Screen shot 2011-11-17 at 18.59.307pm WATCH: At the McClaren factory, Cameron rules out buying a fast car for fear of crashing it

5pm: Today's teatime newslinks – including the sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money, more on Europe, and the London Mayoral election 

3.30pm Chris Skidmore MP on Comment: Any MP who decides to voluntarily change political party should resign and fight a by-election

3.15pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: "The Government appears to be out of touch with the real challenges the economy faces"

1.45pm WATCH: Britain which "gave birth to the Industrial Revolution", doesn't "do enough to recognise engineering", says Cameron

Robertson1pm ToryDiary: Hugh Robertson calls for Sepp Blatter's resignation over his defence of racism in football

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

11.15am Local Government: Will this Ken v Boris election be decided on YouTube

11am Simon Walker on Comment: An Inspector Calls: The Health and Safety regime forces businesses to undertake unnecessary activity

10am ToryDiary: Taxpayers lose at least £400m on sale of Northern Rock (and keep the bad bank)

ToryDiary: Dominic Raab is The Spectator's "Newcomer of the Year"

Columnist Jill Kirby: Don't blame the eurozone, there are plenty of home-grown causes (and remedies) for youth unemployment


On behalf of seven Tory MPs, Charlie Elphicke introduces a new ConHome/ Centre for Policy Studies series: Turbocharging growth

Karen Bradley MP writes the first contribution to the series: Cut the 50p rate, cut corporation tax, cut capital gains tax

On Local government:

WATCH: David Cameron showcases his Australian accent while dressed up as an "extra from Downton Abbey"

Andrew Lansley crackdowns on "hidden waiting lists" which are keeping 250,000 people waiting longer than 18 weeks

LANSLEY ANDREW NW"Hospitals will today be warned they face massive fines if they fail to clear a backlog of hundreds of thousands of "forgotten" patients. Andrew Lansley will force them to pay up to five per cent of their NHS contract income — which could run to £1million." – Sun

"The government's latest NHS initiative is being viewed with a certain degree of irony within the health service. This was an administration that came to power promising to move away from what it said was the target culture created by Labour." – BBC

  • Experts have accused the government of being too concerned about not hurting the food industry in its obesity crackdown – FT (£)
  • All provisions that turns health and social care services into a market-based system will be removed, says Andy Burnham – Guardian

Labour claims Coalition could over-borrow by £100 billionBBC

"The Treasury analysis of independent City forecasts showed that net public borrowing is now expected to rocket to £412bn over the next few years. This is more than £100bn higher than the £303bn total projected by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) a year ago, after the government-wide spending review. Crucially, it also dwarfs the £389bn four-year total OBR forecast based on the plans of Alistair Darling, his Labour predecessor, which the Coalition argued was much too high." – Independent

Osborne's Plan A has one year of wiggle room – Nicholas Watt at The Guardian

Bank of England cuts growth forecasts and makes grim predictions of a weak recovery – Guardian

"For the British economy, yesterday was another Black Wednesday. We learnt that employment – ultimately, the central measure of an economy’s ability to deliver for the public – fell by 109,000 over the past year, with a worried and battered private sector failing to create enough jobs to compensate for necessary public sector job losses." – Allister Heath at City AM

  • The Audit Commission said nine out of 10 councils would still balance their books despite an estimated £4.7bn fall in their combined income this year – BBC 

First-time buyers will get cheaper mortgages and struggling businesses will be let off energy taxes under plans likely to be unveiled in George Osborne’s autumn statementTelegraph

France has reacted angrily at George Osborne’s remarks linking the country to the Greek debt crisis

OSBORNE BLUE TIE"Mr Osborne’s remark in a newspaper that “markets are even asking questions about France” has added to a sense in eurozone capitals that Britain is willing to comment on the debt crisis but is refusing to offer financial help, other than through the International Monetary Fund." – FT (£)

  • Tempers could fray when Cameron meets Merkel on Friday – Daily Mail
  • Mario Monti, Italy’s new Prime Minister, appointed an all-technocrat Cabinet that does not include a single elected politician – Times (£)
  • Angela Merkel's clear plan for closer union will not appeal to all, but there is no substance to the British government's alternative – Timothy Garton Ash in The Guardian

David Cameron announces £250m fund for Vocational Training

"The Prime Minister hopes the cash for better vocational training will help spark economic growth and cut the number of jobless 16 to 24-year-olds, which broke through the one million barrier for the first time. The money will be diverted from colleges and other training providers and given directly to firms whose bosses successfully apply for grants by showing how their staff and potential employees will benefit." – Huffington Post

Around 500 foreigners landed a job in Britain every day over the past year while the number of UK-born workers plungedDaily Mail

Screen shot 2011-11-17 at 07.44.43"The last two weeks have been dominated by the deeply unedifying row between Theresa May and the ex-head of the UK Border Force over a disturbing relaxation of passport controls last summer. But, compared to the scandal of failing to bring economic migration under control, that sorry affair is but a footling matter." – Daily Mail leader

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Theresa May is winning the battle over the Brodie Clark case. But the one that really matters is the stuggle to control our borders.

  • Migration Advisory Committee recommends stopping partners of many immigrants – Express

Tory MEPs object to the EU's new unilateral climate change ambitions FT (£)

National Parks could be at risk from Coalition's planning reformsTelegraph

William Hague reminds us of the vital role MI6 plays in national defence – Alan Judd in The Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: "Britain will never condone" torture. It is "abhorrent" and "wrong", says William Hague

Military chiefs are secretly drawing up plans to keep as many as 3,500 troops in Afghanistan AFTER the PM's deadline to end the warThe Sun

At least one Arab state has called on Cameron to lead action against SyriaTelegraph

WIDDECOMBE ANN NEWAnn Widdecombe and Lord Archer join Baroness Kinnock and other public figures in donating their winter fuel allowance to help less fortunateTimes (£)

In YouGov’s polls so far this month we’ve had the Conservatives steady at 35-37%, Labout at 40-42%, the Lib Dems at 7-10%Anthony Wells

  • "Cameron's difficulty appealing to women is only a symptom. His real problems are policies that would make any government unpopular and a party that was already too unpopular to win an election but has not the will to change." – Rafael Behr in the New Statesman
  • Referring to the Lib Dems' poll rating, Patrick O'Flynn blasts Nick Clegg as Mr 7%: "A man who rages against demagogues yet deployed prejudice rather than rational analysis over the euro" – Express

UUP urged to rethink merger deal with ToriesBelfast Telegraph

Downing St InsideDanny Kruger: Talk of divisions in Downing Street are misplaced

"The emollient personality of the prime minister makes the atmosphere in No 10 friendly. The key players have toiled and fought together for years, in much humbler offices than the ones they now occupy. They were friends long before they were bigwigs." – Danny Kruger in The Guardian

ePetitions risk becoming mob ruleGuardian leader

Margaret Thatcher considered staying on as PM even after she'd been ousted by Tory MPs because she hadn't been rejected by the peopleDaily Mail | Yesterday's ToryDiary

The results of the official inquiry into the Iraq war has been delayed until at least next summer because Whitehall is refusing to declassify secret documentsTimes (£)

The experts who want us to stop lighting up in cars are malicious meddlers – Graeme Archer in The Telegraph


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