8pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: Jeremy Clarkson's comments were "absolutely disgraceful and disgusting… they're outrageous"

7.30pm ToryDiary: Was Osborne right to increase benefits by 5.2%?

Prescott pols show5.15pm WATCH: John Prescott: "We are one of the leading countries that has achieved the Kyoto targets"

5pm Teatime newslinks including the latest on public sector pensions, the Eurozone, and Jeremy Clarkson

4pm MPsETC: New Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre confirmed

3.15pm Local Government:

3pm MPsETC: Tory backbenchers line up to support the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

1.30pm George Grant on Comment: John Baron MP has got it wrong on Iran

Alexander Danny interview1pm WATCH: Danny Alexander: "I think there's genuinely a very good chance of reaching an agreement" on pensions

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

11.15am Luke de Pulford on Comment: We must demand greater accountability and deeper debate about the cost of abortion

9.30am ToryDiary: Grayling denies challenge drop to EU working time rules

Screen shot 2011-12-01 at 09.35.14ToryDiary: Osborne's ratings fall after Autumn Statement

Columnist Jill Kirby: On Tuesday, the Chancellor passed up the opportunity to present a radical new path to economic growth

John Baron MP on Comment: The West has got it wrong on Iran

Local Government: Most Council workers defy the strike

WATCH: Portuguese parliament approves 2012 austerity budget

David Cameron ready to give up on repatriating employment powers from Europe

Cameron global"The Prime Minister will urge President Sarkozy tomorrow to end the uncertainties about the future of the euro as quickly as possible. Mr Cameron is ready to see the 17 eurozone countries agree tighter new rules without requiring the blessing of the 10 other members of the European Union, including Britain." – The Times (£)

  • Conservatives "drop challenge to Brussels on work rules" – Daily Telegraph

Downing Street: Britain has entered a second credit crunch

1k1r"Britain has entered a second credit crunch, Downing Street said on Wednesday night, as America was forced to intervene to stop the eurozone crisis leading to a global financial collapse. … a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “Clearly there is a very serious situation in the financial markets at this time. We are experiencing a credit crunch and that central bank action is about trying to mitigate the effects of that credit crunch. They are ensuring they have the capacity to take action.”" – Daily Telegraph

  • "Bank of England sources said last night the money being made available to struggling banks under the new facility was ‘unlimited’. But a similar scheme during the last credit crunch peaked at $583billion (£365billion) in late 2008." – Daily Mail
  • Save the euro in 10 days or see the EU disintegrate, ministers are warned – Guardian

David Cameron complains George Osborne is blocking the green agenda

Cameron&Osborne"When David Cameron invited Dame Fiona Reynolds, the head of the National Trust, into Downing Street recently to talk about planning reform, little was resolved. When the meeting broke up, the prime minister is supposed to have said to her … that his hands were tied. That, on this, he couldn't really control the chancellor. … For many involved, the government's new planning proposals are an indicator of a wider attack by George Osborne on the green agenda." - Guardian

Tory grassroots want the Chancellor to make further cuts to spending – and taxes

"A survey of party members, by the website for the Daily Mail, found that a big majority wanted the Chancellor to announce he was slashing spending faster in order to fund tax cuts. … 58 per cent of members believe the deficit will not be back under control by the time of the next election, with only 29 per cent saying it will be." – Daily Mail

  • "High inflation, cuts and the longest period of wage stagnation on record will see the spending power of the average British family plummet over the next five years, a leading thinktank warned on Wednesday. An Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis predicted that average incomes, adjusted for inflation, will fall by 3% this year and further in 2012." - Guardian
  • Big squeeze hits home as families lose £2,500 – The Times (£)

Peter Oborne: George Osborne is a part-time Chancellor. This is unacceptable in a grave crisis

OBORNE"On the one hand, Osborne is in charge of the national finances at a time of the gravest imaginable economic crisis; on the other, he is equally active and energetic as the chief strategist to the Prime Minister. … He cannot perform both of these roles with integrity because they are completely contradictory. Put simply, prime ministers like to spend, while it is the job of chancellors to save." – Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph

