6.15pm WATCH: A pair of clips from earlier today…

LP1.30pm On Comment, Laura Perrins asks: What is a ‘sex expert’ and where can I find one? "The point is, that this area is just too diverse and complex to be adequately dealt with in schools by sexperts or otherwise. Parents should be the ones to pass down the necessary values to their children and young people." 

ToryDiary: With his speech tomorrow, Osborne is trying to pre-empt a new set of political circumstances

On Comment, the second part of Michael Gove's essay: Why traditional education is a work of social justice – one that I'm striving to deliver

Also on Comment, by Luke de Pulford: The CPS is wrong to turn a blind eye to the abortion of baby girls on demand

The Government admits that, between 2004 and 2010, Britain sold chemicals to Syria 

MoS"Between July 2004 and May 2010 the Government issued five export licences to two companies, allowing them to sell Syria sodium fluoride, which is used to make sarin. … The Government last night admitted for the first time that the chemical was delivered to Syria – a clear breach of international protocol on the trade of dangerous substances that has been condemned as ‘grossly irresponsible’." – Mail on Sunday

  • Voters oppose attack on Syria – even if Assad used chemical weapons – Sunday Telegraph
  • Samantha Cameron's visit to a Syrian camp, which stirred her husband into action - Mail on Sunday
  • Obama uses gas attack footage to convince US legislators to back military intervention in Syria –Mail on Sunday
  • John Kerry's eight-minute speech – in French – to persuade France to join any military action - Mail on Sunday

As Syria features in Cameron's and Putin's arguments at the G20 summit

"And it was a tough two days for David Cameron: shunted to the sidelines by Parliament’s reluctance to intervene against Assad, the butt of barbs from the Russians, and summoned to a testy meeting with Putin at 2am where they rowed for 20 minutes over Syria. … Cameron also raised the issue of deteriorating gay rights, which have prompted calls for a boycott of next year’s winter Olympics in Sochi." – Ian Birrell, Mail on Sunday

Other comment on Syria:

  • Syria"We can’t pretend the world didn’t change after September 11" – Matthew d'Ancona, Sunday Telegraph
  • "Fail to act on Syria, and tinpot tyrants will triumph" – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • "The PM must accept genuine doubts over Syria" – Sunday Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The Prime Minister's good decision on Syria and aid

Cameron calls to congratulate Tony Abbott, as Tory MPs call for Abbott-esque policies


"A Downing Street spokeswoman said: 'The Prime Minister offered his warmest congratulations to prime minister-elect Abbott and spoke of the very strong links between the two countries. … Prime minister-elect Abbott agreed and stressed his full support for the United Kingdom, saying that he very much looked forward to the closest possible cooperation during his time in office.' … Tory MP Douglas Carswell seized on Mr Abbott's victory to urge Mr Cameron to adopt similar policies." – Mail on Sunday 

  • "New Australian PM Tony Abbott is known as an all-action figure — who volunteers as a surf lifesaver and a firefighter." – Sun on Sunday (£)

> Yesterday on International: What does Abbott's win mean for Cameron?

As he hatches another EU reform with Angela Merkel

"David CAmeron and Angela Merkel have begun drawing up plans for an assault on Brussels bureaucracy by slashing the number of European commissioners. … According to Whitehall sources, the two leaders have told officials to start work on a blueprint that could see the number of commissioners reduced from 28 to between six and 12." – Sunday Times (£)

The economic recovery brings about a recovery in Osborne's fortunes, too

Upturn"George Osborne has been reinstated as Tory MPs’ favourite to succeed David Cameron after receiving a personal ‘bounce’ from the accelerating economic recovery. … Mr Osborne will celebrate today with a barbecue for his closest political friends at Dorneywood, his country retreat. And tomorrow he will use a major speech to hail the recovery and goad Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls for claiming that the economy was ‘flatlining’." – Mail on Sunday

  • "Now the recovery’s starting, are we all in that together, too?" – Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times (£)

> Today on ToryDiary: With his speech tomorrow, Osborne is trying to pre-empt a new set of political circumstances

The Tory leadership fights to scrap a major salary hike for MPs

"Sir Ian Kennedy, chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), was told by Leader of the House Andrew Lansley it was the Prime Minister’s view that he should row back on his plans. … But Sir Ian, who has been under political attack since floating the idea of raising MPs’ salaries from £66,396 to £74,000, refused, saying: ‘I am independent and intend to stay that way.’" – Mail on Sunday

