10.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron beats Miliband and Clegg in YouGov survey of leadership qualities

7.15pm WATCH: David Cameron: "We need to get really serious about the growth agenda in Europe"

Field Mark on BBC5pm Mark Field MP on Comment: The lynch mob's victory may be pyrrhic if RBS can't now attract the brightest and best

5pm David Cameron's Europe veto change and a new push for an in/out referendum lead our teatime newslinks

4.30pm MPsETC: The People's Pledge EU referendum campaign may not succeed, but it certainly deserves to do so

Screen shot 2012-01-30 at MPsETC: The veto "is no more", it "has ceased to be", it is "bereft of life", it "rests in peace"

3pm LISTEN: William Hague: "We have taken a lot of action on bonuses, they are now a fraction of what they were"

2.30pm Local government: Tory councillor quits over Council Tax rise

1.30pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: The Government has capitulated on the "veto" – so now what?

1pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: "We've got to have responsibility in the boardroom when… living standards are being squeezed"

Noon ConHomeUSA: Romney keeps pressure on Gingrich as he hopes for knockout Florida win

Hannan510.30am Daniel Hannan MEP on Comment: Is a referendum on EU membership right in principle?

ToryDiary: A Teflon Prime Minister? His luck has held over RBS (so far). Will it also hold over Europe?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Cameron was in danger of sounding weak over the Hester bonus

Adrian Hilton on Comment: The Conservative leadership is destroying its membership

Local Government: Government averts threat of huge EU fines

Think Tank Central: Average family pays £656,000 tax over lifetime, calculates the TaxPayers' Alliance

WATCH: Besieged Hester rejects bonus

Pressure on Cameron over Europe from his Cabinet…

DUNCAN SMITH AITW"Iain Duncan Smith and Boris Johnson both told Mr Cameron yesterday not to allow the European Court of Justice to enforce the new rules on spending in the eurozone after No 10 revealed on Friday that the UK will not fight the plans. Tory MPs will today join the launch of a cross-party campaign to demand a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU." – Daily Mail

…and the backbenches (not to mention the Mayor)

"Boris Johnson also delivered a warning to Mr Cameron, saying: “I’m anxious that the wrong approach may be taken on the eurozone.” Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP, tweeted: “Cameron is sleepwalking into the mother of all backbench rows if he thinks he can let FU [fiscal union] nations use the ECJ without recourse to Parliament.” – The Times (£)

  • The price of splitting up the euro may indeed be tremendous. But what is the long-term cost of keeping it together? – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

Open Europe looks ahead to crime and policing repatriation decision

"Separately, Open Europe, a think-tank with strong links to Tory MPs, has published a report heralding the next big European row on the horizon: whether Britain should use a “one-off opportunity to unilaterally repatriate up to 130 EU laws on crime and policing”. – Financial Times (£)

  • Giving more power to Brussels over crime and policing won't strengthen co-operation. It would just lead to more bureaucracy and less democratic control. – Dominic Raab MP, The Sun

Charlie Kennedy warns that Liberal Democrats will not tolerate any repeat of the wielding of the British veto The Guardian

Other EU news and comment:

  • We’re on the brink, warns Greece ahead of summit – Daily Telegraph
  • Now Sarkozy says that Britain has no industry any more – Daily Mail
  • Natascha Engel MP: Why I've joined the Peoples' Pledge to campaign for an EU referendum – The Guardian

Cameron: is he appealing to women? Daily Telegraph

Hester gives up his bonus before Parliament takes it from him

Screen shot 2012-01-30 at 08.19.50"Stephen Hester bowed to pressure last night and gave up his controversial bonus. He told the state-owned bank’s board that he would not accept his 2011 award, worth almost £1million, saying he did not wish to become a pariah…His move was a direct response to Labour’s announcement yesterday evening that it would force a Commons debate on the payments at the bank, allowing MPs to vote on the bonus." – Daily Mail

Sources claim that the RBS Chief Executive won't quit…

"He was determined to remain at RBS, sources close to Mr Hester said, quashing speculation that he might quit and leave the Government having to find a new chief executive of the bank, which is 83 per cent owned by the taxpayer…George Osborne, the Chancellor, said last night: 'This is a sensible and welcome decision that enables Stephen Hester to focus on the very important job he has got to do, namely to get back billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money that was put into RBS.' " – The Times (£)

