- Unite (which is backing Ed Miliband for the Labour leadership) announces that its workers at British airports have voted for a strike…
- …which David Cameron says would do "nothing but harm"
5pm WATCH: David Cameron pays tribute to David Beckham
1.15pm WATCH: David Willetts on UK graduate market job prospects
- The battle for Exeter
- The alternative to speed cameras
- New £140,000 job for officer paid £400,000 Golden Goodbye by Northumberland
“I’m a Conservative because… I believe in freedom with responsibility. I believe in low tax free market economics tempered by sensible and thrifty government. I believe in justice and the rule of law. I believe in walking softly and carrying a big stick. I believe in trusting families and communities. I believe in choice, aspiration and opportunity for all. I believe in simplicity and common sense in government. I believe in democracy. And I believe that Britain is and has been a force for good in the world." – Double world record holder Dan Byles MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010
Coalition attacks ‘Labour legacy of waste’
"Two senior ministers from opposite sides of the coalition have teamed up to denounce what they called “Labour’s legacy of waste”. Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat energy secretary, and Sayeeda Warsi, Conservative minister without portfolio, appeared at the first joint coalition press conference on political matters on Wednesday. They accused the Labour leadership hopefuls of being “in denial” on the deficit and demanded that the four candidates who were in cabinet hand back the £20,000 each they received in severance pay for losing their jobs as ministers." – FT (£)
Warsi accuses Labour of "criminal" mishandling of the public finances – Reuters
Eric Pickles published all DCLG spending over £500 undertaken during Labour's last year in office
"Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says it is part of "greater openness in spending" aimed at cutting waste… Mr Pickles said it would allow taxpayers to "go through the books and hold ministers to account… This department, like the rest of Whitehall, needs to look at where every penny is going and getting this data out in the open will help that process." – BBC
> Eric Pickles used his first ConHome column last month to announce this policy: Publishing all spending over £500 online is the right thing for coucils to do – so that's why my Department will be the first in Whitehall to follow suit
David Cameron: Benefit fraud will be the "first and deepest cut"
"We've got a problem with benefit fraud in this country. And it's a problem I'm determined to fix. Last year, £1.5billion of your money was stolen by benefit fraudsters. I say "stolen" because that's what we're talking about – wrongly taking money from other people, in this case hard-working taxpayers…We've got to take some hard decisions in the coming weeks as we bring down the deficit and live within our means again. But cutting benefit fraud is a no-brainer. That's why benefit fraud is the first and the deepest cut we will make." – David Cameron writing in The Sun
First Obama, now Cameron embraces 'nudge theory'
"The man who elevated "nudge" into a political catchphrase, the Chicago-based academic, Richard Thaler, says that his idea is at last getting serious attention in Downing Street, as it is in Barack Obama's White House. A "behavioural insight team" – known colloquially as the "nudge unit" – is reported to be growing in influence inside No 10. The team includes the academic David Halpern, a former adviser to Tony Blair." – The Independent
Cameron accused of hampering Pakistan flood aid effort with terror criticism
"David Cameron’s attack on Pakistan’s approach to tackling terrorism is hampering aid efforts for the flood-stricken country, a senior official claimed last night. Abdullah Hussein Haroon, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, said his country had ‘suffered’ as a result of the row in which the Prime Minister accused his country of ‘ exporting terror’." – Daily Mail
Benedict Brogan: Why isn't David Cameron ruling out the graduate tax?
"At bare minimum, no graduate should have to pay more than the cost of his degree: anything beyond that is income tax. If growth really matters to this lot, then allowing someone who has invested in a degree to enjoy any return that ensues should be a matter of instinct. The state's role should be limited to ensuring that those on low incomes who qualify academically are subsidised." – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph
Mehdi Hasan on the "chaos of Cameronism"
"Governing at a hectic pace can have dangerous consequences. Cameron may have Margaret Thatcher's radical instincts but he lacks her vision, her work ethic and her attention to detail." – Mehdi Hasan in the New Statesman
Sharp-elbowed David Cameron is not indifferent to the rest of us – Harry Phibbs in the Daily Mail
Bank of England backs Coalition cuts despite double-dip fears
"The Coalition's spending cuts have won the Bank of England's seal of approval despite increasing the chances of a double dip recession. Mervyn King, the Bank's Governor, conceded at yesterday's quarterly Inflation Report that the UK economic "outlook is weaker" in part as a result of the £113bn of spending cuts and tax rises to grapple with the £1 trillion mountain of public debt. " – Daily Telegraph
""Choppy" was the word the Governor of the Bank of England selected to describe the likely passage of the UK's economic recovery over the next two years, and it would appear to be an apt, if not particularly consoling, choice." – Independent editorial
"Mr King’s comments are discouraging but notable. The Bank is more worried about growth than about the risks of tolerating higher inflation. That is a sensible assessment, which will guide the Bank’s decisions in setting interest rates." – Times (£) editorial
Jobless lowest since crunch – The Sun
Markets plunge on fresh dip fear – City AM
Is a double-dip recession on the way? No one really knows – Michael White in The Guardian
The danger isn’t inflation, it’s lack of money – Tim Congdon in The Times (£)
Ken Clarke's enthusiasm for cuts in the justice system comes at a high price – Joshua Rozenberg in The Guardian
Playgrounds put on hold as grants take a slide – The Independent
Fox sends two more Tornado jets to Afghanistan
"The UK is to send two extra RAF Tornado jets to support soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said while visiting troops. Dr Fox insisted real progress was being made in the country, with Afghans taking the lead in more operations." – BBC
Number of people working beyond 65 soars – Daily Telegraph
Foreigners get 77% of new jobs in Britain – Daily Express
Conservative MP urges FCO intervention over death sentence for gay Iranian – The Pink Paper
Ken Livingstone: I’d bet £10,000 on me beating Boris Johnson for Mayor
"Ken Livingstone believes he has at least a 70 per cent chance of defeating Boris Johnson in London's next mayoral election. The former Mayor also made clear he is confident of beating former MP Oona King to the Labour nomination and going on to reclaim City Hall in 2012." – Yesterday's Evening Standard
Jack Straw endorses David Miliband for Labour leader – Daily Telegraph
Tony Blair bans photos at book signings – The Times (£)
"Bigot" Gillian Duffy back in the Labour fold
"The grandmother at the centre of Gordon Brown's "bigotgate" election disaster has made another foray into politics – in support of his party. Gillian Duffy, who the former Prime Minister branded a "bigoted woman" came this time not to bury Labour but to praise them. She was guest of honour at the official opening of the Rochdale constituency office of the Lancashire town's new MP Simon Danczuk – the victorious Labour candidate." – Press Association
BNP leadership contest collapses over lack of support – BBC
Nicholas Soames MP: Why the Twelfth is glorious for conservation
"Grouse shooting may be a marginal pursuit but millions enjoy the landscape and the truly remarkable habitat it sustains. Moor-owners can and should look after themselves. But we really must recognise the very positive contribution they make to the countryside, in terms of supporting our native species and creating crucial rural jobs, at little or no cost to the taxpayer. " – Nicholas Soames writing in the Daily Telegraph
And finally… Who ate all the paella?
"Now he is in government, perhaps Nick Clegg wants to cut a more substantial figure. While his waistline has a way to go before he matches his predecessor as Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, Mr Clegg did look decidedly bulkier on his family holiday in Spain than he did just three months ago, in the run-up to the election." – Daily Mail
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