8pm ToryDiary: Tory MP Patrick Mercer reported to have called David Cameron an "arse" and a "despicable creature"… but he strongly denies it

7.30pm WATCH: Philip Hammond: Army cuts memo "was written by a junior Army officer and, frankly, is incorrect"

Cameron - Morgas Poppy5pm MPsETC: British and Spanish conservatives unite to condemn FIFA's attempt at a poppy ban

2.45pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: Brown's boast to have abolished boom and bust encapsulates a decade of political over-reach

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

Noon MPsETC: European Conservatives and Reformists are in good heart

10.30am Local Government: Conservative councillor defects to UKIP

6a00d83451b31c69e2015392fe5c8a970b-250wiToryDiary: The largest state under Queen Elizabeth and the smallest army since Queen Victoria

Andrew Lilico on our Columnists' page: A disorderly collapse of the €uro would probably shrink the UK economy by 10%. Here's a plan to avoid it.

Robert Thomas on Comment: The academic and vocational paths to success must both begin in schools

MPsETC: The humour of Chris Heaton-Harris MP

Local Government: Stifling free speech in East Riding

WATCH: European Commission President Barroso: The solution to the European crisis is more integration

Wounded soldiers face sack under new Army redundancy plans

Cameron-and-troops"A classified document, seen by The Daily Telegraph, says 2,500 wounded soldiers, including 350 who have lost limbs, will not be exempt from the extensive cuts. The internal memo, sent to senior commanders in Afghanistan, also discloses that 16,500 personnel will be made redundant by April 2015 – more than double the number originally proposed. Any decision to sack wounded soldiers is likely to prove highly controversial." - Daily Telegraph | FT (£)

Homes for heroes: Grant Shapps "promises to end scandal of homeless war veterans"

SHAPPS NEW"Housing minister Grant Shapps will issue new guidance to local authorities to put retiring servicemen automatically into the highest priority category for a council house after the homeless. He will call on them to ‘positively discriminate’ in favour of former soldiers, sailors and airmen where tough decisions have to be taken. Anyone leaving the forces will also go to the top of the list for help through the Government’s FirstBuy scheme, which helps the less well-off buy a house with small deposits." - Daily Mail

Cameron warns the Eurozone crisis will hit Britain hard, and Osborne calls the situation abroad "dangerous"

CAMERON LOOKING LEFT"Britain's economy will be hit hard by further turmoil in the eurozone, David Cameron has warned … The prime minister insisted a "big question mark" remains over the future of the single currency… George Osborne, the chancellor, described events on the continent as "dangerous", adding: "There's no doubt that growth in Britain, jobs in Britain, have been hit by what's going on in the eurozone."" – Guardian

  • "French and German officials are understood to have begun discussing how… Greece and Italy could be forced out of the eurozone" – Daily Telegraph
  • "Furious David Cameron and Barack Obama told Germany's Angela Merkel yesterday: Stop dithering and save the euro. … a Downing Street source said Mrs Merkel "seems intent on sitting around until we're living in Apocalypse Now."" – The Sun
  • A string of failed administrations and a lack of public appetite for reform have made Italy almost ungovernable – Graeme Archer for the Daily Telegraph
  • Left and Right should join forces against the great euro takeover – Charles Moore for the Daily Telegraph
  • The week that proved the europhiles wrong – Daily Mail editorial

Cameron says he will stop £500million bonuses at RBS

"Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show he would not give the green light to a bonus fund of £500million. ‘That is not the agreed figure,’ he said. ‘The British Government is a major shareholder in RBS. That is a proposal I have read about in the newspapers, that’s not agreed. We have a very big influence over it. We can stop the £500million, absolutely.’" - Daily Mail

  • "David Cameron has indicated that the top rate of income tax will stay in order to ensure that the deficit reduction programme is fair and that "those with the biggest shoulders bear the biggest burden"." – Guardian

George Osborne faces backbench rebellion over fuel duty

Osborne on AM"The rebellion will come to a head in a debate next week when Tory MPs will demand action to bring down the cost of petrol and diesel. More than 100 MPs of all parties have signed a Commons motion protesting that prices at the pumps are "causing immense difficulties for small and medium-sized enterprises vital to our economic recovery"." - Independent

  • "George Osborne has been urged to cut fuel duty for millions of hard-pressed motorists before giving wealthy fat-cats a tax break. Tory MP Robert Halfon spoke out after 30 top bosses urged the Chancellor to axe the 50p income tax rate on those earning more than £150,000." - The Sun
  • "George Osborne has agreed to hand over £100 million to the Scottish Government to spend on green energy projects after a long-running battle between Alex Salmond and the Treasury." - The Times (£)

