Screen shot 2012-02-12 at 21.45.369.45pm WATCH: Noone understands the NHS better than Cameron and Lansley, says Michael Fallon

7.30pm Alex Deane on Comment: Our news broadcasters need to think carefully about their purpose

6pm Roger Helmer MEP on Comment: Is this the last gasp of €uro-think?

2.45pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: We've been focused on the wrong sort of health reform

1.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron says that the NHS Bill will cut bureaucracy. But there will be a new National Commissioning Board, PCT clusters, clinical senates, health and wellbeing boards…

Screen shot 2012-02-12 at 13.05.491pm WATCH:

ToryDiary: Cameron vows to press on with NHS Bill although only 18% of public support it

ToryDiary: Defeat is the defining experience of Cameron's political career

Columnist Ruth Lea: The Government cannot afford to be today's Mrs Jellyby, sending money abroad while British families suffer

James Margot August 2011Margot James MP on Comment: The Government should use NHS savings to start properly funding adult social care

Local government: Peterborough Council spending £83,500 a year on UNISON

Cameron vows to press on with NHS BillBBC

“[The NHS] needs to change, and that is why I am at one with Andrew Lansley, the reform programme, and the legislation going through parliament.” – The Prime Minister in The Sunday Times (£)

"The Prime Minister has now declared that the Health Bill has his full backing, despite the grave misgivings of several Cabinet Ministers. This is proper, decisive government, but even so Mr Cameron should not forget people’s real worries and concerns about the NHS as it affects them personally." – Mail on Sunday leader

  • "Number 10’s calculation is that the damage done to the Prime Minister’s reputation by a full retreat would be so extensive that he has no choice other than to get the bill on the statute book by the spring." – Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph also says a Lib Dem might become Health Secretary after Lansley has been moved on.
  • "Within No 10, there is a recognition that with the benefit of hindsight it would have been better not to have a Bill at all, that  it created too much of  a target. But having come this far, there is no turning back." – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
  • Lansley's Bill is safe, but he is not – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday
  • "Everything that everybody (including me) has said about the hopelessness of his Health Secretary’s presentational skills and political ineptitude may be true but in the end, it was the shocking discrepancy between the Cameron pre-election undertaking not to plunge the NHS into a major re-organisation, and his post-election determination to do exactly that which was his undoing." – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

"62% of voters do not trust ministers on the health service, nearly double the 34% who say they do" – Observer

Is Lansley vain or brave? The Sunday columnists disagree…

Lansley Andrew July 2011

"[Mr Lansley] grew jealous that Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith were being hailed as the great radical reformers. He did not want to be a steady-as-she-goes secretary of state for health. He lusted to match his colleagues with his own whizz-bang plan for the NHS." – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

But in The Sunday Telegraph, Peter Oborne defends Andrew Lansley: "Mr Lansley does have one wholly admirable quality, however: he is extremely brave. He is determined to push through his highly controversial reforms because he believes that without them the NHS will atrophy and ultimately fail. I suspect he knows perfectly well that he is risking his career, but has resolved to carry on regardless because he feels that the cause is so important that it is worth sacrificing everything."

  • "Mr Cameron remains fiercely loyal to Mr Lansley, who was his boss in the 1990s when the future prime minister worked in the Conservative research department. As with Andy Coulson, his disgraced former spin doctor, there is a sense that the Prime Minister is willing to stand by a friend long after their continued presence has caused him damage politically." – Independent on Sunday
  • Labour's Andy Burnham "compares Lansley to Fabio Capello, who quit as England manager last week. Both are "technocrats". In the NHS, as in the dressing room, you need someone who can "build up confidence in people, bring out the best in people"." – Independent on Sunday

Osborne rules out the introduction of tax breaks for married couples in next month’s Budget

Screen shot 2012-02-12 at 08.32.41

"Conservative MPs said that the delay by the Chancellor was “kowtowing” to the Liberal Democrats and represented a “failure of leadership” by David Cameron, the Prime Minister. A pledge to support marriage in the tax system features in the Coalition agreement and is a key demand of the Tory faithful, but it has been strongly opposed by Nick Clegg and other senior Lib Dems." – The Sunday Telegraph

Osborne has told Clegg to come up with ideas to fund higher income tax threshold

"Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, has made it clear he wants to accelerate plans to raise the minimum threshold for paying income tax to £10,000 — a move that would cost £9 billion if implemented immediately. Although the Treasury is willing in principle to meet the demand, the onus is on Clegg to propose ways of finding the money. He has appointed a team to examine tax-raising schemes, making it clear the proposals should target the rich. A crackdown on stamp duty avoidance by the super-wealthy has been broadly agreed by the coalition, but experts believe the measure would raise only £330m-£500m a year, a fraction of the amount required for Clegg’s plan to help the poor." – The Sunday Times (£)

Eric Pickles defends radicalism of Coalition and insts Cameron is true heir to Thatcher

Pickles Eric Revolutionary

– The Communities Secretary gives an extended interview to The Sunday Telegraph.

Cameron will host 'anti racism' football summit at Downing StreetBBC

"Critics, however, are likely to suggest Mr Cameron should stick to official business rather than using Downing Street for sporting matters – a criticism frequently levelled at Tony Blair when he was in office." – The Sunday Telegraph

Vince Cable is resisting attempts by Michael Gove to take charge of universitiesThe Sunday Times (£)

"Despite what Cable may pretend, our ancient schools of learning need no prompting to search for the best students regardless of class or home. They are competing on a world stage and obsessive about recruiting those with most potential. Cable should appreciate that — after all, he is secretary of state for business." – Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times (£)

Sarah-teather-will-stand-up-for-local-people-in-parliamentLib Dem Sarah Teather threatened to resign as an Education Minister if she had to vote for IDS' welfare reformsSunday Times (£)

  • Labour: Low income families with parents in part-time work could lose nearly £4,000 per year because of a change in tax credits – BBC

Global woes mean we should build up our military, not cut itSunday Express leader

Margareta Pagano urges Cameron to do a Birgitte Nyborg and require women on company boardsIndependent on Sunday

A 22% cut in the Greek minimum wage is wrong. Greece must leave the €uroJohn Redwood

The Maldives coup unseated David Cameron's new best friend last week. Now the islands are at the mercy of their resort owners againIndependent on Sunday

Half of SNP grassroots members disagree with Salmond’s plan to withdraw an independent Scotland from NatoScotland on Sunday

The Observer's Toby Helm profiles Tim Montgomerie and ConservativeHome


"If any Tory tells you they don't read ConservativeHome, they are lying. It is hugely important," said a young Tory MP. But influence has come at a price. No sooner had Montgomerie launched his assault on the health bill than "friends of Lansley" were quoted on political websites attacking him in vicious terms… Paul Goodman, the former Tory MP who is now executive editor at ConservativeHome, says it has a wide appeal because it is a broad church. He also suggests it is popular because it is allowing the membership to assert itself after years of being trampled on. The internet has changed the balance of power. "Party leaderships have been centralising power for a very long time," Goodman said. "Activists have thus lost venues in which to voice their views – and opportunities to shape the parties that are ultimately their property. I wouldn't dare to claim that we represent anyone, but we do provide a venue and thus opportunities for Tory activists." And a problem for David Cameron." – Observer

And finally… Cameron's joke at Huhne's expense

"We were really worried we’d be late this evening. The traffic was terrible. So we had to speed to get here on time. It’s a good job Samantha was driving – or at least, that’s what it says on the forms!’" – Mail on Sunday


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