7.15pm WATCH: Vince Cable: In 2015 the public will recognise that "we did something difficult but right" by entering Coalition

Perry Claire QT3.30pm WATCH: Claire Perry: "It is fair and reasonable" to limit child-related benefits for families having more than two children

1.45pm ToryDiary update: Now Ken Clarke's view on marriage tax breaks is: "He completely accepts it's going to happen"

10.45am LISTEN: Ken Clarke reacts with laughter upon being told George Osborne promised to recognise marriage in the tax system

9.30am MPsETC updateGavin Barwell pays tribute to fellow Croydon MP Richard Ottaway – and takes a shot at Boris 2015 rumours

ToryDiary: Ken Clarke dismisses the prospect of marriage tax breaks before 2015, and warns of "very reckless" Euroscepticism

Countdown Clock

Grant Shapps on Comment: Our plans for the next election, including our 80 seat strategy and how you can help

MPsETC: Richard Ottaway MP to stand down at the next election

Local Government: Cornwall increases councillor allowances by 20%

Conservative MPs tell Osborne to reverse child benefit cuts

Osborne on a bridge"George Osborne faced demands from Conservative MPs today to shelve – or at least delay – plans to remove child benefit payments from middle-class parents from January. Families with a higher-rate tax-payer will lose up to £1,056 a year if they have one child, £1,752 if they have two and £2,450 if they have three. The Chancellor is being warned that the policy – condemned by its critics as highly complicated and a “tax on aspiration” – is provoking anger among natural Tory supporters." – Independent | Daily Telegraph

  • Osborne accused of barring care reform - FT (£)

Iain Duncan Smith's plans over child support attacked


"Christopher Chope, Tory MP for Christchurch, criticised comments by Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, who… suggested benefits or tax credit could get capped when a family had two children. … Mr Chope said: “If you have three children it costs you more than if you have got one or none . . . To say arbitrarily that your third or fourth child doesn’t cost you anything extra; I just don’t think it works.”" - FT (£)

  • "Couples are putting off having children because they need both salaries to pay the rent or to keep up their mortgage payments. They also worry about the price of childcare and the sacrifices they will have to make to give their children a good start in life. Why should their taxes be spent on allowing a jobless household to avoid these tough choices?" – Jill Kirby for the Daily Express
  • Lib Dems will accept cap on benefits ‘in return for tax rises on rich’ - Scotsman
  • Undeserving state-funded minority will no longer enjoy the same lifestyle as hardworking people  - Simon Heffer for the Daily Mail
  • Benefits changes miss chance of proper reform – Scotsman editorial

Ken Clarke: Married couples will not get tax break before 2015, and it's "very reckless" to talk about leaving Europe

CLARKE KEN FRESH"Married couples should not expect a promised tax break before the next election because Britain’s economic recovery is taking far longer than expected, [Ken Clarke] warns today. Mr Clarke also risked angering Conservative colleagues by telling the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet to stop speculating about Britain leaving the European Union. Even debating the possibility of leaving the EU was “very reckless” and put at risk the confidence of financial markets in Britain’s economic future, he said." - Daily Telegraph

  • If the economy comes right, we’ll sail home, says Clarke - Daily Telegraph interview
  • Ken Clarke hits back over secret courts - Guardian

> Today on ToryDiaryKen Clarke says "I'm not counting on" marriage tax breaks, and warns of "very reckless" Euroscepticism

Lord Heseltine seeks to scrap dozens of councils

HESELTINE-MICHAEL-NN"Dozens of district councils should be scrapped to streamline local government and promote economic growth, a government review will say next week. The review by Lord Heseltine will also recommend the creation of “conurbation mayors” to represent the largest urban areas at a national level. Lord Heseltine, a former Tory deputy prime minister, will also advise ministers to disperse the Civil Service throughout the country, sending more officials from London to regional offices." - Daily Telegraph

