Wednesday News Review

Clegg under the cosh

Nick Clegg will today battle to head off a revolt within the Liberal Democrats as the government announces that a cap on university tuition fees in England will be set at a maximum of £9,000 a year. Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, and parliamentary private secretary to the climate change secretary Chris Huhne, told the Guardian she would stick to her pre-election pledge to vote against any rise in tuition fees. – The Guardian

Nick Clegg faces a mass rebellion as 27 of his 57 MPs threaten to oppose university tuition fee increases. Whips believe the revolt could lead to the return of Lib Dem ex-Treasury Minister David Laws, who quit in May over an expenses scandal. – The Mirror

Buy one get one free

Ed Miliband is planning a “two for one” trip to the registry office to have his name put on the birth certificate of his newborn child – as well as for his existing son Daniel. Mr Miliband’s partner Justine Thornton, is expecting the couple’s second child – also a boy – imminently and the Labour leader intends to take the full two weeks’ paternity leave. Topping his list of priorities for the time off is to register not only the new birth but also that of 17-month-old Daniel – which he failed to get round to doing the last time. – The Independent

Tory turbulence

David Cameron is facing a backlash from his party after reluctantly bowing to a European court ruling that prisoners should be given the right to vote. Ministers are drawing up plans to allow inmates on shorter sentences – but not the most serious offenders such as murderers and rapists – to take part in elections. In the Commons, a procession of Conservative MPs denounced the move as a surrender to Europe and urged the Government to retain the blanket ban dating back to 1870. – The Independent

Top dog

Charlie, who belongs to Helen Grant, Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald, was judged the ‘best political dog’ in an awards’ ceremony outside Parliament. He beat off competition from 11 other dogs for the prize, which acknowleges his role in helping campaign for political and charitable causes. – BBC News

Across the pond…

Republicans were on course tonight to make huge gains in mid-term elections across the US, burying any remnants of the euphoria that surrounded Barack Obama‘s White House victory two years ago. It is the first major setback Obama has faced in a relatively untroubled political rise from being a community worker in Chicago to securing the presidency. – The Guardian

Defence on the cheap

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said: ‘I support the Government’s emphasis on international co-operation, taking forward the good work of the last government.We know British aircraft carriers won’t have a strike force on them for a decade. Is today’s treaty going to usher in an era where we are reliant on our allies to fill in the gaps in the Government’s defence policy?’ – Daily Mail

Democratic deficit

The phrase “democratic deficit” has long been in vogue. It combines a number of factors, including low electoral turnouts, lack of political engagement, and downright cynicism. Now it’s possible to put a figure to the phrase: 3.5 million.

House of Commons library researchers have found that in this year’s general election the number of non-registered potential voters exceeded the MP’s majority in 160 constituencies. Had they all voted, parliament could now be a very different place. And the democratic deficit is about to deepen. – The Guardian

Justice for Timms

Roshonara Choudhry, 21 – convicted yesterday of knifing Stephen Timms – is seen on CCTV approaching his table at his constituency surgery with the dagger. After smiling and pretending she wanted to shake hands, she stabs him twice in the stomach before being seized by a guard. Ex-Treasury minister Mr Timms, 54, was one of four Labour MPs she considered assassinating for backing the Iraq war. Others were Margaret Hodge, Jim Fitzpatrick and Nick Raynsford. – The Mirror

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