5.30pm WATCH: Interviewed on the Sunday Politics, Patrick McLoughlin puts 80mph plan into the slow lane

3.30pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: In praise of war and justice

1.15pm Local government: Call for Labour police commissioner to resign over double claiming for expenses

11.30am ToryDiary: Cameron says that Clegg and Liberal Democrats are struggling to make tough decisions

Circular firing squad

ToryDiary: The unhappy Tory family mustn't turn on itself

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Parris and Portillo are wrong to disdain the views of grassroot Tories

Burrowes DavidDavid Burrowes MP on Comment: Let's take the gay marriage debate out of the party political arena

MPsETC: Cllr Hannah David selected for Harrow West; Mark Isherwood AM for North Wales seat of Delyn

The council leader who cried wolf — On Local government Harry Phibbs reminds readers of the Kent Tory leader who scare-mongered about cuts

Also on Local government: Policy Exchange calls for 1,000 more children in care to go to boarding schools

The Deep End: Can you handle your drugs? Yes? Well, good for you. Now, obey the law like everyone else.

International: LDP's Japanese landslide may mean expansionary economic policy, less antagonism towards nuclear power and hawkishness towards China

David Cameron to announce 4,500 reduction in Afghanistan troop numbersTelegraph

May, Gove, Osborne and Clegg all reportedly against Cameron's alcohol pricing policy

"Senior Tories and Liberal Democrats have united to oppose the minimum pricing proposals, condemning it as an ‘unfair tax on the poor’. Ministers critical of the plan, backed by David Cameron, to make retailers sell alcohol for at least 45p a unit said it was ‘illiberal’ and would punish responsible but cash-strapped drinkers. Home Secretary Theresa May whose department would have to enforce the law, Education Secretary Michael Gove, Chancellor George Osborne and the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg are all believed to oppose minimum pricing." – Daily Mail | Telegraph

Pickles Eric Dec 11 2Charge second home owners full council tax? Why not, says Eric Pickles

> Saturday's Local government: Council Tax discounts for second homes to be hit

Eric Pickles says UKIP must be taken seriously after polls confirm party's growthScotsman

"Senior Conservatives appeared to be split on Sunday over how they should tackle the growing electoral threat from the UK Independence party, which has risen to third in the polls. Communities secretary Eric Pickles said Ukip should be taken seriously and the Conservatives could win back support from the eurosceptic party by engaging with it on local issues. The transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said he would only start worrying when Ukip started winning byelections." – Guardian

"Above all, Ukip offer a respectable outlet for those with racial prejudices" – Owen Jones in The Independent

> Saturday's ToryDiary: Economy and same-sex marriage send UKIP soaring to 14% – its highest-ever ComRes rating

35 Tory MPs sign cross-party letter opposing same-sex marriageBBC | Letter is to The Telegraph

Johnson Boris CloseBoris Johnson said he would like to see a vote on Europe before the 2015 general election

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Now Boris wants a European referendum "before 2015"

Boris Johnson has slapped down the Home Secretary over claims that Britain should reduce immigration to help bring down property pricesTelegraph

  • We need houses – but don’t forget the sewers – Nick Herbert MP in The Telegraph
  • House prices slump in December – ITV

Immigration has happened – now let's make it work – Boris Johnson in The Telegraph

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 06.54.30
  • "Mass immigration was no error. It was deliberate Labour policy, an act of calculated deceit imposed by a bullying regime at the expense of its own working-class voters" – Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun
  • "For the people at the bottom of the pile the impact [of mass immigration] has been enormous. A large proportion of the low-skilled jobs created in the boom years didn’t go to the British working class but to people from overseas. Britons lucky enough to get jobs saw their wages depressed. The flipside of cheap nannies, cleaners and painters for the well-to-do in Hampstead and low-cost waiting staff for the hospitality industry is a struggle to make ends meet for hundreds of thousands of low-income British families." – Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)

Boris now thinking of a four runway Stansted as airport compromiseTimes (£)

Chris Grayling told by judiciary to give up power to appoint chief executive of supreme courtGuardian

Labour MP Michael Dugher says Tory ads contrasting 'hardworking families' with 'people who don't work' are dishonest and offensiveGuardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: CCHQ launches attack ad in marginal constituencies contrasting "hardworking families" with "people who don't work"

Clegg to argue that Lib Dems stopped deeper welfare cuts

Clegg Nick Green B:G

"Nick Clegg argues the Tories wanted £10 billion of welfare cuts in this months Autumn Statement but the Lib Dems agreed £3.8 billion. They wanted a freeze on benefit payments, he will say, but we agreed 1%. They wanted to penalise families with more than two children but we "rejected the more extreme reforms that had been put on the table." – ITV

"Mr Clegg will say Lib Dem intervention led to the “sensible” solution
of introducing the £3.8bn of real terms cuts to benefits outlined in
the Autumn Statement, criticising Labour for leaving an unaffordable
and badly designed system while hitting out at the Conservatives for
suggesting the more “extreme” option of cutting £10bn from benefits." – FT (£)

"In a keynote speech on Britain’s welfare state, Mr Clegg will claim only the Lib Dems can deliver a fairer system that helps genuine claimants while being tough on shirkers. He will promise to “support fairness by making clear that money should not be paid to those who do not need it — looking again at universal benefits paid to the wealthiest pensioners”." – The Sun

In 2013 the Liberal Democrats must step away from the Tories – Former Clegg adviser Richard Reeves in The Guardian

"If the strategy fails, Reeves writes, the Coalition could well collapse before the next election: "2013 is the year the Liberal Democrat strategy – deliver, then differentiate – will be tested. A more assertive stance in act two of coalition should mean greater support and more votes. If not, the curtain will probably fall on the coalition before 2015."" – Guardian

A Times leader (£) issues a warning to the Lib Dem leader: "Mr Clegg needs to take care. It would be an error for the main burden of his speech to be the way in which his party has tamed the Government. The best hope for the Liberal Democrats is that the electorate judges them to have been part of a good government, not the mitigating factor that made a poor government slightly less awful."

  • Simon Hughes says Lib Dem leader's troubles are inevitable given situation – Daily Mail

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 06.47.48Mail's front page fury at Government's decision to resist internet porn blockDaily Mail

"They say they are the most family friendly government ever. So why such cowardice on internet porn?" – Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail

Police officer arrested over leak of 'Pleg-gate' police notebook to newspapersBBC

  • Police Federation reacts with fury after the arrest of a cop over the leak of the Plebgate row – Sun

Soaring energy bills could leave more than NINE MILLION families in fuel poverty by 2016The Sun

Alex Salmond should argue that independence won't always be easier than being part of the UK but that it will still be better for Scots to control their affairs – Brian Monteith for The Scotsman

And finally… Lord Coe receives lifetime achievement award during the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards

"Lord Coe was himself honoured for his contribution to British sport, recognised not just for one of the greatest careers in British athletics with his two Olympic golds but also for his triumph in delivering the greatest Olympics and Paralympics of all." – Telegraph


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