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7.45pm WATCH: Missiles thrown at Bradford demo

6.15pm ToryDiary: Jeremy Hunt – the BBC "has to live on the same planet as everyone else".

Screen shot 2010-08-28 at 18.21.24 3.00pm WATCH:

2.15pm ToryDiary: First photos of Florence Cameron released

2pm Gazette: Nick Hurd MP marries Lady Clare Kerr

Noon WATCH: A week after Australia's general election, ABC News reports on the ongoing negotiations between political leaders and the Independent MPs holding the balance of power

10.45am ThinkTankCentral: Civitas casts doubt on the benefits of replacing prison sentences with community punishments

9.45am LISTEN: Andrew Mitchell on Today this morning discussed whether the UK's international aid effort strikes the right balance between prevention of crises and the alleviation of their effects

Michael Gove 2010ToryDiary: Michael Gove, banding, school admissions – and selection by ability

Francis Davis on Platform: The Big Society should be the means by which people reclaim duties and rights stolen from them by overwhelming bureaucracies

LeftWatch: GMB leader in threat to withdraw funding for Labour if David Miliband is elected leader

Mark Wallace in Local Government: The word "community" should be restored to its true meaning

Q. What is your earliest political memory? A. Kenny Everett, Big Hands – 'Let's Bomb Russia' in 1983!  Mind you, at that age I was more impressed by the 'Big Hands' than the underlying political message. – Justin Tomlinson MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

WATCH: BBC Director General Mark Thompson defends the corporation in this year's MacTaggart lecture

Crispin Blunt stuns MPs by revealing he's gay as he splits from wife of 20 years

Crispin Blunt "Prisons minister Crispin Blunt has left his wife of 20 years to 'come to terms with his homosexuality'. The MP for Reigate made his announcement yesterday after what friends described as a '30-year journey' in which he has had to 'wrestle with his sexuality'. – Daily Mail

"The chairman of Reigate and Banstead Conservative constituency party, Andy Mountney, said that he believed the statement had been issued at a time chosen by the family. "We remain very supportive of him as our MP and that has been the gist of all the phone calls I have received from party members." – The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Crispin Blunt decides "to come to terms with his homosexuality", and separates from his wife

Unnamed Cabinet minister may act over false claims of gay affairs

"A Cabinet minister is ready to take legal action to halt a series of increasingly lurid but baseless rumours sweeping Westminster over his sexuality, The Daily Telegraph has learnt. The minister, who is married, has been accused of having an affair with a Whitehall official and of having a long-term relationship with a journalist. He has strongly denied the allegations." – Daily Telegraph

NHS Direct "to be replaced by cut-price health advice service"

Andrew Lansley 2010 "The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has let slip that the government is planning to scrap NHS Direct, the hugely popular medical telephone helpline. While touring Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital on Thursday, he revealed that the phone service – which this year cost £123m to run – is to be axed… "When NHS 111 is rolled out nationally, it will replace the NHS Direct 0845 4647 telephone number," the department [for health] said yesterday. People can dial 111 to get health advice and information about out-of-hours GPs, walk-in centres, emergency dentists and 24-hour chemists." – The Guardian

Britain has a "mini-boom"

"Britain is on the road to recovery after “very positive” official figures yesterday showed growth in the economy has reached a nine-year high. Experts said the 1.2 per cent boost showed the country would be better placed to protect workers’ jobs and guard against any looming double-dip recession." – Daily Express

"As others welcomed the news, Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls launched into a gloomy rant on the BBC. He said the Chancellor's cuts risk "ripping out the foundations of the house just as the hurricane is about to hit". – The Sun

SUN-SAYS "Of course, choppy waters lie ahead. But the green shoots of recovery do seem to be peeping out at last. How typical, then, that rather than celebrate Britain's improving position, the BBC trumpeted an anti-Government rant by Labour bully boy Ed Balls. It was an embarrassing own goal for Balls, who predicted doom for the economy just as figures came out showing how much it is improving. Why can't BBC Lefties put their prejudices on one side and accept that the Cameron-Clegg Coalition is proving a remarkable success?" – Sun editorial

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Wannabe shadow chancellor Ed Balls forecasts economic "hurricane"

