10.45pm ToryDiary: Three more Lib Dem ministers stung by Telegraph

7.30pm WATCH:

5.15pm Parliament: Chris Bryant accuses George Osborne of being Baron Hardup and the Chancellor replies: “At least I’m not the pantomime dame”

4.45pm ToryDiary: Cable cannot remain Business Secretary

3pm ToryDiary: "I have declared war on Rupert Murdoch", says Cable

2pm ToryDiary: Highlights from the Cameron/Clegg press conference

10.45am ToryDiary selection of blog reaction to CableGate: "No one in the Coalition will trust Vince Cable now"

Screen shot 2010-12-21 at 07.08.25 ToryDiary: Telegraph secretly records Vince Cable threatening to "bring the Government down" if he is "pushed too far"

Also on ToryDiary: The forgotten hero in the story of Christ, Joseph, and an inspiration for fathers everywhere

Haras Rafiq and Rashad Ali on Comment: When will the authorities learn that extremists can't be used to tackle other extremists?

Parliament: Philip Hammond announces go-ahead for £34bn hi-speed rail link

Liam Scott-Smith on Local government: What would Labour cut?

On Local government:

Osborne V Cable on banks

OSBORNE GEORGE NW "Mr Osborne is engaged in a monumental battle with Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, over the banks. As the City prepares to award new year bonuses that are predicted to total £7 billion, the coalition is fracturing along party lines over how tough the Government should be towards the moneymen. There is a fundamental ideological disagreement over wealth and inequality. For Dr Cable, it is morally unacceptable for the people who caused the recession to give themselves multimillion-pound awards. To Mr Osborne it would be economically insane for the Government to drive away the wealth creators who could help to nurture a recovery by clamping down too hard." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

"Financial services companies paid £53.4bn in tax in the year to March, £8bn less than the previous year but once again the single biggest contributor to the national purse. These are taxes generated from financial services sold around the world by banks, insurers and money management firms that happen to be based here. It's an activity where we punch above our weight, but instead of landing one on the competition, places such as Hong Kong, the Coalition is simply forcing us to suffer round after round of self-inflicted wounds." – Damian Reece in The Telegraph

Meanwhile, in the FT (£), Danny Alexander defends the Lib Dem contribution to the government: "He rejects as “pathetic” the claim by Ed Miliband, Labour leader, that this is a Tory government in all but name. Mr Alexander reels off policies on green energy, political reform, help for poor students and the raising of the tax threshold as evidence of Lib Dem influence. He argues that fiscal discipline is a Lib Dem policy, too, and that any U-turn would hit the poorest hardest, especially if the markets took fright and interest rates began to rise."

Coffee and mince pies at Number 10 as union leaders hold first of series of meetings with Cameron

"The union leaders urged Mr Cameron to raise more money from the banks. They also discussed green growth and jobs, manufacturing and equality issues. “We welcomed the prime minister’s intention to continue this dialogue with similar meetings in the future, and for urgent contact to take place with ministers on Post Office privatisation and public sector pension changes in particular, ” [TUC leader Brendan Barner] said. Although Mr Barber has met Mr Cameron privately, this was the first official meeting between the TUC and a Tory premier since the end of the miners’ strike in 1985 when Norman Willis, then TUC general secretary, met Margaret Thatcher. John Major never officially met the TUC during his seven years in power, although he met individual union leaders privately." – FT (£)

In a sophisticated modern economy, it is unacceptable for strikes to be triggered by very small numbers of union activists – Telegraph leader

Government forced into embarrassing back-track on school sports after public outcry at cuts

"The Education Secretary has performed a U-turn over his controversial decision to cut funding for school sports. Michael Gove, who announced plans to scrap the School Sports Partnerships scheme earlier this year, has now agreed to invest £112 million in a network of 3,600 sports teachers until the London Olympics in 2012." – Daily Mail | In a leader the Mail welcomes the change of policy

GREEN-DAMIAN-RED-TIE Damian Green: A temporary cap on the number of migrant workers coming to the UK is to be reinstatedExpress

Philip Hammond says government needs to consider whether Britain is experiencing 'step change' in weatherGuardian

Steve Richards examines the "shock and awe" speed with which the Coalition is moving

"There are advantages in high speed, or as one minister put it to me yesterday, "the politics of shock and awe". An administration has momentum. Opponents have little time to mobilise before the policies are implemented. The official opposition looks even more impotent than usual as it decides how to respond to a mountain of initiatives." – Steve Richards in The Independent

AV referendum winnable, thinks Yes campaign, if Clegg stays away

"Nick Clegg is being urged to stay out of the alternative vote campaign by its Labour supporters, amid signs that voters may be willing to back electoral reform in next year's referendum, according to a Guardian/ICM poll. The call for Clegg to keep his distance from the Yes to Alternative Vote campaign is coming from Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, and Labour supporters on the pro-reform side. Miliband is warning that if the AV decision turns into a referendum on Clegg and the Liberal Democrats, the chance to change the voting system will be seriously hit." – Guardian

On UK Polling Report yesterday Anthony Wells attempted to make sense of conflicting opinion poll results on AV.

Screen shot 2010-12-21 at 07.35.51

Our regulatory reforms will avoid a repeat of the financial crisis – Mark Hoban MP in The Telegraph

Screen shot 2010-12-20 at 16.30.24
"David Cameron charms his eurosceptics, and even amuses Labour MPs" – Andrew Gimson's Telegraph sketch of yesterday's EU statement to a largely empty Commons

Philip Johnston: Shotguns aren't the problem – criminals are

"Why is it that whenever this issue is revisited, it is always to make the lives of law-abiding people just that bit more difficult, while doing nothing to prevent the criminal use of guns?" – Philip Johnston in The Telegraph

In brief:

  • Police and MI5 at full stretch amid fears of al-Qaeda plot against UK – Times (£)
  • Peter Tatchell bids to overturn gay marriage ban at European Court of Human Rights – Telegraph


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33 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 21st December 2010

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