Norman Jesse 27pm WATCH: Jesse Norman MP: "This county has slipped into what I've called a kind of crony capitalism"

5.15pm Local Government: Councillor resigns after cannabis allegations

5pm Teatime newslinks: High speed rail, and findings of a direct link between immigration and unemployment lead today's teatime newslinks

4pm WATCH: Justine Greening: HS2 is "going to support jobs, growth and prosperity for Britain in the future"

Miliband Ed sixth relaunch2.45pm WATCH: Ed Miliband: "We will be a different party from the one we were in the past"

2.30pm JP Floru on Comment: Why both the left and the right should do nothing about inequality

1.45pm LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's latest relaunch avoids policy details and economic credibility

12.45pm ThinkTankCentral: Round-up of reactions to HS2 announcement

Noon ConHomeUSA newslinks: New Hampshire goes to the polls today

COMMONS-sitting11am MPsETC: A lot in the Lords, less in the Commons as Parliament returns today

10am Tibor Navracsics on Comment: Hungary’s Constitution and Cardinal Laws – completing the political, institutional and intellectual renewal of Hungary

ToryDiary: There's no reason to expect swift Ministerial resignations over HS2

Michael Forsyth on Comment: David Cameron is ending the uncertainty by enabling Alex Salmond to deliver the referendum the SNP promised

Local Government: 

WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon: "When [the] referendum takes place is a matter for the Scottish government"

Clegg risks new rift with call for EU to bypass Cameron's veto

Clegg on Marr"Nick Clegg defied David Cameron by calling for the pact on fiscal union planned by other European Union countries to be "absorbed" into the EU's governing treaties. The move would anger Conservative Eurosceptics, who claim it would undermine the veto wielded by David Cameron at last month's EU summit. His veto forced the other 26 nations to forge a separate "treaty outside the EU treaties"." – Independent

  • "Of the veto itself, he said: “Veto suggests something was stopped. Nothing was stopped.” Mr Clegg also risked further irritating eurosceptics by suggesting that Britain should be ready to go beyond the £10 billion it has set aside for the International Monetary Fund to help ailing eurozone countries." – The Times (£)
  • Higher IMF contribution may prompt defeat in Commons – City AM

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Cameron must say "no" if IMF wants more money for €urozone

David Cameron: 50p tax is temporary

"The Prime Minister said he “did not want high marginal rates of tax”, despite reports that the Tory-led government had accepted the rate could not be axed before the 2015 general election. … The Prime Minister would not say when the coalition hoped to lower the top rate tax. But he did confirm the issue would be reviewed in the run-up to the Budget later this year." - The Scotsman

Prime Minister expected to be summoned to Leveson inquiry

"He could be asked to give evidence regarding his friendship with senior figures at the company, which is under investigation for phone hacking." – Daily Mirror

  • "David Cameron will attend the Leveson Inquiry into press standards if summoned to give evidence, Downing Street has said." – Huffington Post

George Osborne has taken charge of the Government's drive to save the Union 

"The Chancellor took overall charge of the issue before Christmas, edging aside his Lib Dem colleague Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, who was drawing up plans to block independence. David Cameron revealed a new strategy at the weekend to challenge Alex Salmond head-on, offering the Scottish First Minister a legally binding referendum so long as he holds it within 18 months. … The coalition could force through a referendum within months if Mr Salmond turns down the offer." – The Times (£)

  • "A referendum should be held on Scottish independence “sooner rather than later” to avoid damaging the economy, Downing Street said" – Daily Telegraph
  • John Curtice: Denying Scottish voters a middle path between union and independence in a referendum may prove a risky strategy - Guardian
  • "Finally, someone has taken on the Nats – David Cameron is taking a big risk in tackling Alex Salmond, but it had to be done" – Alan Cochrane for the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Cameron ready to gamble and force early referendum on Scottish independence

Transport Secretary Justine Greening to approve first phase of HS2

Greening Justine BBC"The government says it is the only way to cope with overcrowding but opponents along the route are considering legal action which could delay the scheme. The first phase will cost £17bn." – BBC