Parents left waiting over switch for free schools

"Parent groups applying to set up schools under education reforms have had plans put on hold as the Government struggles to implement the free schools programme championed by Michael Gove… More than 700 parent groups and charities have applied to become free schools with help from the New Schools Network but it is understood that only about a dozen will be able to open in September next year." – The Times (£)

"Michael Gove, education secretary, may drop planned restrictions on religious groups and private schools taking part in the first wave of his free schools “revolution” in order to bolster the likely numbers taking part." – FT (£)

"Education Secretary Michael Gove has made a bright start by promising to liberate schools from the dead hand of local authority bureaucracy, allowing them to set their own priorities rather than ticking endless boxes. His plan to scrap AS levels and drastically reduce the number of coursework modules at A-level will also allow sixth-formers some respite from the tyranny of constant testing. But he has only just begun and there is much to do. The state education establishment will resist him every step of the way and there are even siren voices within the Coalition." – Daily Mail editorial

Nick Clegg acknowledges Liberal Democrat "anxieties"

Nick Clegg on Marr
"Nick Clegg admitted today that he faced more hostility from members of
his own party than the general public. Clegg has faced criticism from
Liberal Democrats for failing to make more progress on party policies
such as social policy and electoral reform, as he attempts to hold
together a united front in the coalition with the Conservatives. The
deputy prime minister said he had faced hostile questioning from Lib
Dems during meetings as he tours the UK, most notably in the north of
England." – The Guardian

David Cameron at risk on British bases in Afghanistan, says former commander

"Enemy spies have infiltrated British military bases in Afghanistan making them dangerous places for a prime ministerial visit, one of Britain’s former commanders has warned. Colonel Richard Kemp, a former British commander in Afghanistan, said that the Taleban had a much more advanced understanding of the movements of visiting foreign dignitaries than was often acknowledged." – The Times (£)

Taleban give details of thwarted plan to attack David CameronThe Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Being Prime Minister means taking risks

Cutting Jail Sentences "Won't Reduce Crime"

"Locking up fewer criminals will neither cut costs nor reduce
re-offending, a former Home Office criminologist has warned. Professor
Ken Pease said "community sentences as currently delivered have no
evident effect on rates of reconviction". – Sky News

David Miliband is reportedly the Labour leader David Cameron would fear

David Miliband 2010 "To the likely delight of the older Miliband, who enters the final stages as the frontrunner, the prime minister has made it clear he believes the shadow foreign secretary stands the best chance of reaching out to middle Britain. A well-placed source told the Guardian: "David Cameron said the candidate he hoped for was Ed Miliband, and the candidate he most feared was David Miliband." – The Guardian

Andrew Grice: The Labour leadership contest has come alive at long last

"At least a rather soporific contest has now come alive. The brothers' war of the comfort zones may sound esoteric but goes to the heart of the debate about Labour's future. David M's allies believe it is a turning point, expressing optimism that Labour will not risk sending a signal it is not interested in affluent voters by choosing Ed M." – Andrew Grice in The Independent

The Labour project now is the reverse of 1994 – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

The five leadership contenders answer readers' questions in today's Independent

Debts, lawsuits and internal feuding cast doubt on future of BNP

Bnp "The British National Party faces a financial and political crisis with crippling debts and an internal rebellion which could spell the end of the far-right group as a significant electoral force. The party has a deficit of at least £500,000 and could face up to 12 claims of unfair dismissal from workers who lost their jobs following the BNP's disastrous showing in the May elections." – The Independent

Bradford fears worst as protesters threaten to smash anti-Islam EDL rallyThe Times (£)

Samantha Cameron leaves hospital with daughter Florence – and David goes surfing

Picture 5 "David Cameron's wife Samantha evaded the cameras when she left hospital with her new baby. Mrs Cameron had been at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro since giving birth to daughter Florence Rose Endellion by Caesarean section on Tuesday. They left the hospital's maternity wing by a back door and were driven away in a people carrier with blacked-out windows about midday. Waiting reporters, photographers and television crews failed to get a glimpse of the Prime Minister's wife and baby as they left the hospital's Princess Alexandra Wing in a convoy of three vehicles." – Press Association

A lycra-David Cameron after surfing the Cornish waves dominates the front page of this morning's Guardian.

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13 comments for: Weblinks for Saturday 28th August 2010

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