5.30pm WATCH: Prince Charles appears again after attack

Screen shot 2010-12-10 at 17.26.21 3.30pm ToryDiary update: As it emerges that the Duchess of Cornwall was hit by an anti-fees protester, Boris Johnson expresses regret that people are blaming the police for yesterday's mayhem

3pm Lee Rotherham on Comment reflects on the protesting students: "Having brought their colleges into disrepute, surely educational establishments must now review whether expulsions are in order"

2.15pm LeftWatch: New Unite boss and Labour paymaster Len McCluskey tries to define what his sinister-sounding "alliance of resistance" is all about

1.45pm ToryDiary: Cameron promises practical help for families and parenting

Noon ConservativeHomeUSA Survey: Concerns over electability and opposition from senior Republican officials most likely to stop Palin winning the 2012 nomination

11.30am Local Government: Lib Dems gained a seat from the Tories but lost a seat to Labour in yesterday's council by-elections

Picture 110.45am WATCH: Condemning yesterday's "completely unacceptable" protests, David Cameron says it was not just "a very small minority" pursuing violence

ToryDiary: What is Mainstream Conservatism?

Parliament: Tory MPs argue over whether increasing fees will discourage school leavers from going to university

Two views in Comment about how to deal with student unions and the NUS:

Also in Comment: Daniel Hamilton writes that Britain must do more to support Taiwan's thriving, liberal democracy

Local Government: Redbridge residents demand Council Tax cut


The front pages of most papers are dominated by the image of Charles and Camilla's car under attack by anti-tuition fees protesters…

Picture 12
"Months of violent public disorder lie ahead, police leaders warned last night, as another day of protest against rising tuition fees descended into confrontation on the streets of London. The trouble culminated in a breakaway mob chasing and attacking a car taking the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Variety Performance. Clarence House said that they were unharmed but the rear passenger window was cracked, the doors were dented by kicks and the vehicle was splattered with white paint." – The Times (£)

  • The Cenotaph, Churchill… how young thugs broke every taboo – Daily Mail
  • Benedict Brogan: Theresa May and David Cameron have questions to answer on Royal security – Daily Telegraph

> Last night's ToryDiary: Cameron attacks "shocking" attack on Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall

…as the increased fees are backed in the Commons by a a majority of 21

"The government has survived a revolt by Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs over its plans to increase university tuition fees in England. The policy was approved by 21 votes, with the coalition's majority cut by almost three-quarters following an impassioned five-hour Commons debate." – BBC

  • Last night’s vote was the first time the Lib Dem left has made common cause with elements of the Tory right – FT (£)
  • Three PPSs quit over fees vote – Sky News

The implications for the Coalition of yesterday's vote are analysed

"An old phase in politics has ended and a new one has begun.  The government won, but it was still a game changer for the coalition." – Martin Kettle in The Guardian

"Where the protesters disgraced themselves, the coalition graduated with honours. This was its first serious challenge and the Government proved to be decisive and resolute on an important but emotive issue." – Times (£) editorial

  • Benedict Brogan: What David Cameron can learn from Nick Clegg about leadership – Daily Telegraph
  • David Cameron not Nick Clegg is to blame for the cuts – The Mirror

Daily Mail logo "The policy that both parties have so expensively forced through is a messy compromise – perhaps necessary, but certainly not popular… But if the Coalition is weakened, at least it’s painfully won position is more impressive than Labour’s. Ed Miliband’s decision to back a graduate tax that he is unable to describe or explain reveals him as the leader of a party of ineffectual protest, not an alternative government." – Daily Mail editorial

> Yesterday's ConHome coverage of the tuition fees debate:

Yesterday saw the biggest parliamentary rebellion in the history of the Lib Dems…

TV Debate Nick Clegg "Nick Clegg failed to persuade a majority of his 57 MPs to support the controversial measure last night, as 21 Liberal Democrats voted against and another eight abstained or did not vote, while only 28 voted in favour. It was the biggest rebellion against the Liberal Democrat leadership since the party was formed in 1988." – The Independent

…so where now for Nick Clegg's party?

