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5.15pm WATCH: On the eve of the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, Conservative candidate, Kashif Ali, takes part in a Q&A session at his old school

4.45pm LeftWatch: Ed Balls does not think police time is better spent on the beat than on paperwork

Speed camera3.15pm Parliament: David Morris calls on Transport Secretary to adopt Jeremy Clarkson's policy on speed cameras

2.15pm Seats and Candidates update: Eric Illsley says he will quit Parliament and cause a by-election in Barnsley Central

2pm WATCH: Schools Minister Nick Gibb explains why the Government is now measuring how well schools are doing at providing a rounded academic education

12.45pm ToryDiary: Cameron and Miliband clash over reining in the banks and bankers at PMQs

Picture 811.45am Ruth Porter on ThinkTankCentral: The Government needs to act in order to stop Britain slipping further down the Index of Economic Freedom

10.30am Josh Mead on Comment: So President Obama thinks France is America's greatest ally? As an American, I hope this ludicrous suggestion won't harm transatlantic relations

ToryDiary: Good news about manifesto planning for the next election

O'BRIEN-NEIL Neil O'Brien on Comment: Michael Gove is confronting Britain’s education disaster – so why are the Left complaining?

Also on Comment: Robert Halfon MP: We should celebrate the fact that – despite so many threats to it – Kurdistan remains an Open Society

Parliament:

Local Government:

ThinkTankCentral: Legatum Institue appoints Jeffrey Gedmin as its new Chief Executive

WATCH: David Ruffley tackles Barclay's boss Bob Diamond over his gratitude to the British taxpayer at yesterday's session of the Treasury Select Committee

Ministers offer concession to Euro-rebels

Europe minister David Lidington yesterday agreed to rewrite part of a Bill amid fears from Tory Right-wingers that the Government’s plans would actually undermine the sovereignty of Parliament – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary on the EU Bill

Daniel Finkelstein: Cameron mustn’t give in to the Tory grumblers

Picture 6 "Since the summer, but particularly over the past month, there has been grumbling in the Conservative Party about the coalition Government. There is a feeling that too many concessions have been made to the Liberal Democrats, although everyone is quite vague about which unreasonable concessions they are being cross about… This dissatisfaction is accompanied by the claim that the critics are the “real” Conservatives, the “authentic” Tories. And this is a very dangerous claim because it suggests no room in authentic Conservatism for practicality, compromise with electoral reality or moderation. Mainstream members of the party could be left regarding the demonstration of such traits as symbols of inauthenticity. The Government might decide that it is easier to give in to these voices than to resist them. And giving in to this temptation would be a mistake." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times (£)

George Osborne warns banks nothing is off the table if they are not more responsible…

"The coalition was in disarray over bank bonuses last night after Nick Clegg publicly demanded that the Treasury do more to slash sky-high payouts. Chancellor George Osborne responded by reviving a threat to hit the banks with new taxes unless they raise lending by £20billion this year and open their books to publish more details of bonuses. He told MPs ‘nothing is off the table’ if the banks are not more ‘responsible’." – Daily Mail

  • Clegg to feel his party's wrath over scale of bankers' pay – The Independent
  • Bob Diamond loses his shine as MPs quiz him over banking and bonuses – Michael White in The Guardian

> WATCH: George Osborne explains to the Commons the restrictions the Government is imposing on bank bonuses

…as the Chancellor concentrates on encouraging growth

George Osborne on Marr 2 "It is the search for growth, I am assured, that is taking up the biggest chunk of his time. The Chancellor wants to persuade us that he is doing all he can to turn the econonomy around and get it motoring again. Austerity is so last year, as a talking point at least. All efforts now are intended to encourage growth. HMT seems cautiously optimistic that the growth forecasts will be met." – Benedict Brogan of the Daily Telegraph

Clegg insists tomorrow's Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election is "really close contest"

"The Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election is a "really close contest" between the Liberal Democrats and Labour, Nick Clegg has said. The Deputy Prime Minister dismissed recent opinion polls which predicted a sizeable defeat for his party as he visited the constituency in a final push for votes ahead of Thursday's count." – Manchester Evening News

  • Clegg puts in the hours on hustings for by-election – The Independent
  • Coronation Street's Roy Cropper backs Labour in Oldham by-election – Daily Mirror

> Andrew Stephenson in Seats and Candidates yesterday: Labour’s negative and disingenuous campaign in Oldham East and Saddleworth is based on dodgy claims, shaky statistics and lies

