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6.30pm WATCH: Sir George Young talks to the BBC about the new parliamentary petitions web initiative

3.30pm WATCH: ‪Harman: Morgan may have to face MPs' questions‬

2pm LeftWatch: The most sense ever written on LabourList: Miliband must admit that Labour was fiscally irresponsible for years

1pm ToryDiary: Despite the impression given by today's Telegraph, voters are open to supporting Coalition's aid policy

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 11.56.24Noon ConservativeHomeUSA:

10.45am WATCH: California adds gay history to school lessons

ToryDiary: How e-petitions could harm the Commons

Michael Whine on Comment: The abiding threat to Jews worldwide

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 08.59.02

The ConservativeHome Interview: Paul Goodman and Mark Fox quiz William Hague.  Do you see many Cabinet years ahead? "It's a bit early to ask about that, isn't it?"

Cllr Peter Golds on Local Government: Why do Labour mayors need Olympics passes?

WATCH: ‪UN Security Council condemns Syria's use of force‬

Hanging in the balace: e-petitions to force Commons debates are launched today.  Guido Fawkes wants capital punishment, and the Express an EU referendum.

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 05.42.44 "MPs face being forced into a landmark vote on restoring the death penalty. Capital punishment is expected to be the first subject debated by Parliament under an e-petitions scheme. The initiative allows the public to help set the government agenda and means anyone can set up an internet petition on any subject. If it attracts more than 100,000 signatures, MPs must consider debating it in the Commons." – Daily Mail

  • A clamour MPs can no longer ignore – Sir George Young, Daily Mail
  • Bercow backs e-petitions as website goes live today – Daily Express
  • Seize the computer mouse and make MPs talk hanging – Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes) The Times (£)
  • The Commons is regaining power – Steve Richards, The Independent

> Yesterday in Local Government: Labour councillors back restoration of death penalty

OBR says Osborne likely to miss growth target

"The head of the Government's fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has all but admitted that the official growth target for this year, announced in George Osborne's March Budget, will be missed, and that current growth could be "relatively weak". Robert Chote, chairman of the OBR, indicated in an interview with The Independent that the Chancellor will almost inevitably downgrade growth again when he makes his Autumn Statement." – The Independent

"You shouldn't bet the farm on any macro-economic forecasts being correct." – Robert Chote interview, The Independent

  • Eurozone debt worries feed share price falls – Financial Times (£)
  • Berlusconi bungas while Italy burns – Daily Mail
  • Osborne's family moves into Downing Street – The Sun
  • 40% of voters don't recognise the Chancellor – UK Polling Report
  • Whatever George Osborne believes, Britain will spend years in the doldrums – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

Cable pushes his mansion tax as a replacement for the 50p rate – Daily Telegraph

"I would have preferred the government to have imposed a freeze in public spending in the first year, instead of allowing a 5.3% increase un current spending.  My Advice to the government today is to seek to bring total public spending in this year with a lower rate of increase than in the budget." – John Redwood's blog

Yesterday on ConservativeHome: Laura Sandys MP on Comment – If this nation is to stay great it needs to earn it

Billionaire boost to Lawson's love lifeDaily Mail

Cooper poll shows almost half of respondents backing aid spending

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 08.02.36 "A private poll seen by The Daily Telegraph reveals that David Cameron is struggling to convince the public that continued spending on international development is justified…Voters were asked whether they agreed with the statement that "even as we deal with out deficit, Britain is still one of the wealthiest countries in the world and we should be proud that we’re continuing our commitment to international development.” In total 48 per cent agreed with that statement and 38 disagreed, while the remaining 14 per cent did not know." – Daily Telegraph 

Pele kickabout in Number 10 gardenIndependent

Hague welcomes U.N security council statement on Syria

"Though the presidential statement has no teeth and was less than the full security council resolution that had been pressed for by the US, UK and France, it is an indication of growing impatience within the international community towards the Syrian crackdown. Syrian forces are continuing to attack the city of Hama where protests have been intense, with troops loyal to the government engaging civilians with tanks and gun fire. In response, the foreign secretary, William Hague said: "I welcome the UN security council presidential statement on Syria." – The Guardian

  • Hosni Mubarak trial a seminal moment for the Arab Spring – Daily Telegraph
  • Now talk to Gaddafi in the language of fear – Paul Smyth, The Times (£)

HENDRY CHARLES Polish cleaner stole jewellery worth £90,000 from Charles Hendry MP's wife Daily Mail

Government plans to increase the number of new homes built every year to 450,000

"Downing Street is considering announcing the new target, which would be three times higher than the number of homes currently completed annually, in an overarching ‘housing strategy’ to be published in the autumn. But those advising Number 10 on the strategy have warned that publishing the figure could “frighten” the public." – PoliticsHome (£)

Building in shires could demolish the Tory vote – Camilla Cavendish, The Times (£)

Murphy puts pressure on Fox over defence review

"Jim Murphy called on the Ministry of Defence to ditch the findings of its controversial review into Britain’s defences and start again in a more open and bi-partisan way. Mr Murphy’s comments came after the disclosure by The Times yesterday of a public row between Sir Menzies Campbell, the MP for the area that includes RAF Leuchars — earmarked for conversion to an army base — and Danny Alexander, whose Highland constituency neighbours RAF Lossiemouth, which is being kept open." – The Times (£)

> Yesterday on ConservativeHome

Blunkett warns Miliband over unions

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 08.28.32 "Labour will continue to be seen as being in the pockets of union bosses unless Ed Miliband rethinks the party’s political and financial ties to the movement’s barons, David Blunkett has warned. The former Home Secretary said that the party faced a funding calamity unless new sources of financing were found, adding that it would continue to be a “hostage to fortune” if the Labour leader did not take action to reform the hold unions currently have over policymaking." – The Times (£)

First he gave to Ken Clarke.  Then he lent to Labour.  Next, he backed Cameron.  Now he has pledged a million to Labour.  The strange political life of Andrew Rosenfeld – Daily Mail

Exam results blunder hits 30,000 pupilsHerald Scotland

Welsh Assembly to hold inquiry into transfer of powers from Westminster Wales Online

Number of Commons staff has increased by 10 per centDaily Mail

Senior official resigns from MPs' expenses watchdogThe Guardian

Political News and Comment in brief

  • NHS hospitals under pressure, regulator says – Financial Times
  • Health service pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system – The Independent
  • The Government's record on IT is a scandal – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
  • Maude aims to ease rules on access to data – The Guardian
  • Daily Mirror 'hacked calls from Sir Paul and Piers Morgan bragged about listening to messages' says Heather Mills – Daily Mail
  • Cleveland chief constable arrested in corruption investigation – Daily Express
  • BNP chief’s Hitler salute to Breivik heroine – The Sun
  • The coming crises of governments – Robert Barro, Financial Times (£)

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> ALL OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER FRONTPAGES.

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