Boles tells developers to get on with building or lose planning consent

Telegraphhomes“Developers must start building homes or lose planning permission, Nick Boles has said, under plans to accelerate the Coalition’s controversial house-building programme. House-builders will no longer be able to easily “roll over” planning permission on plots of land without starting building projects, the planning minister announced. It is designed to stop “land banking” developers hoarding plots for years and waiting for house prices to rise before starting to build homes.” – Daily Telegraph

Tory MPs unite in call for EU referendum…

“The Conservatives accused Labour of trying to “gag the British people” as opposition MPs used parliamentary guerrilla tactics to slow – but not block – the passage of the Tory-endorsed backbench EU referendum bill through the House of Commons. After five hours of debate MPs managed to complete votes on just one of the four groups of amendments tabled at the bill’s report stage. MPs will resume the debate on Friday 22 November and, with other backbench bills being held back, James Wharton, the bill’s sponsor, is hopeful that the bill will eventually clear the Commons and get to the House of Lords.” – The Guardian

  • “Conservative MPs have rallied behind a bill promising an EU referendum in the face of Labour attempts to derail it. Legislation urging a referendum by 2017 was discussed for five hours but no major votes were held and the debate was adjourned until later this month.” – BBC
  • “The EU referendum is undoubtedly a massive issue for many Tories, principally among those who crave the opportunity to vote No to Europe. ..Most other people, by contrast, rank Europe low on the list of agenda issues. They are entirely logical and right to do so.” – Leader The Guardian

> Yesterday:ToryDiary: Why Adam Sfriyie should withdraw his amendment to the Wharton bill today


…and throw paper planes at each other

leigh“Labour tried to scupper a Bill to give the public a say on British membership of the EU yesterday, as Tory MPs threw a paper aircraft at each other in the Commons chamber. Labour MPs raised a series of procedural and constitutional concerns about the backbench Bill, such as whether the people of Gibraltar should be given the right to vote. As a result, the legislation made less progress than hoped by its backers, with Edward Leigh and Bob Stewart, both Tory MPs, at one point throwing a paper plane at one another.” – The Times(£)

Hunt’s £17 million windfall

hunt“Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, is set to become the richest member of the Cabinet thanks to a £17 million windfall from the sale of a company he founded. Hotcourses, an education listings service, is expected to be sold to a private equity firm for about £35 million in the next few weeks, according to reports.” – The Times(£)

MPs query Bank of England’s Help to Buy role

“An influential committee of MPs has asked the Bank of England to clarify its role in policing the Help to Buy scheme amid fears of a property bubble. The Treasury Select Committee said that the “scope and limits” of the Bank’s role were not clear.” – BBC

Independent Living Fund gains reprieve

“The government will not be seeking leave to appeal after its decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund (ILF) was overturned in a court ruling. The £320m ILF currently provides support enabling nearly 19,000 severely disabled people in the UK to live independent lives in the community. The High Court ruled in April that the closure decision was lawful, but this was overturned by the Court of Appeal. The ILF will continue for now with ministers set to reconsider its future.Last year the government decided to close it and devolve the funding to local authorities.” – BBC

Hague goes to Geneva for talks on Iran

“John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, broke off Middle East peace talks to fly to Geneva yesterday and was soon joined by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary and the French and German foreign ministers in what appeared to be a last-minute rush to reach agreement with the Iranian delegation.” – The Times(£)

Hammond says gay marriage reform “damaging”

HAMMOND Phil pursed mouth“Mr Hammond, a long-standing critic of the policy, said it had been rushed into law despite not being a manifesto commitment. He told the ConservativeHome website: ‘It was damaging because it created a perception that the leadership was in a different place to the core of the party’s active supporters. I prefer my change to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and you know I got myself quite comfortable with the institution of civil partnership.” – Daily Mail

> Yesterday:Interview: Philip Hammond declares war on lunch, and on regimental campaigners

Majority back spare room subsidy cut

“The so-called “bedroom tax” has been backed by the majority in a poll. More than three-quarters said the Government had to tackle the problem of social housing tenants’ spare rooms. Half said it was fair those with more bedrooms than needed should have their housing benefit cut.” – The Sun(£)

  • “If you listened only to Labour or their many spokesmen at the BBC, you’d imagine that the Government’s scrapping of the spare room subsidy was as universally loathed as the poll tax was. So convinced are Ed Miliband’s party and its cheerleaders that the rest of Britain is as outraged as they are that they bandy around their catchphrase “the hated bedroom tax” as a fact that is beyond challenge. It is, in fact, doubly dishonest. It is not a tax. And it turns out not to be hated.” – The Sun Says(£)

> Yesterday: Local Government: Poll shows strong support for spare room subsidy cut

