6.45pm ToryDiary update: Ed Balls says George Osborne should have waited for €urozone nations to show the "colour of their money" before committing more UK money to IMF

5.45pm WATCH: George Osborne explains why he's giving another £10 billion to the IMF

5pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: Proportional representation for the Lords seems more important to Cameron than repatriation of powers from the EU

5pm Local government: Livingstone calls for abolition of London boroughs

Euro meltdown4pm ToryDiary: George Osborne commits another £10 billion to IMF

3pm Nicole Gelinas on Comment: Livingstone's promise on tube fares means higher costs – and more accidents – later

2pm MPsETC: One hundred Tory MPs turn out for grammar schools reception

1pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday

12.30pm WATCH: Michael Portillo declines to endorse Boris Johnson

Noon ConHomeUSA: Only 24% (RECORD LOW) think USA is on right track

Livingstone Ken August 201110.15am Local government:

10am Today's Deep End selection:

ToryDiary: There is no commitment in either the Conservative manifesto or the Coalition Agreement to a Lords reform bill

Columnist Bruce Anderson on Freedom of Information and the war on terror: "After such knowledge, what forgiveness?"

Stevens JohnJohn Stevens on Comment: The Conservative Party cannot be the Conservative Party until it deals with the issue of Europe

MPsETC: Who are the 301? The Tory MPs who want to refresh the 1922 Committee

Local government: The Councils that Labour need to gain to be doing well

Also on local government: Labour are leaving Wales behind


Home Office in disarray as Abu Qatada faces imminent release


"Mrs May had to make an emergency appearance in the Commons to account for the disarray. She insisted that the Home Office had been correct in its interpretation of the three-month deadline before which he could appeal against a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. But she did not produce any evidence of advice from government lawyers to support her claim, or any proof of correspondence from the European Court of Human Rights." – Times (£)

  • The Sun Says: "Let’s take a leaf out of France’s book. When it suits them they ignore Strasbourg and put terror suspects on the next flight out. David Cameron, limp-wristed as ever when it comes to Europe, bleats: “I sometimes wish I could put Qatada on a plane and take him to Jordan myself.” Don’t just say it, Prime Minister. Grow a pair — and do it."
  • Daily Mail comment: "It’s a bit rich for Labour to crow: since his arrest in 2002, successive Labour Home Secretaries failed to deport him."
  • "This sorry Qatada saga highlights the case for reform. Either way, the Human Rights Act must go." – Dominic Raab MP in The Express
  • Robin Simcox in the Wall Street Journal: "The Westminster political class has largely bought into the notion that adhering to the European Convention on Human Rights makes us better than the terrorists. They must also then accept the consequences of that notion: Continuing to house a man who persuaded citizens of a country he should never have been allowed into to fight and die abroad; an erosion of sovereignty; and an exasperated and increasingly disenfranchised electorate. Mr. Qatada's sermons often spoke of the need to undermine confidence in nation states. In more ways than one, he appears to be succeeding."

Clarke hails EU court reform despite its leader saying nothing has changedTelegraph

Screen Shot 2012-04-20 at 06.56.58"Britain's attempts to make radical changes to the European Court of Human Rights were in tatters last night after experts said they amounted to little more than ‘tinkering’. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke insisted he had secured a ‘substantial package of reform’ that would mean fewer cases went before the court in Strasbourg and British judges would be left to decide outcomes more often. But he was undermined by Sir Nicolas Bratza, the British judge who heads the Strasbourg court, who said proposals to rein it in significantly had been removed." – Daily Mail

Four Conservative ministerial aides say they will resign their positions to resist plans for a mainly elected upper houseGuardian

"The weekly private meeting of the 1922 Committee was described as a "bloodbath" after Tory MPs queued up to demand the Prime Minister veto Nick Clegg's flagship proposals for an 80 per cent elected second chamber." – Independent

Rosindell"Andrew Rosindell, a Thatcherite, said he would not vote for any measure that would remove Lady Thatcher from parliament. The former prime minister was appointed to the House of Lords in 1992." – Guardian

