Friday, 21 June 2013

Today's ConservativeHome Top Features
Today's ConservativeHome Newslinks
Outrage grows over CQC cover-up scandal...
"Families and MPs demanded last night an investigation into how Jill Finney and Cynthia Bower — the two top officials at the Care Quality Commission — got their jobs, after an independent review concluded that they sanctioned the destruction of a critical internal report. In March last year Ms Finney, the former deputy chief executive, ordered a subordinate to “delete” a report that criticised the watchdog’s failure to act over the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust, where mothers and babies died." - The Times (£) 
…as more evidence of public sector secrecy emerges
Teleg NHS"At least 1,000 gagging orders have been signed by government departments and the NHS since the general election, costing taxpayers a ‘staggering’ £28million. An official report has uncovered at least 1,053 examples – one a day over the past three years – of the public sector paying off staff and buying their silence by getting them to sign confidentiality clauses. The highest payment of £266,000, which was described as ‘obscene’, was made by the Department of Health." - Daily Mail 
Owen Paterson's bold campaign in support of GM crops launches a food fight
"Mr Paterson said that people needed to get over the idea of GM being risky or novel, because the economic, environmental and health benefits were now proven. “This isn’t some new, spooky innovation brought in by strange profs with wuzzy hair and flapping coats,” he said. “This is an absolutely established part of agricultural production in very large parts of the world. You have the biggest field trial in human history when you think of the colossal amount of GM material that has been eaten in all those countries that are growing GM food.” - The Times (£) 
Summer of bank privatisation planning lies ahead for Osborne
Osborne"If it worked, the plan would free up the good part of RBS to be a more effective lender. A clean RBS should see an upswing in share price, too. But getting from here to there will be complex, with the good bank itself needing to be split to comply with the upcoming Vickers rules on ringfencing. Mr Osborne’s decision on whether to create a bad bank will be another landmark in what promises to be a long period of upheaval at RBS." - FT (£) 
  • Cool market response to RBS breakup - FT (£) 
  • The Times urges Osborne to remain open-minded on the banks' future -Leader (£) 
  • Chancellor needs a clear strategy to act upon - FT Leader (£) 
  • Eurozone extends bank bailout powers - FT (£) 
  • Mortgage lending returns to 2008 levels - FT (£) 
Backbenchers camp out for right to launch Alternative Queen's Speech
"Conservative MPs have drawn up an “Alternative Queen’s Speech” with radical policies such as bringing back the death penalty, privatising the BBC and banning the burka in public spaces. The 42 bills also include legislation to scrap wind farm subsidies, end the ringfence for foreign aid spending and rename the late August Bank Holiday “Margaret Thatcher Day”." - Daily Telegraph 
  • Cameron starts to lovebomb his MPs - Isabel Hardman, Daily Telegraph 
  • Loughton/Leadsom amendment seeks to enshrine marriage tax break pledge in law - Daily Mail 
  • Lib Dems will abstain as another backbench rebellion grows more likely - The Times (£) 
  • It's Labour who are split on Europe - Jake Berry MP, Daily Telegraph 
Gove's revolution now cannot be reversed - Seldon
GoveFlag“We are now past the tipping point. There can be no turning the clock back now that heads have tasted the benefits of independence. A whole new generation of heads across the country are now the key drivers for change, and they are no longer hamstrung by old ideology or outdated attitudes. " - The Times (£) 
  • Hundreds of state schools send no pupils on to Oxbridge - Daily Telegraph 
  • The Tories are fighting for the people Labour have abandoned - Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph 
  • Top schools will be downgraded if they don't widen access - Daily Mail 
Our influence apart will be less than our clout together, Hague tells Scots
"Asked what would happen to the “soft power” of the remainder of the UK (RUK), if Scotland voted ‘Yes’ next September, he said: “What the United Kingdom is together, bringing all the diverse talents and cultures and nations of the UK together, makes that hugely positive impact on the world. If that was to be fragmented, the total sum of that would be less. I think we have to confront that fact." - The Times (£) 
  • Hague: Scots' safety could be at risk after independence - Daily Mail 
Eric PicklesLocal government faces further cuts of 10%
"Eric Pickles has been forced to accept one of the highest cuts to his Communities department to protect spending on health, schools and overseas aid. Senior Whitehall officials said that he was still negotiating the details, which could include a transfer of cash from the NHS budget for social care, but the 10 per cent cut had been agreed." - The Times (£) 
  • Pickles moves to end petty bin fines -Daily Mail
  • Putting out Labour's trash - Daily Express Leader
  • Miliband mulling fines for house builders who don't build - FT (£) 
Anya Hindmarch, Government trade ambassador, attacks red tape
"Of her mostly female team of 50, a total of 13 had babies in 2011. But she added: ‘I think it [regulation] could end up working against women, unfortunately. ‘As a woman, a mother-of-five and an employer of a lot of women with children, it would end up making you make a choice between employing a man or a woman. You probably might pick the easier route because the  regulation and consequential cost and eggshell treading would just be too onerous.’ She added: ‘I cannot say strongly enough that any more regulation will cripple this country. We are so over-regulated.’ - Daily Mail 
UKIP_mag 3Farage in offshore tax row
"Nigel Farage last night admitted he opened an offshore trust fund to slash his tax bill. The leader of the UK Independence Party, who has been outspoken critic of tax avoidance, set up a scheme on the Isle of Man for ‘inheritance purposes’. But he claimed he never used it saying: ‘It was a mistake. I’m not rich enough.’" - Daily Mail 
News in brief
  • Telling off Quentin Letts doesn't work, discovers DCMS - Daily Mail 
  • Allowing soldiers to sue could put them at risk - Dominic Raab,Daily Telegraph 
  • Minimum wage to be studied anew on its 15th birthday - The Times (£) 
  • Skills shortage worries business leaders - FT (£) 
  • Government should get on with energy tariff plan - Daily Express Leader 
  • Clegg under fire for Nigella Lawson comments - The Times (£) 
  • Osborne turns down duet offer from Obama's favourite soul singer - The Guardian 
  • Audit report expected on welfare reforms - FT (£) 
  • Parliamentary standards watchdog to be muzzled - The Times (£) 
Yesterday on ConservativeHome
ToryDiary: "...a brave speech, seeking to lead rather than follow public opinion. This is a man on a mission.Key points from Owen Paterson's speech making the case for GM food
Morecambe's MP, David Morris, on Comment:"Andy Burnham derided the appointment of a powerful Chief Inspector with the authority and judgement to call out problems as "heavy-handed regulation".    He calls it "heavy-handed"; I call it "speaking truth to power", and my constituents rue the day he stamped this out at a time when babies were dying at Morecambe Bay." Labour bears a share of the responsibility for the deaths at our local hospital
Local Government: John Bald says The education debate is going Gove's way