ToryDiary: Back to the real issues at PMQs?
Lucy Parsons on Platform: Young people could provide a way out of the credit crunch
Rothschild repeats charges against George Osborne and names supporting witness
"Hours after the Shadow Chancellor denied outright that he solicited money from Mr Deripaska, Nathaniel Rothschild, his erstwhile friend, made explosive new allegations and named a witness. Mr Rothschild asserted that James Goodwin, one of his guests at his Corfu villa, was present when he, Mr Osborne and Andrew Feldman, the Conservative chief executive, discussed a possible donation by Leyland Daf, controlled by Mr Deripaska." – Times
The political damage to Mr Osborne
"Although David Cameron is standing by Mr Osborne, Tory MPs admitted the affair raised serious questions about his judgement. The shadow Chancellor was accused of changing his tune after initially denying Mr Rothschild’s allegations as "completely untrue". Last night, he admitted he had met the Russian businessman five times and was present at the Rothschilds’ villa in Corfu "when Mr Rothschild suggested to Mr Feldman that his friend Mr Deripaska could be interested in making a party donation"." – Independent
"At a time when Britain is tipping into recession, Mr Osborne’s free holidays in the villas of millionaire financiers and evenings spent with a Russian oligarch on the £80m Queen K yacht may not help the Tories connect with “hard-working” families struggling with their daily bills." – FT
"Can you imagine Gordon Brown swanning around the Greek islands with a gang of multimillionaires on yachts? He would loathe it. By their friends shall you know them. The last thing the Cameron Conservatives need is for voters to be reminded of their exclusive backgrounds through the imagery of yachts and billionaires and old allegiances from the Bullingdon Club." – Alice Miles in The Times
Labour is desperate to topple George Osborne
"Labour strategists know how important Osborne is to the Cameron project. He’s been central to every big decision that has helped the Conservative party towards its election-winning position. He ran Cameron’s leadership campaign, recruited Andy Coulson to be head of communications and made some of the key tactical decisions that eventually saw Boris Johnson become mayor of London. The opportunity to damage and even topple Osborne is one that Labour has seized on with relish." – ConHome’s Tim Montgomerie in The Guardian
The Telegraph’s verdict on what is inevitably being called ‘Yachtgate’
"This latest imbroglio will doubtless lead once again to calls for state funding, which should be resisted. Barack Obama has shown that exciting politics can generate millions in small donations. As for Mr Osborne, yesterday’s statement was described as a "full and detailed explanation" of what happened in Corfu in August. For his sake, we hope that is the case. We support him now – but no more Yachtgate revelations, please." – Telegraph leader
And what of Mandelson’s links with Deripaska?
Tory MEP Syed Kamall raises a possible conflict of interest during Lord Mandelson’s term as European Trade Commissioner – Times
MPs are set to debate embryology and fertility laws – BBC
The Guardian says Labour have pulled votes on abortion because of its deal with the DUP on 42 days
Local councils should be forced to draw up annual public toilet strategies – Independent
The Times on Mervyn King
"The message during Mr King’s period of office has been too Delphic and muted. Decisions by central banks earlier in this decade to keep interest rates low appeared justifiable, given the shock of 9/11 and moderate rates of inflation (partly owing to the effect of cheap imports from China). Yet governments and central banks did too little, either by policy or by pronouncement, to constrain the resulting credit expansion. In the bull market of the late 1990s, Alan Greenspan spoke of “irrational exuberance”. No such telling phrase has crossed the lips of Mr King. What we have learnt is that being boring is no excuse for being invisible." – Times leader
And finally… The Mini Minister
"A Government minister has chosen a traditional mini as his official chauffer-driven car in a bid to show his support for British workers. Tom Watson, who was appointed a minister at the Cabinet Office in the reshuffle earlier this month, said the car had "great environmental prowess" as well as being assembled by British workers." – Telegraph | Photo from The Daily Mail
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