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6.45pm ToryDiary: Police confirm Andrew Bridgen MP has no complaint to answer

Claire Perry5pm Parliament: Claire Perry makes the case for a Remembrance Day bank holiday

4.45pm Local Government: Shared back office costs saves libraries

4.30pm Tom Clougherty on Comment: Ed Balls’ suggestion of a temporary VAT cut is pure politics – and bad economics

4.15pm Local Government: LGC's false claim that Pickles has only visited three councils

3.30pm John Baron MP on Comment: Skirmishes over the Government’s NHS reforms have been a distraction – the new focus on outcomes remains the big idea

2.30pm LeftWatch: If Ken LIvingstone is really refusing to take Bob Crow's money, why won't he condemn his RMT strikes?

Andrew Murrison Iraq1.30pm Andrew Murrison MP on Comment takes pride in seeing the military covenant being written into law on the day that his book on the subject is published

1pm WATCH: Ed Balls calls for a temporary reversal of the VAT rise

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and conservative news

11.30am ToryDiary: Posters of Lenin, Obama and THIS adorn Michael Gove's office…

11am ThinkTankCentral update: Neil O'Brien pays tribute to Charles Moore as he formally welcomes Daniel Finkelstein as the new chairman of Policy Exchange

10.30am LeftWatch: Ed Balls' call for an emergency cut in VAT

ToryDiary: Taking advantage of weak strike laws, union leaders see Cameron as more of a Heath than a Thatcher, who will give ground on public sector pensions

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Andrew Lilico on Comment: Twenty things Westminster needs to know about Greece and its debts

Also on Comment: Simon Reevell MP writes that The Government cannot reduce crime and deliver justice on the cheap

MILBURN ALAN LeftWatch: Alan Milburn lambasts the Government for diluting the NHS reforms as Cameron uses support from Blair and Blairites "as a protective shield"

Parliament: Pro-European Tories, including Brittan and Heseltine, join with Lib Dem peers to defeat referendum lock

Local Government:

Gazette: Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley gets engaged

ConHome USA: Could Romney-Bachmann be the 2012 ticket?

WATCH: George Osborne announces in his Mansion House speech that Northern Rock will be put up for sale

Michael Gove to turn England's 200 worst-performing primaries into academies

Michael Gove 2011 "Two hundred of England's worst-performing primary schools will be closed next year and re-opened as academies, the government is to say. Education Secretary Michael Gove says this will force schools which have failed to get their pupils to expected levels in maths and English to improve… Another 500 will be told they have three years to improve their standards." – BBC

"Speaking to head teachers at the National College for School Leadership, Mr Gove will criticise the ‘low expectations culture’ in some schools. He is set to say Britain risks losing ground to rapidly-developing economies in Asia unless the pace of improvement in the education system is accelerated." – Daily Mail

  • Michael Gove’s plans for education don’t allow for a moment’s pause – James Forsyth in The Spectator
  • Neil O'Brien: Michael Gove returns to plan 'A' (for Adonis) – Neil O'Brien in the Daily Telegraph

Public services reform stalled "as No 10 gets the jitters"

"After the embarrassment over NHS reform, fears of a second backlash from health professionals and the spectre of public sector strikes this summer, the Prime Minister’s commitment to “transform” public services is being postponed. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, who has been working on the plan, told The Times yesterday that it would be out “within months”, an acknowledgement that even if the White Paper is published in September, the reform cannot possibly come into effect until next year… Indecision about the timing of the paper centres on a dispute between Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s chief strategist, and George Osborne on the pace of reform." – The Times (£)

  • NHS reform principles intact, Andrew Lansley insists – The Guardian
  • Political failure has scuppered NHS reform – Telegraph editorial

George Osborne says the UK must end its reliance on the City…

Osborne NewX "The chancellor, George Osborne, has set out plans to tackle the "British dilemma", saying the country needed a settlement with the City that would keep London as a global financial centre without putting the rest of the economy at risk. Adopting a conciliatory approach to bankers in his Mansion House address, the chancellor sought to draw a line under the financial crisis by announcing the sale of Northern Rock." – The Guardian

