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6.30pm WATCH: Lord Taylor sentenced to a year's imprisonment for expenses fraud

4pm ToryDiary: Operation Castrate-the-Right is underway

3.30pm Alex Morton on Comment: The Independent is wrong – renting isn't always a good thing

12.30pm WATCH:

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11am Nicholas Bryars: What Tories must do to win again in Leicester and similar cities in the Midlands and North of England

ToryDiary: Why Al Qaeda may no longer be Britain's main Islamist problem.  Lessons for the Prevent Review

Also on ToryDiary: Who are the three most effective Cabinet ministers?

Lord Risby on Comment: The Muslim Brotherhood is on the rise in Egypt

Local Government:

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LeftWatch: Balls moves to team up with Conservative Eurosceptics

Parliament: Times survey of peers proves that turkeys won't vote for Christmas

Ryan Bourne on ThinkTankCentral: The Bank of England's inflation forecasts are getting increasingly inaccurate

WATCH: Alistair Burt MP in Islamabad: Security, trade – and minority rights in Pakistan

Peers give Clegg's Lords plan the thumbs down

Screen shot 2011-05-31 at 08.21.29 "An overwhelming majority of the Upper House believes that it would be unconstitutional for the Government to create an elected chamber in the face of objections from peers…The Times understands that Tory ministers, including Theresa May, the Home Secretary, have voiced concern that other public service reforms risk being sacrificed in the coming session by the anticipated trench warfare over Lords reform."  – The Times (£)

No 10 denies Lansley is to resign over NHS reforms

"David Cameron was forced to issue a vote of confidence in his Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, yesterday as ministers search for an NHS reform blueprint acceptable to both parts of the Coalition.  There has been growing speculation over Mr Lansley's future since his plans to overhaul the NHS were dramatically halted by Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg in the face of a rebellion from health professionals." – The Independent

Final day of NHS listening exercise: register your views here

> Yesterday: WATCH – John Healey says Coalition's NHS reorganisation will divert £2 billion from patient care

Huhne investigation approaches end of roadThe Guardian

Petraeus's British deputy warns against mixed Afghanistan signals

Screen shot 2011-05-31 at 08.23.17 "General James Bucknall said Barack Obama’s surge of reinforcements which arrived last year should stay for two more summer fighting seasons and warned of sending mixed signals to the insurgency with talk of withdrawal.  Helmand…was again likely to see some of the heaviest fighting this summer, he predicted.  His comments in an interview with The Daily Telegraph come amid heated debate between generals and politicians in London and Washington over how quickly to hand over the war to Afghan forces." – Daily Telegraph

Labour spokesman John Spellar asks whether Government will ban cheddar cheese sandwiches in hospitals  – The Independent

Aid money to boost companies in poorer countries

"The plan is part of a Coalition effort to win support for David Cameron’s controversial decision to increase the aid budget while cutting spending elsewhere in Whitehall.  Andrew Mitchell said the new approach to aid spending will “help private enterprise work its miracles as the engine of development”.  The prospect of taxpayers’ money being used to finance businesses abroad may rile Conservative critics of aid spending, but Mr Mitchell insisted that helping poor countries get richer is in Britain’s long-term interests." – Daily Telegraph

Indian schools aid "squandered" after standards fall  – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: WATCH – Nigel Farage attacks Coalition's human rights and aid policies on Sky News

Screen shot 2011-05-31 at 08.40.54 Cameron sticking to same old blue and black polo shirtsDaily Mail

Lord Stern: window for action on global warming "is now closing”

"If people did deliver on their obligations or their estimates of cuts that they gave in Cancun, in last December, then it would take us back in ten years time roughly to where we are now. That would be 10% above where we need to be for a two degree centigrade path which is the one that people normally regard as on the borderline of dangerous." – Politics Home (£)

Coalition and Political News in Brief

David Miliband backs the Big Society

David Miliband "David Miliband says the Tories and Lib Dems are more representative of the country than the Labour party led by his younger brother, Ed.  In an extraordinary intervention, the former foreign secretary said the coalition party had more MPs who reflected Britain.  Mr Miliband, who was elbowed out of the way for the top Labour job by ‘Red Ed’, also warned of the danger of the party ‘lapsing into long-term opposition’." – Daily Mail

Salmond accused of ignoring voters

"Alex Salmond was accused yesterday of using his political office to promote the fight for independence instead of focusing on domestic issues and shoring up the Scottish economy as he promised in his manifesto.  Opposition leaders rounded on the First Minister after a first month in office dominated by constitutional wrangles…The SNP cabinet will today discuss how to circumvent the London court and ensure that Scottish appeals in future go directly to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg." – The Times (£)

"Local LibDems" (i.e: Dr Evan Harris) tilt against faith groups…

"Grassroots Liberal Democrats are to press for government guarantees that greater involvement from faith-based groups in the provision of public services under the "Big Society" will be subject to strict safeguards to protect secularism and prevent proselytising.  The move comes against the backdrop of recent tie-ups between local government and faith groups. seeking to play a role in provision of services in potentially sensitive areas, such as advising on sexual health." – The Guardian

…While national ones don't pay interns (despite Clegg's campaign to the contrary)

"Sneaky Lib Dems are offering unpaid work experience despite Nick Clegg's vow to stamp it out.  The Deputy PM has said all interns should get a decent wage so youngsters from poorer backgrounds can get a start in politics.  But an online job advert for internships at the Lib Dem HQ warns applicants will not get a salary but only limited travel expenses and a lunch worth up to £5." – The Sun

"Cameron friends plot Second Coalition"

Screen shot 2011-05-31 at 08.46.44 "But what is fascinating is that the prospect of a coalition, created voluntarily by consenting partners, rather than being forced on the parties by electoral arithmetic and economic crisis, is even being considered. The idea has been discussed at the highest level in the Government, including among some at No 10.  “If we win a majority of less than 20 — which seems quite likely — then there would be a strong case for still including the Lib Dems,” says an ally of Mr Cameron." – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Aides to Cameron want Coalition to continue even if Tories win a majority

Other comment

And finally…Who's the sexiest MP?  (Since you asked, Simon Hughes registers at 397th)

"Politics has been described as showbusiness for ugly people.  But now a website which asks its visitors to rate the attractiveness – or otherwise – of MPs has divided opinion at Westminster.  Sexymp.co.uk has caused a storm, and raised a few laughs, in the corridors of power by asking the public to rank which MP they would most like to sleep with." – Daily Mail

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71 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 31st May 2011

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