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Friday 23rd November 2007

10.45pm ToryDiary: "One does begin to wonder if Gordon Brown is cut out for the top job. He does not have a great deal of natural charisma and at times seems a little, well, plodding," writes Adam Boulton

7.15pm ToryDiary: LibDems up to 21% in new ICM poll

4pm Local government: LibDems gain two seats from Conservatives and Adam Tugwell on pensions deficits

2pm ToryDiary: 'Des Two Jobs Browne' is not the main problem facing Britain's armed forces

2pm Columnist Theresa May: What does this Government actually know?

"There were 2,111 security breaches at HMRC last year.  This latest incident was the third in a recent string of embarrassing events.  And there are reports that two more CDs are missing.  Make no mistake – this was down to systemic failure in HMRC – a department set up by Gordon Brown himself."

2pm PlayPoliticalRory Bremner delivers a mock Boris Johnson speech and A distraught Australian begs voters to leave John Howard alone

Writing in The Times, Tory GLA candidate Kit Malthouse argues that Heathrow is in the wrong place.

Eu_flag_2ToryDiary:

Rob Wilson MP on Platform: Jacqui Smith has form when it comes to dissembling

Parliament: Ministry of Defence comes bottom of league table for answering questions promptly finds Mark Harper MP

Cost-cutting looks to be a key cause of lost HMRC data

"A desire to cut costs at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may have contributed to the fiasco in which the sensitive personal data of 25 million people was lost, it has emerged.  Emails disclosed last night also suggested that a senior manager at HMRC was informed about the decision to send the information to the National Audit Office (NAO), the public spending watchdog. The Tories claimed this undermined the Government's attempt to blame a 23-year-old junior official." - Independent

Brown under attack from former defence chiefs

"Prime Minister Gordon Brown has treated the armed services with "contempt" and "disinterest", a former chief of the defence staff has told a Lords debate.  Admiral Lord Boyce said the decision to give one person - Des Browne - the jobs of both defence and Scottish secretary was an "insult" at a time of war.  Another former defence chief, General Lord Guthrie, said Mr Brown had been "unsympathetic" to the military." - BBC | Daily Mail | See ConservativeHome's Parliament blog for key quotations

Taxpayers lost tens of millions from rushed sale of QinetiQ

"The Ministry of Defence has been severely reprimanded over the rushed privatisation of its research arm.  According to the National Audit Office, it could have made "tens of millions" more for the taxpayer from the sale of QinetiQ." - Sky News

Edward Leigh MP is quoted by ePolitix: ""The MoD backed themselves into a corner before they had even started... and the department went on to sell a larger share of the business for less money than they initially agreed."

Is there a massive hole in Northern Rock's assets? - The Guardian investigates

Tory lead over Labour up to 9% according to YouGov - Telegraph | Yesterday's ToryDiary

Yougov "The number trusting Mr Brown and Mr Darling to deal with any economic problems has plummeted from 61 to 28 per cent since early September. But trust in David Cameron and Mr Osborne has only risen from 27 to 34 per cent with a trebling to 37 per cent in the number saying they trust neither team or they don’t know. By a narrow margin of 44 to 40 per cent, voters say they believe Mr Darling should lose his job rather than stay." - A Populus survey for The Times

Cleggmakingapoint Voting has begun in the race for the LibDem leadership - BBC | The Independent endorses Clegg

PlayPolitical: Chris Huhne is interviewed by Telegraph TV and Nick Clegg explains why he's prepared to go to court rather than have an ID card

Green Party referendum on appointing a single leader is "nail-bitingly close" - Guardian

Alex Salmond backs Gordon Brown's idea of reviving Home Nations Tournament - Herald

Young Britain is cocaine capital of the world with more abuse than US for first time - Daily Mail

New poll shows dramatic tightening of Australian election - The Australian

PlayPolitical: Two final ad campaigns from John Howard

Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary...

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