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5.30pm WATCH

2.45pm Local Government: Action to boost voluntary sector and cut red tape for councils

1.30pm WATCH: Lansley – I will be at the RCN Congress this afternoon

11.45am: ToryDiary: First Osborne slams the Electoral Reform Society. Now Warsi complains to its Chief Executive

10.15am ToryDiary: There he is! George Osborne, the human submarine, surfaces to attack AV.

ToryDiary: Hague satisfied with progress in Libyan mission despite NATO failing to share burden

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Mark Littlewood on Comment: If there is to be an immigration cap, the Government should sell that limited number of work permits and visas

Also on Comment, Charles Tannock MEP: London’s art market will suffer unless a further exemption from the EU Directive on artists’ resale rights can be secured

Local Government: The alternative approaches of Brent and Bucks towards libraries

WATCH: Health minister Anne Milton tells the RCN conference that anyone considering entering politics ought to wait until they are over 45

European court gives Cameron ultimatum on prisoner votes

Prisoners votes "European judges yesterday gave David Cameron a six month ultimatum to give prisoners the vote after snubbing the views of the UK parliament. The Coalition lost its final appeal against a ruling that some inmates should be allowed to vote because of their human rights. The rejection, from the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, came despite a vote in parliament that overwhelmingly opposed giving prisoners a vote. It means the Government now has until September to act or face a flood of compensation claims, which it will almost certainly lose." – Daily Telegraph

"MPs said it was ‘astonishing’ that Europe should seek to decide how and when Britain’s sovereign Parliament should pass laws. Tory Dominic Raab said: ‘It is shocking arrogance for the Strasbourg Court to dismiss the legitimate concerns of  Britain’s elected law-makers without even listening to the arguments. Britain must stand firm against this growing abuse of power by unaccountable judges’." – Daily Mail

> Last night on ConHome: David Davis attacks new ECHR ultimatum on votes for prisoners

Nurses to debate motion of no confidence in Andrew Lansley

"Nurses' leaders will today debate a motion of no-confidence in the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley – just hours before he arrives at their annual congress to take part in a "listening exercise". In a sign that ministerial attempts to reassure nurses about their plans for NHS reform are failing, members of the Royal College of Nursing voted overwhelmingly to debate the emergency motion shortly after being addressed by the Health minister Anne Milton. If passed it will be the first such no-confidence motion in 30 years." – The Independent

  • NHS funding pressures hitting frontline, says A&E chief – The Guardian
  • Patients are denied high cost drugs by NHS trusts – Daily Telegraph

No2AV is now seven points aheadUK Polling Report

Osborne slams "dodgy" Yes to AV campaign…

George Osborne 2010 Chancellors debate "What really stinks is one of the ways the Yes campaign is funded. The Electoral Reform Society – which is running some of the referendum ballots – stands to benefit if AV comes in because it could be one of the people who provide these electronic voting machines. That is exactly the sort of dodgy, behind-the-scenes shenanigans that people don't like about politics and politicians. The No campaign have asked for it to be investigated by the Electoral Commission. I certainly think there are some very serious questions to be answered." – George Osborne quoted in The Sun

  • The No campaign is built on fear and cynicism – Independent editorial

…as senior IMF man endorses his economic strategy

"In a strong endorsement of the Government’ s plan to reduce the fiscal deficit, the IMF’s Head of Fiscal Affairs, Carlo Cottarelli said yesterday that George Osborne’s approach is “entirely appropriate” – and added that the Government's borrowing targets, the “fiscal mandate”, would be met. This is the first time a senior Fund official has explicitly and publicly endorsed Mr Osborne's forecasts." – The Independent

Fears of a "lost generation" of young unemployed

"Fears that a generation of young people could be locked out of the jobs market will be fuelled today by figures expected to show that record numbers are looking for work. Economists forecast that there will soon be one million 16 to 24-year-olds unemployed, with little prospect of any short-term improvement given the slow rate of growth." – The Times (£)

William Hague seeks wider Nato support on Libya…

William Hague serious 2011 "France and Britain, which first launched air attacks on Libya in coalition with the United States, yesterday criticised Nato's bombing campaign, saying it must do more to stop Muammar al-Gaddafi bombarding civilians… "We must maintain and intensify our efforts in Nato," Mr Hague said, "That is why the United Kingdom has in the last weeks supplied additional aircraft capable of striking ground targets threatening the civilian population. Of course, it would be welcome if other countries also did the same." – The Scotsman

…as Moussa Koussa heads to join him and others at conference in Qatar

"Libya's most high profile defector, foreign minister Moussa Koussa, flew out of the UK on Tuesday to take part in a critical peace conference amid anger from Lockerbie campaigners and accusations of "betrayal" levelled at the British government. Koussa made his surprise departure to Doha after the Foreign Office said he was "a free individual, who can travel to and from the UK as he wishes". – The Guardian

