1.45pm Local Government:
- Daniel Kawczynski MP: An open letter to Polish President Kaczyński, urging him to withhold his signature from the Lisbon Treaty
- Simon Chapman: What does the NHS Chief Executive say about future NHS spending?
Timothy Garton-Ash attacks Tory exit from EPP
"The fact that Cameron insists on withdrawing from a grouping that includes the parties of the German chancellor, the French president and the Italian and Polish prime ministers sends to them all, and to Washington, this message: prepare for the British again to be the spoilers, the naysayers, the foot-draggers of Europe." – Guardian
Ken Livingstone: 'Boris Johnson has failed to build a relationship with the unions'
"Although Boris Johnson gave an election pledge to introduce a no-strike deal we know that not only has he failed to meet the transport union leaders in the 14 months since his election, but he did not even bother to send a letter asking them to consider a no-strike deal." – Ken Livingstone, writing in The Times, puts the blame on Boris for the Tube strike
Benedict Brogan: 'John Bercow is the Speaker that Parliament is going to get but not the one it needs' – Telegraph
Veteran Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has announced she is to stand as Speaker of the House of Commons – BBC
Tories organise 'Gay Pride' celebration for Manchester Party Conference – ToryBear
Oxford University Conservatives face expulsion for racist joke competition – Daily Mail
George Osborne ‘flipped’ second home to claim for £450,000 loan – Times
MPs including David Amess broke rules on declaring interests – Telegraph
Shahid Malik admits charging taxpayer for two houses – Telegraph
James Forsyth interviews Jon Cruddas
"Jon Cruddas, tribune of the left and foe of the BNP, tells James Forsyth his support for the PM is not unconditional, and praises James Purnell for being ‘true to himself’" – Spectator
Brown sets out his 'democracy renewal' ideas
"The prime minister set out ideas to curb the power of whips and surrender to MPs important controls over the way Westminster business is conducted. In future, MPs would elect all select committees, take control of the Commons' business programme, and be given a greater chance to introduce legislation." – Guardian
"Our voting system is the source code of the power wielded by MPs. It bestows the authority of the people on their representatives. Yet few MPs can claim support from more than 50% of their electors. AV enables preference (ranked) voting, ensuring an MP can claim authority of a majority of their voters. AV also allows voters to protest – through the support of small and single-issue groups, while also choosing to support a larger party, if they so wish. Unlike some other voting systems, it allows the retention of a geographic link between MP and electors." – Tom Watson in The Guardian
The Daily Mail attacks Brown's plan: "In the real world that most of us inhabit, Britain is gripped by two parallel crises of monumental proportions. One is the economic meltdown, threatening homes and jobs and saddling children yet unborn with terrifying debts. The other is the unprecedented crisis of confidence in our politicians. Yet, incredibly, this is the moment Gordon Brown chooses to launch hugely complex and controversial proposals that have nothing whatever to do with the pressing concerns of the people."
Labour MP Linda Riordan makes the case for retaining the first-past-the-post electoral system for Westminster – ePolitix
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