1.45pm ToryDiary: Cameron to Lord Young: "I know thee not, old man…"
1pm WATCH: Lord Young: "You've never had it so good"
Lord Young rebuked by David Cameron over recession comments
"The vast majority of Britons have "never had it so good" because of the low interest rates during the recession, Lord Young, a senior adviser to David Cameron, has declared. Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s enterprise adviser, said a drop in mortgage rates “since this so-called recession” had left most people better off. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the Conservative peer also said “people will wonder what all the fuss was about” when looking back at the Government’s spending cuts, the deepest in more than 30 years. He described the loss of about 100,000 public-sector jobs a year as being within “the margin of error” in the context of the 30 million-strong job market as a whole." – Daily Telegraph
"No 10 made it clear last night that the prime minister was "deeply unimpressed" by Lord Young's comments. "Politicians need to be more careful with their choice of words, especially in these difficult times," said one official. "These remarks are as offensive as they are inaccurate." – The Guardian
"After details of his comments emerged, Lord Young wrote to Mr Cameron to "apologise profoundly" for his "inaccurate and insensitive" comments… In a statement after the comments were published, the Prime Minister's enterprise adviser said: "I deeply regret the comments I made and I entirely understand the offence they will cause." He added: "Low mortgage interest rates may have eased the burden for some families in this country. But millions of families face a very difficult and anxious future as we come to grips with the deficit. I should have chosen my words much more carefully." – Sky News
Government publishes Whitehall spending over £25,000…
"The details behind all Whitehall spending over £25,000 made since the election have been published. About £80bn of expenditure – 195,000 lines of data – were published online as part of what ministers call their "transparency agenda". Early analysis by the BBC shows the private company receiving the most public money is the outsourcing firm Capita, which received £3.3bn." – BBC
…and the papers have been trawling through the data
PM backs bank holiday for William and Kate
"Wills and bride-to-be Kate were overjoyed last night as it emerged the entire nation is poised to get a day off for their wedding. PM David Cameron threw his weight behind giving Brits a bonus bank holiday for the big day." – The Sun
Other David Cameron news in brief
Theresa May drops plans for stop-and-search laws targeting ethnic minorities
"Plans to bring back "sus" stop-and-search laws that let the police target black and Asian people have been dropped by the home secretary, Theresa May, after pressure from civil liberties campaigners. Home Office guidance issued this week on the operation of section 60 of the 1994 Criminal Justice Act leaves out a key clause that would have let officers discriminate on grounds of race and ethnicity when using stop-and-search powers "in response to a specific threat or incident". – The Guardian
Other Coalition news
More speculation about the identity of new peers to be announced today
"Joan Bakewell, the broadcaster known as "the thinking man's crumpet", is expected to be made a Labour peer today – one of 10 appointments to the House of Lords recommended by the opposition leader Ed Miliband." – The Guardian
"Robert Edmiston, the multi-millionaire car salesman, and Sir Michael Bishop, the former head of the BMI airline, will be among up to 30 new Conservative peers." – Daily Telegraph
What future for the Conservative/UUP link-up?
"This weekend marks two years since the Ulster Unionists' agreement with the Conservatives was announced — an alliance which may have only days left to run. Both parties offcially say that they are considering the future of the link. But privately, few on either side believe it will last." – Belfast News Letter
Ireland takes hardline stance on corporation tax as bailout talks begin – The Guardian
Peter Oborne: Margaret Thatcher knew the single currency would devastate Europe
"Today, Margaret Thatcher’s autobiography, first published in 1993, reads like a prophecy. It shows how deeply and with what extraordinary wisdom she had examined Delors’ proposals for the single currency. Her overriding objection was not ill-considered or xenophobic, as subsequent critics have repeatedly claimed. They were economic. Right back in 1990, Mrs Thatcher foresaw with painful clarity the devastation it was bound to cause." – Daily Telegraph
Why the Euro was bound to be trouble – blogs John Redwood
World leaders descend on Lisbon for Nato summit – BBC
David Miliband lurks in wings as party already starts plotting for life after Ed…
"David Miliband is poised to pounce for the Labour leadership if his brother flounders in the job, it emerged last night. The news came as the party descended into plotting and jockeying for position while leader Ed Miliband is away on paternity leave. In a fresh round of Labour in-fighting and tribalism, there were claims that Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, is secretly mobilising supporters for a tilt at the leadership in a couple of years." – Daily Mail
…as it emerges Harriet Harman was plotting against Brown
"A last-ditch plot to oust Gordon Brown from Downing Street was hatched over roast goose at the country home of Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, The Times can reveal… Those present for the New Year’s Eve dinner at Ms Harman’s Suffolk weekend retreat, including Patricia Hewitt and at least two other senior Labour MPs, are understood to have all agreed that Mr Brown had to go if Labour was to avoid defeat." – The Times (£)
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