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8.30pm WATCH: Prince William and Kate Middleton interviewed on the day that their engagement is announced

6.45pm ToryDiary: Owen Paterson floats lower corporation tax for Northern Ireland

6pm WATCH: Middletons "absolutely delighted" at wedding news

4.30pm Local Government: Number of Gloucestershire councillors to be cut

2.45pm ToryDiary: Something for the country (and the Cabinet) to cheer about

Screen shot 2010-11-16 at 14.48.55 1.30pm WATCH: Speaking outside Number Ten, David Cameron sends his congratulations to Prince William and Kate Middleton on their engagement

1.15pm WATCH: Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton is announced

11.45am ToryDiary: David Cameron's photographer is taken off the public payroll and returns to CCHQ

10.45am Parliament: Graham Brady hails 50 years of Coronation Street

ToryDiary: The Conservative Party is dying on its feet. But whose Party is it anyway? (Part One)

Elizabeth Truss 2010 Elizabeth Truss MP on Platform: Universities must have a role in ensuring that A-Levels remain academically rigorous

George Osborne MP writing for ConHomeUSA: Fiscal responsibility is at the heart of conservatism

Local Government: How to get more homes for less

Parliament: Damian Hinds urges David Cameron to make the case that spending money on international aid is in Britain's self-interest

LeftWatch: The blogosphere will be a poorer place without Tom Harris MP

WATCH: In the annual foreign policy speech in the City of London, David Cameron insists that Britain remains a "major player" on the world stage

Irish debt crisis threatens to spread across Europe

Irish EU flag Ireland "Fears were mounting last night that contagion from the Irish debt crisis could spread across the European Union as pressure grew on the Republic to accept an economic bailout. Finance ministers from 16 countries meet in Brussels today to discuss the perils for financial stability across the eurozone, with the odds shortening on the Irish Government accepting a rescue package." – The Times (£)

"Portugal became the latest European nation to suggest it was on the brink of seeking help from Brussels after Ireland confirmed it had begun preliminary talks over its debt problems. Greece also disclosed yesterday that its economic problems are even worse than previously thought." – Daily Telegraph

"David Cameron offered help to Ireland yesterday amid growing fears that the country’s imperilled economy will drag Britain and the rest of Europe back into recession. The Prime Minister spoke to his Dublin counterpart Brian Cowen as Downing Street made clear that the UK is prepared to contribute to a £70billion bailout. Officials admitted British taxpayers may have to underwrite debts of around £12billion if Ireland receives emergency funds from the European Union, more than previously claimed… But a Downing Street spokesman made clear that the UK is prepared to act because Ireland is vital to the success of the British economy. " – Daily Mail

EU budget talks end deadlockedPress Association

> Charles Crawford on Platform: How the EU Budget process really works

AV referendum still set for May 2011 after Labour delaying tactics fail

Ballot box_01 "A referendum on whether to ditch the first-past-the-post voting system will go ahead next May after Labour peers failed narrowly in an attempt to derail the Government's timetable. The House of Lords will today give a second reading to a Bill calling a referendum on 5 May, the same day as elections to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and English councils, on whether to bring in the alternative vote (AV) at general elections. Last night, the Lords rejected by 224 votes to 210 a proposal by Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Labour's former Lord Chancellor, to refer the Bill to a special committee." – The Independent

Nick Clegg aiming to locate 3.5 million missing voters

"Up to 3.5 million potential voters are to be targeted by the government as it seeks to ensure that the "missing millions" who fail to register are given a voice in elections, Nick Clegg will announce today. In an attempt to reach out to critics, who say the government is gerrymandering parliamentary constituencies in favour of the coalition, the deputy prime minister will unveil plans to increase voting in areas of high social deprivation." – The Guardian

Nick Clegg asked to help deliver on Conservative manifesto plans to axe Human Rights ActDaily Telegraph

Nick Clegg to push for early vote on tuition fees

Nick Clegg on Marr 2 "Nick Clegg is pushing the leader of the house, Sir George Young, to allocate time for a vote on tuition fees as quickly as possible, bringing legislation to the house before the Christmas recess. The former chief secretary to the Treasury, David Laws, has told the Liberal Democrat leader to move quickly on the vote, which is expected to see the first significant rebellion of the coalition. Though it is unlikely that the government will be defeated, it will be a psychological hurdle for Lib Dem MPs, who had promised not to support a rise in fees." – The Guardian

