2.45pm WATCH:  Miliband – "The last Labour Government went wrong on immigration".

1.15pm Local Government: Council byelection results from yesterday

11am Ben Harris-Quinney on Comment: What really matters isn't tax avoidance. It's whether you are a a net benefactor or a net detractor.

ToryDiary: Michael Gove's O-level gambit is a sign of a deeper frustration. Where will it take him?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: David Cameron needs to show leadership to this Britain of vulnerable jobs, pay cuts and threatened futures

Nick de Bois MP on Comment: Making the positive case for public sector reform

LeftWatch: Miliband apologises for Blair and Brown's immigration shambles

Local Government: Labour councils funding left-wing think tanks

The Deep End: And now for some more good news from Europe (in Polish)

WATCH: Labour frontbencher Kevin Brennan says that 3 out of 10 pupils is 60%

GoveCurse of Clegg threatens Gove.  He will try to stop the Education Secretary restoring O-Levels…

"Michael Gove's plans to scrap GCSEs and replace them with old-style O-levels looked bound for the scrapheap last night after a furious Nick Clegg threatened to reject the idea." – The Independent

  • "The abolition of O-levels in the Eighties was actually an early sign of the culture of dishonesty in our national life. Britain fell into the grip of a dishonest kindness. We started to hand out good exam results like sweeties — regardless of whether pupils had really learnt anything at school." – Tim Montgomerie Daily Mail
  • "Nick Clegg’s gang moan they weren’t consulted. Left-wing teaching unions are apoplectic. Might that be because tougher exams would force dud teachers to raise
    their game?" – The Sun Says
  • "Following the leaking of his latest plans to overhaul the education system, Michael Gove was summoned to the Commons to explain himself. Instead of retreating, in the face of an incandescent reaction from the teaching unions and his Liberal Democrat colleagues, he laid out a compelling and radical agenda for transforming secondary education." – Daily Telegraph leader
  • "For the first time in living memory, Britain has a government that is on the brink of delivering huge improvements to the state education system. ..Yet once again the coalition could be about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, courtesy of the Liberal Democrats." – Allister Heath City AM


Baker_kenneth..And Lord Baker raises doubts too

"The problem that my predecessor Keith Joseph found with the old Certificate of Secondary Education, the CSE – which Mr Gove wants to reintroduce – was that it had become a valueless piece of paper. Employers didn't rate it but students who obtained it were led to believe it was a passport to jobs and success. It wasn't. So don't resurrect a failure." – Lord Baker, The Independent

  • "The headlines proclaimed that Michael Gove was bringing back the O-level, but the real significance of Thursday's story was that he is reinventing the old CSE – the little-lamented qualification sat by youngsters not deemed to be up to the "ordinary" standard." Guardian leader

Cameron moves for cover after Carr assault.  He now won't give a "running commentary" on other people's tax affairs.

"Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to criticise Gary Barlow over alleged use of a tax avoidance scheme… he was not going to give a "running commentary" on people's tax affairs – but he had made an exception for comedian Jimmy Carr because "it was a particularly egregious example of an avoidance scheme that seemed to me to be wrong"." – BBC

  •  "David Cameron is facing calls to pay back cheap loans of £1.2 million to the Conservative Party from companies registered in tax havens." – Daily Telegraph
  • "Jimmy Carr is known as the hardest-working man in comedy, performing on more than 200 nights a year. This, in itself, should have made HM Revenue & Customs deeply suspicious. Why put in so many hours if he was really handing over most of his takings to the Government?" Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • "Some senior Tories feared Mr Cameron’s intervention could lead to an unwelcome media spotlight on the tax affairs of party donors and even ministers." – Daily Mail
  • Why Google or Tesco should collect our taxes – Lord Rees-Mogg, The Times (£)


JustinegreeningJustine Greening insists HS2 will go ahead and will be "a thing of beauty"

"The Transport Secretary said that despite opposition from Conservative supporters, the £32 billion scheme is progressing “full steam ahead”…“I think the Victorians did show the way: they did a lot of investment in infrastructure but a lot of the things they left behind people think are things of beauty.” "- Daily Telegraph

Miliband says Labour was wrong on immigration…

"Labour badly mishandled the issue of immigration in government, Ed Miliband is expected to say. In a speech later, Mr Miliband will say his party "got it wrong" when it allowed uncontrolled immigration from new EU states in 2004." – BBC

  • "In an interview with the Guardian, Miliband concedes that immigration is being discussed in "every kitchen" and that the Labour party has been too quick to dismisses the concerns of ordinary people as "prejudice"." – The Guardian
  • Labour's cowardice on immigration is sickening – Ian Birrell, The Independent

…As Warsi attacks 'racist' curbs on migration in Cabinet

"Baroness Warsi pleaded with cabinet colleagues to drop what she warned would be seen as a "racist" policy when they discussed curbs on migrants bringing family members to live with them in Britain. The row exploded when Theresa May, the Home Secretary, proposed that UK citizens earning less than £40,000 should not be allowed to bring in a foreign wife or husband, The Independent has learnt." – The Independent

90% of doctors defy BMA to keep working

"The strike snub suggested that thousands of doctors who had voted to take part subsequently had second thoughts. More than 80 per cent of those who responded to the BMA's ballot last month backed industrial action." – Daily Mail 


SuDavid Cameron welcomes Aung San Suu Kyi to Downing Street

"The Prime Minister declared the visit as 'a great moment, that few expected and few dared to hope for', as they stood side by side at a Number 10. 'Over these years you have been a symbol of courage and of hope for our people and for your people and around the world' he told the Burmese pro-democracy leader." – Daily Mail

"House of Lords reform would cost half a billion pounds"

"Jesse Norman, the Tory MP who is campaigning against Mr Clegg’s proposals, said: ‘At a time of national austerity, it is hard to imagine how anyone could justify spending nearly £500 million of
taxpayers’ money on what would be an unprecedented constitutional upheaval." – Daily Mail

EU rules that workers who are ill on holiday are entitled to extra corresponding paid leave BBC

Ofcom chief’s bid for top job at the BBC raises questions over conflict of interestThe Times (£)

John Swinney to consider local income taxDaily Telegraph

Defence 1: PM "must keep promise on Bomber Command costs"Daily Express

Defence 2: MOD procurement may be privatisedThe Times(£)

Row as Dalai Lama visits ScotlandBBC

Europe 1: European Court asks for more moneyDaily Telegraph

Europe 2: "Britain is left out of talks on the EU’s future"The Times (£)

And finally…Labour's education spokeman Kevin Brennan gets his maths wrongDaily Telegraph


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