6.30pm WATCH: Sir Richard Dannatt slams Blair and Brown

3.30pm ToryDiary: Gove to push English Baccalaureate again tomorrow

1.15pm WATCH: The opening statements from Sky News' Labour leadership hustings

Picture 4 12.15pm LeftWatch: Only two of Labour's putative leaders know when St George's Day is

11.30am LeftWatch: Unison sets out how it intends holding Labour to ransom over the coming years

ToryDiary: Conservative members believe that of the Labour leadership hopefuls, David Miliband poses the greatest threat to the Coalition and the Conservative Party

Picture 13 Janice Small on Platform: Why Conservatives should vote ‘Yes’ to the Alternative Vote

Local Government: Will the Boris Bikes help beat the tube strike?

“I’m a Conservative because… I believe individuals and families can be trusted to make responsible decisions if government creates the right framework.” – Harriett Baldwin MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight: How trade unions were funded by the taxpayer to the tune of more than £85 million last year (and tried to keep it quiet)

WATCH: Treasury minister David Gauke says the Government has acted quickly to deal with the problem of nearly 6 million people having paid the wrong amount of tax

ConHome Competition Entries close at noon: Win a pair of tickets to see Yes, Prime Minister on stage in London!

Cameron and Clegg insist there will be no slacking in drive to reform Britain

Nick Clegg David Cameron Downing Street "David Cameron and Nick Clegg have vowed there will be no let-up in the drive by the coalition government to push through vital reforms to ensure a "better future" for Britain. Their joint article in The Sunday Telegraph will be seen as a warning to both Conservative and Liberal Democrats not to rock the boat at the start of a crucial parliamentary period during which the coalition will face "exceptional pressures"." – Sunday Telegraph

The Sunday Telegraph carries Cameron and Clegg's article in full

Cameron stands by Andy Coulson as Labour politicians make new phone-tapping allegations

"David Cameron has told friends he will stand by his chief spin doctor, Andy Coulson, over claims that he knew journalists on a national newspaper were phone-tapping while he was its editor. In a defiant response to growing Labour calls for him to resign as the Tories’ director of communications, Downing Street insiders said Mr Coulson, who has ‘totally and utterly’ denied the allegations, is ‘going nowhere’." – Mail on Sunday

Andy Coulson looking at camera "Peter Mandelson last night became the most senior political figure to become embroiled in the phone-hacking allegations that threaten to engulf David Cameron's spin-doctor, Andy Coulson. The Independent on Sunday has learnt that Lord Mandelson's mobile-phone details and an invoice for research on him were among files seized by police investigating illegal activity by News of the World reporters during the time when Mr Coulson was editor." – Independent on Sunday

"John Prescott last night demanded the Metropolitan police reopen its investigation into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal as the Observer revealed that Scotland Yard holds News International documents suggesting that he was a target when deputy prime minister." – The Observer

> ToryDiary: New York Times reopens tabloid hacking claims allegedly involving Downing Street Communications Director

> WATCH: The Met defends itself over phone hack claims

Michael Gove unveils first wave of free schools

Michael Gove 2010 "Michael Gove, the education secretary, is giving the go-ahead today for the first wave of “free schools” set up by parents and teachers that were at the centre of the Tory election manifesto. The 16 new schools are expected to open in September next year and will begin accepting their first applications over the next few weeks." – Sunday Times (£)

Tory and Labour rebels unite against AV vote

"Tomorrow, Tory backbenchers are expected to join with senior Labour figures in an attempt to derail the passage of legislation on cutting the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and the staging of a referendum on adopting the alternative vote on 5 May 2011… Gary Streeter, a Conservative minister in John Major's government, warned: "There is a lot of concern about the implications for the Conservative Party, about [whether] we would ever have an outright Conservative government again. If that is the case, we have to ask ourselves, why would we ever vote for this?" – Independent on Sunday

James Forsyth: The Cabinet Ministers who Number 10 cannot control

"There are two former Tory leaders in this Government, Hague and Iain Duncan Smith. They both have a special status and are not afraid to use it. When you add the five Liberal Democrat Secretaries of State, it means there are a large number of Cabinet Ministers whom No 10 can’t control in the way Tony Blair used to." – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday

Fraser Nelson on what makes William Hague tick these days

WIlliam Hague at conference 2009 "To understand our Foreign Secretary, you need to know that there have
been two versions: Hague I and Hague II… When Hague II came back to
work for David Cameron, it was with a grudging sense of duty to his
party. Not burning ambition. In fact, many think he won't stand for
election again. He tells some MPs of his dream of buying a Montana
ranch and emigrating. It's a weird ambition. But that's the thing about
Hague. You can't tell at what point he might think to himself: "Screw
it – I'm off." They say that people who have come back from the
political dead (like Mandelson) are more dangerous because they're less
risk-averse." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

> Thursday's ToryDiaryWilliam Hague given vote of confidence by Tory members

John Rentoul: How Tories took – and continue to take – inspiration from Blair

"One strange thing about the reception of Tony Blair's memoir is that Labour people have run screaming for the hills, while Conservatives have been speed-reading it for lessons in How to Do Government… For some of David Cameron's inner circle, the book will replace Lord Gould's 'The Unfinished Revolution' as their instruction manual. Gould, who was Blair's opinion pollster, provided them with a template for how the "heir to Blair" should claim his inheritance." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

