5.30pm WATCH: Andy Coulson: "I will fight these allegations"

3.40pm ToryDiary: Happiness measures may seem trivial, but…

Coulson12.45pm ToryDiary: Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks charged in connection with phone hacking

12.30pm Local government: Call from MPs for localism on gambling

11.30am LISTEN: David Gauke describes cash in hand payments as "morally wrong" in interview with the Telegraph

ToryDiary: The Coalition needs more than a ‘peashooter’ in this gunfight — but can it find one?

Columnist Peter Hoskin: The Olympics challenge begins after all the medals have been won

Nigel Evans MP on Comment: Milk is cheaper than water in certain supermarkets and it's killing the dairy industry

Local government: Why is Boris spending £8 million of our money to promote ugly buildings?

The Deep End: Communism – bad from the beginning

WATCH: The Queen welcomes the International Olympic Committee to London — and receives a set of medals in return

Lord Green under heavy fire as the HSBC money-laundering scandal rumbles on

Lord GReen"Lord Green, former head of HSBC, was on Monday accused of 'treating parliament and the public with contempt' by failing to answer questions about allegations the bank inadvertently allowed the laundering of drug and terrorist money. … The Conservative peer — now a trade minister — was not in the House of Lords as Labour pressed him for a statement about “what he knew and when” about the allegations, which came to light last week in a damning US Senate report. … But Lord Strathclyde, Tory leader in the Lords, said the report contained 'no criticism whatever' of his conduct during his time at the bank." – Financial Times (£)

"Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, himself a former boss of the bank, attended a birthday party for the former chairman of HSBC, Sir Willie Purves, on January 9. … The Department for Business declined to provide details about whether the money laundering investigation was discussed, insisting that the occasion was 'private'" – Daily Telegraph

David Gauke suggests it is "morally wrong" to pay tradesman cash in hand

Gauke"Mr Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: 'Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax. … I think it is morally wrong. It is illegal for the plumber but it is pretty implicit in those circumstances that there is a reason why there is a discount for cash. That is a large part of the hidden economy.'" – Daily Telegraph

  • "Instead of pronouncing such sententious moral judgments, perhaps the minister should ponder why people are so keen on paying the plumber or the builder in cash. Could it have anything to do with the fact that they are fed up with the way the Exchequer digs ever deeper into their pockets while simultaneously wasting much of the proceeds through ill-targeted and unnecessary public spending?" – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • Mr Gauke expands on his remarks for NewsNight – BBC

George Osborne continues to make his presence felt in the battle over green energy

"George Osborne is planning new powers to allow communities to block wind turbines as the Coalition row over green energy targets escalates. … Whitehall sources said the Chancellor was pushing for changes to the planning regime as part of a deal with the Liberal Democrats over the future of climate change policy." – Daily Mail

"Mr Osborne is expected to drop Treasury demands for a reduction of up to 25 per cent in state subsidies to encourage the growth of onshore wind farms. The cut is likely to be close to the 10 per cent figure backed by Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have been drawn into a long-running dispute between the two parties." – Independent

  • "The wind farm myths are finally nailed" – Terence Blacker, Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Conservatives must champion "the consumer, the taxpayer and the entrepreneur"

The culture, media and sport select committee unveils proposals for liberalising gambling

CAsino"In a report, the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee called for local authorities to approve the creation of more casinos, which should be permitted to provide up to 20 high stakes gambling machines. … Betting shops would also be able to increase from four the number of 'B2' fruit machines on which punters can place bets of as much as £100 a time, under the committee’s recommendation." – Daily Telegraph

  • "Of the many low points of the last Labour government, one of the most contemptible was its effort to encourage the spread of casinos and internet betting, when families were already being ripped apart by gambling addiction. … So this paper is appalled that a Conservative-led group of MPs is seeking to revive the liberalisers’ discredited agenda, urging that strict rules preventing the spread of casinos and gambling machines should be relaxed." – Daily Mail editorial

Downing St rules out an amnesty for illegal immigrantsIndependent

The Queen is lunching with David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major today — but Baroness Thatcher will be unable to attendDaily Telegraph

Iain Martin: President Mitt Romney is just what the Tories need

Iain MArtin"It is the economy which trumps everything else, however. Mr Romney is far from perfect, yet he is a believer in free markets who says he wants to lead a classic “turn-around” operation on the US economy. This makes him a much better bet than the Tory leader’s hero, Mr Obama. The President appears almost entirely clueless, being possessed of a bizarre desire to Europeanise the American economy, as though the US isn’t in enough trouble already." – Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph

Polly Toynbee: The poll tax is back from the dead — it's Cameron's localismGuardian

Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to learn whether they face charges over phone hackingGuardian

"A neglectful mother has been spared jail after a judge compared her child-rearing abilities to those of David Cameron"Daily Mail

Report commissioned by Vince Cable proposes an end to cash bonuses in the City

"Cash bonuses for executives should be scrapped to help end the culture of short-term profit in the City, according to a Government-backed review. … But [Professor John Kay] stops short of demanding an end to boardroom bonuses altogether. … Instead, the review recommends all bonuses should be paid in shares that can be cashed in only once an executive has retired. … The report found ‘short-termism’ is strangling growth in the UK economy by starving it of investment as executives seek to bump up their bonuses with quick profits, through risky takeovers or cost-cutting, regardless of the long-term consequences." – Daily Mail

  • Allister Heath: Short-termism is bad – but so is excessive long-termism – City AM
  • Terry Leahy continues the Telegraph's 'Britian Unleashed' series – Daily Telegraph

Tony Blair backs Thatcher and bankers (and has a warning for Ed Miliband)

Blair"We must not start thinking that society will be better off 'if we hang 20 bankers at the end of the street', Mr Blair says. … He says: 'Don’t take 30 years of liberalisation, beginning under Mrs Thatcher, and say this is what caused the financial crisis.' … Senior figures from the main parties have suggested that the crisis and alleged wrongdoing of banks such as Barclays should lead to tougher controls on banks. … Mr Blair challenges those calls, and says: 'We mustn’t go back to the State running everything.'" – Daily Telegraph

While, erm, Mr Miliband goes joggingDaily Mail

Romney to be courted by LabourThe Times (£)

Germany's AAA credit rating has been put on negative watch, as further turmoil descends on EuropeFinancial Times (£)

The Syrian regime threatens to use chemical and biological weaponsIndependent

'Austerity shoppers' are spending more at charity shopsDaily Mail

And finally… the International Olympic Committee hits town

"What tough times these must be for a son of toil such as Olympic supremo Jacques Rogge. … Picked up in a chauffeur-driven limo from the airport, whisked through  traffic with a motorcycle police escort, then deposited into the luxury of a five-star hotel. … Yesterday was just as hectic for the man who described himself on radio yesterday as ‘a working class person who lives in the real world’. … A VIP tour of the Olympic village… a visit to those nice chaps who made his £10,000 gold watch… tea and canapés with the Queen at Buckingham Palace… a night at the opera… then back to the Hilton in London’s Park Lane, where a nightcap of fine cognac can cost guests £695 if they happen to be settling their own bill (which, incidentally, Dr Rogge is not)." – Daily Mail

  • Politicians should avoid jumping on the Olympics bandwagon – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)


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