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9.30pm Local Government: Cut London boroughs and councillors, says Rob Hayward

7.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron woos the '22

5.15pm ToryDiary: Bad news for anyone who thinks the smoking ban could be amended under the Government's Your Freedom initiative

4.30pm WATCH: William Hague visits Beijing to strengthen Britain's relationship with China

Policy Exchange new logo 4pm ThinkTankCentral: Scotland needs economic and public service reform – not more constitutional reform – says Policy Exchange

2.30pm WATCH:

1.30pm Local Government: Grant Shapps hits out at councillors in Tory-controlled Barnet and Labour-run Newham for giving themselves bumper pay rises

Picture 212.30pm ToryDiary: Harman and Cameron clash about the health service at PMQs

11.15am WATCH: Conservative MP Philip Hollobone and Respect leader Salma Yaqoob debate banning the burqa

10.45am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: In an age of soundbite TV, the BBC shouldn't be axeing Andrew Neil's Straight Talk

10am ToryDiary: Britain's true debt is valued at £3,800,000,000,000

ToryDiary: Board moves to give Party members a say in policy

Philip Booth Philip Booth on Platform: The census and government collation of national statistics only serve to perpetuate the illusion that central planning is possible 

LeftWatch:

Parliament: Karl McCartney calls for the encouragement of long-term share ownership in his maiden speech

Local Government: Public health to be devolved to councils

Martin Cassini on ThinkTankCentral: No need to raise VAT. There is a source of cuts to dent the deficit and benefit us all

WATCH: David Cameron condemns the "appalling" killing of three British troops by a rogue Afghan soldier

Ken Clarke claims that rising levels of imprisonment and falling crime are not linked…

Ken Clarke pointing "There is no link between rising levels of imprisonment and falling crime, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said. "No-one can prove cause and effect" with crime having fallen in most of the Western world in the 1990s, he said. Mr Clarke told judges at their annual Mansion House Dinner in London that the fall may have been due to economic growth and high employment levels." – BBC

We should think carefully before scrapping the mandatory life sentence for murder – Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph

…as he calls for powers to be restored to Parliament

"The executive has grown much, much more powerful. Parliament and its ability to hold the executive to account has grown ever weaker… Under the new Government, Parliament must be returned to its rightful place as the centre of public debate, the arbiter of better drafted, better thought out and less prolific legislation, and a more powerful check on the executive." – Ken Clarke quoted in the Daily Mail

Big defence projects may be axed but not Trident replacement, says Liam Fox

"Britain's military chiefs are facing a shakeup, with large projects scaled back if not cancelled, the defence secretary, Liam Fox, signalled yesterday as he spelled out the need for "more agile and more adaptable" armed forces. Though he insisted that Britain would rarely need, or could rarely afford, to act on its own to deter threats to its national security, he said he had "no intention" of changing his decision to replace the Trident nuclear ballistic missile system." – The Guardian

William Hague vows to defend embassy network

"William Hague, foreign secretary, vowed on Tuesday to defend Britain’s embassy network in the face of budget cuts, insisting that his department would in future have an “existential” mission to promote trade. Mr Hague suggested that the Foreign Office would be spared the heaviest of the spending reductions about to hit Whitehall, saying he did not want to close embassies and arguing that the diplomatic service had already suffered “big cuts”. – FT

Hague takes London grace-and-favour flatDaily Mail

Osborne secures London home for European Banking Authority…

George Osborne 2010 micced up "In a scheduled meeting on Tuesday, the Ecofin council, which comprises Chancellor George Osborne and his counterparts from each member state, decided unanimously that London was the natural place for the new European Banking Authority (EBA). Members of the European Parliament had proposed positioning watchdog, which will have powers over national supervisors, next to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Mr Osborne said that having the regulator in London was a "key UK requirement" for which he had won "support from other member states". – Daily Telegraph

…as he is praised by OECD for his economic approach

"In its annual report on the UK economy, Paris-based think-tank the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said: “The comprehensive Budget announced by the Government on 22 June was courageous and appropriate. It was an essential starting point. It signals the commitment to provide the necessary degree of fiscal consolidation over the coming years to bring public finances to a sustainable path, while still supporting the recovery.” – Daily Express

The true scale of Britain's debt

"The true scale of Britain's national indebtedness was laid bare by the Office for National Statistics yesterday: almost £4 trillion, or £4,000bn, about four times higher than previously acknowledged. It quantifies the burden that will be placed on future generations, and it is the ONS's first attempt to draw together the "off-balance-sheet" liabilities that have been accumulated by the state." – The Independent

Government sees of VAT opposition in Commons votesBBC

Fresh details about public sector pay freeze disclosedBBC

Sir Alan Budd rebukes Cameron for distorting figuresDaily Mail

Theresa May promises an end of Big Brother as terror laws, stop and search and council snooping are set to be curbed

Theresa May Home Secretary "A bonfire of draconian anti-terror laws was promised by Theresa May yesterday to reverse the 'substantial erosion of civil liberties' by Labour ministers. The Home Secretary said powers that could be scrapped or scaled back include 28- day detention without charge, control orders, stop and search and Big Brother snooping by town halls. She also pledged a sweeping review of laws that allow the arrest of people who take pictures of police officers or hold peaceful protests without permission outside Parliament." – Daily Mail

"A human rights lawyer who defended al-Qaeda and IRA fanatics has been put in charge of a Government review of anti-terror laws. Home Secretary Theresa May came under fire yesterday after revealing that Lib Dem peer Lord Macdonald will oversee the report." – The Sun

Ministers dismantle £60m programme to prevent violent extremismThe Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Theresa May launches "rapid review" of Labour's counter-terrorism powers

Russian spy Anna Chapman stripped of UK passport The Guardian

LGA claims £260 million is wasted on axing school building plansBBC

> Tim Barnes on CentreRight last night: Some schools deserve special treatment on BSF cuts

Vince Cable considers graduate tax

"Business Secretary Vince Cable is considering replacing student tuition fees with a new graduate tax, it emerged last night. Ministers are looking at controversial plans to slap a tax on students after they leave university." – The Sun

Cable initiates the age of the two-year degree The Independent

French Parliament votes to ban the burqaDaily Express

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62 comments for: Weblinks for Wednesday 14th July 2010

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