Cameron and Johnson call for union members to overthrow dinosaur bosses

CAMERON & BORIS "In a joint article for The Sun, the PM and London Mayor reveal shared rage over the red barons' plots to sabotage national occasions. It emerged yesterday that militant union bosses at Unite and Aslef want to grind air and train networks to a halt on the Royal Wedding day in April… Urging moderate union members to rise up, Mr Cameron and Mr Johnson say: "To those who think it doesn't have to be this way, who are sick of the conflict and the confrontation, we say – make your voice heard and come forward." – The Sun

  • Union chief says strikes won't hit Royal Wedding – Reuters

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Philip Hammond condemns Len McCluskey as a 1970s-style union baron who Ed Miliband either needs to bring into line or cast aside

Control orders may be replaced by… surveillance orders

"The coalition plans to replace control orders with a new range of restrictions to keep terror suspects under surveillance, the BBC has learned. One working title for the new curbs is "surveillance orders". They would restrict suspects' movements but end overnight curfews and a ban on mobile phones if numbers were supplied." – BBC

"A government overhaul of anti-terror laws has been delayed again because of 11th-hour talks over replacing the control order regime for suspected terrorists, it emerged on Tuesday." – FT (£)

  • Terror suspects' curfew reduced as Tories insist stricter restrictions will remain – Daily Mail

'Mini rebellion' brewing over Royal Mail privatisation

Royal Mail logo "Opponents of the Government's controversial plans to privatise the Royal Mail have claimed there are signs of a "mini-rebellion" by coalition MPs before the Bill reaches its final stages in the Commons on Wednesday. Postal affairs minister Ed Davey said the Royal Mail and the Post Office were at a "crossroads", adding that the sell-off plans promised the service a "brighter future". Westminster sources said there was growing support for amendments being put forward to the Postal Services Bill, including moves to make sure there was an inter-service agreement between the Royal Mail and the Post Office." – Press Association

> Brian Binley on Comment yesterday: Yes to privatisation of Royal Mail but no to any erosion of the Universal Postal Service

Nick Clegg plans to air differences within the coalition government

Nick Clegg on Marr "The Liberal Democrats plan to air future disagreements with their Conservative partners in public as Nick Clegg attempts to assert a more distinctive identity for his party in a new phase for the coalition. On the eve of a difficult byelection in Oldham East and Saddleworth, the deputy prime minister declared that disagreements mark the "starting point" of most of his discussions with David Cameron." – The Guardian

Alice Thomson: Forget your Alarm Clock Heroes, Mr Clegg – It is not work that divides goodies from baddiesThe Times (£)

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Given all the money's gone, the Coalition should appeal to the Alarm Clock heroes' hearts rather than their wallets

Labour MP who fiddled £14,500 is urged to quit

Eric Illsley "Labour stalwart Eric Illsley became the first serving MP to admit a criminal offence in the expenses scandal yesterday as he confessed to cheating the taxpayer of £14,500. The former miners’ union official had been expected to deny claiming council tax, telephone and other costs to which he was not entitled… Last night both his own leader Ed Miliband and Prime Minister David Cameron called on him to resign." – Daily Express

"Labour was last night seeking to use parliamentary procedures that have not been used for 35 years to expel the disgraced MP Eric Illsley from parliament." – The Guardian

> Seats and Candidates: Is a by-election now on the cards in Barnsley Central after Eric Illsley's guilty plea to false accounting?

Other political news in brief:

  • Struggling schools could be taken over by super-heads, says Michael Gove – The Guardian
  • GPs given powers to help save 5,000 cancer sufferers' lives – Daily Telegraph
  • Britain and EU clash on arms sales to China – The Times (£)
  • Sixth-former jailed for hurling fire extinguisher during fees protest at Tory HQ – The Independent

Other Comment:

  • University is for the brightest, whichever school they went to  – Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph
  • Labour must be to boil down its economic message without surrendering all subtlety – Guardian editorial

And finally… What is David Miliband going to do next?

David Miliband "Since his younger brother trampled all over him to win the Labour Party leadership, speculation has been rife as to what David Miliband would do next. What no one could have predicted was that a man seen as the ultimate political geek would take up a job at a football club. But the Daily Mail can reveal that the former Foreign Secretary is to become vice-chairman of Premier League side Sunderland, at a reputed salary of £50,000 a year." – Daily Mail

"David Miliband is taking up a new career as a politics teacher. The former foreign secretary will put his experience to good use teaching A-level Government and Politics at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, north London, which he attended as a boy. His position is voluntary and he is not taking up the post full-time, but will teach around an hour per week." – Daily Telegraph

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31 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 12th January 2011

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