Some things you need to know on Monday 26th November 2012...
1) PHEW, GOT OUT OF THAT ONE
David Cameron will be welcomed back to the Commons as a conquering hero by Tory MPs today when he gives a statement on the failed EU budget talks. Last week's summit which ended without an agreement saw the prime minister manage to escape having to sign the UK up to an unpopular deal and also avoid looking isolated after the Germans, Dutch and Swedes took similar positions. Of course this won't stop eurosceptic MPs turning up the pressure on Cameron to call a referendum on Britain's membership.
Today's Memo is edited by Ned Simons as Mehdi Hasan was up all night watching X Factor re-runs.
2) SPEAKING OF EUROSCEPTICS...
Mop-topped Top Tory Michael Fabricant has suggested the Tories form an electoral pact with Ukip to prevent Nigel Farage's party scuppering their chances of winning the next election. The Tory vice-chair suggests the prime minister should offer an in/out referendum in exchange for Ukip pledging not to stand against Tory candidates.
Farage's immediate response on Twitter? "No deals with the Tories; it's war." OK, never mind Michael. That was a nice idea for the few minutes it lasted. Farage added this morning: "The Fabricant deal seems to be based on buying me off. Ukip is bigger than that." Maybe try again after Thursday's Rotheram by-election is over.
3) IT'S WAR
Farage's anger stems from being reminded Cameron described Ukip as "closet racists" in the past. The row blew up again after a couple in Rotheram had their foster children taken away simply because they were members of Ukip.
The foster couple, who live in South Yorkshire, said in an ideal world they would like the children back but their chances have been wrecked because they do not want to cause them any more upheaval.
The wife told the Daily Telegraph: "We feel that we have personally been slandered and we would like a public apology from Rotherham.
"We would also like something in the form of a letter stating that they have got it wrong in this case and that it will not be on our records that we have had children removed from our care.
4) AUSTERITY UNTIL 2018?
The era of austerity could last until 2018 as George Osborne is forced to extend spending cuts still further into the next parliament, a respected economic think tank warned on Monday.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that the Chancellor may have to push out the current squeeze on public spending to 2017/18 and find another £11 billion from cuts or tax rises on top of the further £8 billion reduction in welfare spending already mooted.
Having initially planned to eliminate the structural deficit by the time of the next election in 2015, Mr Osborne has already had to signal further real terms cuts of 2.3% in Whitehall spending up to 2016/17 and the slashing of the benefits bill by another £8 billion (at today's prices).
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...
5) LEVESON BATTLE LINES
Ed Miliband has used an article in The Guardian parliament should introduce Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations for the regulation of the press as long as they are "reasonable and proportionate".
Ahead of the inquiry's report on Thursday battle lines are being drawn within and outside the Commons on how best to maintain press freedom. William Hague is the latest senior figure to voice concern about the report, saying he would prefer to see the government "err on the side of press freedom".
6) GAZA CEASEFIRE: CIVILIANS TALK ABOUT DEATH AND PEACE
After eight days of fighting and over 150 killed, Israel and Hamas brokered a fragile ceasefire last Wednesday, but how long can it last? And who do ordinary Israelis and Palestinians think has come out on top? The Huffington Post UK has been following the stories of a Gazan journalist and a southern Israeli during the conflict. So what do they think?
"After 8 days of bombing and destruction of the Gaza Strip, we have triumphed and Israel is defeated," says Palestinian Maha Shahwan.
"Israel accepted a proposal for a cease fire, taking into account that the aims that had been set for this campaign, had been achieved," says Israeli Adele Raemer.
140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
@Mike_Fabricant We always used to laugh in the Whips' Office that if anyone was referred to as a 'Top Tory', they most certainly were NOT!!! Oh dear!
@Nigel_Farage: No deals with the Tories; it's war.
@FGoria: Berlusconi is mulling to run in 2013 elections and to form his own breakaway party - ANSA
900 WORDS OR MORE
Ed Miliband in The Guardian: "When Leveson reports, parliament must act swiftly. MPs of all parties asked for this inquiry. We would be betraying the media's victims if we ignored its findings."
David Blunkett in the Daily Mail: I've suffered at the hands of the media, but I still believe Press freedom is vital for democracy.
Michael Fabricant on his own website: "The pact: The Conservative Party, UKIP and the EU A Discussion Paper."
Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ned Simons (email@example.com). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol
More:Mehdi's Morning Memo
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