What is the end game in Libya?John Redwood's blog

Hague denounces Iran's human rights recordAFP

Protect BBC World Service from cuts, urges Foreign Affairs CommitteeSky News

Pickles warns councils of travellers who may set up illegal camps over Royal Wedding weekend…

"Town halls were instructed last night to be ‘vigilant’ against travellers using the distraction of the royal wedding weekend to set up illegal encampments. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles gave the warning as he unveiled plans to rip up controversial planning rules which make it easier to establish new traveller sites. He is scrapping rules, introduced by Labour, which permitted the building of camps on green belt land." – Daily Mail

…as he takes on town halls over cuts to charities

"Eric Pickles is waging war on councils trying to cut the amount of money they give to voluntary groups, with guidelines that force local authorities to give charities notice of cuts and avoid “disproportionate” reductions in funding for such groups." – FT (£)

The tributes pour in for Sir Simon Milton, the man "who made Boris Johnson's ideas reality"

Simon Milton "Boris Johnson has suffered both a personal and political blow with the death of Sir Simon Milton, his chief of staff who became a close friend and who was widely seen as "the operational brain" behind the Conservative London mayor's administration. Johnson, who was at Milton's hospital bedside when he died on Monday night, described Milton as a "great colleague and wonderful friend" as he led tributes from across the party political divide." – The Guardian

"Milton complemented the Mayor perfectly: Johnson was the retail politician, the great communicator; whereas Milton was the salon politician, who none the less accumulated vast power behind the scenes as the master of the critical details. On almost any awkward or complex issue, Johnson’s inevitable response was “Let’s speak to Simon”. -  Daily Telegraph obituary

"A spokesman for Boris Johnson said he was the man who was able to make his boss's ideas a reality." – The Independent

> Yesterday on ConHome:

Now Gillian Duffy ambushes Nick Clegg in Rochdale…

Gillian Duffy "The woman who was famously branded 'a bigoted woman' by Gordon Brown took on another leader yesterday in the form of Nick Clegg. Gillian Duffy took on the Deputy PM as he toured Rochdale yesterday morning and questioned him on his alleged sell-out to the Tories." – Daily Express

"The pensioner is close to Simon Danczuk, the town's Labour MP, who captured the seat from the Lib Dems last year… Suspicion among Clegg's aides about Labour's involvement in Tuesday's face-off was confirmed when Danczuk admitted he had suggested to Duffy that she should challenge the deputy prime minister." – The Guardian

> Video from yesterday: Gillian Duffy's back – and this time, she confronts Nick Clegg

…as the Lib Dem leader rejects call to quit the Coalition

"Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday dismissed a call from a senior party figure to pull the Liberal Democrats out of the coalition government or face extinction. Mr Clegg said Warren Bradley, his party's leader on Liverpool City Council, was "wrong" and claimed he was doing the opposition's job for them in calling for a split from the Tories." -  The Independent

  • Liverpool Liberal Democrat Warren Bradley to face leadership challege after outburst at Nick Clegg – Liverpool Daily Post

Simon Wolfon: Let's build an Oxford-Cambridge motorway and create a "Brain Belt"

Simon Wolfson "It takes nearly three hours to drive from Oxford to Cambridge, yet they are barely 75 miles apart. The effect of joining them by a motorway (mainly following existing routes) would be transformative. It would run from Oxford via Bicester, Milton Keynes and Bedford before arriving at Cambridge, creating an outer north- westerly arc around the South East." – Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise writing in The Times (£)

Bruce Anderson: Cameron is losing touch with core Tories

"When many of today’s middle classes hear about social mobility they worry about social discrimination against their children, fearing that they might be denied the jobs and university places that they earned through hard work. They worry about a form of discrimination that is not only still legal but encouraged: against the white middle classes. These fears may be exaggerated, but they are real. Mr Cameron gives the impression he has not thought the matter through. It is time he did." – Bruce Anderson in the FT (£)

  • Why does the Prime Minister instinctively take a Leftist, statist or interventionist approach to almost every issue he addresses? – Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron's spat with Oxford over admittance figures misses the point – Harry Phibbs in the Daily Mail

Political news in brief

  • The state of the parties' poll ratings since the general election – Nottingham University's Ballots and Bullets blog
  • Clegg wades into Oxbridge admissions row as he accuses them of being biased against poor students – Daily Mail
  • David Miliband says he no longer dreams of being PM… – BBC
  • …and says we will have to talk to the Taliban – The Sun
  • Labour told: gain 1,000 seats in council elections or you've failed – The Independent
  • Ken Clarke urged to test validity of shaken baby syndrome – The Times (£)
  • PCS Union warns of national civil servant strike – Reuters
  • Four out of ten will have to work until 70 – Daily Express
  • Irish Taoiseach to meet Cameron in London next week – Press Association

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48 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 13th April 2011

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