Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

Nick Clegg gave David Cameron multiple warnings about hiring Andy Coulson

Phone hacking:

Nick Clegg gave David Cameron multiple warningsaboutthe risks of hiring Andy Coulson,the Deputy Prime Minister has disclosed.

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Mr Clegg said Liberal Democrats had been raising concerns about phone hacking even before the general election, and he was the first person in Government to demand a judge-led inquiry into the allegations.

And the Liberal Democrat leader confirmed that he had raised questions at the time of the creation of the coalition about Mr Cameron’s decision to bring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson into the heart of the Government as Downing Street director of communications. (more…)

Phone hacking: News International lifts gagging order imposed on its lawyers

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The full extent of the alleged cover-up at the News of the World could be disclosed after News International bowed to pressure and lifted a gagging order it had imposed on its lawyers.

In the latest development in the phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch’s company agreed to release details of its dealings with Harbottle & Lewis, the lawyers who for four years held company emails containing details of wrongdoing at the Sunday tabloid. (more…)

David Cameron: in charge of the Coalition from day one

Today marks the first anniversary of a minor political miracle. A year ago tonight, David Cameron stood on the doorstep of No 10 in the aftermath of Gordon Brown’s ignominious exit, his mask of confidence disguising the uncertainty of his situation.
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He had failed to win the election against a vastly unpopular prime minister battered by a crippling recession. It took a stroke of audacity to offer the Liberal Democrats concessions in exchange for a share of power, and without consulting his party. But all he had to go on was the affinity he had established with Nick Clegg, and his conviction that a coalition between like-minded leaders could govern effectively in the national interest. Even now, those who were involved in brokering that deal speak in tones of amazement at how quickly it was put together, and how long it has lasted.

Twelve months later, the Coalition, though dented, is still intact. It has got to work on its central duty of restoring the public finances to credibility, while launching revolutions in the way public services are delivered. Its senior personnel remain in place, even if some prefer to posture. It has carried on with one war – and launched another – while presiding over sweeping cuts to the Armed Forces. It exudes a sense of purpose and competence that continues to withstand individual examples of incompetence or folly. While we cannot be certain that it will last until its self-imposed expiry date of 2015, there is no reason why it should not. (more…)

News of the World closed down: Nick Clegg ‘warned David Cameron of Coulson risks’

David Cameron was personally warned by Nick Clegg about the risks of appointing Andy Coulson as his communications chief but overruled him, a senior Cabinet Minister has disclosed.

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The Deputy Prime Minister was told he had no “standing” to object to the former News of The World editor being given the Downing Street job despite the phone hacking scandal, according to Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary.

Mr Huhne’s comments follow the disclosure by the former Lib Dem leader Lord Ash-down that he also warned the Prime Minister of the “terrible damage” to the coalition if he employed Mr Consul.

Details of the high-level warnings emerged despite Mr Cameron’s insistence that he received “no actionable information” about Mr Consul before the appointment.

On Saturday it was disclosed that Alan Bridger, editor of The Guardian, also contacted Mr Cameron’s aides to warn them about how the News of The World had rehired Jonathan Rees, a private detective knowing that he had served seven years in jail conspiring to frame a woman. (more…)

Are Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson edging towards world domination?

imageFormer business secretary being lined up as WTO head while former prime minister may head to Brussels

Fans of Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, who mourn their departure from the political frontline, will be dancing with joy.

Two of the founding fathers of New Labour could make a spectacular comeback on the world stage in the next few years. I reported last month that David Cameron is prepared to back Mandelson as the next director general of the World Trade Organisation, raising the prospect of a fourth comeback by the former Prince of Darkness. (more…)

PMQs: David Cameron wants tax breaks for marriage. Just not yet

imageDavid Cameron fought the last election promising tax breaks for married couples, a policy he is yet to enact in Government. In PMQs today, Emily Thornberry, a Labour MP, kindly pointed out to the PM that Nick Clegg has described his ambition as “patronising drivel”.

