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9.15pm Local Government: Labour group leader on Bury Council attacks Royals as "parasites"

Picture 37pm WATCH: After the Nato summit, David Cameron praises the agreement for Afghan forces to take control of their country's security

4pm WATCH: Nato leaders agree to pull most foreign troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014

2.45pm ToryDiary: Downing Street was right to force Lord Young's resignation

12.30pm Seats and Candidates: Paul Williams selected to stand in Ynys Môn at the Welsh Assembly election

10.45am Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Is Bob Crow a closet toff?

Michael Gove serious 2010ToryDiary: Michael Gove to crack down on poor grammar and spelling

Richard Harrington MP on Platform: We must do all we can to encourage large-scale investment in the British film industry

Parliament: Chris White's Private Member's Bill promoting social enterprise passes its first Commons hurdle

Local Government:

LeftWatch: Ed Miliband has his first frontbench resignation yesterday (although the media have been strangely reticent to report it)

International: Tory allies in Polish Law and Justice Party set for split

WATCH: Nato leaders due to hold historic meeting with Russian President today

Lord Young resigns after outcry at ill-judged 'never had it so good' claim in yesterday's Telegraph…

Lord Young of Graffham "David Cameron's enterprise adviser resigned yesterday after he undermined the Government's attempts to show a caring face by saying that most Britons had "never had it so good". Lord Young of Graffham, a 78-year-old former Cabinet minister who served under Margaret Thatcher, bowed to Labour demands for him to quit for saying that many people had gained from low interest and mortgage rates in what he labelled a "so-called recession". – The Independent

The full text of Lord Young's resignation letter is in The Guardian

…yet the Telegraph does not think his comments were grounds for resignation

"Lord Young of Graffham should have thought twice before declaring that most Britons had “never had it so good” during the recession. But his comment – delivered in the context of a controversial but perceptive analysis of the British economy – did not require the self-abasing “profound apology” he issued yesterday morning. And it was certainly not grounds for his resignation a few hours later as an adviser to the Prime Minister. Voluntary or otherwise, Lord Young’s departure sends the message that David Cameron would rather sacrifice a ferociously effective cost-cutter than offend a section of public opinion or Liberal Democrat ministers." – Daily Telegraph editorial 

Other reaction to Lord Young

  • "Sad end to distinguished career and all that, but he had to go" – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)
  • "Lord Young might have been unduly accentuating the positive, but he was not wrong when he pointed out that those with mortgages have benefited considerably from low interest rates." – The Independent
  • "While Lord Young's departure was inevitable, it is sad that foolish talk has scuppered someone who usually spoke good sense." – The Sun
  • "However the furore over Lord Young’s remarks, and Downing Street’s revealing reaction to them, should not distract from the fact that — in the midst of his unfortunate generalisations — some truths were also spoken." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron to Lord Young: "I know thee not, old man…"

David Cameron, Liam Fox and William Hague are at the Nato summit in Lisbon discussing Afghan exit strategy

Liam Fox on Politics Show "Nato leaders will today present a communiqué stating that there will be a phased handover of responsibility for security to Afghan forces… Liam Fox, the British Defence Secretary, acknowledged that the Afghan government would still require international "help and advice" after 2015, and it was too soon to say what proportion of the current 10,000-strong British force would be needed after that date. He said: "If you look at what is happening in Iraq there are still high levels of violence there, we are not going to suddenly transition into a safe, secure and peaceful Afghanistan overnight." – The Independent

54 working peers were appointed yesterday…

"The coalition government strengthened its grip on the House of Lords yesterday by appointing 43 new working peers, including Howard Flight, a pinstriped Tory MP sacked in 2005, for saying the Tories planned big spending cuts and Robert Edmiston, one of the Conservative party's biggest donors. Edmiston is among a group of new Cameron appointees who have handed the Tories a total of £4.6m over the years. The most eye-catching ennoblement, however, was that of the Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, creator of ITV1's hit period drama Downton Abbey." – The Guardian

…but Ed Miliband blocked peerages for key Labour donors

Ed Miliband on Marr "Ed Miliband has been warned he is taking a multimillion-pound gamble with Labour’s finances after blocking peerages for three donors who have helped to keep the party afloat… But he decided against handing seats in the House of Lords to Nigel Doughty and Sir Ronald Cohen — who have given more than £6 million to the party since 2005 — as well as Jon Mendelsohn, Labour’s fundraising chief." – The Times (£)

Cash and honours are as close as everThe Independent

PM accused of packing Lords with "cronies"FT (£)

> Yesterday's Gazette: Full list of new peers published

Companies could take ministers to court over immigration shake-up

Theresa May Home Secretary "Next week the Home Secretary, Theresa May, is expected to announce the cap on the number of migrant workers who will be allowed into the UK each year… But businesses have raised concerns that a tight limit on immigration will damage their ability to recruit the skilled staff they need from overseas and undermine Britain’s economic recovery." – Daily Telegraph

Localism bill to include referendums on elected mayors

"An outbreak of direct democracy in local government, including referendums for directly elected mayors in England's big cities, will feature in a wide-ranging localism bill due to be published next week. The bill will also remove ring-fenced grants so giving councils greater freedom to spend their reduced overall government money." – The Guardian

Other Coalition news in brief

  • Maternity care 'is so stretched it risks safety' as coalition backs down on pledge to employ 3,000 new midwives – Daily Mail 
  • Coalition may bring in fees for sharing its vital statistics – The Times (£)
  • Teachers need emotional as well as academic intelligence, says Gove – The Guardian
  • Ed Vaizey on net neutrality – Daily Telegraph
  • Reform of judges’ sentencing powers aims to slash prison numbers – The Times (£)
  • GPs' leader criticises Lansley's reform plans and predicts that doctors will face demonstrations by angry patients – The Guardian

Ireland paves the way for bailout

"Ireland’s government is hammering out the final details of an emergency financial programme to stabilise the economy, paving the way for the eurozone’s second national bail-out this year." – FT (£)

Cameron visits scene of Cornish floodsThe Sun

How the Home Office gave NUS £80,000Daily Telegraph

And finally… Boris in battle with cyber-squatters

Boris hi-vis jacket "Boris Johnson is battling with cyber squatters who nabbed the “backboris.com” web address. The Tory used the domain in his successful 2008 election and apparently forgot to renew for his 2012 round two fight with predecessor Ken Livingstone. Johnson has filed a complaint with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to get the site name back… The registration lapsed just a few months after the vote and is now flooded with ads for personal contact sites ." – London Daily News

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27 comments for: Weblinks for Saturday 20th November 2010

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