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Picture 1 8pm Video flashback: On the first anniversary of the first TV election leaders' debate, relive what Clegg, Cameron and Brown had to say about the economy this time last year

7.15pm WATCH: Channel 4 News considers how both sides of the AV referendum campaign are using celebrity backers

4.30pm Robert Halfon MP on Comment: Is it a human right to have an iPad?

3.15pm WATCH: The world's fastest speaker tries to read out aloud the UK's increasingly complicated tax code

2.15pm Philip Cane on Comment: David Miliband’s plan for Afghanistan has the right focus but is plagued with naivety

DAVIS FORMAL1.15pm Parliament update: David Davis and Peter Bone add their voices to demands for a recall of Parliament to debate Libya again

Noon ToryDiary: The new Deputy Editor of ConservativeHome is Matthew Barrett

11.30am Parliament: Tory MP demands recall of Parliament to debate latest Libyan developments

10am ToryDiary: Four new rules for making the Coalition succeed

9.45am Local Government: Campaign for Better Transport paid over £50,000 of taxpayers' money

Picture 5ToryDiary: Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy agree that leaving Gaddafi in power would be "an unconscionable betrayal"

Adam Schoenborn on Comment argues that A true Tory economy embraces both supermarkets and communities

Local Government:

WATCH: DfID Minister Alan Duncan speaks about his recent visit to the United Nations

Cameron rejects Vince Cable's criticism on immigration…

David Cameron 2010 open neck serious "David Cameron has hit back at criticism by cabinet colleague Vince Cable over his promise to cut immigration to "tens of thousands" of people a year. The Lib Dem business secretary said the prime minister had been "very unwise" and that such a target was Conservative – not coalition government – policy… But the prime minister denied this and said his words had been "measured". – BBC

"The prime minister declared in his first major speech on the subject since the election that the government would cut net migration to the "tens of thousands" each year rather than hundreds of thousands." – The Guardian

"Mr Cameron said his plan was achievable because net migration from the EU to Britain in the year 2009-10 was 27,000 people, which he described as a "small proportion" compared with the 198,000 migrants who arrive here from outside the EU. But the Office for National Statistics said the Prime Minister had dramatically underestimated the figure for EU migration during the period, which it calculated was 57,000." – The Independent

"David Cameron’s immigration speech may have raised the hackles of one prominent Liberal Democrat colleague – Vince Cable – but it was a welcome tonic for many of his own MPs. Mr Cameron was determined to reconnect with the world view of rightwing Tory MPs and their core voters ahead of the local elections on May 5 to ensure a high turnout and a No result on the alternative vote." – FT (£)

…but the Business Secretary is stretching collective responsibility to the limit

Vince Cable 2011 "There is an element of political pantomime to the Business Secretary’s remarks. But this sort of thing is becoming tiresome. On many issues, Mr Cable is given considerable licence to take a contrarian view… However, the Business Secretary is also a member of the Cabinet – which is a privilege, not a right – and subject to the doctrine of collective responsibility. If he wants to regard himself as the nation’s conscience, he can always parade his principles on the back benches." – Daily Telegraph editorial

'It is a perverse situation where we have members of the Cabinet challenging what the Prime Minister is saying on government policy. You either choose to be on the backbenches and speak your mind, or join the Government and accept collective responsibility. Vince Cable is trying to have his cake and eat it." – Tory MP Philip Davies quoted in the Daily Mail

  • Almost one in eight people living in UK are born abroad – Daily Telegraph
  • Britain has let in far to many foreigners – Douglas Murray in the Daily Express
  • People are profoundly disturbed by the havoc that mass immigration has wreaked on parts of Britain – Ruth Dudley Edwards in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ConHome:

The Conservatives launch new No to AV poster campaign…

Picture 7
Click here to join the party's No to AV Group

…as Cameron speaks out again against AV…

"It’s wrong that the fifth choice of some Scottish Socialist voter can count as much as your first choice. It’s wrong that it lets lame-duck politicians cling on to power when the country doesn’t want them. Wrong, wrong, wrong." – Speech by David Cameron yesterday quoted by ePolitix.com

…Lord Forsyth suggests Scots could force AV on the whole UK…

Picture 10 "Britain will face a constitutional crisis if voters in Scotland  impose electoral reform on an  apathetic England, David Cameron was warned yesterday. Conservative former Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth claimed the Alternative Vote referendum on May 5 has been ‘rigged’ by the Liberal Democrats to try to ensure votes north of the border deliver a ‘yes’ vote. The peer told the Daily Mail that the historic Union between Scotland and England would be under serious threat if AV, in which candidates are ranked in order of preference, is introduced thanks to Scottish votes." – Daily Mail

