Monday News Review

On your bike mark II

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls said yesterday Mr Duncan Smith was going further than Norman Tebbit. Mr Balls said: “The remarks suggest that he’s thinking of taking away the housing tenure, the right to a social house and saying you’ve got to move. “So actually he’s going further than saying on your bike. It’s on your bike and lose your home.” – The Mirror

“Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband – who is backed by former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain – said the proposals were a retreat “back to the 1980s”. He said: “[What] he is saying to whole parts of the country is: ‘we have no hope as a government of getting work into your area so you are going to have to move out of your communities’. And that is frankly disgraceful.” – Western Mail

Cable cracks

“I hear from one of the other panel members that Vince Cable was deeply uncomfortable defending the VAT rise and the Budget and coalition in general on BBC1’s Question Time last week. I’m told that Cable, who has just been distancing himself from his party’s “VAT Bombshell” poster during the election, “simply got through it by a form of meditation.” – James Macintyre, New Statesman

“Up to half a dozen Lib Dem MPs are understood to have unofficially met Labour counterparts late last week to discuss co-ordinating their opposition.  Two early day motions protesting about the rise have attracted the support of almost 70 Labour MPs and Lib Dem MP Bob Russell has already threatened to vote against the Budget.” – The Daily Mail

State of play

“Children over 14 are spending far too much time locked in an obstacle course of sometimes irrelevant exams, David Miliband, the Labour leadership contender, has told the Guardian. He urged the country to revisit the whole issue of education and qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds, and said his biggest political frustration was Tony Blair’s refusal to embrace radical reforms that would have seen GCSEs and A-levels replaced with a new academic and vocational framework.” – The Guardian

“Labour leadership contender Diane Abbott was furious after TV pundit Andrew Neil harangued her over her son’s schooling and questioned West Indian parenting skills.” – The Mirror

“Labour leadership favourite David Miliband today launches a campaign to try to stop the planned VAT rise. He is writing to every Lib Dem MP urging them to rebel against the Budget in a key Commons vote. Here he spells out the “five big cons” in last week’s announcements.” – The Mirror

Tory apathy in Wales

“The Conservatives have been accused of a lack of interest in Wales after it emerged only one Tory MP had expressed an interest in serving on the committee which represents Welsh affairs. The only Conservative who has volunteered to join the Welsh Affairs Select Committee is Redditch MP Karen Lumley – but none of the party’s Welsh MPs has signed up to join her, apart from new chairman David Davies.” – Western Mail

The other leadership contest goes on

“The key to Mr Livingstone’s defeat in 2008 was the vast vote for his Tory rival in four largely middle-class outer London boroughs, sparking recriminations in Labour circles that he had focused his efforts too narrowly on the party’s inner-city strongholds. Although Ms King’s politics are rooted in the East End, where she lives in a converted pub, she says her youth and promise of change can appeal to the city’s blue fringes; that she can offer the “inspirational leadership that can reach across traditional political boundaries” and win over enough Tory-leaning voters to topple Mr Johnson.” – The Independent

Reasons to be cheerful

“There will be no Welcome Home Heroes party at Downing Street allowing the ConDems to distract attention away from their savage cuts by riding the national feelgood factor. And England will still have only ever won the World Cup under Labour.” – The Mirror

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