The Times(£)
  • EU propose an increase in MEPs expenses to £650 million – The Sun(£)
  • Conservative MEPs join with Danish Peoples Party and True Finns – The Guardian

24 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday June 5th 2014

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