…Which will relieve Cameron

"Mr Hester’s decision will come as a huge relief to Mr Cameron, who waved through the bonus in the belief that the board might quit en masse; Iain Duncan Smith, work and pensions secretary, said that would have left the bank in a state of “chaos”." – Financial Times

  • An economic downturn is the worst time for politicians to rail against bankers’ pay – Times Editorial (£)
  • "The Government’s takeover of part of the banking industry in 2008 – combined with a stagnant economy and a flawed narrative about the real causes of the crisis – has triggered a cultural shift that will turn out to be disastrous for Western capitalism and prosperity." – Allister Heath, City AM
  • Mark Field: Hester is the victim of a 'lynch mob mentality' – Politics Home (£)

> Yesterday:

Osborne mulling over tax cuts

"Bigger-than-expected tax cuts for millions of workers are being considered in a bid to kick-start the economy…Last night one Government source said: “There is a growing recognition that putting more money in the pockets of low and middle income families would help stimulate the economy.’’ A second high-level source added: “George Osborne is desperate not to be seen to oppose tax cuts.” – Daily Express

> Yesterday: Columnist Ruth Lea – We are facing a national economic emergency. Where is the boldness?

Low-skilled migrants will be told to go home, says Damian Green

GREEN DAMIAN"Thousands of migrant workers will be asked to go home after a few years in Britain under policies to be made public this week. Immigrants from outside Europe who do not have valuable skills or high earnings will lose their right to live permanently in this country. Ministers indicated yesterday that a ‘transformation of immigration policy’ will leave room for only the ‘brightest and best’ to build new lives in Britain." – Daily Mail

Boris backs Lammy over smacking

"Boris Johnson has backed calls for parents to be allowed to smack their children to instil discipline. The Mayor of London spoke after a senior Labour MP blamed his party’s partial ban on smacking children for last August’s riots.  Former education minister David Lammy called for a return to Victorian laws on discipline, saying working-class parents needed to be able to use corporal punishment to deter unruly children from joining gangs and wielding knives." – Daily Mail

Charter to tackle noisy neighbours set out by Theresa May

"Communities will be allowed to "trigger" investigations into nuisance neighbours under plans to be announced by the Home Secretary today. In a speech on police reform in London, Teresa May will announce a "Community Trigger" scheme to be piloted this summer. Under the plans, authorities must take action to tackle nuisance behaviour if five people from different homes across across the same neighbourhood complain about the same problem." – The Independent

Mitchell: Millions of pounds must be pumped into strife-torn Somalia to avert catastrophe

Mitchell Thoughtful
"Mr Mitchell — talking to The Sun on a peril-packed trip to the nation's bandit country — explained why the Coalition's bitterly contested hike in aid spending is vital. He said: 'Somalia is on the same curve as Afghanistan was. There are more British passport holders engaged in terrorist training in Somalia than in any other country in the world. "If we ignore Somalia then it will continue on its spiral, destabilising the region and exporting terrorism, piracy, drugs, people and disease.' " – The Sun

Salmond on back foot over referendum question

"Alex Salmond has rejected suggestions that voters should be asked in the referendum on Scottish independence if they want to leave the United Kingdom. The Scottish First Minister said introducing the UK into the question would "confuse the issue" because the country would retain the Queen as head of state after breaking the political union…Mr Salmond responded to suggestions on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that voters should be asked if they want to leave the UK instead." – The Independent

Screen shot 2012-01-30 at 08.23.50Defence cuts (1): Chief of general staff says cuts creating 'gaps' and leaving soldiers unsettled and frustrated Daily Telegraph

Defence cuts (2): Former army head says that another war in the Falklands is "unwinnable"Daily Mail

Clarke to ban crooks’ compo payoutsThe Sun

Taxpayers Alliance finds that families' lifetime tax bill is £656,000Daily Mail

Miliband speech to encourage Scotland to remain part of the UKThe Guardian

Private company to run NHS general hospital for first timeFinancial Times (£)


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