10pm ToryDiary: EU in/out referenda arranged in constituencies of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband

5pm Teatime newslinks featuring Cameron and Sarkozy's meeting, police commissioners and the Eurozone crisis

Downing Street Christmas tree3.30pm WATCH: David Cameron is joined by Blue Peter Gold Badge winners to switch on Downing Street's Christmas tree lights

3pm Raheem Kassam on Comment: The LSE was wrong to take Gaddafi’s money 

2.30pm WATCH: George Osborne: "The biggest boost [to the British] economy this autumn would be a resolution of the Euro crisis"

2.15pm Local government:

2pm LeftWatch: In the week of the Autumn Statement, Ed Balls is under attack from business groups, economists, his own party, and the public

1pm Tim Ambler on Comment: The public overwhelmingly rejects taxpayer funding for political parties

US Elephant shieldNoon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and American political news

11.45am Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

10.30am ToryDiary: Only 29% of Tory members think deficit will be under control by 2015. Grassroots more pessimistic about EU and immigration

ToryDiary: The repatriation of powers: always tomorrow, never today

Bruce Anderson on our Columnists' page: The LSE was right to take Gaddafi's money

Mark Field MP on Comment: Instead of Treasury tinkering, it's time to think about promoting sectors of the economy with growth potential

Local Government: Councils sharing services is common sense

WATCH: Nicolas Sarkozy: France is fighting with Germany for a new treaty – for a true economic government

David Cameron to tell Sarkozy he will not pursue repatriations during Eurozone talks…

Cameron Sarkozy"David Cameron… will tell Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Friday that the UK will not throw a spanner in the works as the 17-member eurozone enters tense negotiations on how to strengthen its internal fiscal discipline. Although Mr Cameron wants assurances that any eurozone settlement will not damage the City of London, he will tell the French president that he will not use the moment to try to repatriate powers from Brussels." – FT (£)

  • Cameron and Sarkozy in Paris talks – BBC
  • Sarkozy wrongfoots Cameron as he calls for two-tier Europe - Independent
  • "Sir Mervyn King gave warning yesterday that the eurozone debt crisis has placed Britain in an “extraordinarily dangerous” situation as he offered a downbeat assessment of the single currency’s future." – The Times (£)
  • "In 30 years, I've never heard such talk from a bank chief" – Alex Brummer in the Daily Mail

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Grayling denies challenge drop to EU working time rules

…as William Hague orders civil servants to work with Eurosceptic MPs and draw up powers for Britain to repatriate

Hague Feb 2010"The Foreign Secretary has thrown his weight behind a new all-party group that is seeking a fundamental renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union. … Mr Hague has moved to embrace the all-party group, whose members include many of the Tory MPs who rebelled against the Prime Minister over Europe in October. … Civil servants will make their debut before the group later this month as it prepares to produce detailed plans for which powers Britain could hope to repatriate from Brussels, and how the Government could go about such a negotiation." – The Times (£)

Iain Duncan Smith is planning to move away from Labour's child poverty targets

DUNCAN SMITH AITW"The government is planning to review official targets for reducing poverty, arguing that simply comparing relative incomes leads to perverse incentives and does little to promote better life chances. The move was signalled by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, and David Cameron in the week that the government was forced to admit that its autumn statement will mean another 100,000 children brought into child poverty under the measure enshrined in law by the Labour government." – Guardian

  • "[Iain Duncan Smith] said that increasing “benefit income” simply pushes the “family further into dependency” and makes it less likely that their children will ever escape from poverty. He warned that extra money provided to dysfunctional families may simply be spent on drugs or gambling, rather than on helping children." – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Was Osborne right to increase benefits by 5.2%?

Changes on tax credits and retirement are unfair to women, David Cameron warned

CameronOnTPS"Government figures show that almost 12 million women will be affected by changes to tax credits and public sector pensions, compared with just 5.3  million men. An analysis shows that women will lose £1.7 billion, compared with just £640  million lost by men. Changes to tax credits alone will cost households £1,200 each." – Daily Telegraph

  • "The research found that 4.6 million women and 2.6 million men would be affected by Mr Osborne's 1 per cent cap on pay rises in the public sector for two years, while 89 per cent of those affected by the change to child tax credit will be women." – Independent

George Osborne is seen as the new enemy of the green movement

Osborne NewX"Leaders of Britain's major environmental groups have discussed between themselves in recent days the "problem" of Mr Osborne, who is being regarded more and more as a powerful obstructive influence… on Britain's green agenda. The Chancellor is increasingly seen as pulling the strings of… ministers such as Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, over planning reform, and Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, over green regulation and the sell-off of wildlife sites." – Independent

