Screen shot 2011-11-16 at ToryDiary: "Britain will never condone" torture. It is "abhorrent" and "wrong", says William Hague

6.30pm WATCH:

5.30pm Brian Binley on Comment: Whose self-interest was it that led to this Euro mess?

5pm: Today's teatime newslinks – including Mervyn King's comments about the UK economy flatlining, youth unemployment reaching 1 million, and Hague's intelligence speech 

4.15pm ToryDiary: Thatcher "briefly" considered staying on as Prime Minister after standing down as Tory leader

3.15pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: Technology will overtake media regulators but competition will protect consumers

Screen shot 2011-11-16 at 15.08.541.15pm WATCH: "We're being sent the bill to prop up" the €uro, says Daniel Hannan MEP

12.45pm MPsETC: "Fuel duty is not just about economics, it's an issue of social justice" says Robert Halfon

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

11.30am JP Floru on Comment: Euro printing: Welcome to the President Mugabe School of Economics

10.30am Dominic Raab MP on Comment: Red-tape in business is socially unjust, as well as being economically uncompetitive 


Anthony Browne on our Columnists' page: Who will win the £250,000 prize for designing a €uro exit plan?

Dr Eamonn Butler on Comment: The idea of forcing the banks to keep more ‘safe’ assets at hand is equally misguided

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The Leveson inquiry – it is revelations about the activities of the “quality” press that may yet be the most interesting

MPsETC: Robert Halfon's debate on fuel prices highlights a growing problem in the Chamber

Local Government: 


Are Anglo-German relations worsening? Cameron is accused of being self centred by Merkel's ally

Cameron_merkel_2_2"Close allies of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, turned on Mr Cameron after he called for the European Union to rewrite its rules after the debt crisis. Days before he meets Mrs Merkel for talks, the parliamentary leader of her Christian Democratic Union party told Mr Cameron he would not get away with opposing the new financial transaction tax branded by George Osborne as a “bullet aimed at the heart of London”. Volker Kauder also accused Mr Cameron of being self-centred, saying that it was unacceptable for Britain to ignore its “responsibility for making Europe a success” - Times (£)

  • Volker's intervention "reflects growing hostility in Berlin to what they perceive to be Britain's intransigent attitude towards financial reform" - Independent
  • "Suddenly Europe is speaking German", says Merkel ally, Volker Kauder - Die Spiegel
  • Phillip Hollobone MP accuses foreign policy of "going back to the time of Henry VIII has been to try to prevent conglomeration of power on the continent of Europe which would be against British national interests" - Daily Mail
  • Hamish McRae: 'Now it's not just a two-speed Europe, but three speeds or more: Germany and the UK are in the fast lane, France in the middle lane, and then Spain' - Independent
  • David Davis MP: 'Britain needs to stand up with non-euro nations against France and Germany' - Daily Mail

Benedict Brogan writes that "France’s uneasy alliance with Germany must not prevent Britain having a say over the euro"

"Mr Cameron has embarked on a difficult game of three-dimensional European chess with Mr Sarkozy and Mrs Merkel. Age-old historical truths are asserting themselves. As it always has done, Britain has a stake in ensuring the balance of power between its two main Continental rivals does not favour one against the other" - Telegraph

In a speech today, William Hague will stress that the intelligence services will be able to stand future scrutiny 

Hague_2005_7Hague "in a rare speech devoted to the intelligence services, will concede that claims about possible British involvement in extraordinary rendition and torture had damaged the country’s standing around the world. Proposed new rules to allow to courts to hear details of sensitive intelligence behind closed doors will help strengthen public confidence in the intelligence agencies at home and overseas. But agents would not be forced to reveal their techniques, which would alert Britain’s enemies and could put national security at risk" - Times (£)

  • William Hague will say that MI6 spies died in the fight against Al-Qaeda - Telegraph

Former UK Borders Chief, Brodie Clark escalates row as tells Home Affairs Select Committe that he didn't go "rogue", accusing May of destroying his reputation

"Clark, who resigned last week to fight an employment tribunal case after being publicly blamed by the home secretary for the border checks fiasco, revealed there had been an attempt to pay him off quietly with a retirement package but it had been blocked at the last minute. As expected, the senior civil servant claimed that ministerial authorisation of a trial involving targeting checks on high-risk groups had been "conflated" with long-standing Home Office policy dating back to 2007 to suspend some passport checks to deal with critical health and safety emergencies at airports and ports" - Guardian

