9.45pm LeftWatch: Prescott admits that Labour is "on the verge of bankruptcy" and dependent upon "the goodwill of the Co-op bank"

6pm WATCH: Last U.S combat troops leave Iraq

3.15pm BREAKING NEWS: The Daily Mail sinks the Tory Treasurer

3.15pm Alex Deane on CentreRight mocks the David Miliband Campaign's guide to hosting a party

Picture 1 3pm WATCH: Schools minister Nick Gibb congratulates students on their A-Level results and asserts his desire to work with universities to ensure the exams remain world-class 

12.45pm ToryDiary: Lord Brittan appointed David Cameron's trade adviser

12.30pm Charlie Edwards on Platform: Universities need to get their acts together so next year’s students don’t face the “great squeeze”

9.15am Local Government: Local Government managers productive just 32% of the time

ToryDiary: Clegg gives his backwoodsmen an opening to attack a Cameron appointment

Dr Eamonn Butler on Platform: Austrian Economics is back

Local Government:

Cairns Alun Q. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? A. Peter Mandelson, because of his brass neck. – Alun Cairns MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Seats and Candidates: Four more Scottish Parliament candidates in place

Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: The Indian High Commission gives Exchange and Mart a run for its money

WATCH: David Miliband claims Alan Milburn told him he's not working for the Government, but holding it to account on social mobility

Nick Clegg backs IDS on benefits cuts

Iain Duncan Smith speaking "The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that ministers are drawing up plans to make people wait longer before qualifying for winter fuel payments. Entitlement to child benefit could also be cut back as Mr Duncan Smith tries to find money to fund his plans for welfare reform… The Treasury has raised doubts about the early-years costs of Mr Duncan Smith’s plans but Mr Clegg came out in support of the Conservative minister’s agenda. He said: “We are engaged as a government in a collective effort to get this right to both make savings to the welfare bill and to create a simpler, fairer welfare system that, above all, gets people into work.” – Daily Telegraph

"Labour has condemned government plans to review universal welfare payments such as child benefit and the winter fuel allowance, which could be frozen… shadow work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper said it was a "shocking betrayal of pensioners". But Deputy PM Nick Clegg said no final decisions had been taken." – BBC

David Cameron accused of breaking his promise on cutting middle-class benefitsDaily Mail

Benefits cull bloodies IDS and Osborne – Michael White in The Guardian

Paul Goodman: The middle classes can thank Vince Cable for their double whammy

"To the Business Secretary, an ex-Labour man, fairness is a code for high tax rates up the income scale – taxes that damage incentives, penalise wealth creation and bar the middle classes from seeing light at the end of the recession's tunnel. If they're to lose their benefits now, their taxes should be cut later. And what's halting the prospect isn't the glint in the eye of Iain Duncan Smith, but the twinkle in that of Vince Cable." – Paul Goodman in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Government is to take the axe to middle class benefits. So it should.

Nick Clegg promises to overhaul social mobility

Nick Clegg confrence speech "The coalition will boost social mobility by focusing on helping children from deprived backgrounds, Nick Clegg has said. The deputy prime minister promised a "more rounded approach" than under Labour, whose investment of "huge sums" had made "little discernible impact". – BBC

"New university funding rules will reduce the share of university places taken by middle class children, Nick Clegg has signalled. The Deputy Prime Minister suggested that school-leavers from better-off homes had taken a “disproportionate” number of higher education places in recent years." – Daily Telegraph

"Bad parenting can harm a child’s potential more than poverty, Nick Clegg said yesterday as he suggested that there were better ways than benefits to help children from poor backgrounds." – The Times (£)

> WATCH: Nick Clegg announces that promoting social mobility is "at the top of the Government's social agenda"

Further takes on the Coalition's first hundred days

"This scorecard is far from perfect, but is impressive all the same. Now the heavy lifting starts. The Comprehensive Spending Review is bound to cause tension, while the Labour Party will, presumably, regroup once its interminable leadership contest is over. The past 100 days have shown us the potential of the Coalition; the next 100 will show its true mettle. " – Daily Telegraph editorial

Picture 11 "The scorecard on one area in particular – civil liberties – is better than most people realise: the scrapping of ID cards and the ContactPoint children's Database; the outlawing of finger-printing of kids at school without permission and of child detention in immigration cases. The decision to end section 44 stop-and-search powers for police – which will provide more protection for ethnic minorities and others – was similarly eye-catching." – John Kampfner in The Independent

"This has been the easiest 100 days the Coalition will ever enjoy. Ahead lies the reality of spending and benefits cuts, job losses, possible falls in house values and, at some point, the re-emergence of Labour from its leaderless navel gazing to become a proper Opposition." – Joe Murphy in the Evening Standard