  • "The concerns of campaigners in the Chilterns are likely to be tempered by mitigation measures, possibly including an extra stretch of tunnel… It is unlikely to completely assuage local fears about the effects of building the network… but might give political cover to Tory MPs such as the Welsh secretary, Cheryl Gillan, who has threatened to resign over HS2." – Guardian
  • "The new service will cost the equivalent of half a billion pounds for every minute shaved off the journey between Birmingham and the capital. Far more value could be realised by investing instead in the existing rail network across the UK." – Iain Martin for the FT (£)

Andrew Lansley backs plan for NHS staff to question patients on lifestyles

LansleyAndrewInterview"The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has decided to back the NHS Future Forum's controversial idea, which calls on midwives, surgeons and health visitors, as well as doctors and nurses, to ask patients about their smoking, drinking, diet and physical activity every time they see them." – Guardian

  • "The NHS will pay to remove breast implants at the centre of a global health scare… 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

Matthew Hancock MP: If fat cats fail, why not prosecute them?

"Will the threat of prison make it harder to fill top jobs? I doubt it. Anyone who expects to be irresponsible at the helm of one of our big banks shouldn’t get the job anyway. And this “exodus of the best talent” myth is an insult to those professions in which incompetence already leads to prosecution. I know of no one who was put off medicine by the threat of imprisonment for medical malpractice." – Matthew Hancock MP for the Times (£)

  • Dominic Lawson: Let the public punish 'fat cats' if they really care – Independent

Chris Skidmore MP: History is at risk of becoming a dead subject in schoolsPoliticsHome (£)

Another leadership relaunch: Ed Miliband tells Labour to face the reality of the deficit

Miliband Ed Wood"Ed Miliband will set out a new direction for the Labour party under his leadership on Tuesday by saying that the unprecedented and unexpected landscape at the next election will require it to address the deficit and make decisions "all of us wish we did not have to take"." – Guardian

  • "Mr Miliband will use a speech in London to challenge those "who say Labour is only a party for good times". He will say he "relishes the challenge" of taking Labour forward and dealing with the UK's economic problems." – BBC
  • Brother David overshadows Miliband’s relaunch as he says Labour is split and ‘frustrated’ – Daily Mail
  • Ed’s made his points, but no one will listen – Rachel Sylvester for the Times (£)

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: A record of seven days of attacks on Ed Miliband … from his own side

Polly Toynbee: Ed Miliband is right to call for ethical capitalism and should back a Robin Hood tax 

"Miliband is adopting all the High Pay Commission's proposals. If Cameron's plan fails to curb excess, Miliband must go further. He should certainly support those dangerous lefties, Merkel and Sarkozy, on the Robin Hood transaction tax… Miliband lays out reasons why fairness matters most when money is short. His "responsible capitalism" may look ever more essential by the end of this economically threatening year." – Guardian

Steve Richards: In turbulent times, can the PM go with the flow?Independent

LouiseGQCabinet life will not suit me because I have young children, says Louise Mensch - Daily Telegraph

Cameron aide broke rules by joining lobbying firmIndependent

Sun's switch to Tories was 'group decision', says editorGuardian

Council workers' union rejects final pension offer

"The Government's hopes of resolving the bitter dispute over public sector pensions received a fresh blow yesterday when leaders of thousands of council workers rejected a final offer." – Independent

Migrants do not affect jobless levels, say researchersGuardian

  • Foreigners DO get Brits’ jobs – The Sun

Tapes may link Gerry Adams to IRA killing The Times (£)

And finally… Plenty of spare seats as Cabinet meets in handball arena 200 days before Games begin

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn’t pull in the crowds. Surrounded by 7,000 empty seats, Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a Cabinet meeting in the handball arena at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London yesterday. Sitting around a series of trestle tables, ministers discussed the legacy of the Games as they marked 200 days until the opening ceremony in July" – Daily Mail

> Yesterday on WATCH: 


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