Pension talks between unions and government resume

  • Cuts protest"The main teaching unions will hold talks with the government on Thursday, while the health service unions will hold similar talks on Friday.Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said ministers are prepared to alter what is currently being offered."- BBC
  • "The biggest display of industrial discontent in three decades ended in a propaganda war as unions and ministers traded blows over the impact, with more than six out of 10 schools shutting in England and 6,000 NHS operations cancelled" – Guardian
  • "Mr Cameron signalled a rethink over rules allowing 260 full-time civil servants to have paid time off to carry out union duties. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “I don’t think it is right and we’re going to put it to an end. The evidence today makes that even stronger.”" – The Times (£)

Francis Maude: Public sector strikes were the last thing working families needed

MAUDE-FRANCIS-ON-QT"Union action was utterly irresponsible and untimely. We’ve been negotiating for almost 10 months non-stop and we’ve listened to concerns of public-sector workers. Earlier this month we put forward a more generous offer. And that offer ensures that changes will not affect anyone within 10 years of retirement. … Yesterday’s strike did nothing to change the fact that reforms are long overdue." – Francis Maude for the Daily Express

  • "A change in the law is needed to prevent a repeat of yesterday's indefensible public sector strike" – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "Union barons looked mugs after their great day of action simply provided an excuse for thousands of public sector workers to go Christmas shopping." – The Sun editorial

William Hague orders all Iran's diplomats out of Britain after student attack on embassy

  • Hague William New Headshot"Britain yesterday ordered the closure of Iran’s embassy in London and expelled its diplomats in retaliation for frenzied mobs attacking the UK’s two diplomatic compounds in Tehran. William Hague announced the dramatic move shortly after all British diplomats were flown out of the Iranian capital to Dubai for their own safety. The Foreign Secretary also said the British Embassy in Tehran was shutting following Tuesday’s violence." – Daily Mail
  • "Ironically, president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, usually known for his antiwestern rhetoric, now appears moderate, apparently in an effort to win the support of reform-minded voters. He is believed to have opposed the downgrade of diplomatic ties with the UK and the embassy attack." – FT (£)
  • William Hague seeks joint EU action against Iran over embassy attack – Guardian
  • Iran's mullah's come out fighting – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

Caroline Spelman warns of drought next summer – and plans for water rationing

Spelman Caroline 470"Arid conditions have hit central and eastern England since June, following the lowest rainfall since records began 100 years ago. In a report out today, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will warn those conditions could continue into next summer and spread to the South East if there is a dry winter." – Daily Mail

Government considers a "tsar" for the elderly

"A new government “tsar” for elderly people could be appointed to protect the rights of pensioners and combat ageism in society, under plans being considered by ministers. … The health minister Earl Howe announced that the Coalition was considering whether a commissioner dedicated to protecting older people should be appointed in England." – Daily Telegraph

Nick Clegg faces Lib Dem unrest after committing his party to an extra two years of cuts

Cleggmaking-a-point"Some Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs fear that the party's attempt to have a distinctive appeal at the next election will be wrecked by George Osborne's announcement in his Autumn Statement on Tuesday that planned spending will fall by £8.3bn in 2015-16 and £15.1bn in 2016-17." – Independent

  • "Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, questioned the idea that the party could be committed to specific spending cuts after 2015. "All governments need to make spending plans for the longer term, but any spending plans from the government after 2015 can only be provisional and subject to the result of the general election," he said." – Guardian

'No' campaign outspent rivals by 60 per cent in AV referendumIndependent

Gay marriage threatens plan for Scottish independence

"The Scottish government will put its plans for independence at risk by alienating Christians and Muslims over proposals to allow “gay marriages”, a former SNP leader said yesterday. … A consultation on the proposal to allow such marriages ends next week, but SNP ministers have said that they are inclined to back the plan." – The Times (£)

Figures show Britons are increasingly being targeted under the controversial European Arrest Warrant Daily Telegraph


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