6.45pm Iain Anderson on Comment: This is the week to unlock private sector infrastructure investment

6.15pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: How the end of the Roman Empire led to the rise of political liberalism

5.15pm WATCH: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby.  Congratulations to the royal couple from ConservativeHome.

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 17.19.57

5.15pm LeftWatch: Labour MPs queue up on Twitter to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

3pm WATCH: Margaret Hodge: "Name and shame aggressive tax avoiders." Jesse Norman: "That won't work"

1.30pm ThinkTankCentral: Autumn statement run-up: Reform looks at fiscal rules. The CPS recommends wage and aid freezes – and no carbon price floor

1.15pm Local Government: College of Social Work – another taxpayer funded group lobbying against the Government

10.45am ToryDiary: As Jeremy Hunt waits on a bench, The Birds fly in. First one…then four…then seven…then –

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 10.43.20ToryDiary: Jeremy Hunt aims to be angrier than any voter at NHS failures

Also on ToryDiary: Rodney Leach helped to stop the Euro and defeat AV. Today, he sets out a platform for "moderate Euro-sceptics"

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Bold Boles and shy Gove

Damian Hinds on Comment: Capping payday loans is less than half the battle

Also on Comment: Lord Ashcroft – A simple proposal to help the Treasury

Local Government:

Two warnings about the Conservative brand problem:

May to Clegg: don't block data communications bill (or, as the Sun puts
it: "warning to Nick Clegg on terrorists, crooks and paedos)

May Theresa Home Office
May today warns MPs who oppose new powers to probe the internet: “Do
not put politics before people’s lives.”  In an exclusive interview with
The Sun, the Home Secretary insists “we could see people dying” if a
new law to authorise online probing is blocked. Her thinly-veiled attack
on Deputy PM NIck Clegg’s stand on civil liberties grounds is the most
explosive public exchange yet between senior Coalition ministers." – The

  • New police commissioners to press Home Secretary for cuts rethink – The Guardian
  • "The Deputy PM is overwhelmed by civil liberties angst" – Sun Editorial
  • UKIP deserves to 'be taken seriously' after by-elections surge, says Vince Cable – Daily Telegraph
  • Maude: UK is hit by cyber enemies – The Guardian

All knife thugs will be sent to prison, says Grayling…

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 07.53.25"The
Cabinet minister said anyone who uses a knife to threaten others in a
public place will be jailed. Of the 4,207 people arrested for carrying
knives this spring, only 951 – 22 per cent – were sent to prison. One in
five was let off with a caution. Today, Mr Grayling will announce
mandatory jail for ‘aggravated knife crime’ committed by those aged over
16." – Daily Mail

(…But he may not vote against them voting)

is because as Lord Chancellor and the head of the judiciary in England
and Wales he cannot defy the European court, which provides rulings for
courts in this country to follow. This will mean he will not be able to
back his fellow MPs in trying to continue the ban in the House of
Commons. He said he would have to take legal advice before opposing any
move in the House of Commons to give prisoners the vote." – Daily

> Yesterday: ToryDiary: Chris Grayling confirms that he may not be able to vote against prisoner voting

Egypt judges refuse to oversee Morsi referendumBBC

Autumn statement: Two Days out

"David Cameron has refused to sanction the new property taxes that Nick Clegg has pushed for, including any new council tax bands for properties over £1 million. In turn, Mr Clegg rejected a Tory proposal to take housing benefit away from under-25s. Liberal Democrats also appear to have fought off Tory pressure for a freeze on work-related benefits. Non-pensioner benefits are likely to be increased next year by about 1 per cent, below September’s benchmark 2.2 per cent inflation figure." – The Times (£)

  • Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 05.10.40Osborne sends the taxman in to crack down on Google – The Times (£)
  • Cable catspaw Oakeshott meddles as usual – The Guardian
  • Treasury: "We have a Plan B. It's called doing Plan A for longer" – Financial Times (£)
  • Public Accounts Committee brands use of legal ruses by Google, Starbucks
    and Amazon ‘an insult to British businesses and individuals who pay
    their fair share' – Daily Express
  • Tax hitmen to track your spending – Daily Telegraph
  • Campaigners pitch in against benefit cuts – The Independent
  • Chancellor ponders £1.8bn raid on tax relief – The Independent
  • Osborne should stick to his debt target and follow Canada's example – Dominic Raab MP, City A.M
  • The overtaxed South needs its own party – Kelvin Mackenzie, Daily Telegraph
  • The State must not incentivise businesses to forget their moral duty to pay taxes – The Times (£)
  • Osborne to cut green tax bureaucracy – Financial Times (£)

> Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: A simple proposal to help the Treasury

> Yesterday:

More green news 1) Davey aims to push EU on emissions cuts as he arrives in Doha for climate change conferenceThe Times (£)

More green news 2) Yeo considering target to slash energy emissionsFinancial Times (£)

Tim Montgomerie: Hunt's plan to learn from Gove, reform the NHS – and stave off crisis

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 08.06.08"Mr Gove’s priority is to focus his attention on the small minority of failing schools and to bring them up to standard. Mr Hunt wants to embrace a similar model for healthcare. He aims to introduce a range of indicators and Ofsted-style measures that will allow all of us to compare the performances of different parts of the NHS. One of his key indicators will be a new friends and families test that was the brainchild of the Prime Minister." – The Times (£)

Hunt: Transparency, rather than targets, will help to improve our healthcare system, and people's trust in the NHS will soar

"The first thing we need to do is understand how we are performing at the moment, recognising that some areas, some hospitals and some staff are doing things better than others, so all clinicians can learn from the high-fliers. Likewise, patients should be able to access much more useful data about their local services, so that if there is better care on offer somewhere else they can seek it out or demand it from their local NHS." – Jeremy Hunt, The Guardian

  • Rising health demands to cost £34bn more – Financial Times (£)
  • Family doctors raking in millions from NHS – Daily Express
  • Doctors too scared of getting sued to find cure for cancer, says Lord Saatchi – Daily Telegraph
  • Nearly 3,000 patients die every year because of blunders on NHS wards – Daily Mail
  • Civitas calls for privatisation of UK motorways – Daily Express

> Today: ToryDiary – Jeremy Hunt aims to be angrier than any voter at NHS failures

> Yesterday: John Baron MP on Comment: The Government risks missing an opportunity to implement an earlier cancer diagnosis regime

HS2 opponents drive attempts to sink planFinancial Times (£)

Bob Stewart, Skidmore, Doyle-Price, Freeman – and others – "back down over Leveson press law" as Cameron prepares to meet editors…

Bob Stewart"Chris Skidmore, the MP for Kingswood and one of the signatories, said he believed current criminal and libel laws were sufficient to guard against press impropriety and added: “I’m not in favour of any statutory regulation.”…Bob Stewart, the Tory MP for Beckenham and another signatory of the letter, told The Times: “I would prefer the regulator not to be supported by statute.” The Sunday Telegraph named two others, Jackie Doyle-Price and George Freeman, who took a similar view." – The Times (£)

…And Beckenham MP claims Nick Boles is becoming "a hate figure"

Stewart, the Tory MP for Beckenham, said his local association members
were close to revolt over Mr Boles’s outspoken approach to planning. The
minister said last week that “another 2 to 3 per cent of [Britain’s]
land” — equivalent to more than 1,500 square miles, more than the area
of Essex — should be built on to relieve the country’s housing shortage.
Boles is rapidly becoming a hate figure,” Mr Stewart said. “They would
much prefer building on brownfield sites.” – The Times (£)

> Today: Columnist Bruce Anderson – Bold Boles and shy Gove

Adonis counter-attacks Ebdon university 'snobbery' attack Daily Mail

Boris Johnson: Leveson – the politically correct judge

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 08.28.26
"He endorses just about every politically correct criticism of the mainstream press, to the point where he seems to want to sterilise it of fun and flavour. He complains, for instance, that the Mail was wrong to say that an asylum seeker was given leave to remain because of the attachment he had formed to his cat. I read the judgment, and the cat was certainly mentioned. It struck me as an entirely legitimate headline. He seems to want to make the British press as earnest as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, whose front-page splash was once about “100 years of Electric Light in Switzerland” – Daily Telegraph

  • Labour to draft own Leveson bill – The Independent
  • Chakrabarti and two other Leveson advisers warned judge not to support statutory regulation – Daily Mail
  • Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Superman and Joe Bloggs sign Hacked Off petitition – The Sun
  • News International chief resigns – The Guardian
  • Former Guardian Editor: Leveson Report "sloppy, elephantine"…"a pre-digested charge sheet, not a proper inquiry" – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Ofsted call to scrap nursery school subsidies for middle-income parentsThe Times (£)

Not integration.  Not withdrawal.  But customs union membership – and little else

"The shape of a new Europe therefore writes its own script — a neighbourly alliance, partly federal, partly by treaty between independent states, in which those who want to share a currency and economic sovereignty and those who just want co-operation would be equally welcome. Only trade, the bedrock of the original Common Market, would be universal. In truth, it is not the eurozone that is the “core” of Europe — it is the single market." – The Times (£)

Today: ToryDiary – Rodney Leach helped to stop the Euro and defeat AV. Today, he sets out a platform for "moderate Euro-sceptics"

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 08.20.13Cameron banned ministers from speaking to Dalai LamaDaily Telegraph

We’re already halfway to a split with the UK, says Nicola SturgeonScotsman

Robinson: DUP can entice more CatholicsBelfast Telegraph

Binge-drink 'shame' filming shelved over Welsh Government concernsWales Online

Prescott threatens to gag Channel 4 probe into his business links with ChinaDaily Mail

How we lost 43 of our family in the Holocaust: the Miliband family story – David Miliband, Daily Mail

Nadine: I will get the whip back 'very shortly' ('Sources': she will not get the whip back very shortly)Daily Telegraph

Home cover soars due to floodsDaily Express

Christmas bargain hunters are expected to splash out £465million today – the biggest online shopping spree in history Daily Mail


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