6.45pm WATCH: ‪Jeremy Hunt's statement on Murdoch and the BSkyB purchase‬

3.45pm WATCH: Andrew Neil – Rupert Murdoch negotiates "like an Italian"

1.15pm Local Government:

1pm ToryDiary: Conservative anger as Clegg prepares to break with Cameron over extremism – in Luton, of all places

11.45am Matthew Sinclair on Comment: Have we wound up with the worst possible resolution of the BSkyB-News Corp deal?

11.00am ToryDiary: Michael Gove returns from foreign affairs to education policy – endorsing the Wolf Report on vocational

10.30am Robert Halfon MP on Comment: The progressive left's appeasement of Gaddafi

ToryDiary: What about democracy for Iran?

Also on ToryDiary: For all those people who say that Europe isn't an issue that matters to voters


Ben Rogers on Comment: Yesterday, Pakistan lost its Martin Luther King

Mark Field MP on Comment: "The conventional wisdom now, almost regardless of their terms, is that the bailouts were an essential life-preserving shock to the domestic economy. Unfortunately while this version of events contains some truth, it has diverted us from asking searching questions over the deals struck during those whirlwind weeks."

Local government:

Jeremy Hunt gives go ahead to Rupert Murdoch BSkyB takeover


"Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has been given government approval for its controversial takeover of BSkyB. The green light follows News Corp's offer to spin-off Sky News as an independent company. The decision follows concerns about the concentration of media outlets in the hands of one organisation." – BBC

Fallon: Cameron bolder than ThatcherLast night's ToryDiary

Gove argued in Cabinet that Britain should intervene in Libya but Fox is said to have told MPs that he doubted military's capacity for big operations – An insidery account of Cabinet views from Sam Coates and Roland Watson in The Times (£)

Fox admits that more than 11,000 troops may have to be made redundant – Telegraph

Is Cameron sounding like Blair on foreign affairs?

Comeron-on-globe-#2 "Mr Cameron has always been sceptical about Tony Blair's doctrine of "liberal interventionism". But in his first major foreign affairs test as Prime Minister, he appeared to be following the Blair mantra, sparking media speculation about his own "first war". The way he grabbed headlines on Monday reminded many MPs of Mr Blair's approach." – Andrew Grice in The Independent

Steve Richards in The Independent on Cameron's attention to detail: "Mr Cameron seems to be not especially burdened by detail. I note that during Prime Minister's Questions he rarely consults the folder next to him. On one level the effortless command at the Despatch Box confirms a valuable capacity to extemporise. Gordon Brown went to the other extreme, wading through a mountain of notes before responding clumsily to questions. There must be a third way. Mr Cameron's erratic improvisation in the international arena does not suggest a fascination with the complexities of policy making."

"[Cameron] came to office suspicious of Tony Blair’s activist approach to the world. Foreign policy was one area where he was determined not to be the heir to Blair. But as Libya has shown, when there’s a crisis, Cameron is as keen to punch above his weight as Blair was." – James Forsyth for The Spectator (reproduced on PoliticsHome)

"We invested our treasure in Afghanistan and Iraq, for no obvious return. Now we want to bring what’s left home, and lock it in the vault, far from harm. Yes, financial circumstances of our own making mean that we would struggle to mount a substantial operation, even if we wanted to. But the real danger is not that Mr Cameron has suddenly developed a Blair-like desire to meet our responsibilities abroad – it’s that the rest of us no longer want to." – Benedict Brogan in The Telegraph


  • Cameron: Lord Mandelson should be investigated over alleged links to Gaddafi regime – Daily Mail
  • With oil at $120, green makes sense – Camilla Cavendish in The Times (£)

Theresa May takes on the police axeing £5,000 bonuses for simply 'doing the job'Daily Mail


"Theresa May has fired the opening shots in a battle over cuts to police pay and perks, telling officers to either accept reductions or face thousands more job losses. The home secretary’s comments in a speech in London on Wednesday are part of a fresh attempt by ministers to get on the front foot in highly charged public debates about controversial policies." – FT (£)

"Theresa May is ready to go where few before her have dared to tread. The last wholesale reform of police pay and conditions, attempted by John Major’s government in 1993, quickly floundered in the face of concerted opposition by the Police Federation. And the officers’ trade union also put paid to Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s comparatively modest attempt to reject a pay increase in 2008. For the new Home Secretary, however, the stakes are much higher because the Government is so short of money. Hence Ms May has delivered a grim ultimatum: the police must either accept pay cuts or lose thousands of frontline jobs." – Yorkshire Post leader

LANSLEY ANDREW NW Health reforms:

  • Nearly nine out of 10 (89%) doctors think increasing competition in the NHS will lead to services being fragmented – Express
  • "Andrew Lansley’s plans to hand over the commissioning of £80bn of care to GPs will stymie the major reshaping of hospital services that is needed in many parts of the country, warns a report from the King’s Fund health think-tank." – FT (£)
  • Health Minister Paul Burstow: 'scandalous' ageism is rife in the NHS – Telegraph

DUNCAN SMITH AITW Coalition in Brief:

  • IDS set to win battle for £140 basic pension for all – Daily Mail
  • Government's Wolf report: Too many young people are doing vocational courses which boost league tables but do not lead to university or a job – BBC
  • Financial mismanagement within Whitehall risks undermining Coalition's cuts programme – Guardian
  • 52% read to protest over price of fuel – The Sun
  • The Sun Says attacks 2,600% increase in air passenger duty since its introduction in 1994.
  • Time for George Osborne to tackle our "terrible" tax code – Allister Heath in the City AM

MPs' accommodation claims drop from £10.7m before expenses crisis to £6.8m nowGuardian

Voting under way in Barnsley Central by-electionBBC

Free prescriptions for all in Scotland – paid for by English taxpayersDaily Mail

Wales expected to give Cardiff Assembly powers to pass laws in today's referendumBBC

And finally… Ann Widdecombe to take part in Snow White panto in Dartford, KentMirror