Picture 13 9.30pm WATCH: Philip Hammond tells Jon Snow on Channel Four News that people should not travel tonight unless absolutely necessary

6.30pm WATCH: David Cameron looks forward to the UK hosting the World Cup (the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, that is)

4.45pm Parliament: Sir George Young indicates that if you can get 99,999 friends to sign an e-petition, you'll soon be able to get it debated in Parliament

4pm WATCH: "Her Majesty's guide to the National Debt" – a handy animated guide to Britain's economic situation

3.15pm Donal Blaney on Comment: Britain's roads are snow joke anymore

CameronFIFA2.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron, Man in the Arena

2pm WATCH: Dan Hannan MEP declares trade blocs to be redundant

1pm Parliament: David Davis calls for reform of the libel laws to protect "the less wealthy and the less powerful"

Noon LeftWatch: Ed Milband's spokesman accuses David Cameron of "pimping himself" in Zurich

11am WATCH: England's inspirational World Cup video

10.45am LeftWatch: The whispering about Ed Miliband's future has begun already

ToryDiary: How the Voluntary Party intends to grow and develop – the final, official plans in full

Also in ToryDiary: The best five new blogs on the block

Flight euro
In Comment: Howard Flight: Germany should leave the €uro

Also in Comment: Matthew Sinclair: Taxpayer-funded environmentalism needs to end

Local Government: Localism means more power for Boris in some areas – less in others

Philip Booth on ThinkTankCentral: Free trade, not Fair Trade, will pull poor people out of poverty

Gazette: Iain Duncan Smith helps launch Esther McVey's unique careers guide for teenage girls

WATCH: Lib Dem MP Don Foster admits there is "no clarity" on his party's position on tuition fees

David Cameron "set for U-turn on school sports"

"David Cameron has ordered a rethink of the government's controversial decision to cut funding for school sports amid unease in the cabinet and a growing campaign by British Olympic stars. Downing Street sources said a revised plan, with extra funding, would be unveiled soon after a backlash against a decision by Michael Gove to slash £162m a year in funding from school sports partnerships across England. "There are clearly very strong feelings about this," one No 10 source said. "We are listening to people's concerns." – The Guardian

  • Cameron U-turn over funding for sport in schools is a blow to Gove – The Times (£)

> Harry Phibbs in Local Government yesterday: Axing the School Sports Partnerships is right

Clegg to push through tuition fees vote next Thursday

Nick Clegg on Marr "Nick Clegg will push through the vote on tuition fees next week as the Liberal Democrat leader hurries to draw a line under the tortuous debate that has split his party three ways… The deputy prime minister has sought to find common ground with his MPs by offering the option of mass abstention – a right enshrined in the coalition agreement. But in the first big test of his leadership since the coalition agreement was signed, senior advisers have told Mr Clegg that abstention would only make the party look weak, while also going against his desire to back all that the coalition does." – FT (£)

  • Stephen Glover: The injustice of these Welsh and Scottish student fees is grotesque – Daily Mail
  • NUS plans "day of action" next Wednesday – Sky News

Editorials back plans for elected police commissioners

Police "It is clear that the current system of holding the police to account is not working and that chief constables have become too powerful, often estranged not only from the population at large, but from their own rank and file… This is a bold – and long overdue – reform." – Daily Telegraph

"The virtues of direct accountability are that the public have more say in policing where they live. It provides a good incentive for the chief constable to perform well. If he or she does not cut crime there is every chance of being sacked by the electorate." – The Times (£)

  • "It is time to move away from mass, generic brand politics, and the May 2012 elections for police commissioners are a good place to start." – Douglas Carswell's blog
  • "Theresa May and Nick Herbert should not allow the scaremongering from opponents – including some senior chief constables and peers – to dilute their plans" – Blair Gibbs at Coffee House

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: First elections for Police Commissioners set to take place in May 2012

Philip Hammond orders review of how transport operators are dealing with the snow

HAMMOND-PHILIP-BIG-BEN "We took urgent action during the summer which means we're better prepared for severe weather than last year – a national strategic salt reserve exists for the first time. But I share the frustration of the travelling public and we need to be sure that we are doing everything possible to keep Britain moving. Complacency is not an option. There are lessons to be learned from our performance in every bout of bad weather and it is important that we learn those now." – Transport Secretary Philip Hammond quoted in the Daily Mail

