9.30pm ToryDiary update: "Only 18 UK teachers have been struck off for incompetence in the past 40 years"
- Michael Gove says Labour's schools building project costs three times average private sector project
- Nick Clegg announces date of next General Election
9.45am Melanchthon on CentreRight: "I am not anti-gay or homophobic. I simply believe that sex outside marriage (including homosexual sex) is immoral. You are free to disagree with me – I could be mistaken, of course. But don't try to smear me and make people hate or fear me by alleging, falsely, that I hate or fear them."
Mark Wallace on Local government: Hillingdon triples library use – and cuts costs by 20%
Michael Gove freezes rebuilding of schools in £3.5bn savings – Guardian
Francis Maude plans big cuts to civil service pay-offs
"Ministers are preparing emergency legislation to slash the redundancy terms for 500,000 civil servants, just ahead of tens of thousands of their posts being cut as the coalition government seeks to cut the UK’s deficit. The Labour government imposed a deal late last year that reduced terms from a maximum of 6½ years pay to a maximum of two, with additional protection for the lowest paid – a move Labour said would save £500m over three years. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, however, is now looking for far bigger cuts in the redundancy scheme as the Cabinet Office said on Sunday it wanted “to bring it into line with practice in the private sector”. – FT (£)
Government considering tougher union laws to minimise public sector strikes – Daily Mail
"Ministers have held confidential talks over changing union strike laws as the Government prepares plans to shed up to a million public sector jobs. Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, met Boris Johnson ten days ago to discuss the need for new curbs on industrial action supported by only a small proportion of the workforce. The Mayor of London was sounded out because of his experience in dealing with unions during two years in office." – Times (£)
Osborne accused of scare tactics on 40% cuts – FT (£)
'Budget is bad for women'
"As the government warned some departments to prepare for cuts of up to 40%, a study by the House of Commons library on behalf of the shadow welfare secretary, Yvette Cooper, revealed that women will shoulder nearly three-quarters of the burden. Cooper accused the coalition government of sanctioning a budget whose impact fell disproportionately on women. The gender audit of the budget – structured by Cooper but conducted by the Commons library – showed that more than 70% of the revenue raised from direct tax and benefit changes is to come from female taxpayers." – Guardian
Jeremy Hunt finds £50m extra for British sport – The Sun
Tories pick anti-euro campaigners to lead 'no to AV' referendum drive
"Lord Leach of Fairford, the Tory peer who helped bankroll the anti-euro Business for Sterling pressure group, and the Tory MP George Eustice, a former leading light from that campaign, will be key figures. Leach helped fund Cameron's office before he became leader and Eustice served as the prime minister's press secretary for the first two years of his leadership of the Tory party." – Guardian
David Cameron's lukewarm support for referendum campaign – Telegraph
In yesterday's Mail on Sunday, James Forsyth reported that Oliver Letwin was backing AV: "Oliver Letwin, one of Cameron’s closest allies who helped negotiate the Coalition agreement, has been urging various people on the Right to support AV. His argument to them is that change to the voting system is inevit able and that AV need not be bad for the Tories. Rather than being the end for the Tories, it could be the beginning of the end for Labour."
Boris Johnson has ‘lost faith in first past the post’ – Times (£)
Theresa May orders that the national network of police traffic cameras be regulated – Telegraph
Philip Hammond said that better-off people who are entitled to free bus travel could “make a contribution” by choosing to pay fares instead – Telegraph
Coalition encouraged to introduce national road charging – FT
Liberal Democrats: We don't want Cameron at our party conference
"senior LibDem sources have told The Herald that grassroots members, deeply uncomfortable at the introduction of policies like the VAT hike, would fume at seeing the Tory leader addressing Liberal Democrats. “It would be madness and could backfire quite badly. LibDems are proud of their distinct identity. They don’t want to feel as though they are being swallowed up by the Conservatives,” they said." – The Herald
Why Scots Tories should split from UK party – The Herald leads on ConservativeHome's recommendations
Scots Tories need radical approach to detoxify brand – Herald leader
Cameron ready to endorse Church of England's first gay bishop – Daily Mail
David Laws is facing a police inquiry into his finances – Telegraph
Hail the heroic parents who let their children cycle to school – Boris Johnson in The Telegraph
Incompetent doctors are sacked, so why on earth can't we fire useless teachers? – Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail
Julian Glover: Labour risks becoming the angry brigade
"The left is beginning to smell like sour yoghurt, a long moan against the world as it is and how the last government left it. The problem is not that Labour is heading towards interesting ideological isolation. The varied shades from pale pink to light magenta in which its serious candidates are painting themselves are not socialism. The problem is that the party is being bundled up in all sorts of shallow resentments and is assuming that the public will share this negativity." – Julian Glover in The Guardian
Should Sky become more like Fox News? – Stephen Glover in The Independent
And finally… Berlusconi entertained by pole dancers
"Controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was treated to an exotic display of pole dancing during an overseas visit to Brazil, it was claimed today. Energetic Berlusconi, 73, who has been involved in a series of sleazy scandals, was said to have been treated to the show in a hotel room while on an official trip to Brazil." – The Sun
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