IT'S TEATIME: (1) The Camerons to stay with the Obamas and (2) how Huhne's departure weakens Clegg in Cabinet… lead our 5pm round up

4.45pm Local government: What is the deal with Bob Crow? An open letter to Ken Livingstone from Harry Phibbs

3.45pm WATCH: Chris Huhne made right decision in resigning, says Cameron

3.30pm Brandon Lewis MP on Comment: A regionalised benefits cap would hurt poorer parts of Britain and be exploited by fraudsters

Leadsom Andrea2pm Andrea Leadsom MP on Comment: Apprenticeships have a huge role to play in getting the unemployed into the workplace, education or training

12.45 Local government:

12.15pm ConHomeUSA newslinks: Obama's ruling on Catholic institutions could cost him election

11.45am ToryDiary: Cameron's letter to Huhne praises his contribution to creating "greenest government ever" but says he was right to resign

11.30am Harry Phibbs on Comment: Scruton offers a truly Conservative environment policy

11.15am WATCH: Chris Huhne resigns and defiantly vows to fight against prosecution


10.45am ToryDiary: Three political implications of the prosecution of Chris Huhne

ToryDiary: Ken Clarke is right. We should take a risk and wipe away certain criminal records.

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Cameron must not be remembered for gay marriage, wrecking the Lords and losing Scotland

Guy Opperman MP on Comment: Argentina should accept that the Falklands Islands wish to remain British

Lord Flight on Comment: The Government should now withdraw at least from the parts of the EU keeping our economy down


LeftWatch: Could this happen?

Local government: Michael Crick visits Liverpool as it prepares to elect a city-wide Mayor

Trade minister Ed Davey is favourite to take over from Huhne if he quitsSun

  • "Sir Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary, is understood to have advised David Cameron that Mr Huhne would have to step down if the Crown Prosecution Service pressed charges against him." – FT (£)
  • "Like him or loathe him Mr Huhne is a big beast in the Cabinet, an impressive operator who gives the Lib Dems firepower in the Coalition. Mr Clegg has not got a ready supply of equal replacements, and will regret this loss of clout." – Benedict Brogan

Clegg: Conservative plans to give married couples a tax break must take second place behind a Liberal Democrat tax cut for low-earnersTelegraph

CLARKE-KENNETHKillers' convictions could be erased in just SEVEN years under Ken Clarke's new 'rehabilitation' plansDaily Mail

"Soft Justice Secretary Ken Clarke sparked fury last night with plans to slash the time in which criminals are forced to own up to their offences. It would let thousands of ex-lags keep quiet about their past when applying for jobs." – Sun

"The periods after which convicted criminals no longer have to declare their past offending are to be significantly cut in plans outlined by Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary yesterday. It will mean some rapists and killers who would normally have had a permanent record will now have it cleared after seven years at the most and possibly as low as two years. Thousands of burglars and muggers will have their records cleared after as little as a year." – Telegraph

The last unreformed public service is getting a dramatic make-overThe Economist welcomes the potential of police reforms.

The Royal College of GPs has called for the health bill to be scrappedBBC

Ministers plan to rewrite the law in an attempt to ensure that fathers get improved access to their offspring after a marriage breaks downTimes (£)

16162152"Millions of children from broken homes are to be granted new rights to a 'full and continuing relationship' with both their parents.
The move is designed to ensure that the parent who leaves the family home – most commonly the father – cannot be cut out of their children's lives following an acrimonious separation." – Daily Mail

"Mr Loughton last night told The Daily Telegraph: “The state cannot create happy families, or broker amicable break-ups. But if children are having decent, loving parents pushed out of their lives, we owe it to them to change the system that lets this happen.” One official said the Government wanted to remove any “inbuilt legal bias against the father or the mother” in the law."

Eric Pickles' £250 million weekly bin collection fund opens for applicationsBBC

The Daily Telegraph reports that eighty councils are certain to restart weekly bin collections.

PICKLES ERIC NW"Mr Pickles is set to say today: “Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120 per month council tax. Labour’s barmy bin rules have made putting out your rubbish more complicated than solving a Rubik’s cube. The public are fed up of all the bin ‘do’s’ and bin ‘don’ts’. They just want a simple service, which is why the Government is making sure that councils can offer a good weekly collection and make it easier to go green." – Express

The veto that wasn’tThe Economist concludes that the veto proved again that Cameron "neglects strategy and long-term planning".

> Yesterday's Andrew Lilico column: The FU Treaty significantly changes our relationship with the EU so when's that referendum coming?

Damian Green: High-earning migrants and promising student entrepreneurs will find it easier to work in BritainIndependent

Immigration is only SEVENTH most important issue "facing you and your family" – Guardian leader

Tory peers accuse MPs of ‘treating Lords with contempt’ over welfare billScotsman

  • Conservatives seem depressingly determined to give Labour’s constitutional vandals a run for their money – Telegraph leader

The cost of compiling David Cameron's ridiculous Happiness Index has now soared to a staggering £8millionThe Sun Says it should be scrapped

Cameron urged to block rail chief's £340,000 bonusIndependent

  • Danny Alexander ends student loans chief's tax-avoiding arrangement – Guardian

Miliband Ed BookcaseEd Miliband will call today for a culture of "one nation banking" in which financial institutions reconnect with the rest of society BBC

  • "In a speech in the City, Mr Miliband will say that even banks that did not benefit from bail-outs “have a responsibility” to show restraint. Labour wants a vote next week on ending the bonus culture." – Times (£)
  • "The appetite for banker bashing is limited in this country. We are now close to its limit. Mr Miliband’s passion is often visible on issues that hang to the Left. He needs now to show passion on an issue that defines him against his dominant type or else he will turn into a more polished version of something the British don’t want." – Philip Collins in The Times (£)

David Miliband is back, concludes the leader-writers in The Independent

If Labour ditched David and Ed Miliband, it could actually win an election – Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

> On ToryDiary yesterday we looked at ten reasons why Conservatives are pessimistic about the next election

Polly Toynbee: The cuts are coming and people will turn on Cameron

"only 6% of public service cuts have happened yet. Another 94% are still to come, with cascades more public servants sacked. In benefits, 88% of cuts are still to come. But Tory and Lib Dem MPs voted through an £18bn benefit cut for the "squeezed" bottom half with few qualms, taking £1,400 from disabled children and £94 a week from the sick who don't die or recover within a year." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

Scottish press digest Lord Ashcroft's poll on the referendum question

Ashcroft"Support for independence drops by as much as 8 per cent if the SNP’s preferred question is dumped in favour of one backed by pro-Union campaigners, a major new poll has revealed. The survey, conducted by YouGov, and published yesterday by Conservative donor Lord Ashcroft, showed that 41 per cent of people currently back independence if asked using Alex Salmond’s preferred question." – Scotsman

> Lord Ashcroft yesterday: The question of Scottish independence is too important to be asked in such a partisan way

Better a low-paid worker than a starving one – Hugo Rifkind for The Times (£)

Right-wingers are less intelligent than left-wingers says Canadian studyDaily Mail

And finally… Nick Clegg admits: "I was quite naughty at primary school"Solihull News


> 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. Read our comments policy here.