3pm Luke Coffey on Comment: It is time for Britain to recognise the Russian occupation of Georgia
Columnist Andrew Lilico: Brogan and Hoskin are wrong – the Conservative Party can win the next General Election
David T Breaker on Comment: Do we want to criminalise harmless activities?
Local government: More housing associations publish their spending
The Deep End on when tools make the rules: "The excitement of getting an e-mail alert causes a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that reinforces the behavior and thus drives us to crave more such stimulation. Before long, it becomes impossible for people to put down their iPhones and BlackBerries".
Boris Johnson invited to talk to 1922 Committee of Tory MPs about how he won
"In a move that will be seen as a challenge to David Cameron’s authority, the backbench 1922 Committee has asked the London Mayor to speak to MPs next month. Mr Johnson will explain how he became the most successful elected Conservative in Britain, which will draw attention to the fact that the Prime Minister was unable to win a majority in 2010. Mr Cameron will also be summoned to explain his strategy for winning the next election at a separate meeting." – Daily Mail
"The London Mayor said rumours that he might challenge David Cameron for the Tory leadership were a “silly season story”. But in a clear hint he WOULD like to be in No10, he added: “At the moment I certainly don’t want to be Prime Minister.”" – The Sun
- "Boris Johnson last night called on the army of London 2012 volunteers to help produce Britain’s future Olympic champions. The London Mayor joined other politicians in backing The Sun’s campaign to boost sport in schools." – The Sun
Kelly Holmes backs compulsory school PE target of two hours per week, dismissed by David Cameron – Guardian
- Cameron says he wants to promote competitive sport instead of targets that can become a 'box-ticking exercise' – Guardian
- "David Cameron stirred up a new row with teachers yesterday after accusing some of shying away from competitive school sports. The Prime Minister said that the unwillingness of some teachers to give up their time was an obstacle to ensuring that all children had the chance to take part in physical activity." – Times (£)
- "The Daily Telegraph today launches the Keep the Flame Alive campaign to increase volunteering and return competitive sport to all schools."
- Sir Chris Hoy rules out separate Scottish and British Olympic squads – Telegraph
> On Sunday ConHome recommended that Sir John Major be put in charge of a review of UK sports policy
Bank of England cuts growth forecast close to zero – BBC
- George Osborne told his lending scheme boosts banks – not the economy – Independent
- George Osborne has promised the Coalition will give "110 per cent attention" to boosting the economy – Telegraph
John Redwood: The US economic approach is working better than our own
"Envious eyes are cast across the Atlantic to the USA, experiencing slow but sustained growth since the Credit Crunch. Their combination of lower tax rates, bigger cuts in public spending at the State level than the UK is attempting, and mended banks, is working better than our policy mix for the time being." – John Redwood
"The Bank’s latest Inflation Report makes the case for deregulation and tax-cutting more clearly than ever. Without action a grim economic future awaits, and almost certain defeat for the Government at the next election." – Jeremy Warner in The Telegraph
Tuition fees increase led to 15,000 fewer applicants; The decline in England has not been mirrored in other parts of the UK where fees have not been raised – Guardian
Cameron under fire for increasing aid budget while NHS cancer drugs are in short supply – Express
It's morally indecent to sacrifice the health of Britons while spending billions on foreign aid – Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail
Mail, Sun and Express attack increased aid budget
- "Only yesterday, three senior civil servants, all experts on the Third World, pointed out in an open letter that foreign aid can actually do more harm than good to recipients’ economies. No, the inescapable conclusion is that Mr Cameron sees boosting aid simply as an exercise in political positioning – part of his agenda to show Conservatives are no longer the ‘nasty party’." – Daily Mail leader
- The Sun describes the current aid spending as "scandalous".
- "Exhorting us to help the unknown masses thousands of miles away doesn’t make much sense when contrasted with one sick, frightened British woman whose circumstances are now so desperate that she has had to put her own husband in a care home because she can no longer look after him. The Government’s blithe defence of foreign aid is deeply unpopular. Arguments that foreign aid is ultimately in Britain’s long-term interest are not convincing. It makes Ministers look out of touch and uncaring." – Express leader
Francis Maude oversees another £5.5 billion of savings – The Sun
"The government say they managed £5.5bn in departmental efficiency savings between March 2011 and March 2012 and these have been independently audited. Of these, £1bn was saved by using fewer consultants, £390m on limiting marketing budgets, £200m by rationalising the government's property portfolio and £500m from more efficient buying of goods and services across different departments. The cuts come on top of £3.75bn saved between May 2010 and March 2011. Mr Maude said the government, like any business, had to increase its productivity and given the scale of the deficit it had inherited, it was the coalition's "first duty" to cut its own costs." – BBC
Francis Maude writing in The Telegraph: "By the end of this Parliament we want to be saving £20 billion a year. It won’t be easy. Much of it will come from work being done – for the first time across government – to tackle fraud, error and debt. But it is the right thing to do and I’m determined to get it done."
UK taxpayers foot bill to revamp jails in Nigeria and Jamaica so criminals can be deported without breaching their human rights – Daily Mail
The failure of Lords reform increases likelihood of Lib/Lab change alliance – Martin Kettle in The Guardian
"As Mr [Clegg] had acknowledged, there was no linkage between House of Lords reform and the Commons boundary changes. The price of boundary changes was a referendum on the Alternative Vote. David Cameron paid that price. He kept his word. Nick Clegg is breaking his: pretty despicable behaviour." – Bruce Anderson in The Telegraph
"Tories also note that the Lib Dems foresaw electoral ruin in the boundary changes and, despite having voted for them in parliament once already, were itching to renege. What Clegg presents as contractual propriety, Tories see as opportunism and vindictiveness." – Rafael Behr in the New Statesman
- The BBC's Q&A guide to the boundary changes – BBC
MP Louise Mensch is no postergirl for working mothers – Allison Pearson in The Telegraph
"Criticism of mid-term quitters is inevitable. But mid-term walkouts are inevitable too. Politics is a circus and if you run a circus you’ll end up with circus folk. Every Parliament has its fair sprinkling of risk-takers, loose cannons, tightrope teeterers, buccaneers and clowns, and nobody completely “sound” (in the gentleman’s sense) would go into politics in the first place. Not a few will stalk out, wobble out, peel off or soar away." – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)
MP takes private lessons to lover's language… and taxpayers have to pay – Mirror
How easy is it to become a Tory MP without private education? – BBC
Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, on his past and present struggles – ITV
Tony Blair has said he is "deeply worried" that Britain will leave the European Union via a referendum – Telegraph
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