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7.45pm WATCH: David Cameron: Britain will not "stand silent" over the Syrian government's repression

6a00d83451b31c69e20147e31f9807970b5.30pm Parliament: Conservative MEPs vote against new European budget increases

5pm Local government:

4pm Robert Halfon MP on Comment: Conservatives should embrace Trade Unionism

Osborne Neville SR 13pm Gazette: George Osborne hosts charity reception at Number 11 with footballer Phil Neville

2.30pm WATCH:

2pm Julia Manning on Comment assesses the Prime Minister’s changes to the Health Bill

1pm ToryDiary: At PMQs, Ed Miliband asks David Cameron about Ken Clarke's policies and the NHS

10.30am Parliament: David Davis draws attention to prison-visiting imam who celebrated Taliban jail-break

Flowers

ToryDiary: Cameron cannot win every fight with flowers

ToryDiary: The C-o-n-s-e-r-v-a-t-i-o-n Party

Caroline Spelman MP on Comment: Protecting the nature around us is fundamental to improving the state of our environment

Seats and Candidates: David Wilson set to be Conservative candidate at Inverclyde by-election

Local Government: Cllr Robert Light, leader of the Conservative Group on Kirklees Council: Why I'm standing for Chairman of the LGA Conservative Group

Maths

Parliament: Government unlikely to be defeated by alliance of Labour and Tory rebels on €uro bailouts

ThinkTankCentral: In report on long-term care, 2020health recommends action to prevent and delay dependency

Gazette: Conservative MPs dominate victorious House of Commons Tug of War team

Ken Clarke told to abandon shorter sentencing plans

ClarkeOnPoliticsShow "The Prime Minister summoned the Justice Secretary to a one-to-one meeting in Downing Street yesterday and effectively ordered a reluctant Mr Clarke back to the drawing board." - The Times (£)

"BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue said the government was due to publish firm plans on sentencing shortly, but this rethink was likely to delay the process for some time. He said halving sentences for those criminals who pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity had provoked concern on the Conservative backbenches and that idea might be shelved." - BBC

  • 6a00d83451b31c69e201538ee914e2970b-150wi The Sun turns its attention to judges
    "The judges say they must be independent. They say they must be allowed to use their discretion when passing sentence. But a judiciary so far out of step with what the public desires is marching on dangerous ground by fuelling disrespect for our long tradition of law and order. Of course, our fearless Justice Secretary Ken Clarke could step in and read them the riot act. Don't hold your breath." - The Sun Says

Cameron abandons deadline for NHS reforms…

Cameron-and-NHS"The Prime Minister said he was prepared to delay the key reforms to GP commissioning. By extending the deadline past 2013, he risks crossing one of the “blue lines” set out by Tory MPs worried about the policy being hijacked by the junior coalition partner. Last night, after Mr Cameron’s speech, in which he outlined the planned changes to the controversial Health Bill, the Lib Dems appeared delighted with the concessions." - Daily Telegraph

…as Conservatives resent concessions to Clegg

"Tory MP Nick de Bois, who sat on the committee examining the Bill, said sticking to the original time-table was crucial. ‘One of the fundamentals – one of the pillars – of the Bill is… that we can remove the vast swathes of bureaucracy from primary care trusts and returning power to GPs by April 2013,’ he said." – Daily Mail

"David Cameron has reinstated Labour’s target of a maximum 18-week wait for NHS treatment and pledged that health spending will increase in real terms even if inflation rises faster than expected." – Financial Times (£)

  • Andrew Lansley suing French drug firm who 'billed NHS £220m too much' for blood pressure pills – Daily Mail
  • Miliband and Cameron back cross-party talks on care – BBC
  • NHS reform? Just another dish for this obese dinosaur – Simon Jenkins in The Guardian
  • My four challenges for the health service – Ara Darzi in the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday:

Theresa May's anti-terrorism review published

May Theresa Home Office "Home Secretary Theresa May has launched the government's updated strategy for tackling terrorism by saying there needs to be better focus on preventing extremism at community levels." – BBC

"Hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money earmarked to counter terrorism was instead handed to extremist groups, it emerged last night. Radical Islamists were bankrolled with money which should have been used to combat their anti-Western ideology, a Government report concluded." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The new Prevent policy won't succeed without an enforcer. I nominate Lord Carlile