Further details about Hunt's plan for more proactive GPs

JH"GPs will be relieved of box-ticking duties and have more time to care for patients under reforms to be unveiled this week. … Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt hopes that the move will divert up to a third of people away from over-stretched casualty units. … In an exclusive interview he told The Sun: 'Since 2004, we’ve made it easier and easier to get into A&E and harder to go and see a GP. It’s not because GPs aren’t working hard, it’s that Labour changed the nature of their job.'" – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • "Half of all A&Es will fail to hit waiting-list targets this winter" – Independent on Sunday
  • "As many as 370,000 older people have been abused in their own homes by a carer, relative or friend in the last year, according to figures, exposing what has been described as a hidden national scandal'." – The Observer

McLoughlin admits that ministers didn't sell HS2 very well

"The Conservative begins with a startling admission. Ministers were 'wrong' to try to sell HS2 to a sceptical public on the basis of its speed and shorter journey times. … In an attempt to regain the initiative, McLoughlin says the key argument for HS2 is, in fact, the prevention of a looming train overcrowding crisis." – Sunday Times (£)

  • "A police crackdown on the use of mobile phones by drivers has been ordered by Patrick McLoughlin" – Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The Treasury dislikes HS2. Labour is equivocal. Tory backbench opposition could kill it off.

Ministers planning to axe the BBC trust

BBC"The BBC Trust is facing the axe after the outbreak of 'civil war' between its chairman, Lord Patten, and Mark Thompson, the former director-general, over excessive pay-offs to senior executives. … Ministers are planning to hand regulation of the BBC to Ofcom, which oversees the rest of broadcasting, in a sign of the government’s exasperation with the scandal-prone corporation." – Sunday Times (£)

Claims that the Government is "bribing" grammar schools to take on poorer pupils

"Until now, priority for oversubscribed places has been given to children who have passed the 11-plus exam and live closest to the school. … But a rule change introduced by Education Secretary Michael Gove now means schools can offer poor children places ahead of better-off youngsters who live nearer – with heads picking up hundreds of pounds in extra funding." – Mail on Sunday

> Today, by Michael Gove on Comment: Why traditional education is a work of social justice – one that I'm striving to deliver

> Yesterday, by Michael Gove MP on Comment: Be angry on behalf of those failed by the education system – if we aren't, who will be?

Liam Fox lists the "ten global nightmares that should keep us all up at night"

Fox"When economic and government systems fail, anarchy or terrorism can follow all too easily. We are already battling these forces in places such as Somalia and Yemen, but one country stands out in terms of the risks it poses: Pakistan. … I believe Pakistan will be one of the most important puzzles for the international community to solve if we are to maintain peace and stability and stop the export of transnational terrorism." – Liam Fox, Mail on Sunday

"Britain's nuclear subs could be sent to sea unarmed under a Lib Dem money-saving plan"Sun on Sunday (£)

Lib Dems look to extend free childcare scheme…

"Toddlers aged between one and two would get 10 free hours of nursery every week, under the plan likely to be approved by Nick Clegg's party in Glasgow on Saturday. All two-year-olds, rather than just the poorest children, would get 15 free hours, while the current free entitlement for all three-year-olds would rise from 15 to 20 hours." – Independent on Sunday

  • "These childcare proposals suggest that the party has matured in office and will still have a distinctive and attractive programme to offer at the next election." – Independent on Sunday editorial

…and hit the rich

"The Liberal Democrats are drawing up plans to hit the rich by restoring the 50p income tax rate, in addition to introducing a mansion tax and overhauling the way inheritance is taxed." – Sunday Times (£)

Ed Davey warns against shale gas "hype"

Fracking"Ed Davey, the energy secretary, is to deliver a warning against 'hype' that shale gas could revolutionise Britain’s energy supplies. … In a speech tomorrow Davey will warn that the country is unlikely to see benefits from shale gas until the next decade, adding: 'We can’t bank on shale gas to solve our energy challenges today or this decade.'" – Sunday Times (£)

"The equalities minister has called on high street clothes stores to introduce plus-size and petite mannequins to promote more positive body images for women"Sunday Times (£)

Sarah Teather to leave Parliament at the next election – "It is time to close this chapter"

The prominent Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather has announced that she is to quit the House of Commons because she no longer feels that Nick Clegg's party fights sufficiently for social justice and liberal values on immigration" – The Observer

Read the Observer's interview with Teather in full

Miliband's Falkirk decision – did he take it because Labour could go bust?