Students to target Lib Dem headquarters over fees 'betrayal'The Independent

Man arrested over fire extinguisher incident during student protests Sky News

Kenneth Clarke calls a halt to the legal aid gravy train

Ken Clarke pointing "Ministers pledged yesterday to take an axe to the compensation culture and slash lawyers’ multi-million-pound earnings. State legal aid will no longer pay for claims against hospitals and doctors or schools and colleges, over immigration or welfare benefit disputes or for divorce lawyers, said Justice Secretary Ken Clarke. Unprecedented reforms to the £2.1billion-a-year legal aid system will mean that more than half a million court cases annually will no longer be funded by taxpayers." – Daily Mail

Government to announce compensation for Guantánamo detainees

"The government will announce today that it will pay millions of pounds in compensation to former Guantánamo Bay detainees following weeks of negotiations between lawyers for the government and the former prisoners… In July David Cameron paved the way for the payments by sanctioning the negotiations. Cameron had acted after the high court ruled confidential documents would have to be released in any court hearings." – The Guardian

Tim Loughton urges greater use of voluntary adoption agencies

Tim Loughton 2010 "As The Times today reveals the extent to which children are languishing in foster or residential care, it emerged that ministers are increasingly concerned that the number being adopted is falling each year. Tim Loughton, the Children’s Minister, is to write to all local authorities in England calling on them to make greater use of voluntary adoption agencies. In his letter, due to go out in the next few days, Mr Loughton will argue that while most adoptions are successful, as many as 25 per cent of non-infant adoptions break down." – The Times (£)

David Cameron: The end is in sight for Afghan mission

"A Nato summit later this week will mark the beginning of the end of Britain’s involvement in Afghanistan, David Cameron said last night. The Prime Minister said combat forces would be out of the region in five years’ time. In a speech in the City of London he claimed the Government was taking a more hardheaded approach to national security — starting with Afghanistan." – Daily Telegraph

Michael Gove call over unqualified teachers

Michael Gove 2010 "Education Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that free schools will be allowed to employ teachers without teaching qualifications. He said the Government will not set "overly prescriptive requirements in relation to qualifications" so that free schools can hire "brilliant people with a diverse range of experience". Free schools will be funded by the state but managed by parents, teachers and charities who will dictate curriculum and be independent of Government interference." – Press Association

Philip Stephens on the "intellectual confusion" of the new European Union Bill

"The bill has left the coalition at odds with itself. William Hague, the foreign secretary, says his so-called “referendum lock” on any further accretion of power by the EU will put an end once and for all to the Conservative nightmare of a slide towards a federal Europe. Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, has a different take. He assures Europhile Liberal Democrats that this is really nothing much more than political posturing – a sop to hardline Tories who want to disown the EU’s Lisbon treaty and to repatriate powers from Brussels." – Philip Stephens in the FT (£)

> WATCH: Europe Minister David Lidington explains the reasoning behind the Government's new EU Bill

David Davis: Stop paying ransoms. And start playing smart

DAVIS FORMAL "You would have to have a heart of stone not to feel joy and relief at the pictures of the released hostages, Paul and Rachel Chandler. Nevertheless, the circumstances of their release left me deeply uneasy. Payment of ransoms always looks less dangerous than the alternative military options, but in the long run it is far more hazardous." – David Davis MP in The Times (£)

Baroness Newlove in safe communities bid

"Baroness Newlove, whose husband Garry was murdered in 2007, has led a "call to action" for people to work together to make neighbourhoods safer. Helen Newlove has become a champion of victims' rights since her husband was kicked to death after challenging youths outside their Warrington home… Baroness Newlove was made a peer by David Cameron in July." – BBC

Judges to hear Phil Woolas's application for judicial review Press Association

Middle classes are liars and hypocrites says Labour frontbencher in astonishing rant

Picture 5 "A Labour frontbencher has launched an astonishing attack on middle-class voters, branding them liars, racists, drunkards and even paedophiles. Eric Joyce, the party’s Northern Ireland spokesman, condemned the public for attacking lying politicians when they themselves may be ‘living lies’ at home. In his rant, Mr Joyce condemned ‘articulate and intelligent’ parents for putting the interests of their own children over those of the poor. He accused parents of hypocrisy for condemning drug use while drinking too much and said that MPs were right to appeal to the worst instincts of voters, including racism." – Daily Mail


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