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7.30pm WATCH: Grudge Match? Cameron and Boris spar at tennis

6pm ToryDiary: Steve Hilton makes his first public speaking appearance and says…

5pm Jesse Norman MP on Comment: Why Balls's calculations don't add up

4.30pm WATCH: Cameron: Baha Mousa abuse was "a truly shocking and appalling incident"

1.30pm ToryDiary: Hague's plan to revive the Foreign Office (and a stuffed anaconda called Albert)

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

10.45am Parliament: Osborne, Hague and Pickles voted against Dorries/Field amendment

Screen shot 2011-09-08 at 08.36.45
ToryDiary: Who speaks for the unemployed? Britain needs a jobs movement

Also on ToryDiary: The rising costs of childcare cry out for Conservative-led family policy

The Goodman-Jenkin defence debate, round three.  On Comment, Bernard Jenkin says that A mere 2.0 per cent of GDP for defence is a small price to pay for the freedom, security and prosperity that we take for granted

Local Government: "Myth busters" listed by DCLG on planning changes

Parliament: The senior Tories who backed Dorries/Field yesterday – including Cameron's PPS

WATCH: Number 10 cat's quiz night 

Councils "risk planning free-for-all"

CLARK GREG "A senior aide to Greg Clark, the planning minister, warned that the new regulations could lead to unchecked development unless councils updated their local planning guidelines…John Howell, a Tory MP and adviser to Mr Clark, told a meeting of planners last year: “What we are saying to councils is very clear. If you don’t want to put in a local plan that deals with the needs of your area that’s fine, but there are consequences of doing that. In the absence of a plan, a developer can come in and build what he likes, where he likes.” – Daily Telegraph

National Trust rebuffs Clark meeting – Financial Times (£)

New Euro-sceptic Conservative MPs group looks for alliance with Labour…

"A group of around 80 newly elected Tory MPs, alarmed at Nick Clegg’s determination to block significant changes to Britain’s relationship with Brussels, is planning to forge links with the large number of Labour Eurosceptics. Organisers hope the new group will create a Tory-Labour Commons majority in favour of redefining Britain’s EU membership and sideline the pro-EU Lib Dems." – Daily Mail

  • Merkel stands firm on eurozone bailouts after backing from court – The Independent
  • 100,000 pro-referendum petitition to be handed in at Downing Street – Press Association

…And Danny Alexander pitches in against renegotiation

"A senior Liberal Democrat has warned Conservatives not to exploit the eurozone crisis by seeking to re-negotiate Britain’s links with Europe. Danny Alexander said that the Government should instead respond to the uncertainty about Europe’s future by stepping up its engagement with Brussels. “We should be redoubling our effort, not looking at this as an excuse to further an agenda of weakening our ties,” Mr Alexander said." – The Times (£)

Dutch PM calls for Europe budget tsar – Financial Times (£)

Nadine Agonistes: Dorries/Field abortion amendment goes down in wake of Cameron PMQ jest

"Ministers managed to avoid one significant amendment, when MPs voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposal by Nadine Dorries to introduce “independent” advice for women seeking abortions. Ms Dorries claimed the organisations currently providing counselling, including Marie Stopes and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, profited from encouraging women to go ahead with terminations, something the organisations have denied. After an impassioned speech in favour of her proosals lasting nearly an hour, she was eventually defeated by a majority of 250." – Financial Times (£)

"Nadine Dorries… issued a challenge: “Does the Prime Minister think it is about time he told the Deputy Prime who is the boss?”Mr Cameron began, “I know the honourable lady is extremely frustrated,” whereupon he was interrupted by rude laughter in which he joined, after which he ended: “I’m going to give up on this one.” The Prime Minister had not answered the question. Since it was an unanswerable question, or unanswerable without insulting Nick Clegg who was sitting next to him, perhaps that was the best way to leave it." – Andrew Gimson, Daily Telegraph

  • "But her speech was a disaster. She began by talking not about the issue but about herself…She lost the vote to no one’s surprise. Yesterday Nadine’s biggest enemy was named Nadine." – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)
  • "Why this negative reaction?…I’ll tell you why they groaned. Envy. They wish they had her flamboyance." – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Tory MPs spitting tacks over treatment of Dorries – Wintour and Watt, The Guardian

> Yesterday:

Ministers could raise thresholds this autumn…

Screen shot 2011-09-08 at 05.57.40 "Millions of low and middle-income earners could be handed a tax cut worth up to £400 a year. Officials are looking into an emergency move to help boost Britain’s stagnating economy, Whitehall sources indicated last night. The most likely option under discussion is to dramatically bring forward a proposed increase in the income tax threshold to £10,000. One Downing Street aide said: “The time scale for raising the threshold has never been set in stone. There is a serious case for accelerating it." – Daily Express

…And will scap the 50p rate…

"The 50p top rate of tax looks certain to be abolished for high earners by 2013, while tax breaks are to be accelerated for millions at the other end of the income scale. In tandem with a move to scrap the rate, Chancellor George Osborne is expected to speed up moves to raise the threshold at which income tax kicks in to £10,000. A senior Cabinet minister admitted yesterday the supertax is doing ‘more harm than good’." – Daily Mail 

…Though not yet

  • Coalition plays down early end to 50p rate – Financial Times (£)
  • 50p rate will raise "will raise an additional £12.6bn" over the next five years even if people choose to leave the country to avoid it – The Guardian
  • The 50p tax rate is economic folly… but scrapping it now would be political hara-kiri – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • The 50p tax rate is holding back Britain – Daily Telegraph Editorial

"Implementing Vickers won't make banks safer"

FIELD MARK "Since time immemorial, everything in banking has hinged upon confidence. Talk about ‘safe’ levels of capital is in the final analysis just that – talk. Raising capital thresholds up to and beyond 10 per cent…will act only to make the UK banking sector less internationally competitive. Splitting the banks will leave them short of capital, and risks cutting off cashflow to the SME sector that it so desperately requires at this stage of the economic cycle, thereby triggering a renewed credit crunch." – Mark Field MP, Daily Telegraph

Cameron drops strongest hint of support for banking firewall

"David Cameron has given the strongest signal yet that he will back recommendations to build a firewall around Britain’s retail banking operations, but he wants to delay the implementation of the structural upheaval for a number of years. The prime minister’s allies say he is anxious about the impact of radical and costly reform on the banking sector at a time of flat growth and is opposed to anything that would undermine business lending and impede the recovery." – Financial Times (£)

  • Business Leaders Call for More Central Bank Stimulus to Aid Economy – Wall Street Journal
  • Osborne "takes leaf out of his foul-mouthed near-namesake Ozzie Osbourne’s book with a reference to the solitary practices of adolescent boys" at GQ awards. (And Boris "fails to raise the tone of the occasion".) – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: WATCH – Osborne: we can remain masters of our own destiny

David Amess David Amess MP suggests newreaders use too much botoxPress Association

Courts could be asked to dock benefits The Guardian 

Cock-up over e-petition debate scheme as backbench business committee blames Government for lack of debate timeDaily Mail 

High-speed rail link between English cities could drain 21,000 jobs from Wales, MPs toldWales Online 

Commission to look at West Lothian question set up (at last) – BBC

Political News and Comment in Brief

  • GPs ordered to ration cancer scans – Daily Mail
  • Cardinal O'Brien says that "no government can rewrite human nature" to allow gay marriage – Scotsman
  • 136 MPs still employ family members – The Independent
  • Fury at human rights laws that let foreign killers stalk our streets – Daily Express
  • No special treatment for Sandwell over schools building funds, says Gove – Birmingham Post
  • MI6 tricked me into trap, claims torture victim – Daily Telegraph
  • Rowan Williams seeks Mugabe meeting in Zimbabwe trip – The Times (£)
  • The Government needs a clear direction on terror – David Blunkett, Daily Mail
  • Hague set to announce plans to bolster Foreign Office – BBC
  • Foreign Secretary "has restored the Foreign Office to its proper dignity" – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
  • The 9/11 attacks are linked to a wider moral malaise, including the loss of authority, integrity and family unity – Jonathan Sacks, The Times (£)

And finally…The Labour MP who hasn't held a surgery for 14 years

"Sir Stuart Bell, veteran MP for Middlesbrough, was under pressure from the Labour hierarchy to explain himself following claims that constituents cannot contact him. Most MPs hold local surgeries several times a month for constituents to discuss their problems.  Sir Stuart, 73, admits he has not held one since 1997 and unlike most MPs he also has no office in his constituency." – Daily Mail

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18 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 8th September 2011

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