"The question for the Liberal Democrats is whether this was a foreseeable, early, awkward bump in the road, or a historic fork, the moment when Nick Clegg's party started a painful, historical split between the fiscally conservative Orange Bookers and the traditional progressives." – Patrick WIntour in The Guardian

  • Nick Clegg signed the Liberal Democrats’ death warrant yesterday when he ignored student protests to triple university tuition fees. – Daily Mirror
  • Few foresaw how much damage the ditching of a single pledge could do at this early stage in the game – Guardian editorial
  • Revenge will be served cold at the ballot box – The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Many voters will always see Clegg as untrustworthy now

David Cameron explains his desire to make Britain more family-friendly

"Families matter. Think of any big social problem we face – from crime and welfare dependency, to ill-health, drug addiction and educational failure – and more often than not, it comes back to the family. This isn't a hunch. Let me give you just one fact – more than two-thirds of young offenders grew up without both parents. Some might think we just have to accept this as a fact of life. I don't. Millions of parents are desperate to make things work and raise their kids right, they just feel the whole world is against them. That's something we want to change." – David Cameron writing in The Sun

  • Cameron to step up his support for 'immeasurably important' family with renewed pledge for marriage tax breaks – Daily Mail
  • Cameron in bid to keep families together – Press Association

George Osborne insists: The 50p tax rate is only a temporary measure

George Osborne on Politics Show "The 50p top rate of tax is very much a temporary measure, Chancellor George Osborne promised last night. “It was already in effect when I came into office,” he said. “I regarded it as a temporary tax rate but I have also made it clear it would be difficult to cut the tax rate while at the same time I’m putting a pay freeze on the public sector. But I regard it as very much a temp­orary tax rate.” – Daily Express

  • Banks should think twice on big bonuses says Osborne – Reuters

Other Coalition news in brief:

  • Government gives savers greater freedom over how to spend pension pot – Daily Mail
  • Cameron did not put pressure on Clarke over murder terms, says Downing St – The Guardian
  • Treasury forced to raise tax rate on risky assets to hit £2.5bn banking levy target – Daily Telegraph
  • Youth reoffending 'costs £11bn' – Press Association
  • Cancún climate talks risk becoming a 'car crash', says Chris Huhne – The Guardian
  • Andy Coulson denies phone hacking at Tommy Sheridan trial – The Guardian

Banned from the Commons: Disgrace of  ex-Labour ministers Hoon, Byers and Caborn caught in undercover sting over cash for access

Geoff Hoon "Three former Labour ministers will almost certainly be barred from the Commons for up to five years after touting themselves to lobbying firms in a ‘cash for access’ scandal. The disgraced ex-MPs were caught in an undercover sting breaching Parliamentary code of conduct lobbying rules. Ex-defence secretary Geoff Hoon was told to apologise and faces a five-year suspension after saying he wanted to turn his government contacts into ‘something that, bluntly, makes money’. Former transport secretary Stephen Byers could have his Commons pass withdrawn for two years after describing himself as a ‘taxi for hire’." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: The Standards and Privileges Committee recommends that Geoff Hoon is barred from holding a Parliamentary pass for five years

Police pass file on another MP to CPS over expensesDaily Mirror

Tory MP tried to claim £755 for astrology softwareThe Guardian

And finally… George Osborne's budget Christmas tree axed by elf 'n' safety

Picture 1 "He has been at the forefront of the Government's drive for austerity. But when George Osborne tried to save the Treasury a few pounds by buying the office Christmas tree from B&Q, his economical efforts were thwarted… Mr Osborne announced in October that he was scrapping the £875 tree supplied under Labour as part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. He vowed: 'I am going to go down to a local market and pay for a tree myself.' But the Treasury's Permanent Secretary, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, who earns £175,000 a year, warned the idea would fall foul of the Government's contract, as well as health and safety legislation. In a memo which resembled something from political comedy The Thick of It, he told Mr Osborne the Treasury was obliged to get its tree from Exchequer Partnerships, the PFI supplier. 'The catalogue had a choice of Hollyday, Indulgence, Enchantment, Icicle, or Decadence trees, or bespoke tailor-made trees, from £130-875,' he reported. Sir Nicholas said he had asked the company 'about whether we couldn't buy a tree from B&Q for £40 instead of spending £900'. But Exchequer Partnerships warned that they would not help water 'an off-contract tree'… The Chancellor yesterday revealed a free tree was eventually donated by Exchequer Partnerships and has been adorned with £36 worth of decorations from Argos." – Daily Mail


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