Cameron and Clegg fail to agree growth measures

Clegg speech"…a meeting between the coalition’s power-brokers, including Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, broke up on Thursday having failed to agree measures to encourage recruitment, including incentives for employers who hire young people. The Conservatives are pressing for companies to be given greater freedoms to dismiss staff, as an inducement to hire them, with the Liberal Democrats arguing that such a move would further freeze high street spending as people worry about job security." - The Times (£)

Patrick O'Flynn: Tory High Command tries to build bionic man Cameron 

"After the crash-landing of last month’s Conservative EU rebellion, a… rebuilding operation is under way on David Cameron. On immigration… Mr Cameron is sounding like a real Tory these days. Annoyingly for his rebuilding team, Theresa May’s difficulty over border checks has temporarily clouded the issue. But it did at least give the Prime Minister the opportunity to lambast Labour’s record in the Commons this week."- Daily Express

Tim Montgomerie: Capitalism needs moderating cultural forces

"The Catholic theologian Michael Novak said every nation has an economy, a democratic government and a moral culture sphere – … the "big society" … the parts of life not controlled by commerce or government – and it has shrivelled in the west. We have entered a vicious cycle where both government and capitalism have eaten into the culture's ability to be a countervailing and moderating force. … Liberal capitalism requires social conservatism. It needs the virtue-generating institutions or there'll be no thrift, no duty, no honesty, no Protestant work ethic." – Tim Montgomerie for the Guardian

The Financial Times' interview with Francis Maude: "We're willing to accommodate some kind of token [strike] action"

Maude Cabinet Office"The government has offered public sector unions a peace deal over their planned day of national protest on November 30: strike for a token 15 minutes and we will not dock your pay. But Francis Maude, one half of the government’s two-man negotiating team, has warned the unions that unless they engaged seriously with the government’s latest “big and generous” offer on pensions, they could face fresh legislation curbing future strikes." – FT (£)

  • Full interview story – FT (£)
  • Francis Maude on… Europe, coalition and Whitehall – FT (£)
  • "A Unison spokesperson said the government could not guarantee that 9,000 public sector employers would not dock workers' pay. "It's a load of PR gimmicks to make people think unions are being unreasonable," the spokesperson said." – BBC
Sayeeda Warsi tells the Times she opposes state funding for political parties

Warsi Cardiff"At a time when the country is facing the current economic climate, for us to be thinking about putting £100 million … into party political funding is wrong. I think people would be appalled by it. They would say, ‘That is not what I pay my taxes for’." – Sayeeda Warsi interview in the Times (£)

  • James Forsyth blogs: "This is a welcome intervention. State funding of parties based on the result of the last general election would be an appalling system."

Commons Environmental Audit Committee calls Coalition planning reforms "contradictory and confusing"

Countryside"In a highly critical report, members of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee backed concerns… that the changes could prompt a rash of unsustainable building across the country. … The committee has now written to David Cameron urging him to reconsider the "unsatisfactory" wording of the framework and provide a clear definition of what "sustainable" development is to local authorities." – Independent

  • ""As it currently stands, the new planning policy framework appears contradictory and confusing," said Joan Walley, Labour MP and chair of the committee." – BBC
  • Enough 'brownfield land' to build 1.5million new homes – Daily Telegraph

Iain Duncan Smith says "family breakdown has damaged Britain dramatically"

DUNCAN SMITH DP"The former Tory leader… reiterated his support for marriage tax breaks, insisting not all relationships were equal. … Mr Duncan Smith dismissed claims that the policy was sexist and outdated as a “middle-class attitude”. … “This is not about choices, it’s a very middle-class attitude to say it is all about choices. The reality is family breakdown has damaged Britain dramatically.”" - The Scotsman

  • Duncan Smith plans new crackdown on lazy benefit claimants - Daily Telegraph

David Cameron's trouble with women makes Theresa May close to unsackable

May Theresa in black"An equal part of her indispensability comes from the fact she is the highest profile woman the government has, in a government that – the polls demonstrate – has turned off women voters. Women may not be persuaded a government is on their side because women front up the policies, but knowing women are party to decisions inside Whitehall might head off those own goals with women the government has repeatedly let in." – Guardian

  • Theresa May is fallible. We must allow her to admit that - Jenni Russell for the Guardian

Cameron chooses his favourite passage from the Bible Daily Telegraph

Local Government Association urges tougher scrap metal regulations urged to combat theft - BBC

  • "Public safety is being put at “serious risk” by metal thieves who have taken out coastguard communications, disconnected the 999 phone system and disrupted other emergency services." – The Times (£)

Labour MP Chuka Umunna: I'm not the British Obama - interview in the Independent

European plot to slash Britain's house prices - Daily Express

Argentina angry at Duke of Cambridge's duty in Falklands - Daily Telegraph

And finally… Nick Clegg has been disturbed in his Whitehall office by drilling to install a 'green' heating system - Daily Telegraph


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