8.30pm Local Government: David Cameron's council elections launch speech

8.15pm WATCH: ‪Yes to AV referendum Party Political B‬roadcast

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8pm Local Government: Sir Simon Milton's legacy to the City of Westminster and David Cameron's council elections launch speech

7.15pm ToryDiary: Speaking to ConservativeHome, David Davis attacks today's bid by the ECHR to force a timetable on Britain for votes for prisoners

6.30pm Gazette update: Cllr Colin Barrow, the leader of Westminster City Council, honours Simon Milton's memory.

5pm Greg Hands MP on Comment: An explanation on MPs, tax and the finance bill

3.45pm Local Government:  Boris Johnson's tribute to Sir Simon Milton

Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 14.39.23 2.45pm: Dr Philip Lee MP on Comment: Why now is the time to put a Briton into space

1pm ToryDiary: The Times – Nick Clegg ready for Ken Clarke to be replaced at Justice

12.45pm WATCH: Gillian Duffy's back – and this time, she confronts Nick Clegg

11am Gazette update: David Cameron's tribute to Sir Simon Milton

10.30am Steve Baker MP on Comment is furious about a provision in the Finance Bill to give MPs special tax treatment

ToryDiary: David Cameron, the Party and trust

In Comment:

Local Government: Liverpool Lib Dem leader urges Clegg to pull out of coalition

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Gazette: Sir Simon Milton, Deputy Mayor of London, has died

WATCH: France begins full face veil ban

Times poll backs up Ashcroft survey as tensions mount over Government policy on crime and punishment

Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 06.47.44 "The coalition comes under fresh pressure today to change key elements of its crime and punishment strategy as eight out of ten voters join a judges’ revolt against lenient sentences.  A Populus poll for The Times found the public worried that sentences are too short and prison life does not provide a deterrent, amid growing concern that the coalition appears soft on crime.  The findings are a blow to Kenneth Clarke, who is being urged to listen to concerns before the publication next month of a Bill to overhaul sentencing and cut the number of people jailed." – The Times (£)

Cameron in Oxford racism row…

"David Cameron was locked in a bitter row with Oxford University last night after accusing it of racism.  The Prime Minister – who studied at Oxford – denounced the institution as ‘disgraceful’ for admitting only one black student in an academic year.  But the university accused Mr Cameron of failing to get his facts straight, pointing out that 41 students from black and ethnic minority backgrounds were admitted that year." – Daily Mail

…And Graham Stuart says that schools, not Universities, are the problem

Graham Stuart, the Conservative chairman of the Commons education select committee, suggested that the Government's approach was wrong. "The problem we have with various minority groups in this country who don't get into the best universities is that they don't receive a sufficiently good education in the first place," he said.  "You don't solve that by forcing institutions with high standards to lower their intakes, you deal with it by improving the standards of state education for all." – Daily Telegraph

Cable comes to terms with Vickers report

Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 08.18.53 "After reading the interim report, a Cable source said: "Ideally, we would have preferred a complete break-up but there is very good analysis in the report that shows it would have been a very expensive option."…Cable may have resolved to stay in position despite his colleagues sharking for his job and to accept a less-than-perfect split within the banks.  Or he may really like the Vickers report and is now focused on making sure the government implements its recommendations far better than it did with Project Merlin." – The Guardian

"Senior Tories said criticism by the banks the Commission had gone too far and by trade unions and left-wing groups that it had not gone far enough suggested the Commission had "got it about right"…Mr Osborne, who was embroiled in a turf war with Mr Cable over responsibility for the banks last year, adopted a conciliatory approach towards the Liberal Democrats.  He said "I think that the decision we took to set up the Commission has been vindicated today." – Andrew Grice, The Independent

Lloyds lashes out at Vickers report – Financial Times (£)

Vickers report comment –

Yesterday on Comment:

