10.15am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Newsnight's economics editor wants programmes cut and assets sold to protect BBC staff pensions
Conservatives solid at 40% in latest Sunday Times/ YouGov poll but net dis-satisfaction with Coalition continues to grow
More at YouGov.
Strains in the Coalition are examined in the Independent on Sunday
The Observer: Clarke will send drug addicts and mentally ill for treatment, not to prison
"Thousands of criminals with serious mental illnesses or drug addictions will no longer be sent to prison but will instead be offered "voluntary" treatment in hospital, under controversial proposals to be unveiled tomorrow. The Ministry of Justice will publish details of plans to divert offenders from jail to secure NHS units, but will admit that they will be free to walk away. Officials define "secure" as having a grip on the individual, rather than locking them up." – Observer
David Cameron is accused of vanity over official photographer
"David Cameron’s decision to put his personal photographer on the public payroll is a terrible error of judgment. First of all, a £35,000 annual salary, paid for by taxpayers, cannot be justified at a time of massive spending cuts. Secondly, he could get the job done free by any national newspaper photographer who would be happy to tag along to any event, public or private, to take snaps. Thirdly, vanity is unattractive and suggests that the Prime Minister is more concerned with style over substance, an accusation he has, until now, worked hard to disprove. Finally, and most damningly, this move smacks of an alarming level of control-freakery." – Julia Hartley-Brewer in The Sunday Express
In the Mail on Sunday, James Forsyth argues that the episode has as much potential to damage David Cameron as the time his chauffeur followed him on his bike, carrying his shoes and briefcase.
> On Friday on CentreRight, Colleen Graffy was "shocked" that Number 10 Downing Street hasn't had an official photographer before now.
In The Sunday Times (£), Martin Ivens argues that Cameron might have avoided the "mistake" if he had a powerful chief of staff: "A powerful colleague should have told Cameron he was making a mistake. As I’ve written before, there is a hole at the heart of No 10. Cameron needs a strong chief of staff in the mould of Charles and Jonathan Powell, the brothers who played that role for Thatcher and Blair."
> ToryDiary has previously identified Four key weaknesses in Cameron's office
Harriet Harman questions David Cameron's judgement after his communications director Andy Coulson was interviewed by police – BBC
Labour complain at Coalition cuts to Low Carbon High Growth Fund ahead of China visit – Observer
"David Cameron is expected to raise China’s human rights record in Tibet when he travels to Beijing this week. The prime minister, who will be accompanied by George Osborne and three other cabinet ministers on Britain’s biggest trade mission to the country in 200 years, is preparing to express concern about abuses in the region when he meets Hu Jintao, the Chinese president. The governance of Tibet is a sensitive issue in China and any intervention could raise tensions." – The Sunday Times (£)
Government cuts will put legal action out of reach of the poor – Nick Cohen in The Observer
Is Nick Clegg simply a Europhile Tory?
"I am reliably informed by his former friends in Brussels that Nick Clegg once really wanted to join the Conservative party, but that his passionately pro-European views posed difficulties at a time when the eurosceptics in the Tory party – always referred to as "euroseptics" by Sir Edward Heath – were predominant, and making life difficult for John Major and his 1990‑97 premiership." – William Keegan in The Observer
Nick Clegg probably won't realise that powers need to be repatriated from the EU until after he has left office – Alasdair Palmer in The Sunday Telegraph
Peter Hitchens' verdict on Cameron's acceptance of votes for prisoners
"[Cameron] has ‘I give in’ written on his heart (see how long his tough line on immigration lasted). I advise all news papers to keep the headline ‘Cameron backs down on . . .’ set permanently in large type. We are going to need it a lot." – Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday
Electoral reform is dead – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday
MPs receive free first-class passes from rail company…then praise firm in Commons without declaring an interest – Mail on Sunday
The West is turning against big government – but what comes next? – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph