6pm ToryDiary: High Court rules temporary immigration cap on non-EU immigration unlawful

1pm Seats and Candidates update: David Cameron on the Liberal Demcrats and the by-election – "In that context, I wish our partners well."

12.15pm Local Government: Council by-election results from yesterday

11.15am Local Government: Baroness Thornton's gross distortion of ConservativeHome

11am Seats and Candidates update: CCHQ finally invites members of the Candidates List to help the Conservative campaign in Oldham East and Saddleworth

10.15am Graeme Archer on Comment says that you don't need need to enter faith to gain from it.  "If you're anything like me; that is, someone who wanders around, just beyond the circumference of faith, someone who loves the Christian tradition and fears the consequences, for all of us, of its diminution, but who cannot cross the boundary into the circle; if you can't honestly say you believe in afterlife, but still need to believe in the fact of love, not only that it exists, but that it's a gift which can be known to every human being, then Christmas is not just the joyful, best part of the year."

10.00am Local Government: Eric Pickles writes his fortnightly column – The Local Government settlement has protected the poorest communities

ToryDiary: Because of the way the Commons works, the Liberal Democrats may split.  A group led by Clegg would then work with the Conservatives – and fight the next election on a common manifesto.

BALLOT BOX 1 Seats and Candidates: Is CCHQ taking the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election seriously?



Local Government:

WATCH: Jose Manuel Barrosso and Angela Merkel hail agreement by EU leaders in Brussels to a permanent euro bailout mechanism

News of two deals is emerging from the European Council in Brussels

Picture 5 "David Cameron last night declared victory in saving British taxpayers from paying £19billion towards future euro bailouts. The Prime Minister won a ‘politically binding commitment’ from all 27 EU leaders that the UK will not have to help prop up the single currency in future. Downing Street aides said the deal gives Britain a ‘belt and braces’ defence against future demands for cash. But Tory Eurosceptics and EU officials last night questioned whether the deal would be worth the paper it was written on, since it will not be legally binding." – Daily Mail

"David Cameron sealed a clandestine agreement with France and Germany last night to limit future EU budget increases to no more than inflation until at least 2020. The Prime Minister, stung by his failure to freeze 2011 EU spending, won the support of President Sarkozy and Angela Merkel for a cap on the next seven-year budget, due to start in 2014, diplomats said. Mr Cameron, attending an EU summit in Brussels, was hoping to win the signatures of up to ten fellow European leaders before publishing a letter today, or later this month, agreeing to limit future spending." – The Times (£)

Nick Clegg warns banks over 'lavish' bonuses

"Nick Clegg has warned Britain’s banks that the government would not stand on the sidelines if they paid out lavish bonuses and failed to increase lending, increasing pressure on David Cameron to toughen his stance on the City." – FT (£)

Liam Fox cancels Sri Lanka trip

Liam Fox 2010 "Liam Fox, the defence secretary, was last night forced to abandon a private visit to Sri Lanka this weekend after a row with William Hague, who feared that he would upset Britain's carefully balanced approach to Colombo. Fox announced his change of heart as US embassy cables leaked tonight provided fresh allegations of the Sri Lankan government's complicity with paramilitary groups in last year's offensive against the Tamil Tigers." – The Guardian

Killers and rapists will not get the vote

"Murderers, rapists and other offenders serving sentences of four years or more will not get the vote in general elections despite a European court ruling, it emerged last night. Cabinet sources told the Daily Mail that government legal advisers believe a threshold can be introduced so those given longer jail terms remain disenfranchised." – Daily Mail

  • Clegg supports embattled Clarke '200 per cent' on prison reform – The Independent

Cameron accused of breaking pledge to scrap Human Rights Act

"David Cameron was accused last night of breaking a personal pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act after a failed asylum seeker who killed a 12-year-old girl used the discredited law to stay in Britain. Aso Mohammed Ibrahim knocked down Amy Houston and left her to ‘die like a dog’ under the wheels of his car. He was driving while disqualified and after the little girl’s death he committed a string of further offences. Earlier this year Mr Cameron wrote to Amy’s father promising reforms that would ensure ‘that rights are better balanced against responsibilities’. He said the Human Rights Act would be replaced by a British Bill of Rights." – Daily Mail

Peter Oborne: Nick Clegg has copped the flak so far – soon it will be David Cameron’s turn

OBORNE "The tables are about to turn. Despite the looming local elections and Alternative Vote referendum, there are no further votes in Parliament that will expose the splits among the Lib Dems and make Clegg appear weak and ridiculous… For David Cameron, however, two grave issues are charging down the track with the full force of an express train, which threaten to flatten the Prime Minister – and leave the Liberal Democrats unscathed." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph

Other Comment:

  • The Coalition must convince voters it understands aspiration – Bagehot in The Economist
  • Could Nick Clegg and his allies defect to the Tories and be parachuted into safe seats? – Norman Tebbit on his Telegraph blog

Other political news in brief:

  • Crusader for reform to tackle MoD waste – The Times (£)
  • We'll leave Afghanistan in 2014, says Cameron as Obama insists Al Qaeda is at its weakest since September 11 – Daily Mail
  • Child poverty "to soar in age of austerity" – The Independent
  • Coalition cuts "will cost middle-income families £300 by 2012" – Daily Telegraph
  • Nuclear option poised to test coalition further – FT (£) 
  • English students face £6,500 tuition fees at Scottish universities – The Guardian
  • Ministers fear fuel rationing – Sky News
  • Half of five year old boys struggling with basic reading and writing – BBC
  • How 1.4 million spent a decade on the dole under Labour – Daily Mail

Ed MIliband was out on the campaign trail in Oldham East and Saddleworth yesterday The Guardian

And finally… David Cameron was showered with gifts from world leaders and retailers after the birth of Florence

David Samanatha and Florence Cameron square "A list of all gifts worth over £140 received by the Prime Minister show he received a number of items when his daughter Florence was born in August. Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sent a “silver and glass ornament” while the Crown Prince of Dubai sent "baby gifts"… All of the gifts automatically become the property of the department, unless ministers choose to buy them. In Mr Cameron’s case, he “part-purchased” the present from the Crown Prince of Dubai." – Daily Telegraph


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