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6pm Parliament: Tory MPs debate the merits of the Health and Social Care Bill

5pm WATCH: William Hague announces that he is sending an additional charter flight to collect Britons who want to leave Egypt

Picture 34pm WATCH: Immigration minister Damian Green explains why he has announced a review of all routes used by those gain the right to live and work in the UK

2.45pm Local Government:

2.30pm Local Government: The Audit Commission spent over £53,000 on 224 chairs last year

Prisoners votes1.45pm Parliament update: Government could face legal challenge if prisoners are not granted the vote in May's elections and referendum

1pm WATCH: Professor Eileen Munro explains that a new approach is required in respect of child protection – with less focus on inspection, regulations and rules

11.30am Parliament: Tory backbenchers will reportedly get a free vote when votes for prisoners are first debated next week

11am ToryDiary: The campaign to leave the EU took 373,000 steps forward yesterday

Liam Fox Commons10.45am Parliament: Liam Fox expresses his fear that Iran may have a nuclear weapon next year as Lib Dems demand to know if money is already being spent on components for Trident

ToryDiary: Ministers hail new crime-mapping website as a huge step forward for transparency and police accountability

Stewart Jackson 2010 Stewart Jackson MP in Comment: We mustn’t let our children’s futures suffer as a result of Labour’s policy of uncontrolled immigration

Also in Comment: Bill Cash MP writes that Stopping EU economic governance and repatriating EU regulations would transform the British economic landscape

ThinkTank Central: More draconian cuts are required now to provide a better base for future growth, concludes a new Centre for Policy Studies report

Local Government: What is your local council doing to celebrate the Royal Wedding?

Parliament: The impasse in the Lords over the AV and Constituencies Bill appears to be over

WATCH: David Cameron says that Egypt "must go down the path of reform, not repression"

Rachel Sylvester: Osborne favours increasing the threshold on the starting rate of tax over abolishing the 50p band

George Osborne 2011 square "In an attempt to woo those who might back him in a future Conservative leadership contest, Boris Johnson has joined right-wing Tories in urging the Chancellor to reconsider the 50p top rate of income tax. But Liberal Democrats in the Cabinet, led by Mr Clegg, insist that the priority must be to help the poor… Treasury officials have little doubt whose side Mr Osborne would be on if he has to choose between his old Conservative rival and his new Lib Dem friend. “Not many Tories want to reverse the 50p top rate,” says one ally of the Chancellor. “We are big fans of raising the threshold and would see that as the priority over 50p.” – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Show us you are a tax cutter George, please

Allister Heath: A smaller state means faster growth

"Neither Tories nor Lib Dems made the positive case for a smaller state and a stronger, larger private sector during the bubble years, and this legacy continues to neuter their arguments today… There is plenty of academic research that highlights how bloated states impoverish countries, regardless of whether or not they are technically affordable. The latest comes from two Swedish economists, Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson, published by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics. It reports that an increase in government size of 10 percentage points of GDP is associated with a 0.5 to one per cent lower annual growth rate in rich countries." – Allister Heath in City AM

Andrew Lansley restates case for NHS reforms…

Andrew Lansley 2010 "The government’s “large and complex” health bill will create an NHS “fit for the 21st century” Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, claimed on Monday even as David Cameron, the prime minister, admitted his brother-in-law doctor has reservations about the plans. Opening the first formal parliamentary debate on the 500 page bill, Mr Lansley said the NHS is in need of “comprehensive modernisation” to improve outcomes for cancer, heart disease and much else, and argued that he is merely completing many of the reforms that the previous Labour government introduced." – FT (£)

…as David Cameron's brother-in-law expresses his concerns

"David Cameron spoke yesterday of concern within his own family over the government's planned reforms of the health service, admitting publicly that even his brother-in-law was not convinced by the changes. Dr Carl Brookes is married to the prime minister's sister Tania and works as a cardiologist in Basingstoke for the North Hampshire NHS trust. Speaking during a visit to a London hospital, Cameron raised the topic himself, telling assembled doctors and nurses: "My brother-in-law is a hospital doctor and he says 'you're giving too much power to the GPs, and hospitals will be disadvantaged.'" – The Guardian

Council spending: Eric Pickles rejects appeals to spread cuts over four years

"The communities secretary, Eric Pickles, has stonewalled appeals from councils to allow them to spread their budget cuts over the next four years, meaning town halls face having to make their biggest savings in the next 12 months. Council leaders had appealed for the cuts, described by Richard Kemp, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association, as the "toughest in living memory", to be spread evenly but the settlement for the next financial year confirms today that they have been frontloaded." – The Guardian

Ken Clarke delays Bribery Act

"The Bribery Act faces a second delay to give business time to deal with its tough new rules. The Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke acted after an intense lobbying campaign from groups, such as the CBI, which want the rules – covering how companies handle overseas contracts – to be reconsidered." – The Independent

Rural MPs come under pressure to rebel over forest privatisation Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Publicly-owned forests good, privately-owned forests bad?