"Ed Miliband is facing the gravest crisis of his leadership after former Home Secretary David Blunkett warned that he was putting the ‘entire Labour project’ at risk … Mr Miliband was last night said to have been forced into a humiliating climbdown in his battle with the union barons because he feared the loss of their vital funds. … One Labour MP publicly described the situation as a ‘catastrophe’ which had put the party’s ‘very existence’ at risk." – Mail on Sunday

  • "I fear Ed is putting Labour in jeopardy" – David Blunkett, Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: In July, Miliband said Falkirk was the dying "old politics". Now, he gives it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

But he plans to proceed with changes to Labour's relationship with the unions

EDM"Ed Miliband is heading for his biggest confrontation yet with union leaders after vowing to press ahead this week with plans that will reduce their influence in the Labour party … The Labour leader issued a defiant message, saying he was more determined than ever to change the relationship with the unions, even though claims of malpractice by Unite in Falkirk had not been substantiated." – The Observer

"Ed Miliband was at war with his union paymasters last night after refusing to say sorry for calling them vote-riggers." - Sun on Sunday (£)

  • "Ed Miliband can't retreat from his battle with the union bosses" – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • "Miliband knows the real threats to him are the backbiters and bitter union 'brothers' who are out for blood" – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday
  • "Ditching union funds is Ed Miliband's sound investment" – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • "It is a mess — and one of the Labour leader’s own making." – Sunday Times, editorial (£)

New opinion poll puts Labour just one per cent ahead of the ToriesSunday Telegraph

As McCluskey plots a wave of strikes

"Unite boss Red Len McCluskey put activists on an industrial war footing, saying: 'Prepare for crisis.' … His paper shows how to shut down supply chains by hitting 'choke points'. It also explains how to target power supplies and services that keep firms afloat. … His plot to wreak havoc is revealed in a leaked memo obtained by The Sun." – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • "Len McCluskey’s masterplan for mayhem should worry anyone who cares about the economy getting back on its feet. Which is to say, all of us. … It should also remind Labour about the calibre of the people they are in bed with." – Sun on Sunday editorial (£)

Labour should target "Aldi Mum", says Flint

Aldi"Everything Labour does between now and the 2015 election must be seen through the eyes of 'Aldi Mum', one of the party's leading women said yesterday. … Caroline Flint, the Shadow Energy Secretary, said 'Worcester Woman' was now feeling living standards squeezed and was just as likely to shop at discount supermarkets such as Aldi." – Independent on Sunday

Cooper urges police forces to favour ethnic minority candidates

"Police chiefs will be encouraged to favour ethnic minority candidates when it comes to recruitment and promotion, even if the law has to be changed to allow them to do so, under new proposals from Labour. … The pledge to help forces increase the diversity of their officers will be made by the shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, in a speech tomorrow." – Independent on Sunday

  • "Labour is planning to ambush a parliamentary Bill that threatens to semi-privatise the defence organisation Defence Equipment and Support." – Independent on Sunday

UKIP founder launches centre-left Eurosceptic party

UKIP"The founder of UKIP has launched a Eurosceptic centre-left party to challenge Labour and provide an alternative for those who feel his old party has become 'racist' under the leadership of Nigel Farage. … As well as advocating Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, the fledgling party, called New Deal, will pledge to renationalise the railways and scrap the coalition’s 'bedroom tax'." – Sunday Times (£)

Officials were warned about the ties between blue-chip firms and phone-hackers two years ago

"Ian Hurst, a former Army intelligence officer and key witness to the Leveson Inquiry, warned Britain’s equivalent of the FBI two years ago that a private detective convicted of hacking into bank accounts and telephone records had ‘cultivated’ contacts with Special Branch. … But he says his warnings were ignored" – Mail on Sunday

News in brief

  • "If I can work, so can others," says paralysed man in charge of assessing benefit claims – Sunday Times (£)
  • "The golden age of inquisition dies with Frost" – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)
  • Disgraced MSP Bill Walker – convicted of a string domestic abuse offences – has resigned from the Scottish parliament – The Observer
  • UK urged by campaigners to invest £50 billion in a greener economic recovery – The Observer
  • Claims that Nigel Evans will not resign, even if he stand trial over alleged sexual assault - Mail on Sunday
  • Tony Blair strikes new deals to advise Vietnam and Peru – Sunday Telegraph
  • Church of England has £10 million invested in arms firm – Independent on Sunday

And finally 1)… Mark Carney is already having a tangible effect

"But new Bank of England boss Mark Carney has caused some cutbacks sooner than planned – after removal men knocked down a huge tree branch while moving him into his luxury London home. … The entire street was sealed off and police and fire crews were called out after a giant container truck containing the new governor’s belongings smashed into the tree." – Mail on Sunday

  • "Mark Carney is a symbol of George Osborne's failure, not his success" – William Keegan, The Observer

And finally 2)… Cameron follows his Love Actually moment with one wedding and no funerals


"David Cameron was given some respite this afternoon as he and Samantha attended her half-sister's country wedding. … Fresh from the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Mr Cameron was seen taking pictures on his mobile phone outside Sutton-on-the-Forest Parish Church near York following Alice Sheffield's wedding to Etienne Cadestin." – Mail on Sunday


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