> Yesterday's ConHome report: 'Worse than Maastricht' – Tory MPs warn that Lords reform could split the party

Cameron has launched a fierce attack on Scotland’s “old-school, centralising, power-hoarding establishment” and backed calls for English reforms in education and the public sector to be enacted north of the Border as wellScotsman

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde urges UK to increase bailout contribution

"The UK is a founding father of the IMF. John Maynard Keynes [the British economist] was one of the two patrons. And the UK is there for international grave situations. It’s always been there. It’s always been a very loyal partner when it’s tough. But it’s in their interest. Because if the key partners of a country like the UK are in very bad shape they are bad clients. They can’t pay their bills. They can’t trade properly. And it’s not in the interest of the UK to have a weak euro." – Quoted in the Daily Mail

But USA's NPR notes that US Treasury Secretary isn't opening the American taxpayers' wallet – "What we did not want to see is people [looking] to the IMF as a way to substitute for a more forceful European response. Europe is a relatively rich continent. It absolutely has the financial resources to manage this problem. It's got to play the dominant financial role."

The size of Britain’s schools problem is rapidly outgrowing the size of Michael Gove’s solution – Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

David Cameron praises children who rise when adults enter the roomTelegraph

Anxious to appease true-blue Conservatives angry at George Osborne's botched Budget, ministers have been ordered to serve up right-wing policiesIndependent

Cameron considers recruiting TaxPayers' Alliance's Matthew Elliott to Number 10Telegraph

Where is David Cameron going?

Ashcroft"Yesterday Lord Ashcroft, the party's former deputy chairman, called for, "a competent government with a grip on events". Writing on the ConservativeHome website, he said ominously: "The main problem is not so much that people think the Conservative Party is heading in the wrong direction, it is that they are not sure where it is heading. And that includes me." – Independent

> Read Lord Ashcroft's article: UKIP is a threat but a Conservative Party with a clear sense of direction can see it off

  • Cameron is a great head prefect but what does he believe in? – Rafael Behr in the New Statesman
  • The speech David Cameron should give – Philip Collins in The Times (£)

Lords proposed move to Salford meets with cautious welcomeGuardian

Chris Grayling, with his welfare cuts, is a neoliberal small statist – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

The Institute of Economic Affairs said closing the Department of Culture, Media and Sport could save around £1.6bn a yearDaily Mail

John Redwood praises Boris Johnson on tax, spending, EU and crime


"Boris has his own following. Many people admire his entertainment value. They think an Olympics with him in charge would be more fun than  under the other candidates. He also knows how to touch the core Conservative vote. He has called for a tougher approach to the EU in general and its regulatory tendencies in particular. He has called for lower general taxes." – John Redwood's blog

Labour peer Lord Sugar has urged people not to vote for his party's candidate Ken LivingstoneBBC

  • But can Labour's national rating save Red Ken? The latest Sun/ YouGov poll gives Labour a 45% to 32% lead over the whole of the UK – the biggest for seven years.
  • The Economist on why mayors matter: "Elected mayors will have a personal democratic mandate to “deliver change”, says the Conservative cities minister, Greg Clark. Council leaders have no such city-wide mandate, nor the accountability that comes with high visibility. Mayors will have at least the powers of a council leader. Mr Clark expects most to demand more powers, over transport, housing and so on—just as London’s mayors have grabbed powers over policing and planning. They will find a government “ready to negotiate”."

MPs may get another week away from House of CommonsExpress

Science, capitalism and globalisation are what will rescue us – Allister Heath at City AM ends the week on an optimistic note

And finally… David Miliband is photographed in Downing Street by the Daily Mirror…

"David Miliband has realised he is standing in front of a sign proclaiming “Downing Street”. Tense aides twigged the danger of headlines about the defeated Labour leadership contender’s lingering ambitions too late to stop a photo being taken… The former Foreign Secretary is on a whistle-stop local election blitz of the West Midlands…" – Daily Mirror


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