9.15pm BREAKING… ToryDiary: Michael Gove believes that Britain must threaten to leave EU in order to secure real renegotiation

6.30pm Luke Coffey on Comment: The UK should confront Argentina over its debt

4.15pm The new ConservativeHome Jury offers its thoughts on how the Conservatives should attack Labour.

American nightmare3.15pm ToryDiary: George Osborne’s American nightmare

11.30am WATCH: George Osborne: "I would urge the energy companies to look again at any price increases"

ToryDiary: Will George Osborne stamp his influence across Britain's Afghan policy?

Cllr John Moss on Local Government: Right to Buy is a great success. It should be extended to all social tenants

WATCH: Andrew Mitchell has "no option but to resign", says the chairman of the West Mercia Police Federation 

Defence chiefs said to be considering a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan — after encouragement from George Osborne

George Osborne"The Chancellor challenged the Army’s presence in Afghanistan at a meeting of the National Security Council last month, attended by senior ministers, military commanders and intelligence chiefs. … At the meeting, commanders briefed ministers on the operations that will involve thousands of troops over the next two years. … Mr Osborne is understood to have responded to the military presentation by calling into question the proposed plan for withdrawal, asking why British forces should not come home now." – Daily Telegraph

  • David Cameron saluted by naval cadets — but one passes out – Sun

> Today on ToryDiary: Will George Osborne stamp his influence across Britain's Afghan policy?

Mr Osborne has also urged energy companies to rethink their price rises

"Both [British Gas and npower] blamed the Government’s green policies as well as rising wholesale prices for the increases. … But Chancellor George Osborne last night urged energy companies to rethink their price rises. He said: ‘I’m concerned when I see electricity bills going up. We’ve got to do everything we can in Britain to try and keep those bills down. … I would urge those energy companies to look again at any increases to see if they are absolutely necessary at a time like this.’" - Daily Mail

And blamed Germany for the failure of the BAE-EADS merger

Osborne"'We have been a bit disappointed, primarily by Germany’s attitude, which in effect vetoed the deal,' Mr Osborne said. … British officials and ministers have, in private, blamed Berlin for much of the failure of the takeover talks but Mr Osborne is the first to say this in public." – Financial Times (£)

  • George Osborne warns of triple threat to the global economy – Guardian

A mixture of reponses to Mr Osborne's "shares for rights" plan

The Government is demonstrating renewed caution over banking reform

"The chancellor has written to Andrew Tyrie, who chairs the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, requesting that he look 'specifically at the question of whether ringfence banks should be able to offer simple derivatives to their customers'. Mr Tyrie has been asked to report back to the government by December 18." - Financial Times (£)

Andrew Mitchell faces further pressure to resign

Mitchell"As a result of Friday night's meeting in Mr Mitchell's Sutton Coldfield constituency, the [Police] Federation said it will now try to bring about a Metropolitan Police investigation into the affair ensuring it will dog him for months." – Daily Telegraph

"On top of this is the widespread incredulity over his unilateral decision on the last day in his previous role as International Development Secretary to hand £16 million of British taxpayers' money to the brutal dictator of Rwanda, President Paul Kagame, reversing his own decision in July to freeze all aid payments to the Kagame regime." – Daily Mail

> Today's video to WATCH: Andrew Mitchell has "no option but to resign", says the chairman of the West Mercia Police Federation 

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Andrew Mitchell faces increasing hostility from five directions 

The Department of Health could be sued over the Jimmy Savile case

"A lawyer acting for victims preparing legal action against Stoke Mandeville hospital and the BBC said it was possible the government could face civil claims as it was directly responsible for the running of the Broadmoor high security psychiatric hospital in that time." – Guardian

> From yesterday: LISTEN: Nick Clegg accuses the BBC over Jimmy Savile

Eric Pickles is to hand an extra £100 million to councils to avoid a "poll tax bombshell"

Eric Pickles"The Communities and Local Government Secretary has scrambled the funds together amid fears that low earners and people with disabilities will have to pay council tax for the first time. … Some councils, such as Manchester, have responded to an imminent upheaval in the way council tax is administered by drawing up plans to charge the so-called 'working poor' up to 30 per cent of the full council tax charge even if they are currently exempt." – The Times (£)

Doubts over whether Theresa May will act in the Gary McKinnon case

"[Janis Sharp] said that medical experts on all sides now agree that her son, who has Asperger’s, would attempt suicide if he were sent for trial in the US over hacking into military networks. … But despite this it remains unclear if the Home Secretary, Theresa May, will halt his extradition or not, having previously put it on hold to consider new evidence." – Daily Telegraph

Grant Shapps gave entrepreneurs a tour of Parliament as "Michael Green", claims the Guardian