Tony Blair's autobiography is an instruction manual for David Cameron – Matthew d'Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph

Scots Tories reportedly "cast adrift" by David Cameron

Scottish Conservative logo "The Scottish Conservative Party was plunged into a fresh crisis last night after it emerged that, effectively, it has been cut loose by its parent party in London. Scotland on Sunday has learned that, since the general election, senior figures in the UK Conservative Party no longer consult or communicate with their Scottish colleagues. As a result, Scottish party leaders have been virtually shut out of all decision-making roles and they are no longer invited to top-level strategy and policy meetings." – Scotland on Sunday

Sandwell Council's deputy Tory leader defects to Labour

"The deputy leader of the Conservatives on a West Midlands council has defected to the Labour Party over cuts in education spending announced by Michael Gove, the Coalition's Education Secretary. Councillor Elaine Costigan said Mr Gove's decision to cut the nationwide budget for school building would have a serious impact on schools in Sandwell, near Birmingham." – Sunday Telegraph 

Commons set to debate and vote on British presence in Afghanistan

Liam Fox Defence Secretary "The Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, will this week face calls to set out a detailed timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan in the first major Commons vote since the war began almost nine years ago. New powers handed to backbenchers will allow MPs to debate the continued deployment of British forces, with many of the record new intake expected to express unease at the timescale for troops coming home." – Independent on Sunday

"Wounded war heroes from Afghanistan and Iraq are to be forced out of the services in a cull that the government fears will provoke accusations of betrayal. The Ministry of Defence is planning to axe 5,000 troops who are medically unfit, including the majority of those who have lost their limbs in bomb explosions and roadside ambushes." – Sunday Times (£)

Gen Sir Richard Dannatt: How Blair and Brown betrayed our troops

"The former head of the Army accuses Tony Blair and Gordon Brown of badly letting down the Armed Forces during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a damning verdict, General Sir Richard Dannatt accuses Mr Brown of being a “malign” influence by failing to honour guarantees on defence spending during his time at the Treasury, and charges Mr Blair with lacking “moral courage” for failing to overrule his chancellor." – Sunday Telegraph

Nick Robinson previews the impending spending cuts

ROBINSON NICK BIG BEN "It’s the debate the country never had: the one we should have had at the Election. It will soon be time to make the choices about spending cuts that could have been made before polling day but which our political leaders feared to discuss openly. It is now clearer than ever that the party leaders went through weeks of campaigning and a historic series of televised debates without spelling out the ‘tough choices’ about spending cuts they’re so fond of talking about. Instead, they chose a narrow strip of territory to fight the same battle again and again." – BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson in the Mail on Sunday

"Supporters of smaller government need to stop being caricatured as mean-spirited scrooges who revel in increasing the suffering of the unfortunate. The truth is that the big government, welfare dependency culture that has been allowed to develop in Britain has ghettoised the poor and failed to improve social mobility. The state doesn’t engender a sense of community, it displaces it." – Mark Littlewood in the Sunday Times (£)

Danny Alexander challenges Labour over spendingIndependent on Sunday

Maude demands value for money with £800m off suppliers’ bills

MAUDE FRANCIS 2 "The government has squeezed savings worth an estimated £800m from its biggest IT and outsourcing suppliers in a summer cost-cutting drive that could spark a series of stock market profit warnings. The 19 companies, including G4S, Capita, Serco and BT, will this week begin signing agreements that will shrink the scope of some of their public sector work. In some cases, the negotiations with Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, have resulted in firms agreeing to take a short-term hit on profits and operating margins." – Sunday Times (£)

Tories "lose nerve on bank bonuses"

"George Osborne is considering scrapping plans that would have forced banks to reveal the giant pay deals handed to star traders." – Sunday Times (£)

The Observer endorses David Miliband

"The Labour party would be wise to choose a leader who has the intellectual agility and political experience to meet that threat. The combined skills of the Miliband brothers, working in concert, will be essential. For the top job, David Miliband is the better candidate" – Observer editorial

Unison boss sets out price for backing David Miliband if he becomes Labour leaderThe Observer

Four men arrested after shoes and eggs are thrown at Tony Blair at book signingSunday Telegraph

> WATCH: The show goes for Blair after egg-hurling protesters turn out for him in Dublin

Ex-UKIP MEP in expenses inquirySunday Times (£)

And finally… MPs will get a shock when they see the bar prices on returning to Westminster tomorrow

David Cameron drinking beer "MPs will be dragged into the real world this week – when their cheap food and drink is finally axed. The cost of a pint in Commons bars will rocket by up to 70p from tomorrow as David Cameron calls time on taxpayer-funded subsidies. Britain's 650 MPs will also have to dig deeper for everything from a cuppa and KitKat to a lavish lunch in one of Parliament's many restaurants… The cost of a pint of lager is up from £2.20 to £2.90." – News of the World


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

77 comments for: Weblinks for Sunday 5th September 2010

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.