7.30pm WATCH: Grant Shapps and Cllr Kate Salinger express their anger at Tory-run Barnet Council's inflation-busting increase in councillor allowances

6.15pm ToryDiary: How voting intentions have changed during "Cameron's honeymoon"

5.00pm Parliament: Osborne's OBR pledge proves the new power of Select Committees

Picture 114.45pm WATCH: Lord Mandelson denies that Tony Blair is "livid" about his memoirs – not least because he hasn't read them yet

3pm ToryDiary: David Cameron tells defeated general election candidates why he believes the Conservatives failed to win an overall majority

2.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight has been Twitter-wronged: I do NOT believe in a snap election to dump the Liberal Democrats

2.15pm Lee Rotherham on CentreRight is alarmed at the number of European flags which the Foreign Office has been buying up

Picture 1012.45pm WATCH: Garry Newlove's widow, Helen, takes her seat in the Lords as Conservative peer

12.15pm Parliament: MPs vote to extend 28-day detention for terrorist suspects for another six months

11.45am Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: Cap and trade's dismal record

11.30am Mark Wallace on CentreRight: 6 people who were wrong on the euro 10 years ago are still wrong

11.15am ToryDiary: Vince Cable floats a dubious case for a graduate tax

Picture 9ToryDiary: Cameron's attack on Facebook was part of his nudge strategy

Also in ToryDiary: The story behind the Government's decision to axe the Preventing Violent Extremism fund

Howard Flight on Platform: In all spheres of life we need sticks as well as carrots

Parliament: Votes from Tory MEPs were "decisive" in speedy expansion of the EU's foreign service

Chris White MP in Parliament: How I want to help government stimulate social enterprises and charities

LeftWatch: What do the Labour leadership candidates actually stand for?

Local Government: Greenwich Council cuts funding for voluntary sector by 50%

WATCH: David Miliband criticises Gordon Brown for the 10p tax "fiasco" and for failing to renew Labour's "political offer" in an interview with the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg

Government preparing to introduce a graduate tax

Picture 7 "The government is poised to sweep away the era of tuition fees by announcing a graduate tax that students would pay when they finished their degrees. In his first major speech on universities, the skills secretary, Vince Cable, will outline plans for a new higher rate of tax payable by graduates. Under the system, the government would pay fees directly to the universities instead of lending money to students to cover the cost." – The Guardian

A graduate tax is the wrong answer Times (£) editorial

Two-week cancer guarantee could be scrapped

"A guarantee that all NHS patients thought to have cancer can see a specialist within two weeks could be abandoned, David Cameron has signalled. The Prime Minister indicated that the two-week goal might eventually be dropped if doctors and health officials think it is not improving cancer care. The disclosure came after a Commons attack on the Coalition’s health policy that left ministers facing charges of being confused and sending mixed messages on the guarantee." – Daily Telegraph

"An hour after Cameron's comments in the Commons, the health minister Simon Burns said the cancer target would remain. "The decision on targets was taken on which ones were not clinically justified," he told Radio 4. "The cancer one was clinically justified and is being kept." But a few hours later the prime minister's spokesman declined to say whether the cancer guarantee would be maintained." – The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Harman and Cameron clash about the health service at PMQs

William Hague launches diplomatic offensive to boost trade

William Hague happy 2 "William Hague called on Thursday for a diplomatic offensive to swell trade and investment and strengthen the country's tentative economic recovery… "We will not prosper without a sustained economic recovery, access to new markets and new sources of inward investment," Hague said in excerpts of a speech he will give in Tokyo on Thursday" – Reuters

"The foreign secretary has told his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi he wants to build a close working relationship between the two countries." – BBC

"Mr Hague has said Britain must be more adept in EU politics. If Mr Hague is serious about Britain becoming a more significant player in Europe, a coordinated EU-China policy would be a good place to start." – Independent editorial

> WATCH: William Hague visits Beijing to strengthen Britain's relationship with China

…as Cameron fails to recruit trade minister

"Attempts by David Cameron, the prime minister, to recruit a high-profile trade minister have been thwarted after a succession of business leaders turned down the job, leaving the post vacant two months after the Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance entered Downing Street… He tried to persuade Mervyn Davies, former Standard Chartered chairman, to continue in the trade post he held under the previous government but the peer said he wanted to return to the private sector. Mr Cameron also offered the post to Sir John Rose, chief executive of Rolls-Royce." – FT (£)

Francis Maude tackles civil service payoffs

"Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, attempted to force the hand of civil service unions on Wednesday as he laid emergency legislation to slash their redundancy terms while offering negotiations on a new severance deal." – FT (£)

Grant Shapps criticises Barnet Council's pay rises

Grant Shapps "Barnet Council is boosting its leader's income from £41,893 to
£47,027 and that of executive members by 38%. It comes as public sector
workers endure a two-year pay freeze while national cabinet members
took a 5% cut. Local Government Minister Grant Shapps urged the council
to think again." – BBC

> Yesterday in Local Government: Grant Shapps hits out at councillors in Tory-controlled Barnet and Labour-run Newham for giving themselves bumper pay rises

MPs’ personal details leaked on internal expenses website

"Details of Cabinet ministers’ bank accounts, private addresses, telephone numbers and car registrations were leaked accidentally yesterday by the new body that handles MPs’ expenses… The error came to light as David Cameron called on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to “get a grip” and David Davies, a Tory backbencher, drew loud cheers in the Commons after accusing it of undermining his work." – The Times (£)

George Osborne to face first grilling by Treasury Select Committee todayReuters

Cameron braced for attack as Ashcroft sharpens his penThe Independent

Stephen Pollard: It's a political myth that the Conservatives are tough on law and order

"With the exception of Michael Howard at the finale, the Thatcher and Major governments were a penal liberal's dream; and the subsequent Labour years were built on the idea that prison does indeed work – even if policy fell well short of what was necessary." – Stephen Pollard in the Daily Telegraph

Scottish Tories at loggerheads with Kenneth Clarke over prison reformsDaily Telegraph

Government may reverse Labour's ban on tobacco displays in shops

Cigarette display "Labour's
legislation to ban cigarette vending machines from pubs and remove
tobacco displays from shops and supermarkets could be scrapped by the
coalition government. The law was passed in the last few months of the
previous administration, but the regulations that would have
implemented the changes have been blocked after a campaign from
cigarette manufacturers who threatened to seek a judicial review."  The Guardian

Joblessness falls thanks to rise in part-time work

"Despite a fall in the overall figures for joblessness, more than three-quarters of a million Britons have been out of work for more than a year, according to the latest official figures – and such jobs as are being generated are increasingly part-time and temporary. Some 1.6 million people are now in part-time employment – a record – because they cannot secure a conventional full-time job." – The Independent

> WATCH: Chris Grayling welcomes the latest reduction in unemployment

Lib Dem MPs to air 'coalition concerns' at meeting with Clegg

"Nick Clegg is to host a meeting of all Lib Dem MPs later amid concerns among some in the party about decisions taken by the coalition government. The deputy prime minister will address MPs, peers and Lib Dem councillors at an "away day" in central London." – BBC

Harriet Harman softens her quota plans for women in the shadow cabinet

"Harriet Harman is to temper plans for Labour's next shadow cabinet to be 50% female after colleagues warned the acting leader of the party against bringing in an immediate quota." – The Guardian

Blair ‘livid’ about Mandelson book revelationsThe Times (£)

Are the Telegraph's political scoops good journalism – or just a case of friends in high places? – Ian Burrell in The Independent

General Sir David Richards is new Chief of Defence Staff Daily Mail


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19 comments for: Weblinks for Thursday 15th July 2010

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