7pm WATCH: David Cameron: "This is a time for boldness, not for caution"

5pm Cameron's €urozone speech and Clegg's tax cut speech lead our teatime newslinks

Jeremy-Hunt-2012-01-26-at-11.27.354pm ConservativeIntelligence: Olympics will be supreme test of Coalition’s competence, Jeremy Hunt tells ConIntel reception

3pm WATCH: Nick Clegg: Squeezed middle should be given "more tax cuts, more money back in their pockets"

Skelton2.15pm David Skelton on International: Mitt Romney's inability to attract blue-collar voters mirrors David Cameron's problems in 2010

1.15pm Local government: Frank Field calls for "Premier League" for those on housing waiting list

12.45pm LISTEN: Lord Mandelson: Ed Miliband is "struggling to invent a new left-of-centre political paradigm"

Noon ConHomeUSA: Gingrich and Romney trade blows on immigration ahead of final Florida debate

10.30am Local government: Stockport Lib Dem councillor defects to Conservatives

Screen shot 2012-01-26 at 06.58.51ToryDiary: Clegg to Cameron and Osborne: Cut taxes on the poor or defend the wealthy. It's your choice.

Columnist Andrew Lilico: Why the economy experienced slow growth last year

Amber Rudd MP on Comment: The final day of the Council of Europe's meeting

MPsETC: Ben Gummer MP suggests Labour should submit tax and spending plans to OBR for authentication

Local government: Is Livingstone's support for Council Tax rises just "hypothetical"?

WATCH: Ed Balls: "We've ripped out the foundation of Britain's house as the global hurricane was brewing"

Cameron tells European court it harms fight against terror

CAMERON LOOKING LEFT"European human rights laws undermine the fight against terrorism and put British lives at risk, David Cameron warned yesterday. He said a string of bizarre rulings on terror and immigration cases had ‘distorted’ the ‘discredited’ concept of human rights." – Daily Mail

  • "Countries such as Russia and Turkey could be encouraged to flout the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights if David Cameron succeeds in his aim of reforming of the institution, it was claimed last night." – Independent

> From yesterday:

Cameron gets IMF backing

"Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, said Britain was not among those countries that could afford to ease up on its fiscal tightening in order to stimulate growth – an approach advocated by Labour." – FT (£)

Argentina president condemns David Cameron over FalklandsThe Times (£)

Nick Clegg urges George Osborne to consider tax cuts for the "squeezed middle" to stimulate growth

Clegg on Marr"The Chancellor will consider speeding up the Coalition's plan to raise the personal tax allowance to £10,000 a year by 2015. … Significantly, the Treasury has cleared a speech by Nick Clegg today in which he will urge Mr Osborne to go "further and faster" towards the… goal. This was a key Liberal Democrat pledge at the 2010 election and is Mr Clegg's No 1 priority in negotiations with Mr Osborne about the Budget, which have just begun." - Independent

  • "He will argue that middle income families "cannot be made to wait … delivering the £10,000 personal allowance more quickly will need to be fully funded. If that means asking more from those at the top – so be it."" - Guardian

Welfare bill suffers Lords defeat over child support

Lords_Chamber"The coalition has suffered its biggest defeat in the Lords since being elected over plans to charge single parents to use the Child Support Agency. An amendment by Conservative peer Lord Mackay was backed by 270 votes to 128… He argued it was unfair to charge lone parents who had tried and failed to get their ex-partners to pay maintenance." – BBC

  • "Major foul-ups in 21st-century Whitehall always centre on dodgy IT systems… It threatens the Government’s flagship policy of replacing existing welfare benefits with a single universal credit. Ingredients include: an untried IT system that is not expected to be ready on time; major questions of taxpayer confidentiality… and additional burdens on small businesses." – Sue Cameron for the Daily Telegraph
  • Iain Duncan Smith rebuked by watchdogs over figures on migrants – Daily Mail
  • The limit of £26,000 is easy to understand but is largely symbolic. The trouble is, it’s unfair on too many people – David Aaronovitch for the Times (£)

> From yesterday:

Medical group drops plan to publicly cricitise health bill after 'hard lobbying' by Andrew Lansley

Lansley-Big-Ben"Several organisations representing doctors, including the medical royal colleges… may seek a meeting with the prime minister in order to voice their concerns. … The joint statement by the [AMRC] was agreed on Tuesday and was due to be released on Wednesday, but it was withdrawn after Lansley… began telephoning presidents of the colleges in an attempt to reassure them their concerns would be acted upon." – Guardian