  • Brodie Clark: "The Home Secretary’s risk-based pilot was progress. But it must not be confused with everyday border control" - Times (£)
  • Clark's "evidence to MPs directly contradicted the Home Secretary's account; he all but called her a liar" - Independent
  • Rogue operator or not? - Guardian
  • Guardian editorial: Mayday, Mayday - Guardian

> Yesterday WATCH: UK Border Force chief Brodie Clark says he was "meticulous" in meeting Theresa May's requirements

The Daily Mail suggests that Clark did defy May in the decision to relax fingerprint checks

TmY"A bombshell inquiry has found the head of the UK Border Force relaxed vital immigration checks in clear defiance of ministers because he wanted ‘quick wins’ to reduce queues at airports. A leaked draft copy of a disciplinary investigation into the conduct of Brodie Clark – who yesterday denied being a ‘rogue’ civil servant – reveals fingerprint checks on foreign nationals who need a visa to enter the UK were relaxed on 164 occasions" - Daily Mail

May faces fresh row as the Home Office is accused of "highly selective" drugs statistics at British ports

"Home Office ministers faced a fresh crisis last night after being rebuked for manipulating drug-seizure figures in an apparent attempt to generate good publicity for the embattled Border Agency. Sir Michael Scholar, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, condemned the department for a "highly selective" briefing to journalists which claimed that the amount of heroin and cocaine detected at ports and airports had soared – just days before properly audited figures showed seizures had fallen" - Independent

Business leaders meet with Cameron to discuss ways of tacking youth unemployment, which is set to surge past 1 million

Cama"At a breakfast meeting in Downing Street today, business leaders at the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce, among other trade bodies, will urge the Prime Minister to consider financial incentives to help employers hire young people. The Prime Minister is said to be open to their views about tackling youth unemployment and joblessness across all age groups, expected to rise from its current level of 2.5m to 3m next year, according to some analysts" - Telegraph

Dominic Raab, in a paper published today for the Centre for Policy Studies ('Escaping the strait jacket – Ten regulatory reforms to create jobs'), suggests suspending the minimum wage for young people

"Suspend the minimum wage for 16 to 21-year-olds working for small businesses to give them a foot on the ladder. The Low Pay Commission recently told ministers that the current level of the minimum wage may be hurting young people’s job prospects" - Times (£)

David Miliband says that youth unemployment has "undoubtedly got much worse in the last year”, calling for "extraordinary measures" to deal with it - Times (£)

Jesse Norman MP celebrates the end of Private Finance Initiative's (PFIs)

Jessenorman"So what should come next? A return to pure public financing would grossly constrain capital investment and fail to take any benefit from the experience of the past two decades. But the issue is not simply how private capital and skills can be better deployed for public benefit, though that is highly important. It is how new approaches to infrastructure can be used to drive economic growth, at a time when the eurozone is in crisis and large parts of the world economy are stuttering" - Telegraph

Meryl Streep's 'Iron Lady' is not "the Margaret Thatcher I knew" says Norman Tebbit

"She was never the half-hysterical, over-emotional, over-acting woman portrayed by Meryl Streep. She could be angry and on at least one occasion I walked back to my department unsure whether I would find on my arrival that I was no longer the Secretary of State. Contrary to some accounts of her negotiating tactics, I never felt that she was playing “the feminine card”. It was all about reality, not emotion, and she was no stranger to the game of hard ball" - Telegraph

  • Matthew Norman: "Whatever the dramatic merits of Streep's performance … the film's timing has a resonance that transcends conventional critical criteria. The oddity, in an age when the process of revisionism runs virtually concurrently with the history itself, is that it took so long" - Independent

Parliament votes unanimously to halt the increase in fuel taxSun

Senior MPs fear "they have created a monster with the e-petition scheme", after a series of Government embarrasmentsDaily Mail

MoD admits to security concerns over delay in production of cutting-edge attack submarines Daily Mail

The British Medical Association want smoking to be banned in cars, to protect passengers – especially children Guardian


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