Screen shot 2011-10-19 at 15.13.47
3.15pm WATCH: Liam Fox – "There was in some quarters a personal vindictiveness and hatred that should worry all of us."

2.45pm MPsETC: A parting shot from Liam Fox

2pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: Why The Telegraph is "sh*tbagging" me

1pm ToryDiary: Andrew Rosindell raises the EU referendum at PMQs, and Mark Pritchard asks about fiscal union

12.30pm: ConHomeUSA: Today's American political news

10.45am David Campbell Bannerman MEP on Comment: Don't whip the EU vote, Mr Cameron

ToryDiary: With selections coming and a vote looming, how frightened are Tory MPs of grassroots opinion on Europe?

BROWNE ANTHONYAnthony Browne on Columnists: If we don't set the agenda for financial regulation, the EU will do it instead

John Glen MP on Comment: Access targets will lower the quality of our top Universities

Also on Comment: Piotr Brzezinski: Make no mistake, Plan B has arrived

MPsETC: 58 MPs (including 46 Tories) sign next Thursday's European referendum motion

Local Government: Trade unions launch campaign to defend council-employed Youth Workers

WATCH: Gilad Shalit is released 

Fox to make Commons statement today.  O'Donnell report slams "failure of judgement".  Cameron would have sacked the former Defence Secretary in its wake if he hadn't gone last week.

FOX HALF SMILE"Sir Gus concluded that Dr Fox, who resigned as defence secretary on Friday, had been guilty of “a failure of judgment” and not lived up to the standards of behaviour required of ministers. He had inappropriately “blurred the lines” between his official role and personal friendships, but had taken the “ultimate responsibility” by resigning. Dr Fox quit after a series of allegations about his conduct and his decision to allow Mr Werritty to attend private meetings both at the Ministry of Defence and overseas." – Daily Telegraph 

Fox report 1: Severity of verdict further blights Fox return prospects

"In what amounts to a serious reprimand to the Ministry of Defence permanent secretary, Ursula Brennan, No 10 insisted no warnings about Fox's misconduct were passed to O'Donnell, Britain's most senior civil servant…Number 10 made it clear that Cameron would have sacked Fox if he had not resigned last Friday, saying "his conduct was not consistent with remaining a member of the government". His chances of returning to a ministerial post in the medium term look minimal." – The Guardian 

Fox report 2: Cabinet Secretary doesn't delve fully into Werritty donors

"Sir Gus did not investigate Mr Werritty’s backers or their motives, but he did uncover two previously secret donors: Michael Davis and a company called IRG Ltd. The FT has revealed that the Mr Davis referred to is the chief executive of Xstrata, the FTSE 100 mining company. South Africa-born Mr Davis, who is a friend of Poju Zabludowicz, chairman of pro-Israel group Bicom, is head of the United Jewish Israeli Appeal charity." – Financial Times (£)


  • "Had Dr Fox waited until the publication of yesterday’s report, he would and should certainly have been sacked." – The Times (£)
  • "The risk is that Dr Fox could be a potentially powerful Thatcherite force who could rally the right wing of the party." – The Sun Editorial
  • The shabby legacy of mandarins reduced to flunkeys – Max Hastings, Daily Mail

> Yesterday:

David Nuttall Commons EU referendum motion unveiled.  Cameron will order Conservative MPs to vote against it next week…

Screen shot 2011-10-19 at 08.10.03"A cross-party coalition celebrated briefly yesterday after securing a landmark debate and vote next week on staging a referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU. But, to the fury of many Tory MPs, Government sources last night indicated that Mr Cameron may order his troops to vote against the proposal, virtually guaranteeing its defeat." – Daily Mail

…As they are caught between party whips and Tory members

"Senior Tories warned last night that the party's MPs will be under enormous pressure to defy Mr Cameron on 27 October by voting in favour of a referendum. They said the crucial factor in many Tory MPs' minds would be the proposed shake-up of parliamentary boundaries to allow the Government to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600. This will provoke a scramble for seats, with many MPs doing battle with colleagues for the right to be their party's candidate at the next election." – The Independent

Priti Patel piles in, as does…

"One Eurosceptic Tory MP, Priti Patel, warned that Mr Cameron risked creating “animosity” within his party if he blocked MPs from acting freely. The warning came as Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, claimed that it would be “absolutely crazy” for members of the eurozone to intensify their fiscal union…Ms Patel said that the vote was long overdue. “It gives us a chance to restore public faith in Parliament and show that we are on the side of the people.” – The Times (£) 