  • Britain’s healthcare system is on the critical list – why are medical unions in denial? – Ruth Porter for City AM

Conservative co-chairman Lord Feldman has accused Nathaniel Rothschild of trying to arrange a donation to the party from a Russian oligarch

"Lord Feldman said he told Mr Rothschild that donors had to appear on the UK electoral roll or the funds had to come from a legitimate UK business. He added: “At no point did Mr Osborne nor I solicit or ask for a donation, suggest ways of channelling a donation or express any wish to meet with Mr Deripaska to discuss donations.”" – Daily Telegraph

Scrap carbon tax say MPs who believe it will have 'devastating effect' on industry

"A carbon tax being introduced next year will increase household electricity bills and could have a ‘devastating effect’ on industry, MPs say.  In a damning report they claim the ‘carbon price floor’ will saddle businesses with higher green penalties than the rest of Europe while failing to deliver any environmental benefits. The Energy and Climate Change Committee urged the Treasury to scrap the plan and warned against revenue-raising exercises ‘disguised as a green policy’." – Daily Mail

Civil servants to decide whether to strip former RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin of his knighthood

"The work of the Honours Forfeiture Committee is usually kept under wraps but the Prime Minister told MPs on Wednesday that he expected it to sit in the coming days. Political pressure has been mounting for the title awarded to Sir Fred in 2004… to be withdrawn over his role in the subsequent collapse of RBS." – Daily Telegraph

  • "Meanwhile Goodwin’s successor, Stephen Hester, is expected to receive a bonus of less than £1m. The government has put huge pressure on RBS and it is understood talks are continuing. The Treasury has demanded the bonus is paid entirely in shares and is deferred." – City AM

Peter Oborne: Stephen Hester and Chris Huhne are symbols of a country in moral freefall

OBORNE"It is outrageous and insulting that Mr Hester should insist on such a huge salary, and beyond belief that he should be insisting on a bonus. Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that he is by no means the hungriest RBS employee. His colleague John Hourican, the head of RBS’s calamitous investment banking division, is reportedly demanding more than £4 million." – Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph

  • Dishonest UK: Lying, drug-taking, speeding and having an affair all seen as more acceptable in the modern age – Daily Mail

Steve Richards: Elected mayors are a great way to return power to the people

"In some policy areas, particularly in relation to public service reform, their apparent transfer of power from state to citizen will prove illusory and will leave most citizens even more powerless. But if most cities elect mayors, the redistribution of power will be real, as significant as the devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, and in some ways more so." – Steve Richards for the Independent

Peter Mandelson: Labour put too much trust in globalisation - The Times (£)

Alex Salmond unveils Scottish referendum question

Salmond-alex-politics-show"First Minister Alex Salmond today unveiled his plans for a "straightforward" vote on independence which could see Scotland leave the United Kingdom. Mr Salmond launched the Scottish Government's consultation on a £10 million referendum at Holyrood. … The Scottish Government proposes asking Scots: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"." – Independent

  • "Alex Salmond was accused yesterday of trying to push through a “loaded” referendum on Scottish independence as he revealed the wording he wants to put before the Scottish people in 2014." – The Times (£)
  • Alex Salmond's wish is for a home rule option for Scotland – and he'll get it – Martin Kettle for the Guardian
  • If Mr Cameron fails to stand up to the devious, slippery Alex Salmond, the end of the Union will be his wretched legacy – Stephen Glover for the Daily Mail

> Yesterday - WATCH: Alex Salmond: "I think we could win the argument and win the referendum"

Welsh flagPlaid victories 'could deliver independence referendum'BBC

  • Nominations close for Plaid Cymru leadership election – BBC

RAF Northolt: "may be sold to property developers"Daily Telegraph

BBC must promote excellence and not be vulgar says Lord Patten Daily Mail

Dangerous deportation techniques may still be in use, MPs warn Guardian

MPs call for action against metal theftGuardian

And finally… Gordon Henderson MP invites Jeremy Clarkson to see the real Isle of Sheppey

"Tory MP Gordon Henderson, 63, has invited Jeremy Clarkson for a drink in his constituency, the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, after the ill-mannered star of Top Gear said the area was 'mostly a caravan site'. Clarkson is based near desirable Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, but Henderson points out: 'He was born and raised in Doncaster. Yet he has the gall to criticise Sheppey.'" – Daily Mail


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