Stefania Caddick-Adams on Platform: Is Mr Gove lost for words about languages in the primary curriculum?
Local government: Housing Quango spent £100,000 lobbying Government
48% of Lib Dem voters are less inclined to back them because of VAT hike – Observer
> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary: Liberal Democrats squeezed in two new opinion polls
Matthew d'Ancona attacks the IFS' silly claim that the Budget was regressive
"One such ripple has been the confected row over the “fairness” of the Budget. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, if you strip out the Labour measures that the Coalition has decided to enact, the Budget was regressive. But since the Coalition is not ditching these inherited measures, the exercise is entirely artificial. It’s like saying: if Cameron had abolished the Labour‑founded NHS on becoming Prime Minister, the poor of this country would be denied health care. But he didn’t and they’re not." – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
> 49% of those polled by YouGov said Budget was fair, 36% unfair
'Why should the aid budget be protected when the Home Office may have top sack police officers?' – Mail on Sunday
Liberal Democrats put fairness at the heart of the budget – Danny Alexander writing in The Observer
Lib Dem rebels in secret talks with Labour on tactics to block Budget – Independent on Sunday
The Observer: Where is George Osborne's employment plan?
"In opposition, the Tories made much of Labour's neglect of
so-called Neets, young people not in education, employment or training.
But in government, they have presented no strategy to include them in
the labour market. Instead, the coalition's first budget risks creating
a lost generation, like the one that missed its first vital step up the
ladder of prosperity in the early Eighties. A vital lesson from that
period is that high unemployment carries a massive social and economic
cost – in poorer health, higher crime, social breakdown – that does not
immediately show up on a national balance sheet." – Observer leader
Gove and Willetts have a new guru – the repairman who extols manual work – The Sunday Times (£)
Obama: UK-US relationship is 'rock solid' – BBC report and video
'World leaders back Cameron's aim to pull British troops out of Afghanistan within five years'
"A closing summit statement called on the country's president Hamid Karzai "to make concrete progress to reinforce the formal justice system and expand the capacity with Afghan national security forces to assume increasing responsibility for security within five years"." – News of the World
"In a surprise breakthrough, world leaders at the G8 Summit in Muskoka, Canada, set Afghan President Hamid Karzai an ultimatum for his forces to take responsibility for his country’s security. It was the first time the international community had spelt out a timescale to withdraw troops and came 24 hours after the PM paved the way for a 2015 deadline to pull out Britain’s 10,000-strong force." – Sunday Express
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron wants out of Afghanistan as soon as possible
"Today's G20 communique is expected to be a classic attempt to paper over the cracks that everyone knows exist – recognising that it is right for countries such as Britain to cut back, but just as right for countries such as the US to maintain the stimulus." – Observer
William Hague sets out new foreign policy with outreach to India and Brazil – The Sunday Telegraph
"Over the past decades, Mr Hague believes British foreign policy has
effectively frozen into three main “blocs” – the US, the European Union and
the Middle East. His most ambitious plan is to tear up this blueprint and replace it with what
he calls a “distinctive British foreign policy”. This means being unafraid
to promote better links with smaller countries, as well as emerging economic
powerhouses such as Brazil, India and China. As well as trade, relations can be maintained through education, culture,
sport, diplomacy and military co-operation, Mr Hague thinks." – The Sunday Telegraph
Mr Hague also discusses how the LibCon Coalition became possible: "[It] was made possible by the Conservative Party having become
more socially liberal, stronger on civil liberties, while the Lib Dems
became more fiscally conservative – robust about our economic decisions." More.
Tories ‘back down’ over immigrants’ English test
"Home Secretary Theresa May was accused last night of watering down a Tory pledge to bar immigrants unless they can speak good English. The promise was a central part of David Cameron’s Election campaign. But it has now been disclosed that the families of asylum seekers allowed to settle in the UK will be exempt from the ban. Labour MPs said the Conservatives had been forced to drop their hardline stance by their Liberal Democrat Coalition partners who support uncontrolled immigration." – Mail on Sunday
Vince Cable has led Coalition rebellion against Tory immigration cap pledge – The Sunday Times (£)
Ann Widdecombe lined up as ambassador to the Vatican – The Sunday Telegraph
Ms Widdecombe is also likely to be one of two dozen new Tory peers
"The new Tory peers are likely to include Ann Widdecombe, a former Home Office minister, and General Sir Richard Dannatt, former head of the army. Michael Spencer, boss of the City firm ICAP and the outgoing Tory treasurer, will also be made a Lord." – The Sunday Times (£)
Labour's former Home Secretary Alan Johnson: 'I failed on binge drinking' – Mail on Sunday
And finally… Labour protests at plan for Downing Street to employ Cameron's £35,000pa photographer, Andrew Parsons – Mail on Sunday
The election week edition of The Times carried one of Andrew Parsons' most striking photographs on its frontpage:
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