Cameron gives go-ahead to Afghan troop withdrawal

CAMERONinAFGHANISTAN"In London, sources said that British Forces in the south of the country were likely to be cut by more than the 450 troops announced by David Cameron, and that Britain would speed up its departure plans if US commanders led the way. “The most important thing is that we are seen to do this in concert with the Americans,” one senior government official said." – The Times (£)

  • Call a ceasefire in Afghanistan this summer - Sherard Cowper-Coles in The Times (£)

Oxford dons declare 'no confidence' in Willetts

WILLETTS DAVID"The university's governing body backed a motion condemning the government's higher education policy by 283 votes to five. (…) In a packed auditorium, this so-called parliament of dons delivered a powerful symbolic blow to the government's university reforms. As the result of the vote was delivered, there were cheers from inside and from student protesters outside. The university's council will now write to the universities minister to pass on this official condemnation." - BBC

  • Troubled universities may axe courses before they're completed - Daily Mail

Francis Maude sets up public sector anti-fraud "taskforce"

MAUDE-ON-POLITICS-SHOW"The government is to set up a new counter-fraud network to identify career fraudsters who target the public sector, contributing to £21bn of taxpayers' money leaking out of the system illegally. Ministers say 3p in every pound spent by the government is lost to fraud, the vast majority through tax evasion and corruption in the welfare system, and there is evidence of fraudsters manipulating the government's payment systems repeatedly to siphon off funds. Some get insider help from state employees." - The Guardian

  • Billions of taxpayers' money is being lost to fraud – Francis Maude in the Daily Telegraph

Grant Shapps announces plans to build 100,000 new homes on redundant publicly-owned land

Shapps Grant On BBC"Grant Shapps, the Housing minister, will announce plans to force Whitehall departments to release an area of land twice the size of Leicester to be developed. A committee chaired by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, will go through the plans to make sure every possible site is made available for house-building. The sale of the land could raise up to £10billion, according to experts." – Daily Telegraph

David Cameron and Alex Salmond meet for the first time post-elections

SALMOND-ALEX "Last night, Mr Salmond's spokesman said the SNP Government would concentrate on economic rather than constitutional issues at the meeting. Independence and the SNP's wish for Scottish control over corporation tax, borrowing powers and the Crown Estate to be incorporated in the Scotland Bill at Westminster will come up tomorrow when Mr Salmond meets with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in Edinburgh." - The Scotsman

Benedict Brogan: The voters may have abandoned Nick Clegg, but David Cameron still needs him

4601012387_270ac5a14e_b "…Conservative MPs are putting it about that the Coalition could be unwound as early as 2013 at the instigation of the Lib Dems. They have put the bellows under rumours that Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary who facilitated the Coalition negotiations last year, is re-examining the civil service advice on how a “confidence and supply” minority Conservative administration might operate. This parlour game would see Mr Clegg withdraw from formal coalition but offer to keep Mr Cameron in power by supporting his work to eliminate the deficit. Under this scenario, the Lib Dems would free themselves from the restrictions of coalition in order to reassert their identity as a distinctive party on issues close to their hearts, such as the environment or housing." – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

Households hit by £200 increase in gas and electricity bills

"Families face a fresh round of energy price rises that will add almost £200 to bills. Scottish Power last night announced gas tariffs are to rise by 19 per cent, with electricity up 10 per cent. The move – sure to be followed by rivals – will add an average of £187 to annual bills, taking the figure to £1,398 for a dual fuel contract paid by cash or cheque." - Daily Mail

  • MPs call for inquiry into shale gas drilling after earthquakes - The Independent

Political news in brief

  • MPs want extra independents on Bank committee – Financial Times (£)
  • More than 2,000 frontline police to demonstrate against cuts in London next month – Daily Telegraph
  • UK taxpayers forced to share compensation bill for Germany's E.coli outbreak – Daily Mail
  • Lady Thatcher snubs Sarah Palin's request for a meeting in London – Daily Mail

Labour seeks to build a friendlier relationship with business

"Labour is no longer seen as an anti-business party after 13 years of responsible government, according to John Denham, shadow business secretary. Mr Denham said there was no need for a repeat of the early 1990s when Labour engaged in a ferocious attempt to seduce corporate leaders; the so-called “prawn cocktail offensive”." – Financial Times (£)

Ed Miliband gurning And finally… the Daily Mail highlights Ed Miliband's "gurning" during a speech yesterday

"Ed Miliband returned to work today a married man – and, judging by his animated expressions, it looked as if he was reliving every single emotion he has felt over the last few weeks in the space of a few minutes." – Daily Mail

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