6.15pm Parliament: Crossbencher Baroness D'Souza elected new Lord Speaker
4.45pm ToryDiary Nick Clegg gives Boris a lesson in loyalty Update: Theresa May responds? – "the advice the Mayor takes is a matter for the Mayor."
3.45pm ToryDiary: Nick Clegg gives Boris a lesson in loyalty
3.30pm Parliament: Speaker Bercow vs. Public Opinion
Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's American political highlights
10.30am Tim Montgomerie on Comment: BBC1's Question Time? Radio 4's Today programme? A frontpage splash in a newspaper? What are the biggest media slots?
John Glen MP on Comment: Liam Fox in for the long haul at the MoD
Local government: Pickles to councils: keep business rates cash you raise
Also on Local government: Heseltine pushes for elected mayors
Army to be cut by 19,000 soldiers as reservists increase – BBC
- "The army will be reduced to its smallest size since the Boer war under plans to be announced by Liam Fox, the defence secretary, on Monday. It will shrink from more than 100,000 regulars to about 84,000, as reforms will make reserves better trained and better paid." – Guardian
- "Under Dr Fox’s plans 7,000 soldiers are expected to go by 2015, with the remaining 10,000 axed over the following five years. Defence sources insisted the cuts would not take effect until after British manoeuvres were finished in Afghanistan." – Daily Mail
- "In return for the cut in force numbers, the army, navy and air force will be given more money by the Treasury to spend on their equipment budgets after 2015…" …BUT… "…Defence officials said this weekend it became even harder to fulfil the vision for 2020 after Bernard Gray, the chief of defence materiel, discovered a further £5bn in unfunded spending commitments made by the last government, adding to £38bn ministers claim to have discovered already." – FT(£)
In a leader the Daily Mail urges cuts in foreign aid and the number of overseas operations involving UK troops.
Liam Fox has allegedly taken control of the Forces chiefs' diary engagements in an attempt to stem leaks criticising Government policy – Telegraph
- "David Cameron begins a two-day visit to Africa which has been curtailed to allow the prime minister to fly home early to finalise the terms and membership of Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into the media. In his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as prime minister, Cameron will fly into South Africa with a message that an African free trade area could increase GDP across the continent by more than it currently receives in aid." – Guardian | Times (£)
- "The BBC's deputy political editor James Landale said initially the trip had been pencilled in for five days rather than the two, limiting the trip to South Africa and Nigeria." – BBC
How badly will Cameron be damaged by Hackgate?
"Some Labour figures hope that Mr Cameron's membership of this rich club will damage him. For most of the public the class war is over, but the connection won't help Mr Cameron's attempts to win over the voters who didn't quite trust him enough in last year's election. More dangerous is that the Prime Minister may appear in voters' eyes to have some dodgy friends and look just as bad as the Labour lot, part of the old rather than the new politics." – Andrew Grice in The Independent
- Toby Young at The Telegraph lists the reasons why Cameron is safe as PM
- David Cameron could publish details of all his meetings with media executives going back to the time when he became Conservative leader – Telegraph
The resignation of Met Chief, Sir Paul Stephenson
- "Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson fell on his sword over his links with former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis, who was arrested last week, as well as concerns that he accepted free hospitality at a luxury health spa." – Daily Mail
- "In a carefully-worded resignation speech that appeared aimed directly at Downing Street, Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said the prime minister risked being "compromised" by his closeness to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson." – Guardian
- Theresa May is to tell MPs about her "concerns" over the closeness of the relationship between News International and police – BBC
"Miliband's personal ratings have leapt up since he took on Murdoch. His Shadow Cabinet, which had been rather ignoring him, is full of admiration. He now has a chance to capitalise on his new-found authority. Today, he is giving another speech on responsibility, in which he will link bankers, politicians and journalists as powerful vested interests that have acted irresponsibly." – Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent
…but in The Times (£) Tim Montgomerie is suspicious that he can: "The next election will be decided on the economy, and three times as many of the Conservatives’ target voters trust [Cameron] to deliver prosperity than trust Mr Miliband. Until Ed Miliband detoxifies Labour’s economic reputation I will still regard him as a failing leader."
Millions of jobs 'at risk': Clegg warns of serious threat to UK from global debt crisis – Daily Mail
- "The Ernst & Young ITEM Club has downgraded its growth forecast for 2011 to 1.4% from 1.8% and to 2.2% in 2012, from 2.3%." – Express
Business rates shake-up ‘will widen the North-South divide’
"The poorest industrial areas in the North will lose out most under the most radical shake-up of local government finance for 30 years, council chiefs warned yesterday. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is expected to announce plans today for councils to keep £19 billion of business taxes a year to spend on local services." – Times (£)
"Some ministers bravely make the case that there is no link between spending and results: the roll of honour, however, is short and includes Nick Herbert, Theresa May, Andrew Mitchell, Eric Pickles and Grant Shapps. But the default position across government, from the Prime Minister downwards, is to answer a particular concern by pointing out the level of government spending." – Andrew Haldenby in The Telegraph
- The public sector now accounts for more than a third of employment appeals despite employing 22 per cent of the UK workforce – FT (£)
Wales has an advantage by having a Secretary of State versus regions such as Yorkshire – Tom Richmond in the Yorkshire Post
Calls to look at power of BBC after Ed Miliband raises prospect of breaking up News international
"Douglas McCabe, a a media analyst at Enders Analysis, argued that any review into media ownership would need to look at the reach of organisations via the internet and television. He said it would be perfectly legitimate to include the BBC in that… Tim Montgomerie, the editor of the website ConservativeHome, added: “We have been hearing so much about the dominance of Murdoch, but I think it is essential that we look at the dominance of the BBC,” he said. “Seventy three per cent of people get their news from the television and 70 per cent of TV news is provided by the BBC.”" – Times (£)
"Private firms need to fight for readers and advertisers – the BBC forces TV owners to pay a licence fee or face prison. So much for moral high horses. The vast majority of people never read the Sun, the Daily Mail or the Telegraph, but nearly everybody consumes BBC news and other content, and hence is exposed to its worldview and unavoidable cultural biases." – Allister Heath in City AM
"With some honourable exceptions, whether in its drama, comedy, news reporting or current affairs, the BBC’s output rests upon certain articles of faith. For example, traditional Christians are all fundamentalist bigots; the science of man-made global warming is settled; opponents of mass immigration are racist; Eurosceptics are swivel-eyed fanatics; and all who oppose these opinions and more are Right-wing extremists." – Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail
> Last week's Platform examining the dominance of the BBC.
> Yesterday's LeftWatch: News International should sell some newspapers says Ed Miliband
Immigration should be frozen, says Miliband adviser – Telegraph
Rising prices have left millions struggling to heat their homes while the government cuts schemes to support them – Luciana Berger MP for The Guardian
Speaker 'ticks off twice as many Tories as Labour MPs' – Daily Mail
> Yesterday's Parliament: Tory MPs twice as likely to be "Bollocked By Bercow" than Labour MPs
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