Politics Summary: Friday, October 16th

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All of today’s papers revel in the demise of disgraced Tory backbencher David Wilshire. The Spelthorne MP, who paid £105,500 to a company owned by him and his girlfriend, had hoped to cling on till the next election and beyond, but threw in the towel “after spending hours attempting to defend his allowance claims to the Tory leadership”, according to the Telegraph, the paper which broke the story yesterday morning. Many MPs are already fretting about the next set of revelations, adds Peter Riddell in the Times. “The immediate problem is distinguishing the real rascals,” he writes. “It is hard to get a sense of proportion when lines are blurred, and this uncertainty has been increased by Sir Thomas Legg’s audit.”

The Times reports worrying developments in the Middle East peace process, which appeared “on the brink of collapse” last night after Israel failed to win the backing of Britain and other European allies in a vote on a resolution endorsing the controversial Goldstone report into the Gaza offensive in January, which accuses Israel of targeting civilians. “It will make it impossible for us to take any risks for the sake of peace,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the paper. “What sort of peace process will there be?”

Google have declared the worst of the recession over, paving the way for a return to heavy spending on expansion following a third-quarter net revenue jump of eight per cent, reports the Financial Times. Profits at the internet giant were up 27 per cent in the same period, adds the Guardian. “We now have the confidence to be optimistic in our future and we’re going to invest as a result of that,” explained Google chief-executive Eric Schmidt.

The biggest review of primary education for more than 40 years will be published today, and is expected to recommend the school starting age be raised to six, according to the Times. “Successive governments’ insistence on the earliest possible start to formal schooling went against the grain of international evidence,” says Professor Robin Alexander, editor of the Cambridge Primary Review. The Independent describes the review as a “devastating attack” on what is taught in primary schools, adding tests for 11-year-olds and league tables based on them should be scrapped, with children instead being assessed in every subject they take at 11.

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband pleads with President Obama to attend the Copenhagen summit in today’s Times. He says: “This only works if leaders engage. It’s a very interesting lesson that in July the leaders met in L’Aquila in Italy and agreed that they should commit to avoiding dangerous climate change above two degrees [centigrade]. If they had left it to negotiators it wouldn’t have happened. And Obama was there.” Earlier this month Left Foot Forward reported on the difficulties facing the administration in getting legislation on healthcare and climate change through Congress.

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