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Osborne's ratings fall after Autumn Statement

Backbench Tory MPs try to stop civil partnerships in places of worship

"The group, led by the Roman Catholic MP Edward Leigh, have signed an Early Day Motion calling for the rule change to be scrapped before it comes into effect on Monday. They complain that the plan, which will for the first time allow same-sex couples to hold civil partnership ceremonies on religious premises, has not been debated properly in the House of Commons. It was introduced in an Lords amendment to the Equality Act in 2010 and is being made law through a new set of regulations." – Daily Telegraph

Ken Clarke's legal aid reforms delayed

ClarkeOnBBC"Plans to shake up the way criminal lawyers are paid have been put back by two years while changes in civil legal aid have been delayed by six months. It is the latest set back for the Justice Secretary, who last week had to abandon plans to scrap two Government quangos in the face of fierce opposition." – Daily Telegraph

Freedom to report on Parliament is not set in stone, warns Attorney General Dominic Grieve

GRIEVE DOMINIC"Journalists could be prosecuted for reporting what is said in parliament, the Government’s top law officer warned on Thursday, putting a 170-year tradition in jeopardy. Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, said it was “still an open question” whether the media could report the words of MPs who use parliamentary privilege to break court orders.Earlier this year a number of politicians used parliamentary privilege to identify individuals whose identity had been protected by court injunctions." – Daily Telegraph

  • Don't let U.S. bully us over skewed Extradition Act: It's time for MPs to stand up for British justice – Daily Mail
  • MPs must seize the day on extradition – Daily Mail editorial

New MEP confirmed despite not a single vote being cast for her

"A Tory businesswoman was made Britain’s newest MEP yesterday without a single vote being cast. Anthea McIntyre from Ross on Wye was handed the £84,500-a-year post after Brussels said the UK had qualified for another seat in the European Parliament." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday on MPsETC: New Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre confirmed

Labour activists urge party to adopt fiscal realism

Balls Ed TUC protest"Labour's vagueness over how it would reduce the deficit, and the party's failure to address the political consequences of long term austerity are preventing the public from trusting its leaders on the economy, a group of party activists warn in an intervention intended to open a debate about Labour's economic and political strategy. … Critics of Labour economic strategy argue Miliband and Balls should stop focussing their energies on attacking excessive Conservative cuts in 2010, and instead focus on restoring Labour's own fiscal credibility." - Guardian

  • Labour must make fiscal honesty the key to responsible capitalism - Anthony Painter and Hopi Sen for the Guardian
  • Will Labour say, “Profit is good”? – John Rentoul

Fraser Nelson: The Opposition is so wedded to spending that it can’t see the public has moved on

Nelson Fraser pink shirt"It should be easy to take shots at Osborne: where was the growth review that we were supposed to see with the Autumn Statement? But thanks to its union paymasters, Labour is no longer the workers’ party. It is now simply a lobby group for higher state spending that is becoming ever less relevant to our national debate. … only the Government is talking frankly about the size of Britain’s challenge – and the worse the recession becomes the more suspicious voters are of the easy solutions which Balls and Miliband offer." – Fraser Nelson for the Daily Telegraph

  • George Osborne's autumn statement speaks to the public mood – The British are pessimistic about the economy. But they still do not blame the coalition – Martin Kettle for the Guardian

Jeremy Clarkson was being silly, says David Cameron Guardian

  • Clarkson’s joke was agreed in advance with BBC producer – The Times (£)
  • Jeremy Clarkson apologises for 'shoot public sector workers' comments - Metro

> From yesterday - WATCH: Ed Miliband: Jeremy Clarkson's comments were "absolutely disgraceful and disgusting… they're outrageous"

Greeks block EU bid to ban Iranian oil imports Daily Mail

  • EU-FLAGIf Britain stands firm, it may yet tame Iran – David Owen for the Daily Telegraph
  • Iran is a threat to us and the Middle East – Stephen Pollard for the Daily Express

> From yesterday's Comment:

And finally… Argentina wants a provocative "Falklands are ours" badge at Olympics

"Argentina has proposed sending its athletes to the London Olympics wearing provocative badges declaring the Falklands are Argentine. It wants an image of the islands to be emblazoned on national team clothing at the Games, which will be held just weeks after Britain commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict." – Daily Mail


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