2.45pm Matthew Elliott on CentreRight: Dragons slam wasteful government grants to business
12.15pm ToryDiary: The price of governing with the Liberal Democrats
Dalibor Rohac on Platform: The last thing the European economies need today is an EU-wide tax
"Q. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? A. Gordon Brown."
– Brandon Lewis MP answers ConservativeHome's Twenty Questions
Voters deliver contradictory verdict on Coalition's first 100 days
- 40% approve of Coalition's record; 39% disapprove.
- 55% think Cameron is performing well; 44% say the same of Nick Clegg.
- 59% say the LibDems sold their principles in joining the Coalition BUT 60% are glad that they did.
- 47% expect Coalition to last up to two years; 38% think longer.
Read more in The Sun.
Clegg causes concern on Right with remarks on Trident and immigration
"Nick Clegg threw the Government's nuclear weapons policy into confusion yesterday on his FIRST day leading the country – by saying he is against replacing Trident. The Deputy PM – the "new kid" at the helm while David Cameron is on holiday – claimed there is no need for the new weapons. And he insisted it is unfair to splurge £20billion on the system at a time of massive public spending cuts." – The Sun
"Nick Clegg exacerbated coalition tensions over Trident as he said the "huge, huge" £20bn cost of renewing the nuclear weapons system was hard to justify when benefits were being cut. He spoke out as he delivered a passionate defence of the Government's record on the eve of its 100th day in office, arguing it was proving to be "radical and reforming"." – Independent
While the remarks on Trident from Clegg were ill-judged the Daily Mail is making a mountain out of a molehill on his immigration remarks: "Nick Clegg reopened a Coalition rift yesterday by dismissing flagship plans to bring in a cap on immigration."
Asylum seekers to have their legal aid axed as Ministry of Justice seeks cuts – Daily Mail
Nick Clegg: The international response to the floods in Pakistan has been "absolutely pitiful"
"The international response to the devastating floods in Pakistan has been "absolutely pitiful", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says. He said the UK was "doing a lot", but donations may still be less than hoped for because the public was "struggling to understand" the scale of the crisis. Mr Clegg spoke as the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said the total raised by Britons was now £15m. At least 1,600 people are known to have died in the monsoon floods. The Pakistani government says up to 20 million people have been affected and some six million are estimated to need urgent food aid. Aid agencies say survivors, especially children, were also at risk from diseases such as cholera." – BBC
The Sun Says: "Pakistan has a bad reputation for corruption and facing both ways on terrorists. But that is NOT the fault of that country's starving women, children and elderly. They deserve our sympathy – and our help."
> GIVE VIA THIS LINK.
Coalition to ban wheel clamping on private land
"Lynne Featherstone, the Home Office minister, will announce plans to curb the activities of clampers in England and Wales. Ms Featherstone will say the rules should be brought into line with those in Scotland, where clamping on private land was banned after a judge said it amounted to 'extortion' and 'theft'." – Telegraph
IDS and George Osborne close to agreement on outline of welfare deal
"The work and pensions secretary is determined to overhaul the current benefits system to end the poverty trap and make part-time work pay, ideally through a single working benefit that he believes will release significant long-term savings… The alleged negative approach by the Treasury has triggered angry exchanges between Mr Duncan Smith and George Osborne, chancellor. One Whitehall figure described it as a “blazing, shouting, grade-A row”. In an exchange of letters, Mr Osborne’s team agreed that Mr Duncan Smith could publish a policy paper on his reforms, as long as the final plan cost not more than £2.5bn-£3bn and identified £10bn of net savings, according to people familiar with the negotiations." – FT (£)
> This story was broken by Iain Martin's blog last Friday evening.
Rachel Sylvester explores tensions between David Cameron and Boris Johnson
"The Cameroons fear that Mr Johnson is unreliable, lazy and disloyal. “Boris is Boris” is the official line from Tory HQ, an echo of Mr Blair’s line “John is John” about Mr Prescott. “David is quite amused by some of Boris’s lesser antics,” says an aide, although the Prime Minister is certainly not impressed by his string of affairs. Privately, though, the Cameroons are angry about the Mayor’s manoeuvrings. “Boris doesn’t always behave very well,” says one senior figure. “He and Ken Livingstone are two peas from the same pod; they are both maverick anti-politicians, rebels within their own parties.”" – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)
Tony Blair's memoirs to provide largest ever donation for Royal British Legion – Guardian
"Mr Blair’s motive is to recognise “the courage and sacrifice” of the Armed Forces. He is not renouncing his actions, but acknowledges their consequences. He has long been damned by his critics for making so much money since leaving office.Would it not be churlish to also damn him for now giving so much of it away to such a worthy cause?" – Times leader (£)
Tony Blair has made millions of pounds since resigning as prime minister but the exact figure is shrouded behind a complex web of business interests – Telegraph
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore calls for decriminalisation of drugs – Telegraph
"“The Government’s approach of just prohibiting illegal drugs and preventing supplies coming into the country has not worked and has unintended consequences,” he told The Times (£). “As a doctor I see patients coming in with all the complications of injecting drugs with dirty needles — such as infections like Hepatitis C — and other problems from taking drugs that are impure and contaminated,” he added. “Then there are the criminal problems around the drug pushers and violent crime. If we review the evidence around what really works, there is an opportunity to cut down on the healthcare costs and the criminal costs of this massive problem to society.”"
If the voters are to be persuaded by Labour’s case, the best way to do that is to help the Government achieve the social-democratic aims that it pretends to espouse – John Rentoul in The Independent
Demos: Employers should receive Government money to take on interns from disadvantaged backgrounds – Telegraph
And finally… Cameron enjoys organic single malt
Indeed, when Mark Reynier, the boss of the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay sent him a couple of bottles of his organic single malt to celebrate his election, the new Prime Minister — who prides himself on his knowledge of whiskies — took the trouble to send him a handwritten tasting note. He described the Bruichladdich Organic as a “real treat,” adding that it was, in his view, a “wonderful single malt”." – Telegraph
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