6.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron plays the “national leadership” card against Boris

4.30pm ToryDiary: Old or young, a similar set of political problems

1.15pm WATCH: Michael Bloomberg cancels the New York Marathon in the wake of Superstorm Sandy

ToryDiary: The dark facts of government appear to have dimmed David Cameron’s sunny optimism about localism

Also on ToryDiary: An apology to Mr Iftikhar Awan 

Lord AshcroftLord Ashcroft on Comment: I would be pleased to see Romney defy the odds on Tuesday but I’m not betting on it

Spencer Pitfield on Comment: Over 70% of Conservative Policy Forum respondents say UK has a moral obligation to give aid

Local Government: Councils should sell surplus art works

Further fallout from the EU budget vote (1): Another rebel amendment on Europe

“David Cameron is heading for another bruising vote on Europe next week
when parliament debates contentious proposals for a banking union in the
eurozone. … Bill Cash, a eurosceptic Tory MP, has proposed an amendment to a
government motion in support of the banking union, urging ministers to use
their veto if the eurozone pushes ahead without signing a new treaty.”
Financial Times (£)

Further fallout from the EU budget vote (2): Ken Clarke says it would be "ludicrous" to go to Brussels intending to use the veto

Ken Clarke"Mr Clarke – one of the Tories’ most senior pro-Europeans – said: ‘It’s absolutely ludicrous to go there intending to veto. It’s just absurd. What they’ve got to do is reach a negotiated situation.’ … His remarks appeared to clash with Mr Cameron’s position yet several hours later, Mr Clarke issued a clarification. … ‘The clear meaning of what I said was that we cannot go intending to exercise a veto before we actually arrive,’ he said. … ‘But we have an undoubted right to exercise a veto if we cannot negotiate a satisfactory conclusion.’" – Daily Mail

  • "The Prime Minister either doesn’t see, or doesn’t want to see, the level of public hostility towards Brussels." – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
  • Matthew Parris: The more interesting Tory argument isn't over Europe but about the role of the state – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)
  • UK rushes needlessly towards the EU exit – Martin Wolf, Financial Times (£)
  • Westminster is the real anachronism, not the European Union – Deborah Orr, Guardian

> Yesterday:

Ken Clarke also says that his current job is "particularly mysterious and baffling"Sun

David Cameron admits that it may take years for the public to get behind the idea of elected police commissioners

Cameron“’It takes time if you have a new role, it will take time to get going,’
Mr Cameron told The Times.
‘It’s always difficult when there’s a new post, trying to get people to turn
out and vote in an age of cynicism and apathy, it’s difficult. That doesn’t
mean it’s the wrong thing to do.’ … He also signalled that the next Tory
manifesto would include a commitment to legislate for directly elected city
mayors without the idea having to win approval in a referendum first.” – The Times

> Yesterday on Local Government: Could Prescott lose?

Ministers want to cut health and safety regulation in the workplace

"Under proposals that Labour have claimed were "sneaked into Parliament", ministers are trying to amend health and safety laws to water down employers' liability for accidents and leave employees having to prove that their managers were negligent." – Independent

Government report raises doubts about state funding for social care

"In the joint submission, the Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Communities and Local Government say that the Government is 'unable to commit' to the £35,000 cap. … 'Any such system will have a cost,' the official submission says. 'At this time, the Government is committed to reducing the structural deficit, and we are unable to commit to introducing a new system.' … The failure to cap care costs will lead to a growing number of people losing their life savings, the submission adds." – Daily Telegraph

  • Taxpayers being stung by expensive governent phone lines – Daily Telegraph 

Newsnight doesn't name the "leading poltician from the Thatcher years" linked with a paedophile ring

Newsnight"BBC's Newsnight has sensationally claimed that a 'leading politician from the Thatcher years' was embroiled in a widespread paedophile ring – and repeatedly raped boys from a children's home. … But despite a string of damning allegations, Newsnight reporters said it didn't have 'enough evidence' to name the politician, sparking angry claims on Twitter that the Beeb 'bottled it'." – Daily Mail

Jeremy Hunt to introduce new legal safeguards around end-of-life treatment

"Last night Mr Hunt said he would enshrine the ‘basic right’ of patients to be involved in decisions when they are mortally sick. … He threatened ‘tough consequences’ for hospitals that fail to consult. … Patients and their families will be able to sue health trusts that break the rules and doctors who ignore their wishes face being struck off for misconduct." – Daily Mail