…and Labour MPs castigate the Yes campaign

"Some Labour MPs are refusing to hand out leaflets backing the alternative vote because they say the Yes campaign implies they are lazy and corrupt. Ian Murray, Jeremy Corbyn and Kerry McCarthy said it was "insulting" to suggest that AV was needed to make MPs work harder and prevent expenses abuse." – BBC

  • Australia shows that AV does not end jobs for life, negative campaigns and tactical votes – Jason Groves in The Sun
  • William Rees-Mogg: Council seats swing, but AV would be for ever – The Times (£)

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: IPPR accused of using push polling to produce bogus results in poll on Alternative Vote

Welsh Conservatives to unveil Assembly manifesto

Welsh flag "Conservatives will set a target to improve the economy when they publish their Welsh assembly election manifesto… A Tory assembly government would set up a public-private-partnership scheme, called Building Together, to invest in infrastructure projects, including a major school building programme. It would seek to establish a direct air-link between Wales and north America and pay for the Severn bridge tolls to be frozen for car drivers until 2017. Conservatives are also planning to scrap business rates for small firms." – BBC

Osborne ready to block Brown's bid for IMF job

"George Osborne will block a bid by Gordon Brown to land a lucrative job at the International Monetary Fund because it would be ‘an insult to the British public’. The Chancellor is prepared to veto Mr Brown’s hopes of taking the helm at the IMF because he blames the former prime minister for having ‘wrecked’ the British economy." – Daily Mail

Musa Kusa may not return to Britain

"Mad Dog Gaddafi's henchman Musa Kusa is refusing to return to Britain, it was claimed last night. The tyrant's former spymaster has been handed back his passport and cash. He was allowed to travel freely to Qatar on Wednesday and no longer has his assets frozen. And last night EU sanctions on him were formally lifted." – The Sun

Robert Halfon Commons "Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP who has called for Koussa to face trial over his role in the Gaddafi regime, said it was wrong to lift the sanctions on him. Many people in Britain will be astonished by this action, because Moussa Koussa has yet to face a judicial process for his alleged crimes against humanity,” Mr Halfon said. “If he is to travel within Europe, it should be to the Hague and the International Criminal Court, where he should stand trial for his alleged crimes.” – Daily Telegraph

Thousands waiting longer for NHS treatment as target breached…

"Official figures show that some people have endured gaps of more than five months between being seen by their GP and being admitted to hospital, with the average wait lengthening by a full week over the past year alone." – Daily Telegraph

…as nurses vote for strike ballot over pay freeze

"Nursing leaders dealt another blow to ministers yesterday by voting overwhelmingly to ballot for industrial action if the Government attempted to freeze their pay. Delegates at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conference also voted massively in favour of a motion saying Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's reforms of the NHS would not benefit patient care." – The Independent

  • Prison officers to be balloted on industrial action – BBC
  • BA cabin crew call off strike over Easter and Royal wedding – Daily Telegraph

Peter Oborne: Sir Simon Milton let his noble actions speak far louder than any words

Simon Milton "Because of the person he was, he realised that policies, not personalities, are what really matter. He understood Ronald Reagan’s famous motto that there is no limit to what you can achieve in politics, so long as you are happy not to take the credit. This, too, took moral courage and insight at the height of the New Labour era of celebrity politics. But Sir Simon’s unassuming and modest manner helped to make him one of the most effective politicians of his age." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph

> Gazette: Tributes to Sir Simon Milton

News in brief

  • Spares shortages ground Typhoon jet pilots – Sky News
  • Bercow under fire over taxpayer-funded washing machines – The Sun
  • Thousands may sue over police kettling at G20 protests – The Guardian
  • Nigel Farage's crash pilot convicted of making threats to kill him – The Guardian
  • Third arrest over phone hacking at News of the World – The Guardian

Comment in brief

  • The government’s mission to shake up education has been a political struggle, but it is beginning to succeed – The Economist
  • Blue Labour has a lot going for it – Philip Collins in The Times (£)
  • Why the euro was doomed from the start – Frederick Forsyth in the Daily Express

And finally… Miliband's aides plead that he had no choice but to travel First Class – but they still tried to cover it up

Picture 9 "Labour leader Ed Miliband has been caught out trying to cover up his first-class train journey to the regions to reconnect with voters. Aides of Mr Miliband's were spotted taking away the 'First Class' seat covers just as the leader arrived on the London to Coventry train with cameras in tow… A spokesman for Mr Miliband insisted that he had only been travelling first class 'because train companies ask us to not disturb passengers in second class when we have a film crew accompanying us'." – Daily Mail

> WATCH: Ed Miliband squirms as Sky News' Joey Jones exposes how his aides tried to cover up the fact he was travelling First Class

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65 comments for: Newslinks for Friday 15th April 2011

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