Cash and Bone urge Parliament recall over Portugal bailout

"Angry Tories are demanding Parliament be recalled to debate Chancellor George Osborne’s £4billion Portuguese bailout.  Wellingborough MP Peter Bone said: “We should not have any more bailouts without approval.”  Bill Cash, MP for Stone, added: “There is a powerful case for recall. If George Osborne had got up in his Budget and said he had agreed to underwrite £4billion of guarantees, then that would have seriously changed the whole thing.” – Daily Mirror

Hunt urges Arsenal bidder to keep fans involved

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT "The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has urged Arsenal's prospective new owner to retain and strengthen fans' involvement in the club's ownership structure.  Stan Kroenke, the American sports and real estate mogul who has launched a £731m takeover bid, has encouraged the activities of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust's Fanshare scheme. Hunt urged him to continue to do so if he takes full ownership.  "I have heard very positive noises that he is very supportive of fan involvement," said Hunt." – The Guardian

Hague to Gaddafi: Stop killing your people and we’ll stop bombing

"Britain will carry on bombing Libya until Colonel Gaddafi stops slaughtering his own people, William Hague warned yesterday.  The Foreign Secretary insisted Nato will continue to defend the country's civilians.  He spoke out after African leaders called for an immediate ceasefire. Mr Hague said in London: "A ceasefire will only work if it truly provides for the protection of civilians. Anything short of this would be a betrayal of the people and play into the hands of the regime." – The Sun

Coalition and Political News in Brief

Clegg disappears from Sheffield LibDem leaflets

Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 08.36.50 "A year ago Clegg's mugshot popped up on every page of the Hallamshire Herald, whose front page ran the banner headline: "We're backing Nick!" On page two, under two pictures of Clegg, the Lib Dems printed pictures of the party's five councillors in Hallam.  Wind forward 12 months and there are no pictures of Clegg. The editors of an edition of the Lib Dem Focus freesheet have decided not to remind voters that Hallam has elected Britain's deputy prime minister as it runs the following headline on its front page: "Work starts on Stannington Park." – The Guardian

Deputy Prime Minister plays down Lamb's threat to quit – Press Association

London protests follow French face veil ban

"France's controversial burka ban became law today sparking a protest in Paris during which two women wearing full face veils were arrested.  The demonstrations, however, were on a relatively small scale with the handful of protesters being outnumbered by police, reporters and tourists.   Ironically, the biggest protest was actually in London where a group of women in full black burkas gathered outside the French Embassy." – Daily Mail

  • Ban the burka in Britain – Taj Hargey, Daily Mail
  • Agnès Poirier: This excessive law tempts me to put a veil on myself – The Independent

Rubbish is none of Pickles's business

Eric Pickles "But why on earth should a Cabinet minister be responsible for the regularity of a local refuse service? By giving the impression that this is something that should be willed from the centre, Mr Pickles merely reinforces local irresponsibility, where bad things are blamed on the government, while good things are somehow the council's achievement.  The logic of localism is to let local councillors raise the money for their own refuse service and run it as they see fit on the basis of a manifesto put before the electorate. They should will the means – including, if necessary, wholesale privatisation – and they should take the rap if it all goes wrong." – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

Other Comment

  • Memo ahead of Queen's visit to Ireland: mug up on peace process and the Turf – Wintour and Watt, The Guardian
  • We must stop Bosnia becoming another Libya – Lord Ashdown, The Times (£)
  • Lambs to the slaughter? – John Redwood's Blog
  • If Assad falls, we will see all the region's alliances unravel – Patrick Seale, The Guardian

And finally…The Guardian's pass notes on the new novel by Mrs Speaker

"And how does John feel about his wife's raunchy new literary turn? He's in no position to criticise. Aged 23 he wrote an article for a rightwing student magazine titled The John Bercow Guide to Understanding Women, offering guidance on how to pull with "drunk girls", "refined girls" and "virgins"."

Ha, what a misogynistic loser. Yeah. LOL, etc.

Any good tips though? Loads. Choice excerpts include the observation that "women will settle for anything that breathes and has a credit card" and the warning: "There's nothing more dangerous than an armed hysterical virgin." – The Guardian


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