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11pm ToryDiary: 83% of Tory voters would support a Coalition candidate but only 32% of Lib Dem voters would do the same

8.30pm WATCH: Channel 4 News reports that Theresa May joined Cameron and Clegg for a "summit" on control orders at Downing Street this afternoon  

Michael Gove Sky News7pm ToryDiary: Michael Gove attacks Musicians' Union for instructing music teachers to avoid any physical contact with children: "If we stigmatise and seek to restrict all physical contact between responsible adults and children, we will only undermine healthy relations between the generations. If we play to the assumption that any physical contact is somehow suspect then we will make children more suspicious of adults and adults more nervous and confused about their role in our society."

5pm Jonathan Isaby on Comment: One of the best-dressed men in Britain works in Downing Street – and so does one of the worst-dressed in the world

Picture 233pm WATCH: Nick Clegg speaks about "the difficult set of dilemmas" the Government faces in seeking to find a replacement for control orders

2.30pm Parliament Breaking News: Former Labour MP David Chaytor jailed for 18 months over false expenses claims

1.45pm Charlie Elphicke MP on Comment: The number and cost of quangos should be reduced – and they must be banned from lobbying altogether

12.30pm WATCH: David Cameron pays tribute to the England cricket team after their victory in the final Ashes test

MAUDE FRANCIS 211am ToryDiary: Francis Maude hits back at Bernard Jenkin's criticism of the Government's "bonfire of the quangos"

9.30am Local Government:

ToryDiary: Whatever happened to "Together in the national interest?"

Picture 6 Seats and Candidates: Kashif Ali's literature shows what a positive campaign the Conservatives are fighting in Oldham East and Saddleworth

Comment:

Local Government:

Gazette: Lord Forsyth thanks friends, colleagues and political opponents for helping him smash his fundraising target for his Antarctic expedition

WATCH: Teachers explain the benefits of their schools converting to academy status

Bernard Jenkin's Public Administration Committee condemns Coalition's bonfire of the quangos as "botched"

JENKIN-BERNARD "In the most damning formal assessment of the government's performance to date, the Commons public administration select committee says the coalition has "poorly managed" its so-called bonfire of the quangos, and failed to achieve its two main aims – to improve accountability and reduce spending, meaning the reorganisation could now cost more than it will save… Yesterday Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative chairman of the committee, told the Guardian: "The whole process was rushed and poorly handled and should have been thought through a lot more. This was a fantastic opportunity to help build the big society and save money at the same time, but it has been botched." – The Guardian

Selection at 14 will drive revolution in schooling

"Thousands of children will be offered the chance to opt out of academic study at 14 in favour of vocational education, The Times has learnt. Dozens of specialist schools are to open in the first attempt to separate pupils since the death-knell was sounded for the universal 11-plus in 1965 and comprehensives were created. By the next election, the new technical and vocational schools, which will help teenagers to learn a trade, could have more pupils than the coalition’s much-vaunted free schools." – The Times (£)

  • Ex-Education Secretary Estelle Morris calls for GCSEs to be taken at 14 – The Guardian

David Cameron denies by-election pact claims during campaign visit to Oldham

David Cameron speaking 2010"David Cameron paid a flying visit to Oldham East and Saddleworth yesterday to dispel suspicions that the Tories are pulling punches in the byelection campaign to help their Lib Dem coalition partners defeat Labour next Thursday – or at least to spare them a damaging defeat." – The Guardian

"Of course I want people to vote for Kashif Ali." he said, standing amid dozens of smashed vehicles during a visit to an Oldham car-repair shop. "He's a very good candidate. He fought a very good campaign. He was born locally, he lives locally and he was educated locally." – The Independent

> Yesterday in Seats and Candidates: David Cameron says the Conservatives are "fighting very hard for every vote" in Oldham East and Saddleworth

Trade Minister Lord Green refuses to back UK arms industry

"Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the Trade Minister, has refused to take on the role of promoting the £35bn British arms industry. Civil servants are working on a compromise ahead of the former HSBC chairman, who is an ordained Anglican priest, formally taking up his post next week. Lord Green’s decision, taken for what are thought to be “ethical” concerns, is likely to spark anger within the defence industry, which employs 300,000 people. " – Daily Telegraph

David Cameron promises to invest in 'industries of the future'…

  "David Cameron has promised to boost investment in the ''industries of the future'' such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals and green energy while at the same time encouraging growth beyond the South East to balance the economy. Speaking to business leaders in Manchester, the Prime Minister said the Government is doing everything it can to drive growth in the UK economy. He said the Coalition's ''tough fiscal action'' to cut the budget deficit did not mean the Government could not have a strategy to promote growth." – Daily Telegraph

  • We can cut the deficit and still have a vibrant economy, says Cameron – The Times (£)
  • Gimmicks and spin won’t rescue UK – Allister Heath in City AM

> WATCH: David Cameron outlines the Government's plans for economic growth and defends the decision to raise VAT

