6.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron asks Cabinet Secretary for report into Liam Fox allegations by Monday

5.30pm WATCH: Charles Kennedy supports an in/out EU referendum 

2pm ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

WILLETTS READY 4 CHANGE1.15pm ToryDiary: David Willetts: People want to feel governments have a purpose

Noon WATCH: 

ToryDiary: Theresa May, the cat that walks by herself

Edward Leigh MP on Comment: Why the Government should not block our move to protect free speech

Local government: New Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg to visit West London Free School

WATCH: Simon Burns: I will reject the idea of a special select committee to study health reforms

George Osborne: Banks must show they can pay their way in the world

Osborne Large"Banks have been warned that they will have to prove they can “pay their way in the world” because they cannot rely on bail outs from the government in future. George Osborne, the Chancellor, spoke out after a major credit ratings agency downgraded 12 British banks – a move that is likely to lead to them having to pay more to borrow money. … Treasury officials stressed that banks were currently well-resourced and the future plans would not put savers’ money in jeopardy. The Chancellor pledged to use “all the tools available” to tackle the current economic crisis." - Daily Telegraph

  • "…what is unclear is why Moody’s – one of a number of credit agencies to  abysmally fail to predict the great  crash of 2008 – should choose now to inflict a further blow upon our economy.  … The suspicion is that, as with Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the  rating of the U.S. government, the credit  agencies are seeking to bolster their own power and reputations." – Daily Mail
  • France and Germany set for crisis talks on eurozone banks – Daily Telegraph
  • "George Osborne will need to be “Churchillian” in acting swiftly to bolster corporate confidence and unlock private investment in energy, transport, broadband and housing, according to the head of Britain’s biggest business lobby group." – FT (£)

Liam Fox "adviser" Adam Werritty ran charity from Fox's office

FoxLiamIV "The crisis facing the defence secretary, Liam Fox, over his links to his self-styled adviser and friend, Adam Werritty, has deepened after it emerged that Werritty ran a controversial charity from inside Fox's office in the houses of parliament. The Guardian has established that Werritty used Fox's room 341 in the MPs' block at Portcullis House as the official headquarters of a rightwing charity, the Atlantic Bridge, which works in conjunction with a major US business lobby group. The office was provided to Fox at taxpayers' expense while he was in opposition until last year." - Guardian

  • Liam Fox, his adviser, and an irregular meeting in Dubai - Guardian
  • Liam Fox response to Adam Werritty pressure gives Tories reason to worry - Guardian

From yesterday - WATCH: Liam Fox attacks "wild allegations" of improper business relationship with close friend

David Cameron warned to stop interfering in school independence by headteachers

Cameron@Davos"Headteachers from private and state schools have criticised David Cameron's remarks that there is an "apartheid" between the two sectors of education, claiming their relationship is better than it has ever been. Heads of top public schools, including Eton, also warned ministers that they were starting to interfere too much in the way they run their schools and risked undermining their independence." - Guardian

Kenneth Clarke suffers setback – magistrates will retain power to sentence offenders up to 12 months

CLARKE KEN ON ITN "Magistrates' powers to sentence offenders to up to 12 months in prison are to be retained following a climbdown by the Ministry of Justice in the wake of the summer riots. The decision, one of a series of amendments tabled by the government to its own legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders (Laspo) bill, is likely to be seen as a setback to the prison policies of the justice secretary, Ken Clarke." – Guardian

The FT profiles "head girl" Theresa May

May Theresa in black"Theresa May is the head girl of David Cameron’s coalition. Famed for never putting a kitten-heeled foot wrong, the home secretary barely batted an eyelid this week when Ken Clarke rounded on her for claiming an illegal immigrant had avoided deportation because of his pet cat Maya." – The FT (£)

  • Theresa May's cat anecdote was originally used by UKIP's Nigel Farage – Guardian
  • "The Bolivian illegal immigrant allowed to stay in Britain because of his cat is planning to tie the knot with his male lover, it emerged last night." – Daily Telegraph 

> From yesterday - WATCH: Baroness Warsi defends Theresa May over cat row

Ministers consider high-speed rail link between Gatwick and Heathrow

"A radical plan for a new “Heath-Wick” airport hub featuring a £5bn high-speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick is being considered seriously by ministers, the Financial Times has learnt. The idea was put forward as an alternative to the politically unpalatable expansion of Heathrow and is being closely examined by ministers, who are under pressure to increase airport capacity in the south-east of England." – The FT (£)