Fallon says get fracking

“Households “right across the South” should prepare for gas fracking to begin in their areas, a senior minister has warned. Michael Fallon says that in the next few weeks, a study by the water industry will conclude that fracking will not contaminate the water supply. He told The Telegraph that places such as Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex will become centres of the potential source of energy. The Conservative minister, who has posts at the business and energy departments, said Britain had the scope to emulate US states such as Texas in exploiting shale gas.” – Daily Telegraph

Maria Miller trebles number of listed war memorials

MILLER Maria white Marr“Thousands more British war memorials are to be listed — earning them special new protections. Culture Secretary Maria Miller is tripling the number of monuments with the status to more than 3,800. Only 1,300 are listed now and just two are in the highest Grade 1 category.” – The Sun(£)

Tributes to John Cole

“Former BBC political editor John Cole has died aged 85. Cole was the BBC’s chief reporter during the Thatcher era, and covered major stories including the miners’ strike and the Brighton bombing. “While many people will remember John for his journalism and broadcasting, for us he was the most loving, funny and devoted husband, father and grandfather,” his family said.” – BBC

  • “John Humphrys, the anchor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said he was delegated to put Cole through his paces in the studio when the then-Observer journalist applied to be the corporation’s political editor in 1981. “I reported back to my then-bosses that, although I thought he was an absolutely brilliant political journalist and the nicest person in the world, I didn’t think we should employ him as the on-air political editor because people would simply find it too difficult to understand his accent,” he said on Friday. “Mercifully they ignored my advice completely. Of all the massive errors of judgment I’ve made, that was probably my biggest. He turned out to be a great star.” – The Guardian
  • The man who Hondootedly brought warmth to Westminster – Quentin Letts Daily Mail

Labour peer attacks Royal travel budget

“Fewer members of the Royal Family should be entitled to taxpayer-funded travel, according to a Labour peer. Lord Berkeley singled out Princess Anne for criticism over her use of the royal helicopter to visit horse shows. He also called on Prince Charles to hand over the Duchy of Cornwall’s assets to the county’s residents.” – BBC

Miliband aide says Labour “not winning” on benefit reform

“Karen Buck, the Labour leader’s parliamentary aide said the political battle over benefits and social security is “not one where we have won”. Miss Buck, the MP for Westminster North, warned a trade union conference that Labour and its allies “have to accept” that they are not yet convincing the public over their plans for benefit reform.” – Daily Telegraph

France gets an economic downgrade

“Credit agency Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on French debt from AA+ to AA in a humiliating setback for President Francois Hollande and his socialist administration. In a devastating analysis, the agency highlighted the risks posed by weak economic growth, high unemployment, the rising national debt and ‘elevated’ levels of tax and spending.” – Daily Mail

  • “Progress in the eurozone is being stymied by a failure on the part of France’s Socialist Government to understand that a bloated public sector and high taxes are a drag on economic growth. Mr Hollande needs to acknowledge that the laws of arithmetic apply to France as well to other eurozone economies. Europe’s wider prosperity will depend on it.” – Leader The Times (£)

Matthew Parris says Conservatives can outbid Labour on futuristic projects

PARRIS Mathhew“The Conservative Party urgently needs a tie-breaker. It’s unlikely to come from any astonishing recent achievement and must surely reside in a future offer. But Tories can always be outbid by Labour on social compassion and plans to help people. So the words should be “ambitious”, “brave”, “bold”, and the party should breathe its enthusiasm and faith for the future. Some time ago I visited Michael Heseltine’s arboretum in Northamptonshire. Passion undimmed, he is still planning for his arboretum, planting saplings he will never see as trees. If you want a metaphor for Conservative futurism, I can offer no better.” Matthew Parris The Times(£)

> Today: ToryDiary: Think Big, Britain

Cut Parliament’s payroll vote says Paul Goodman

“As support for the larger parties continues to fall, parliamentary majorities will become harder to achieve – and the more difficult it gets to obtain them, the more the payroll vote will grow to compensate. In future, government benches could divide into two more or less equal halves: those who line up with the executive, and those who don’t. That would be bad for government and for Parliament. The payroll vote has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.” – Paul Goodman Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore on Prince Charles at 65

charlesmoore“As he reaches what most people think of as retirement age, he has still not stepped into the role that his mother assumed at the age of 25. His position is unique. Even Edward VII, Queen Victoria’s eldest son, did not have such a long apprenticeship. Prince Charles has been the heir to the throne since 1952.” Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

Patrick O’Flynn says Osborne is championing the little guy

“Osborne has also licensed his acolytes to revive a long lost strain of Conservative philosophy – the politics of the little guy and in particular the monopoly busting approach pioneered a century ago by US Republican president Theodore Roosevelt. Anyone who witnessed a Commons debate on the water industry on Tuesday would have been struck by just how damning allies of Osborne were prepared to be about the monopoly private companies that have been putting up charges.” – Patrick O’Flynn Daily Express

News in Brief

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