Public question Cameron's appointment of Andy Coulson as ComRes shows 9-point Labour lead

Andy Coulson looking at camera "Two out of three people (66 per cent) believe he [David Cameron] showed poor judgement when he employed Andy Coulson as Downing Street's director of communications last year, even though he had resigned as editor of the NOTW over the hacking scandal in 2007… The poll also shows that Labour has opened a nine-point lead over the Conservatives, the highest since ComRes began polling for The Independent in 2006." – The Independent

Ucas reports record student applications for university…

"Nearly 600,000 university hopefuls – an all-time record – applied for a place on a degree course this year, official figures showed today. Applications have risen by 5.1% compared with this time last year, with 583,501 candidates chasing a place this autumn… At least 180,000 applicants are likely to be disappointed, because there are only just over 400,000 places available for undergraduate study each year." – The Guardian

…but students with poor degrees will be banned from teacher training

Traditional Teacher "Teacher training courses will be effectively closed off to graduates with poor degrees under Coalition plans unveiled today. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said candidates would need at least a 2:2 to get onto a course with state funding from 2012 – closing the door to thousands of graduates with a third or worse." – Daily Telegraph

HMRC tax chiefs knew about PAYE code chaos for two years and covered it up

"Tax chiefs knew their Pay-As-You-Earn system was in meltdown two years before they issued shock demands to millions of workers. An influential committee of MPs will condemn them today for springing bills on families and provoking ‘uncertainty and worry’." – Daily Mail

  • The Pay As You Earn system is a scandal – Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph

Tim Loughton welcomes child protection report

"Child protection should be less about red tape, targets and form-filling and more about looking after the child, an official report says. Professor Eileen Munro says bureaucracy is preventing social workers from doing the job they have trained for… Children's Minister Tim Loughton said Professor Munro had identified areas where professionals' time is being wasted and children's needs are not being properly identified. "I welcome her approach to getting help to the neediest children and families as early as possible, and recognising that child protection is not just the responsibility of social workers." – BBC

Speculation continues as to who will succeed Michał Kamiński as ECR leader in Brussels

European Conservatives and Reformists logo "An early frontrunner is said to be Czech deputy Jan Zahradil. Current ECR deputy leader Tim Kirkhope said he will "wait and see" but is also expected to throw his hat into the ring… Martin Callanan, who leads the UK Tory delegation, said, "The political differences between the Polish members were proving to be a distraction to the work of the group, so I think it was right of him to step down. Michal has been an excellent first leader of the ECR and I am sure he still has a major contribution to make." – TheParliament.com

> Last week in Parliament: Michał Kamiński to step down as leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament

Daily Express anti-EU petition delivered to Downing Street

Picture 5 "David Cameron was yesterday given the clearest message yet that the UK should leave the European Union. The Daily Express’s historic crusade for the country to withdraw from the EU marched on Downing Street. Editor Peter Hill led a delegation to hand over the bulging sacks of petition coupons signed by 373,000 of our loyal readers… Among the Daily Express delegation which carried the petition to the PM’s door were Labour MP Kate Hoey and Tory backbenchers Peter Bone, Douglas Carswell, Philip Davies and Philip Hollobone." – Daily Express

Other political news in brief

  • Labour ministers secretly advised Libya how to secure release of Lockerbie bomber – Daily Telegraph
  • Only 3% of new jobs being created are full-time posts – Daily Mail
  • Plan for e-mail fingerprints as Britain bolsters cyber defences – The Times (£)
  • Liam Fox: Iran could have nuclear weapons next year – Daily Telegraph
  • Irish PM Brian Cowen to quit politics at forthcoming election – BBC

And finally… Polly Toynbee is very frustrated about Labour's failure to win public trust on the economy

Polly Toynbee "YouGov's daily tracker shows Labour on 43%, Tories on 39% and the Lib Dems on a miserable 7%… But here is the killer question – the one that historically outweighs every other: which party is most likely to run the economy well? And 38% say Conservatives, to Labour's 28%. If Labour were in power would the economy perform better? Here 35% say less well, 24% better. With the economy topping public concern by miles, until Labour turns around its economic credibility it will make little headway. Cuts can be profoundly unpopular, many can suffer greatly and Osborne can be hated – but until Labour becomes the better bet for future economic revival, nothing else matters much." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

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52 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 1st February 2011

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