With a slightly rueful smile, Mr Cameron happily disagreed with his deputy, and declared: (more…)

David Cameron: Dad’s gift to me was his optimism

imageThere’s a quote I like, apparently from Mark Twain, which goes: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

OK, I’m sure at this time of year you can find more gushing words about fatherhood and parenting, but there’s a sentiment here that I think most of us can identify with. (more…)

Government deal means councils will restore weekly bin days

Weekly bin collections are to be restored across the country,

imageThe Government is to announce a deal under which councils will be offered financial incentives to collect household rubbish every week.

A similar plan using government grants was successfully introduced to encourage local authorities to freeze council tax this year.

The policy is expected to be announced as the centrepiece of a review of waste policy being conducted by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A source close to the review said the funding plans for councils to restore weekly bin collections – estimated to be about £100 million a year – had been agreed and the scheme will be unveiled within the next fortnight. (more…)

Lib Dem president attacks ‘wicked’ Thatcherism at AV event

imageTim Farron claims first past the post made it possible while Alan Johnson urges Labour activists to back change The Liberal Democrats kept up the rhetorical pressure on the Conservatives when party president Tim Farron described Thatcherism as “organised wickedness” and claimed David Cameron’s lasting legacy as prime minister would be his decision to defend an “indefensible” electoral system.

At a cross-party event organised by the yes campaign in the referendum on the alternative vote system, Farron said Cameron had turned his back on a long Conservative tradition, stretching back to Disraeli and Baldwin, in favour of evolution of the voting system.
(more…)

Put aside contempt for Nick Clegg in AV referendum, says Peter Hain

imageLabour heavyweight says Labour voters should unite in support of alternative vote to prevent Tories from keeping grip on power Former cabinet minister Peter Hain has called on Labour voters to put aside their contempt for Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and say yes to the alternative vote to prevent the Conservatives from keeping a grip on power.

Backing business secretary’s Vince Cable’s call for an anti-Conservative coalition to deliver a victory for the yes campaign, Hain said Labour supporters should take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop the Tories from snatching government from the progressive majority of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. (more…)

Cardinal Keith O’Brien warns of threat from ‘aggressive secularism’

imageThe leader of the Catholic church in Scotland has used his Easter address to attack “aggressive secularism”, suggesting there were “those who would indeed try to destroy our Christian heritage and culture and take God from the public square”.

He made the address as David Cameron publicly endorsed the “enormous contribution” of Christian values to Britain, days before he welcomes senior churchmen to Downing Street for an Easter celebration. (more…)

Libya: David Cameron and Barack Obama discuss need to increase military pressure

imagePresident Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday discussed the need to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, the White House said.
The two leaders agreed that U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding that the Libyan government cease violence against civilians must be fully implemented. (more…)

Prince William is told: Children can wait

imagePrince William’s friend, the television presenter Ben Fogle, advises him and Kate Middleton not to rush into having children. In his engagement interview, Prince William said he and Kate Middleton would soon “have to start thinking” about children. However, his chum Ben Fogle urges caution. (more…)

Vince Cable: I don’t care if I’m sacked

imageVince Cable, the Business Secretary, has used the battle over the Alternative Vote to step up his war with David Cameron.
Mr Cable taunted the Prime Minister over his support for the first-past-the-post system of electing governments, saying that, if the Conservatives had used it for their leadership elections, David Davis would be prime minister. (more…)

We must beware mission creep in Libya

imageFrom the outset, this newspaper has voiced its reservations about military action in Libya, not least because the avowed aims were too vague to make an exit strategy easy to discern. Undoubtedly, the boldness shown by David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy in (more…)

The Big Society needs a profit motive

It’s the Coalition’s big project – but it will only succeed with the right incentives, argues Andrew Haldenby.

imageThe Big Society is this Government’s Big Idea. Part philosophy, part practical programme, it is the glue that holds together the Coalition’s efforts to reduce the size of the state and make it work much better for the citizen. For this reason, those at the heart of government will have taken very seriously the criticisms of Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, (more…)