Threat of strike by millions of public sector workers looms closer as unions claim government "has not listened to pension fears"

"The GMB union claims that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has refused to listen to arguments against increasing pension contributions for council workers. They said he should pat attention to advice from pensions experts before pressing ahead with reforms to make local government employees contribute more to their pension plans." – Daily Mail

Charles Moore: Gay marriage is not as simple as David Cameron believes

MOORE"In politics, such issues, as with capital punishment, euthanasia and abortion, have long been matters of conscience. Mr Cameron is entitled to argue that, for him personally, gay marriage is a Conservative idea, but if it becomes Conservative policy, whipped in the lobbies, that is something else. Anyone who followed the mainstream teaching of his own Church, synagogue or mosque, for instance, would either have to disobey his conscience or be kicked out. If you are not careful, you bring about a situation where traditional religious belief excludes you from the Conservative Party." – Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph

Graeme Archer: There is nothing Ed Miliband can do to change his reputation

"We have looked at Mr Miliband, and we can tell we’re looking at a basically decent guy. I’d trust him to be my doctor or bank manager, but for some intuitive, rather than processed, reason, we know he will not be prime minister. … It’s not his fault, but there’s nothing – no reshuffle, no speech, nothing – he can do about it. Worse, in political life – not the case with books – we can’t find out if we’re wrong by flicking to the last page; there’s no alternative Britain where he ends up prime minister, where we could see if the response to his cover was correct or false." – Graeme Archer in the Daily Telegraph

Dominic Raab MP debates the Human Rights Act with Shami Chakrabarti

Raab Dom"This is a good example of where judicial action has taken place under the HRA – before 2000, there was not one case where a foreign criminal had frustrated a deportation order claiming article 8. Yet now they are being trumped at a rate of 400 cases a year. A Nepalese waiter in my constituency was killed by a gang and his body dumped in a river. The lead perpetrator is an adult with no dependants. When he came out of prison and the government tried to deport him, they couldn't – he claimed family ties." – The Guardian conversation: Dominic Raab and Shami Chakrabarti

Chris Huhne manages to tweet a private text message 

Huhne Chris Politics Show"Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has said tweeting a private message to a member of staff was a "fairly marginal" mistake. He accidentally tweeted "from someone else fine but I do not want my fingerprints on the story. C". It was quickly deleted, but not before other users had asked about the story he was trying to distance himself from." – BBC 

MPs paid thousands to appear on the BBC: As Corporation cuts back, politicians are given licence fee cash to go on TV and radio

BBC megaphone"MPs are being handed thousands of pounds of licence fee money simply to appear on the BBC. The cash is being doled out to politicians for guest slots on shows where they do little more than promote themselves or their party. Exposed for the first time in a week when the Corporation announced swingeing cuts that will leave BBC2 a channel of repeats, the practice allows MPs to receive ‘disturbance payments’ on top of expenses when they take part in programmes such as Any Questions? or Have I Got News For You." – Daily Mail

Black Conservative councillor suspended from party for attending English Defence League rallyDaily Mail

Ed Miliband's new faces: quick profiles of the six Labour MPs who are stepping up – Guardian

  • Miliband Ed House One of those "new faces" (he was an MP from 1997 until 2005) is Stephen Twigg: "Twigg's appointment could presage a change of emphasis for Labour as the education secretary, Michael Gove, has been claiming the achievements of the academy schools programme, begun by the Labour administration for which Twigg once worked, as coalition successes."Guardian 
  • Ed Miliband called up two of Gordon Brown’s backroom bruisers to the political front line yesterday in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle designed to beef up his attacks on the Tories. – Daily Mail
  • Miliband rewards bruiser who took on Murdoch – The Times (£)

> Coverage from yesterday:

Half of hospitals failing to feed elderly patients properly Guardian

'It was a living nightmare': Homeowner who stabbed to death suspected burglar is 'relieved' after being cleared of murder chargeDaily Mail

And finally… David Cameron plays tennis against 12 year olds – and the Daily Mail provides a selection of his most amusing tennis-facesDaily Mail

  • David Cameron swings to the right – The Sun


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