The government's airport tsar confirms that "a third runway at Heathrow is on the table" — Boris left unamused

Runway"[Boris] wants Sir Howard [Davies] to ‘accelerate his timescale’. He derided the Coalition for ‘a policy of utter inertia’ and described delays to deciding aviation plans as a ‘fudgerama’. … 
‘It’s going to be toxic and disastrous to go into the election of 2015 with Heathrow runway three still on the agenda, millions of Londoners still in a state of great anxiety and uncertainty about whether or not they are going to suffer from severe noise pollution,’ he said." – Daily Mail

HMRC refuses to name the 500 "Lagarde list" Britons whom they have investigated for suspected tax fraud

"Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke, an accountant, called for the culprits to be prosecuted. ‘We should name, shame and prosecute in order to stop people from evading their taxes,’ he said. … ‘HMRC has let things go for the last decade and the state of the UK’s finances mean it is time for them to show a firmer hand.'" - Daily Mail

  • New figures suggest that foreign-owned companies in Britain owe £5.5 billion to the Exchequer – The Times (£)

High Court put temporary block on MoD plans for Afghan prisoner transfers - Daily Telegraph 

Leading figures from the arts world attack the Government's Ebacc plansGuardian

Robert Halfon's ideas for funding a freeze in fuel duty

Robert Halfon"Fuel duty could be frozen if ministers axed handouts for rich pensioners and cut benefit fraud, an MP has claimed. … Robert Halfon said the move would free £800million — enough to halt the 3p rise due in January." – Sun

Graeme Archer: Marriage is a bulwark against loneliness — the government should promote it

"Michael Howard deployed a powerful phrase in defence of his criminal justice policy: prison works. It’s time we used a similar phrase, in defence of social justice: marriage “works” too. It works for most people and definitely for civic society, yet we find it hard to say this, and shy away from its political implications." – Graeme Archer, Daily Telegraph

Gaby Hinsliff on the child benefit row

"If you want people to keep risking their money in tough times you have to show where there’s potential for a return. And bleating that you need it for piano lessons doesn’t count." – Gaby Hinsliff, The Times (£)

  • Experts advise taxpayers to use "salary sacrifice" schemes to avoid child benefit cuts - Daily Telegraph

Yesterday, by Kwasi Kwarteng MP on Comment: The middle class will drag us out of recession if we don't drag them into high tax bands

Dr David Green: Lord Heseltine's report ignored some of the self-inflicted wounds caused by current government policy – Dr David Green, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday, by columnist Bruce Anderson: Heseltine – still a force of nature, energetic, in a hurry, and wrong

Steve Webb's warning after new assumptions about pension growth

“Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, said that
the new assumptions – which were revealed in The Daily Telegraph – are a ‘kind
of reality check’. … ‘We are saying to people if you want the pension
you thought you were going to get you are either going to have to work longer,
which is an option for some, or save more,’ the minister said.” – Daily Telegraph

Denis MacShane quits Parliament in the face of a police probe into his expenses claims

Denis Macshane"Scotland Yard last night vowed to examine a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards which found Mr MacShane guilty of submitting 19 false claims ‘plainly intended to deceive’ Parliament’s expenses authority. … But he could still dodge criminal charges because evidence submitted to Parliament is inadmissible in court." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Labour's Denis MacShane found guilty of submitting 19 false invoices

The number of firms going bust has hit a seven-year lowDaily Mail

Jobs figures boost Barack Obama as the US election campaign enters its final daysBBC

And finally… the SNP compares its campaign for Scottish independence to the American Revolution

Washington“The party hit back at a Washington
 editorial that claimed
an independent Scotland would be ‘unable to contribute meaningfully to global
security’ and lead to ‘a less stable world’. … In a letter to the Post’s editor, a US aide to
Angus Robertson, the SNP’s Westminster leader and defence spokesman, said ‘people
in London would have read similar warnings about a small upstart country just
across the Atlantic’ during the War of Independence 230 years ago.” – The Times

> Yesterday on MPsETC: Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson jeered at Stonewall awards ceremony after she questions "Bigot of the Year" category


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