Russell King, a teacher on Wandsworth councillor on the Local government blog: The LGA is wrong to resist school choice
Gazette: Jonathan Isaby marries Claudia
Pope leaves UK after cheerful send-off from David Cameron – Guardian
Francis Maude responds to Panorama investigation showing that 9,000 in public sector earn more than Cameron
"Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister who is in charge of driving down the public sector pay bill, tells Panorama that he is determined to end the culture that has led to such high salaries: the need to match private sector pay. "You don't need to pay stupendous amounts to get good people," Maude said. "You can square the circle of having really good people not on telephone number salaries and massive built-in bonuses. That public service ethos is very important. People will come and work in a public sector for salaries that aren't competitive in a private sector sense."" – Reported in The Guardian
"The NHS employs more than 26,000 people who earn above £100,000 a year, including ten GPs who rake in more than £300,000 a year. There are also 385 teachers, 196 police officers, 832 defence staff and 2,013 people in the judiciary who get paid more than £100,000 a year." – Metro
CCHQ welcomes Lord Ashcroft's review of Conservative General Election performance
ConservativeHome published a summary of Lord Ashcroft's post-mortem of the Tory election campaign yesterday. A Tory spokesman's reaction to the report is quoted in this morning's Times (£): “Michael helped to fight a great campaign and we’re all extremely grateful for his tireless work as deputy chairman. This book is part of the ‘lessons learnt’ exercise and we should welcome it. He has made a very significant contribution to the success of the Conservative Party and we thank him for his work and dedication.”
Report in The Daily Mail.
Clegg rules out electoral pact with Tories
The Guardian previews Mr Clegg's message of reassurance to the LibDem faithful in Liverpool: "The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are, and always will be, separate parties with distinct histories and different futures. But for this parliament we work together to fix the problems we face and put the country on a better path. That is the right government for now."
A Guardian fringe event discussed the likelihood of LibLab co-operation in future.
> On ToryDiary yesterday, ConHome raised the possibility of a LibLab coalition in Scotland after next May's Holyrood elections
Clegg promises crackdown on tax dodgers
The BBC previews a key extract from Mr Clegg's address to LibDem Conference: "People who avoid and evade paying their taxes will no longer get away with it either. We all read the headlines about benefit fraud. We all agree it's wrong when people help themselves to benefits they shouldn't get. But when the richest people in the country dodge their tax bill that is just as bad. Both come down to stealing money from your neighbours. We will be tough on welfare cheats. But unlike Labour, we'll be tough on tax cheats too."
"The government will launch an assault on tax evasion to bring £7 billion into the Exchequers coffers, Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander has announced. In the first ministerial announcement at a Lib Dem conference, Mr Alexander revealed that he and Tory Chancellor George Osborne had agreed a £900 million fund to tackle tax avoidance." – Scotsman
Clegg ready to give votes to prisoners
"Prison inmates are likely to win the right to vote in a decision that will inflame tensions within the coalition Government, The Times can reveal. Nick Clegg’s officials said last night that the blanket ban on Britain’s 88,000 prisoners taking part in elections cannot continue. The Deputy Prime Minister took responsibility for the issue from Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, in July." – Times (£)
Evan Harris warns Clegg that most Liberal Democrats are anti-Tory
"The majority of the members and activists in the party, in rural and urban areas, in the north and the south, are and remain anti-Conservative in their political outlook and philosophy. The party respects and admires Nick but he does not have a blank cheque." – Evan Harris in The Guardian
Spending cuts, not deal with Tories, caused LibDem support to dwindle
"John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said: "Although the Lib Dems did lose ground after entering the Coalition, their problems really set in after the June Budget, which seems to have done them a lot of harm. Evidently there was a group of Lib Dem supporters who were willing to stomach a coalition with the Tories, but could not stomach 'Tory cuts' "." – Independent
Mary Ann Sieghart: This Coalition is going to last for five years
"If what the Government is doing is so unpopular that the smaller party can't bear it, the chances are that the Lib Dems will be doing very badly in the polls. Why precipitate another election, in that case, only to lose half your seats? Staying the course gives both parties in the Coalition the best chance to wait for the economy – and their popularity – to pick up. And for the Lib Dems, it gives them the political credibility of five years at the heart of government." – Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent
Clegg once described Cameron as a "fake and a con" but it is the LibDem leader who is the fake – Andrew Pierce in the Daily Mail
> Tim Montgomerie yesterday: "So, other than his enthusiasm for all things EU… his support for a softer prisons policy… his opposition to reform of the Human Rights Act… his relaxed approach to immigration controls… his electoral reform agenda… his opposition to Cameron's marriage policy… his position on nuclear power… his opposition to full Trident renewal… his support for the 50p tax on entrepreneurs… his willingness to subcontract the UK right of self-defence policy to the UN… opposition to grammar schools… belief in radical action on climate change… and his defence of the BBC… we can all agree Clegg is great!"
Good Samaritans who break rules to help save lives could soon be saved from legal action – The Sun
Gordon Brown: Education is key to fighting global poverty
"I have taken a new role with the Global Campaign for Education because I am angrier than ever about the injustice and waste in denying education. As well as boosting jobs and gross domestic product, the evidence is clear that education combats malnutrition, maternal and infant mortality and HIV/Aids. This month Unesco estimated that if every child could read, 171m children could be lifted out of poverty. Put simply, going to school is the best anti-poverty, anti-famine, anti-disease and anti-unemployment programme." – Gordon Brown in the FT (£)
Deadbeat dad, on incapacity benefit for bad back, has fathered ten different children with eight different mothers, costing taxpayer £2m – Express
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