4pm LeftWatch: Launching the Do Not Underestimate Labour Association

MIGRATION WATCH UK2pm Sir Andrew Green on Comment: What do the public really think about immigration?

11am J P Floru on Comment: Governments are too ignorant to decide pay

ToryDiary: A right-wing party with a heart can dominate British politics

Michael Nazir-Ali on Comment: Let us care for the ill and vulnerable – not help them to die

Local government: Barnett Formula is diverting £2.6 billion from English councils

WATCH: Video of Livingstone telling three lies in four minutes

Ed Miliband takes on his critics: 'I knew it would be a fight'

Screen shot 2012-01-07 at 08.28.43

"He defended himself against the charge that he lacks the decisive qualities to lead the party from opposition into government in one term. "These are the hard yards of opposition. We have taken the hard road, not the line of least resistance. I think it is a fight. I always knew it was going to be a fight. It is one I relish – I never expected it to be anything else." – Ed Miliband interviewed in The Guardian

But in the same newspaper Marina Hyde writes: "Ed Miliband's leadership brings to mind the doomed eras of Steve McClaren and Iain Duncan Smith".

  • Polly Toynbee's advice: Stop the navel-gazing and attack "the most incompetent government in living memory" – The Guardian
  • Balls may be right – but the voters just want the deficit cut – Andrew Grice in The Independent

> Yesterday's 5pm newslinks led with a selection of bad news stories for Mr Miliband.

Screen shot 2012-01-07 at 08.25.14

The Sun mocks "Silly Milli" for his "Blackbusters" gaffe.

But Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail brings some cheer for the Labour leader: Ed Miliband could become Prime Minister if the Coalition collapses mid-term.

Andrew Lansley bows to public anxiety and gives green light to breast implants surgeryFT (£)

LANSLEY ANDREW NW"The NHS will pay to remove breast implants at the centre of a global health scare. For the 3,000 patients who had the PIP implants fitted on the NHS, anxiety about them will be enough to qualify for an operation to replace them with high-quality alternatives. But last night Health Secretary Andrew Lansley also cleared the way for up to 47,000 private patients to have the PIP implants removed at taxpayers' expense – if there is a clinical need." – Daily Mail

Eurozone countries plan to use EU institutions to police their new deficit rules

"France and Germany are ignoring David Cameron’s concerns about a new treaty for the eurozone with a blueprint that represents a major headache for the Prime Minister. A new draft of the treaty makes clear that eurozone countries are planning to use the key institutions of the EU to police their new deficit rules, just hours after Mr Cameron said he would do “everything possible” to stop them." – Times (£)

Cameron must not back-track on his veto – Express leader

> Columnist Andrew Lilico yesterday: Either the Fiscal Union Treaty can't use the institutions of the EU, or there has to be a referendum – there can be no third way

Hague FCOHague says the EU will not relax sanctions until Burma releases its political prisoners and holds fair electionsTimes (£) | Audio of Hague interview on Burma

The £32billion high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham has been given final approvalTelegraph

  • Developed and emerging nations are embracing vogue fast rail technologies – FT (£)

Executives at major public companies face being stripped of their bonuses and forced to disclose details of their contracts under plans to be announced by David CameronTelegraph

  • "Labour on Friday escalated the political debate over high levels of executive pay, promising a new regime of transparency and the publication of a league table of companies that have the biggest pay gaps between bosses and shopfloor staff." – FT (£)
  • Labour seeks to trump Cameron with curbs on excessive pay – Independent

Boris Johnson attacks Tory plans for benefits squeeze on disability living allowanceDaily Mail

  • Ministers are considering delaying and moderating £26,000 benefits cap – Independent

Council taxpayers in England losing out on £2.6billion in services because of Scottish funding formulaTelegraph

Gove Michael June 2011Michael Gove has suddenly become the heir apparent to David Cameron – Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

The last thing we need is a second chamber filled with yet more professional politicos – Charles Moore on Lords reform in The Telegraph

The Tory Party today is united by its fiscal conservatism whereas Republicanism today is principally concerned with social conservatism – James Kanagasooriam in The Telegraph

Diane Abbott should be judged for her opposition to measures that would rescue the children of Hackney – Graeme Archer in The Telegraph

Give Louise Mensch a job, Dave – Richard and Judy in The Express

THATCHERBlair, Brown, Major. In 100 years they will be long forgotten. But the world will still be in awe of the grocer's daughter from Grantham – Dominic Sandbrook in the Daily Mail

  • Thatcher's disciples do her no favours by covering up her illness – David Owen in The Independent
  • It is time that the British cleared out their cupboards and took Thatcher-bashing to the Oxfam shop – Richard Vinen for the FT (£)
  • Twenty-one years after her fall, can’t we Scots at least begin to understand the complex nature of the revolution she heralded here and globally? – Gerry Hassan in The Scotsman
  • An army intelligence unit was used to infiltrate civil rights groups and protest organisations after Margaret Thatcher came to power – Independent

Sir Christopher Kelly warns that wealthy donors appear to be buying Government policy by securing “preferential” access to ministers and senior politiciansTelegraph

Liberal Democrat donor and fraudster Michael Brown held in Caribbean

LibDemDead"Michael Brown was sentenced in his absence to seven years in jail in 2008 for stealing £36m from clients including nearly £8m from Manchester United's ex-chairman Martin Edwards… Brown gave some £2.4m to the Lib Dems ahead of the 2005 general election." BBC

Are you really giving this debate your full attention?The Daily Mail uses screenshots to show how MPs spend more time using smartphones than listening to Commons speeches.

Mariano Rajoy, the new prime minister of Spain, and Luis de Guindos, his economy minister have made a good startFT leader (£)

William Whitelaw's wife, Lady Celia, has diedHerald


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. This thread is moderated but during working hours (that's 6am to 10pm for ConHome) comments will usually be delayed no longer than sixty minutes. Read our comments policy here.