  • Britain in the middle of seven lean years, says Sir Mervyn King – Daily Telegraph
  • "George Osborne has been politically astute in backing ring-fencing, but financially smart in not endorsing a separation of investment and retail banking" – Times (£) editorial

…as Ed Balls calls for an emergency tax cut…

"Shadow chancellor Ed Balls is to use a major policy speech to call for a temporary emergency tax cut to stimulate the economy. He will say acting now to counter the slowdown is a better option than "ploughing on and hoping for the best". Mr Balls says the economy needs a jump start and a tax cut would boost consumer confidence." – BBC

  • Balls repeats call on government to change course on deficit reduction – Press Association

…and Miliband plans attack on "wasteful Government spending"

Miliband Ed ITN "The Labour leader is drawing up new tests to ensure a future government cracks down on waste in public spending, mirroring David Miliband’s call for the party to say “no to mean government and yes to lean government”. The move is a tacit admission that Labour did not always spend wisely in office, although Mr Miliband will stop short of a full mea culpa." – The Times (£)

Tory MPs criticise extra £9bn for IMF

"Britain has committed £9 billion more to the International Monetary Fund in order to shore up crisis-ridden economies such as Greece. Documents reveal that the Government has agreed to almost double its “subscription” from £10.5 billion to just under £20 billion. Angry Conservative MPs said that the money was needed at home. But a Treasury spokesman said they had got “all the facts wrong” on the UK’s membership of the fund." – The Times (£)

> Greg Hands MP on Comment yesterday: Why we should reject any suggestion that we should either leave or not fund the IMF

Greek PM to reshuffle government to advance austerity plan

"Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said he will form a new cabinet Thursday and seek a vote of confidence from his fractious Socialist party to see through a harsh austerity bill, the target of major protests." – Reuters

> Video from yesterday: ‪Dramatic shots of Athens riots‬

UK braced for biggest wave of strikes since the 1980s

"Britain is facing the largest wave of strikes since the 1980s as about 750,000 public-sector employees stage a protest against threatened changes to their pensions. The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union yesterday announced that its members had voted to join teachers and university lecturers in a one-day co-ordinated walk-out on 30 June." – The Independent

Serious criminals could still get 50% off jail terms as Cameron and Clarke thrash out dealDaily Mail

Benedict Brogan: Tory principles drive David Cameron's resolve to help the world's poor

Benedict Brogan "As the chief executive of UK plc, the Prime Minister has a duty to the nation’s shareholders to deliver sustainable growth and create jobs, while keeping in line with society and its expectations. He calculates that a small investment in improving the condition of some of the benighted parts of the world can produce vast returns for Britain in the form of increased security, trade, diplomatic clout and goodwill… A recent survey of Tory members by the ConservativeHome website found that as Mr Cameron’s aid policy was explained, opposition fell away." – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

> The ToryDiary post from earlier this month to which Brogan refers

Matthew Parris: Put local councils in the dustbin of history

"For genuine localism we should close down town halls, centralise some powers and give others back to individuals" – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)

Other Comment:

  • Stephen Glover: If only our politicians were on the side of the ordinary people – and not the green fanatics and council jobsworths – Daily Mail
  • Baroness WIlliams: After all the arguments, where next for the NHS? – The Times (£)

News in brief

  • Government facing defeat over circus ban as animal groups dig their claws in – The Independent
  • Tory donor Peter Hall giving £200,000 to Anthony Grayling's university – The Guardian
  • I just can't afford private rent, says council tenant former minister Frank Dobson on £66,000 salary – Daily Mail
  • Anti-terror stop-and-search powers need 'safeguards' – BBC
  • Boris Johnson aide resigns after boasting about how he steals his lunch – Daily Mail

And finally… Peter Andre and Boris Johnson in unlikely storytelling partnershipMetro

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42 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 16th June 2011

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