7.15pm WATCH: George Osborne talks to Faisal Islam about the lack of economic growth in Britain and the €urozone

4.15pm WATCH: Cameron: It is for Stephen Hester to decide whether he will accept his bonus from RBS

3.15pm LeftWatch: Boom! Labour concedes principle of regionalised state pay and benefits.

12.15pm ToryDiary: Archbishop of York compares Cameron to dictator on gay marriage


ToryDiary: Has Cameron's EU veto died?

Rehman Chishti MP on Comment: Syrian opposition parties need to unite otherwise Syria faces a bleak future

Local government: Lee Rotherham to stand for Police Commissioner in Lincolnshire

GayweddingDavid Cameron will be acting like a “dictator” if he allows homosexual couples to wed, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu warns

"“Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” says Dr Sentamu. “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are. We’ve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I don’t want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way." – Telegraph

Cameron retreats on veto 'to appease Lib Dems'

  • "The Prime Minister agreed that the European Court of Justice could be used to enforce limits on state spending in the eurozone. Until now, Mr Cameron has insisted the institutions of the EU, part-funded by Britain, must not be used to enforce a treaty that he has refused to sign." – Daily Mail
  • "Tory Eurosceptics warned Cameron against diluting his opposition to the use of the ECJ. Bill Cash, the veteran Conservative Eurosceptic who chairs the commons European scrutiny committee, said: "There mustn't be any backsliding. There are serious concerns about the lawfulness of these proposals. The institutions are simply not allowed to use the European commission and the [European] court of justice in an unlawful manner."" – Quoted by The Guardian
  • "The fiscal pact agreed by the other 26 countries is likely to say that it must be written into European Treaties within five years, meaning the rules would then apply to Britain. Officials stressed that the UK would still have the power to block this closer to the time." – Times (£)

78% want the Government to ignore Brussels rules that could entitle European Union migrants to claim welfare benefits in BritainExpress

  • Bring home regional policy from the EU – John Redwood
  • Cameron has been sounding like a proper Tory lately but I was disturbed to hear him claim that Britain “has the best of all worlds” by being in the EU but not in the euro – Express

Eurozone countries 'must show the colour of their money' before IMF bailout funds are used, Osborne warnsDaily Mail | Sun

PM blames Labour for Hester bonusGuardian

"The Chancellor said the bonus was not a decision for the government but RBS, and added that Mr Hester's bonus would be "a lot less" than what other bank chiefs would be paid. He said: “In the end he was hired after the crash to sort out the problems at RBS. He was asked to shrink – by my predecessor – the size of its balance sheet and the size of its workforce. "He is doing those things and in the end under the arrangement we have created it has got to be up to the board to make a decision on the bonus that he receives." – Guardian

16158279Sun, Mail attack Coalition on RBS bonus

  • The Sun Says: "If Mr Hester isn't satisfied by such a mind-boggling salary, he knows where the door is. No10 is sidestepping the issue, criticising the bonus while declaring itself impotent to interfere. But RBS is five-sixths owned by the taxpayer, so the suggestion the Government has no influence is ludicrous."
  • The Daily Mail is in full Class War mode: The £8m mansion RBS chief Stephen Hester gave to his ex-wife… while he rents £4m apartment
  • Instead of caving in to RBS boss Stephen Hester, the Prime Minister should have told him where to go like Denmark's fictional PM (pictured) did in BBC series Borgen – Tim Shipman in the Daily Mail
  • Charles Moore warns it must stand behind Stephen Hester after giving him a difficult job or people will come to distrust it – Telegraph

> Yesterday's video: Boris Johnson: "I’m at a loss to justify" Stephen Hester's £1million bonus from RBS

George Osborne: Capitalism is succeeeding in the Far East and it can, again, in the WestFT (£)

Osborne warns against long-term consequences of 50p tax rate

50P"George Osborne urged business to make the case for the scrapping of the 50% income tax rate as he gave his clearest signal yet of his desire to reduce taxes on the wealthy. The Conservative chancellor told a lunch of British executives in Davos: "I have always said this is a temporary tax. The long-term damage of this tax is potentially quite considerable, and that's why it is temporary." – Guardian

  • David Cameron should set out a powerful Conservative case for smaller government and low taxes – Telegraph leader

Financial Services Bill is unveiled by OsborneBBC

"George Osborne on Friday set out details of far-reaching reforms to the regulation of Britain’s financial sector, ranging from plans to put the chancellor in charge in a future economic crisis to a new crackdown on payday loan companies." – FT (£)

Senior GPs come to defence of Andrew Lansley's NHS reformsTelegraph

Companies running the government’s flagship £5bn back-to-work scheme will have to find work for hundreds of thousands more people than expectedFT (£)

CLARKE-KEN-dark-shirtKen Clarke was last night warned jails could soon run out of space — as the prison population reached 87,668Sun

"Overcrowding in prison "warehouses" is causing violence behind bars as tensions soar among inmates, prison officers warned last night. New figures show that the population of Britain's jails has jumped by 1,000 in the past three weeks." – Independent

Cameron and Harzai to sign "enduring strategic partnership"Express

The mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence says the Coalition is not doing enough to tackle racismBBC

"Doreen Lawrence has said David Cameron's government is not doing enough to tackle racial prejudice, which continues to blight society, and has warned that spending cuts will hit working-class and black Britons the hardest." – Guardian

Bash the poor and wave the flag – how this Tory trick works – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

Chris Huhne to be told he will have to resign if he is chargedIndependent

Ed Miliband proposes a different welfare cap for different regions

"A cap on benefits should vary according to the costs of housing in different parts of the country, Labour is to propose. The plan would see the Government’s controversial £26,000 cap on a family’s welfare income increased in and around London and cut in regions such as the North East." – Times (£)

Miliband David QTDavid Miliband is still heartbroken at missing out on Labour's top job. And as Ed flounders, many senior figures are agitating for his returnIndependent

Former Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish: 'Devo Max' question will kill off independenceTelegraph

Euthanasia and assisted suicide should be banned in every country in the Continent, the Council of Europe has ruledTelegraph

Freedom of Information isn’t working. The more we shine the spotlight, the more things hide away in the dark – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)

And finally… Failures of love are not all mine

"The trick in human society is to find the balance between legitimate political agitation for change that you believe would make the world better, and tipping into provocatively aggressive proselytising. It’s correct to say to the wider community: recognise my right to exist, and consider these reforms that might increase human happiness. Campaigning becomes proselytising when those words are followed with: and you must convert to my belief system; you must believe that my view of the world is the only one that is true." – Grame Archer in The Telegraph


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