Liam Fox "warned" over links to Sri Lankan President

"Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has been warned not to become too close to the President of Sri Lanka, according to Foreign and Commonwealth Office figures concerned about the country’s human rights record. Dr Fox had a private session with President Rajapaksa, who is visiting Britain as part of a media offensive orchestrated by the lobbying firm Bell Pottinger." – The Times (£)

Francis Maude: The days of mega-IT contracts in government are over

MAUDE FRANCIS 2 "The coalition government came close to accusing big private sector companies of ripping off the taxpayer as Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, warned them that the days of “easy margins” on government business were over. Announcing “a new working partnership” with companies that supply more than £220bn of goods and services to the public sector, Mr Maude said on Wednesday that the coalition would open up the market to smaller suppliers and mutuals." – FT (£)

Coalition news in brief:

  • Cameron rides to the rescue of Mervyn King – Daily Mail
  • Gender pay audit plans scrapped – FT (£)
  • Nick Clegg to announce timetable for ending child detentions – The Guardian
  • Hague insists Pakistan is a vital partner – Press Association

Questions asked about Miliband's leadership after PMQs "humiliation"

Ed Miliband on Marr "Labour frontbenchers last night expressed growing concerns over Ed Miliband's leadership after he was humiliated by David Cameron in the Commons… Shadow ministers looked on with grim faces as David Cameron claimed Mr Miliband was “drowning” as party leader. The Prime Minister taunted the Labour leader asking him when, after three months since his election as leader, he was going to start. And he contemptuously threw back an accusation that he – along with other leading Tories – was a “child of Thatcher” by saying he would rather be that than “a son of Brown.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Miliband faces being sucked down the plughole – Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail
  • Brown’s boy is no match for Tigger Thatcher – Ann Treneman in The Times (£)
  • Miliband savaged by flurry of put-downs – Daily Express
  • David Cameron gives Ed Miliband a wallop during PMQs – Simon Hoggart in The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron tells the Commons at PMQS: "I'd rather be a child of Thatcher than a son of Brown"

Cameron's late dash lifts England in 2018 World Cup Bid

Picture 6 "England’s 2018 World Cup bid put its main rivals on the back foot yesterday after David Cameron ran diplomatic rings round his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Mr Cameron flew from Zurich to London and back again as he juggled Prime Minister’s Question Time with his role the campaign to stage the event in England. But as he completed his 1,000-mile round trip to bolster England’s push, Russian prime minister Putin refused to join his country’s campaign team in Switzerland." – Daily Express

Other Comment:

  • George Bridges: Less may be more in Britain’s age of paradox – FT (£)
  • Ben Brogan: David Cameron is giving away power, and we’d better get used to it – Daily Telegraph
  • David Laws: Why the Lib Dems rejected Labour – New Statesman

New MPs' expenses row as claims are published

"MPs will line up today to deliver a vote of no confidence in the body set up to administer their expenses as the first tranche of claims since the election are published. Senior figures from all parties will give a damning verdict on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which was created in the aftermath of last year's expenses scandal." – The Independent

  • MPs are honest now, says expenses chief as he reveals £116,000 of rejected claims – The Guardian
  • The new system for repaying MPs risks creating a Parliament of millionaires and puritans – Tom Harris MP in the Daily Telegraph

Latest polling news:

Returning officers told to learn lessons of general election chaosBBC

Nigel Farage's pilot charged with threatening to kill himPress Association

MSPs reject Right-to-Die BillBBC

And finally… Danny Alexander reveals his favourite insult to have been directed at him

Danny Alexander BBC "Flame-haired Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has taken some stick since landing his top job. He's been branded a 'ginger rodent', compared to The Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willie and Beaker – the loony lab assistant from 80s' TV show The Muppets. But he actually has his own favourite insult. He beams: "The best was when Frankie Boyle wrote in his Scottish Sun column how I was a 'big lumbering ginger' who looks 'like a cartoon version of a Scotsman'." – The Sun

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