"Boris Johnson has described as “absolutely crazy” George Osborne’s prescriptions for the long-term survival of the euro, fuelling speculation that the two men are jockeying for position in a future battle for the Tory leadership. The London mayor rejected Mr Osborne’s suggestion that the only way to preserve the single currency is for eurozone countries to follow the “remorseless logic” of monetary union by moving towards closer fiscal co-operation." – Financial Times (£) 

"The usual crazed melange of common sense, weird apercus and outright lunacy"

Boris blows own trumpet
"Boris huffed and wheezed. No, this was all a charade. But he had been incredibly lucky to get the position he had. It was the last big job he would do in politics, and in life. So, we gasped, he really did want to become prime minister! The man's ambition is insatiable. You may imagine that he was saying the opposite. But those of us with PhDs in Borisovian studies know that is what he really meant. The rest of the speech was the usual crazed melange of common sense, weird apercus, and outright lunacy." – Simon Hoggart, The Guardian 

German finance minister to 10 Downing Street: Renegotiation? Forget it

"Schäuble, who took part in a question and answer session with academics at Chatham House, left some of his London audience with the impression that Germany did not believe that Britain would have any bargaining chips in the negotiations. His apparent remarks prompted alarm bells in Westminster and Whitehall because David Cameron told the 1922 committee in July that the eurozone crisis would give Britain a golden opportunity to repatriate powers." – Wintour and Watt, The Guardian

  • France and Germany ready to agree €2tn euro rescue fund – The Guardian
  • Lord Wolfson offers prize for best way of winding up the Euro – Financial Times (£)
  • Britain should offer to fund a federal Europe in return for more power – Anatole Kaletsky, The Times

> Yesterday:

Mervyn King: Euroland crisis and world economy have derailed recovery…

Screen shot 2011-10-19 at 08.19.20"Britain’s economic recovery is off-track, Sir Mervyn King warned on Tuesday night as he defended the Bank of England’s decision to pump money into the economy again by purchasing £75bn of gilts over the next four months. As consumer price inflation surged to 5.2 per cent in September, close to a 20-year high, the Bank governor justified the resumption of money printing… on the grounds that he now thought it would take longer to return the economy, public finances and interest rates to normality." – Financial Times (£) 

…As inflation hits a three year high

"Inflation has hit a three-year high, underlining fears that squeezed UK households will continue to cut back as a thinktank predicts spending will not recover to its pre-recession level until at least 2013. The Institute for Fiscal Studies lays bare a drop in spending that is longer and deeper than during any recession in recent history. Charities are warning that many households continue to struggle to buy even essentials such as food." – The Guardian

Higher inflation threatens to cost £1.8bn in welfare – The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Chris Skidmore MP unearths the writing-off of more than £40m in foreign national NHS bills

 "Foreign nationals who are treated medically in the UK but do not pay their NHS bills have cost the service more than £40 million, a Tory MP claimed today. Chris Skidmore discovered 118 trusts had written off a staggering £42 million – and believes the total figure could be more than £50 million as he is still due responses from another 66 trusts." – Daily Mail

"Why the Prime Minister doesn't understand the middle classes"

Screen shot 2011-10-19 at 08.40.30"It was the Economist that best captured this objection, just before the General Election: ‘Mr Cameron epitomises British elites: he understands his high-earning peers and feels a genuine noblesse oblige towards the poor, but the people in between are somehow beyond his ken. It is fair to say that the Tory leader, more than anyone, is desperately concerned about this impression being given." – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

While other MPs agree to cut their pensions, John Bercow refuses to follow suitDaily Mail 

Clampdown on lobbyists will hit charities and unions (but wouldn't have covered Adam Werritty)The Times (£) 

Djanogly interest declaration failure claimThe Guardian 

MPs applaud Hillsborough victims in Commons debateThe Sun 

Suspected Russian spy admits affair with Lib Dem MP Mike HancockDaily Telegraph 

Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews dubbed "Stalinist" and "Thatcherite" by Prince of Wales' representativeWales Online

Other Political News and Comment

  • Dale Farm prepares for eviction again after losing right to appeal – The Guardian
  • National Audit Office warns councils over school finances – Financial Times (£)
  • Loyalist supergrass in challenge over tapes – Belfast Telegraph
  • Julian Barnes finally wins "posh bingo" Booker Prize – Daily Telegraph
  • Ex-army chief in attack on SNP’s defence plans – Scotsman
  • Seven million caught in huge tax blunder – Daily Mail
  • Well done, David Cameron, over online protection for children – Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express
  • No triumph over Schalit, just more sorrow – The Times (£)
  • Britain's extradition arrangement fails to protect our citizens from arbitrary, abusive punishments – Dominic Raab MP, Daily Mail
  • Ed Miliband's fantasy world – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph


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