Nadhim Zahawi MP "shocked" at Government housing plans in his constituency

Zahawi"Nadhim Zahawi, the MP for Stratford-on-Avon, has raised fears the development will harm Britain’s heritage and tourism, as the thatched farmhouse of Shakespeare’s wife attracts 50,000 visitors a year. The development was waved through by Nick Boles, the planning minister… against the wishes of the local council. … Mr Zahawi said he was “shocked” to learn of the approval “against the clear wishes of local residents, their elected representatives and the planning policy direction of the Government”." – Daily Telegraph

  • Government orders building standards review - Guardian

Richard Ottaway MP to retire – opening door for Boris Johnson's Commons returnIndependent

> Today on MPsETCRichard Ottaway MP to stand down at the next election

Leveson to recommend "light touch" press regulation

"Lord Justice Leveson is set to reject the newspaper industry’s preferred model of enhanced self-regulation and instead recommend statutory intervention that will be sold as “light touch” regulation. A system similar to the model operating in the Irish Republic is the frontrunner in his report, to be published at the end of next month." – Times (£)

Charles Moore: Slowly, too slowly, the Tories are embracing ever looser union

More Charles"As Mr Gove’s case shows, it is not a shock to contemplate life outside the EU. It is a rational choice – one with difficulties, yes, but many advantages too. The idea that our Continent needs close alliances is right. The idea that it needs to bind us all into one great Union is a historical anomaly, like the Union with the word “Soviet” in front of it. The Tories need to say this, and mean it. The way to win any negotiation is to convince yourself – and therefore your opponent – that if you do not get what you really want, you will walk away. Only when voters know that a British political party will renegotiate with the EU in that spirit will they back it." – Charles Moore for the Daily Telegraph

  • "Britain now has the financial firepower to quit the EU straight away and go it alone, experts declared last night." – Daily Express
  • "A straightforward trade deal with Europe and a new emphasis on capturing growing markets elsewhere is the way ahead for Britain." – Daily Express editorial

> From yesterday - Columnist Bruce Anderson: We cannot simply rid ourselves of Europe, as the Britons were rid of Julius Caesar

Patrick O'Flynn: Labour is stuffed on immigrationDaily Express

George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor by Janan Ganesh – reviewed by Lord Ashcroft

Osborne Number11"What sort of politician is George Osborne? The fact that you can read Janan Ganesh's detailed and illuminating book about the chancellor and still be left wondering shows how difficult the question is to answer. Conflicting views are offered as to where Osborne lies on the spectrum between pragmatist and ideologue. Nevertheless, Ganesh skilfully presents the rise of a politician "fixated on the centre ground", whether that fixation results from principle or electoral calculation." – Lord Ashcroft for the Guardian

  • "I wonder therefore what allies of the Prime Minister make of a new book about George Osborne by writer Janan Ganesh. For while Osborne emerges as a towering intellect, the shortcomings of David Cameron are dwelt on at length. … Of the disastrous poster of a plastic-looking Cameron that the Conservatives published at the start of 2010, we learn: “Cameron insisted that his own image dominate the billboard.”" – Patrick O'Flynn for the Daily Express

77% of quangocrats are Labour party supportersDaily Mail

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: 

Blair under fire for not paying internsTimes (£)

It was on my to-do list: Ed Miliband's policy guru, Jon Cruddas MP, banned from driving for having no insurance or MoTDaily Mail

Salmond Alex ivLord Advocate urged to settle if Alex Salmond lied - Daily Telegraph

  • The clocks go back tonight. But might an independent Scotland set its own time? – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "Little Scotland" Corby demands vote in independence poll – Daily Telegraph
  • Michael Moore seeks bigger role in Scottish independence for Electoral Commission – Scotsman

Shock horror: Guardian finds middle-class voters are more left-wing than working-class voters - Guardian

Just 62 out of 11,000 foreign prisoners have been kicked out despite Cameron's pledge of crackdownDaily Mail

Teachers attack plan to make English and maths tests harder for new recruitsTimes (£)

A sad farewell to The Thick of It - Matthew Norman for the Daily Telegraph

Stop giving millions in aid to richer countries like China and India… says Kofi AnnanDaily Mail

Silvio Berlusconi sentenced for tax fraudBBC


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