"Shapps, in his guise as the multi-millionaire web guru in charge of the internet marketing company How To Corp, invited three internet entrepreneurs — Harvey Segal, Mani Sivasubramanian and Martin Avis — to Westminster in 2006 for the tour and an evening meal. Details of the event emerged on an internet forum run by Segal, but disappeared from the site just hours after the Guardian approached him for a comment." – Guardian

  • "It is understood that Mr Shapps was a co-author of the 250-page guide, a revelation that calls into question his claim to have abandoned the pen name Michael Green after entering politics." - The Times (£)

Veterans criticise the government for refusing Russian medal request

"Veterans have condemned the Government for rejecting a request from Russia to reward them for their bravery on Arctic convoys in the Second World War. … The Foreign Office said that it rejected the award because Whitehall rules stated that 'there has to have been specific service to the country concerned and that that service should have taken place within the previous five years'." - The Times (£)

Robert Halfon calls for further action on fuel duty

Robert Halfon"Mr Halfon’s Bill will seek to change the law, so that the level of fuel duty and the amount spent on roads will be shown on every single garage receipt. … In a speech in the House of Commons, Mr Halfon will also urge the Government to scrap the 3p rise in fuel duty that is currently planned for January 2013." – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday, by Robert Halfon MP on Comment: Now we must build on this White Van Conservatism

Chris Skidmore calls for tougher controls on health tourism, as NHS guidelines suggest that doctors should register any foreign patient who asks for care

"And Tory MP Chris Skidmore, who is campaigning for tougher regulation on health tourism, said: ‘It is alarming that managers are passing these kind of diktats to doctors, many of whom are rightly worried that GP registration is effectively buying free treatment on the NHS. … This is not just about the money, vital though that is – we cannot have the NHS, paid for by taxpayers, being abused by people who pay nothing into the system and who are not eligible for free care.’" – Daily Mail 

More on the Tories' 40-40 plan for the 2015 election

"At a private briefing on the 40-40 strategy at the Tory conference, Stephen Gilbert, the Prime Minister's political secretary, told activists that the Liberal Democrats would be heavily targeted despite being in coalition with their party. But this would be by "lovebombing" rather than the heavily negative campaigning of the past. About 10 of the 40 target seats are held by the Liberal Democrats." – Independent

> Yesterday's EXCLUSIVE on Majority: How Conservatives plan to win in the battleground seats

Tanya Gold: The Tories can't win without women, so why the disdain? – Tanya Gold, Guardian

Charles Moore: The Coalition is right to push ahead with the experimental badger culls

Badger"Why should any of this excite much passion? Obviously, it is important for farmers, and for British consumers, to have clean dairy herds. Obviously, for all of us who care about wild animals, it is important to have a reasonably sized badger population (and a healthy one). Equally obviously – you would have thought – these aims can be reconciled." – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Nick Clegg says that he will fight George Osborne over plans to cut a further £10 billion from the welfare budgetDaily Telegraph

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The split on welfare spending is now official — should the Tories do more to distinguish their fiscal plans from the Coalition’s?

Baroness Bakewell claims that pensioners would prefer to lose Winter Fuel Allownace than other benefitsThe Times (£)

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is to propose docking the parliamentary pay of those MPs who hold more than one jobThe Times (£)

Is the chairman of the Financial Services Authority pitching for the Governorship of the Bank of England — and does his pitch involve writing off £375 billion of debt?Daily Mail

Over two hundred police officers face Hillsborough probeDaily Mail

Reaction to the EU's Nobel Peace Prize victory

  • EU"The Nobel committee has ensured that a flawed institution will now congratulate rather than reform itself." – Times editorial (£)
  • "You probably need to feel European, I mean feel it in your guts, to understand the sheer joy of the Nobel committee’s decision." – Agnès Poirier, The Times (£)
  • "To take this decision seriously would be to give the Nobel committee a status that, many would argue, it no longer deserves." – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "…this year, the 93rd in which the award has been made, the committee has surpassed all previous follies and travesties." – Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • "The EU is not furthering peace. International Trade and co-operation furthers peace. In Europe, we should thank NATO for keeping the peace, not the EU." – Nigel Farage, Daily Mail
  • "There could be no better time to remind people of the muddled achievements of the European Union and to warn of the dangers represented by its gradual dissolution or collapse." – John Lichfield, Independent

> From yesterday: 

Thousands of men are rushing to buy pension annuities to escape an EU Gender DirectiveDaily Mail

The cost of various meats, and other foodstuffs, has risen rapidly over the past yearDaily Mail

And finally… The Daily Telegraph features extracts from Nick Robinson's new book

"I was trapped in the back of the two-door car, unable to make it to the front through the flames and, despite using all my force, to break any of the windows. I vividly remember concluding that there was, in fact, no way out. Yet somehow I escaped. To this day I do not know how – whether I was thrown out by an explosion or whether I found the strength to smash the glass. What I do know is that I am very lucky to be alive." – Nick Robinson, Daily Telegraph


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