"There may be one big thing wrong with the Coalition's plans to slash government spending – that it risks tipping Britain into a new recession – but there are many things right about the policy… The axing of the Film Council and the Audit Commission has put all quangos on notice that that they have no divine right to exist. This jolt to their self-esteem will do nothing but good." – Andreas Whittam Smith in The Independent

"The Obama administration might be reasserting the government's place in American life. But on this side of the Atlantic, the so-called Big Society vision of Britain's new Conservative prime minister is of a nation with minimal state interference." – Washington Post

Public to vote on money saving-ideas submitted to the Treasury

Picture 12 "Treadmills in prisons linked to the National Grid. Bounty hunters to track down benefit cheats. A cull of the Queen's swans. New ideas for reality TV shows? No: just some of the ideas put forward by the public after George Osborne asked voters to suggest how the government could save money." – The Guardian

"Ministers now want the public to vote on the ideas by ranking them between zero and five. Voting will close on August 31, with the most popular ideas forming part of the autumn spending review, when Chancellor George Osborne will trim billions from public spending." – Sky News

Simon Hughes – the Lib Dem with a licence to attack

"He has become the outspoken voice of the Liberal Democrat left – yesterday calling for the party's MPs to be given the power of veto over contentious Coalition policy proposals… But far from being a thorn in the side of the Liberal Democrat high command, senior colleagues said yesterday they were not dismayed by his candid style, or by his enthusiasm for appearing in front of television cameras. In fact, the left-winger is deliberately acting as a useful lightning conductor for discomfort among members about the difficult decisions the Coalition is taking – and may not be as far away from the leadership as some suggest." – The Independent

James Cleverly "Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes has been abused on Twitter by the Conservative deputy leader of the London Assembly. James Cleverly insulted Mr Hughes after he said backbench Lib Dem MPs should have a veto on the coalition government's policies. Mr Cleverly wrote to his 4,200 followers on the social networking site: "We may be coalition partners but it doesn't stop me thinking Simon Hughes is a d*ck." – Sky News

Nick Clegg's bid to set agenda is over-shadowed by Simon HughesThe Guardian

Coalition cracks could start to show over schools reforms, poll suggestsThe Guardian

Clegg to launch Government's green firms plans

Prime Minister Nick Clegg was outlining plans to support green
businesses as the coalition Government attempts to move on from the row
over benefit cuts. Mr Clegg, who is standing in for David Cameron
during the Prime Minister's holiday, will also take questions from the
public at a town hall event in Newcastle on Thursday. The Liberal
Democrat leader will be launching a low carbon business support
programme which the Government hopes will lead to the creation of
10,000 new jobs and 1,000 firms." – Press Association

Andrew Mitchell and Baroness Warsi in Pakistan to see how aid is helping flood victims

"International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has made clear Britain was standing by Pakistan and announced a further allocation of British support which will help fight the spread of disease… The Secretary and Minister Without Portfolio Baroness Warsi are in Pakistan to see how UK aid is helping those affected by the flooding and to assess if further help will be needed." – Associated Press of Pakistan

Ministers escape mob by helicopter on visit to flood-ravaged PakistanDaily Mail

Attorney General will step in to end speculation over David Kelly deathDaily Telegraph

A-level results out today amid squeeze on university placesBBC

Catholic adoption charity facing closure after gay adoption disputeITN

Gordon Brown for sale at $100,000-a-speech

Gordon Brown 2010 square "Gordon Brown is offering his services as a public speaker at $100,000 (£64,000) a time, it was reported last night. The former prime minister has asked a London speaking agency to put his name forward for engagements in the Middle East and Asia, according to Fraser Nelson, the editor of The Spectator." – The Independent

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Will Gordon Brown pledge a slice of his speaking fees to the victims of the Pakistan floods?

Ed Miliband 'wouldn't work in coalition with Clegg'

"Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband has said he would demand the resignation of Nick Clegg before forming a coalition with the Lib Dems. Mr Miliband told the New Statesman that the deputy prime minister's support for the government's spending cuts would make it "pretty hard" to work with him." – BBC

And finally… David Cameron reckons Samantha is expecting a boy

Samantha and David Cameron "David Cameron is convinced pregnant wife Samantha is having a boy – because the baby is kicking "like Beckham". He also revealed to The Sun that he reckons the birth is imminent, even though Sam still has weeks to go. Mr Cameron, 43 – speaking to us exclusively to mark 100 days as Premier – said: "We have had one or two moments when we thought it might have arrived already. But it is hanging on in there at the moment." – The Sun


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