…as Lord Young says the Government's business plan isn't good enough

Lord Young of Graffham "On Wednesday, the Prime Minister launched the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme, lightly based on the old scheme and with the ambition of creating 40,000 jobs in areas of high unemployment. I hope it goes well. But, although it offers mentoring support, which the old scheme didn't, it still offers far less than the original did. And if we are to restore an enterprise economy, far more is required than schemes to help the unemployed, as necessary as they are." – Former enterprise adviser Lord Young of Graffham in the Daily Telegraph

Strict surveillance set to replace current system of control orders

"The house arrest of terror suspects will be scrapped and replaced with more rigorous surveillance in an overhaul of the control order system, starting next week. Home curfews, restraints on travel within Britain and limitations on contact with other people would be abandoned. Curbs on access to mobile phones and computers would be eased." – The Independent

  • Dominic Raab MP: Control orders have little relevance in ensuring our security – The Guardian
  • Shami Chakrabarti: This injustice over control orders must stop – The Times (£)
  • Ed Balls accuses Coalition of playing politics with control orders – The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Government plans to replace control orders – but only 28% of Conservative members want to see them scrapped

Nick Clegg pledges to end the scourge of libel tourism as part of campaign to 'restore our great British freedoms'…

Nick Clegg on Marr 2 "Libel laws are to be torn up to protect free speech as part of a campaign to ‘restore our great British freedoms’, Nick Clegg will reveal today. The Deputy Prime Minister will declare that the English system has become an ‘international embarrassment’ that sees rich and powerful foreigners flocking to our courts in so-called libel tourism cases. His reform pledge will be made in a major speech on civil liberties." – Daily Mail

…as he turns the 30-year-rule on publication of classified files into the 20-year-rule…

"The gradual reduction of the 30-year rule to 20 years will be described by Nick Clegg on Friday as a boost to the transparency of politics. The Deputy Prime Minister will say: “Surely it can only strengthen our democracy if we reduce the time people must wait to know the full truth about the governments they have lived under, and the events they have lived through”… Starting in January 2013, two years’ worth of classified files will be published each year for a decade so that by 2023, the records will be only 20 years behind the events they describe rather than 30." – Daily Telegraph

…and the public give the Lib Dem leader a new polling low for his birthday

LibDemDead "Nick Clegg faces a bleak birthday today after the Lib Dems plunged to a new low in the polls of 7 per cent. It is disastrous news for the Deputy Premier, who turns 44, just a week before the crucial Oldham by-election. And the poll comes as Mr Clegg today outlines his controversial plans for new restrictions to replace terror control orders. The Lib Dems are at their lowest point since 1990, when Maggie Thatcher was PM. Labour is on 43 per cent in the YouGov poll for The Sun – four points ahead of the Tories." – The Sun

David Cameron congratulates the England cricket team on their Ashes victory

"I've spoken to Andrew Strauss this morning and congratulated the team, coaches and everyone behind the side on this tremendous victory. Retaining the Ashes was a fantastic achievement, but winning the series really is the icing on the cake. We've seen some great sporting moments over the series and the team have provided us with some brilliant memories that I'm sure fans will talk about for years to come. The whole country is incredibly proud of them." – Statement issued by Downing Street this morning

Other political news in brief:

  • Cabinet ministers warned against unused budget spending sprees – The Guardian
  • Labour's advice to teachers was 'the length of two Bibles' – Politics.co.uk
  • Ex-Labour minister turns down coalition job – Jim Pickard's FT blog
  • Police cuts will boost crime says think-tank Civitas – The Guardian
  • Baroness Ashton has worst attendance record of all EU Commissioners – Daily Mail
  • Ex-Labour MP David Chaytor to be sentenced today over false expenses claims – Press Association

James Forsyth: Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are locked in a political duel, and only one of them can survive

James Forsyth "In the new politics, what helps Clegg hurts Miliband and vice versa. This unusual dynamic makes next week’s by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth especially important: it is, in effect, the first electoral clash between the two men. The result will determine which leader spends the first part of the year fending off questions about their future." – The Spectator

Other Comment:

  • Peter Oborne: David Cameron is a pretty straight sort of guy – but now he has to prove it – Daily Telegraph
  • Johann Hari: For sale – Cameron's green credentials – The Independent 
  • Martin Kettle: Labour and the Lib Dems need each other – The Guardian

And finally… Ed Miliband gets a mauling from Radio 2 callers as he attempts to revive his flagging leadership

Ed Miliband 2010 "When the Labour leader presented himself to the listeners of Radio 2 yesterday – Middle England’s favourite channel – the public bit back with a vengeance. A phone-in on the Jeremy Vine show descended into farce as the leader of the opposition was condemned for his unconventional personal life and his ruthless destruction of his brother’s political career. Caller after caller criticised his failure to marry, the fact that he was not initially registered as the father of his first child – and even his adenoidal voice." – Daily Mail

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73 comments for: Newslinks for Friday 7th January 2011

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