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26 Apr 2009 08:59:28

Sunday 26th April 2009

Picture 8 10pm WATCH: "Impatient" David Cameron says government must deliver "more for less" in "age of austerity"

8.15pm ToryDiary: Ten conclusions from the Cheltenham Spring Forum

7.30pm WATCH: Dan Hannan attacks Gordon Brown for being unwilling to accept criticism

4.30pm ToryDiary: It was right to raise taxes when Britain last faced a debt crisis says Cameron

3.45pm ToryDiary: Highlights of George Osborne's speech to Spring Forum

OsborneGreenTie12.15pm ToryDiary: Osborne wants mandate from electorate for specific spending cuts

Local Government: Mark Wallace asks Icelandic banks: Will Councils really get a refund?

11am WATCH: Dan Hannan addresses fringe meeting of The Freedom Association

11am Peter Whittle on CentreRight: The culmination of London's St George's Day celebrations were dismal

ToryDiary: Let's hope there's a secret plan

Alex Marsh on Platform: Can we at least discuss the moral case for low taxation?

Local government:

Second YouGov poll in two days confirms 18% Tory lead - Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

David Cameron to promise "massive change" in speech to Tories in Cheltenham

CAMERON POINTING "There is only one way out of this mess and that is through massive change. I'm frustrated it's not happening. I'm impatient to get on with it." - A preview of Mr Cameron's remarks in The Sunday Telegraph

"David Cameron will today make a scathing attack on what he will call Labour's "economic incompetence" that has left Britain in its deepest recession since the Second World War.  He will tell the Conservative Spring Forum that Gordon Brown's administration has wasted billions of pounds of taxpayers' money, and left the country with its highest debt in history." - Sky News

Observer: Neither main party is saying what it will cut

"Severe cuts are coming one way or another. The difference between Labour and the Tories is simply that the government is being dishonest about the coming austerity while the opposition is being macho about it. But neither side wants to talk about where the cuts will actually be made." - Observer leader

Andrew Rawnsley: New Toryism has been killed by the spending squeeze too - Observer

Boris denies breach with Cameron

JOHNSON Boris 2 "He denied, in an interview with the ConservativeHome website, a report in the Times' that he "despised" Mr Cameron, saying the report was "obvious tripe" and "fantasy". He also played down recent reports that he is planning to be prime minister saying that being London mayor is "almost certainly my last big job in British politics"." - BBC

> Yesterday's ConHome exclusive

Cameron accused of "sanctions-busting jolly" to apartheid-era S Africa when he was 23 - Independent on Sunday

David Cameron dares Gordon Brown to hold TV debates - The Sunday Times

Nadine Dorries MP to sue over McBride emails

"Nadine Dorries, the MP for mid-Bedfordshire, confirmed last night that she would take legal action over what she has insisted were false allegations made about her. The announcement comes only days after Dorries demanded - and received - a public apology from Gordon Brown in the Commons, raising the intriguing possibility that Brown's own words could form part of her evidence." - Observer | BBC

Iain Duncan Smith backs Alex Salmond's scheme to charge minimum of 40p per unit of alcohol - Sunday Times

Brown faces humiliating defeat on expenses

"Gordon Brown was last night forced into a humiliating retreat over MPs' expenses to avoid defeat in the Commons. Ministers are now frantically seeking a compromise deal after accepting that the proposed flat-rate allowance for attending parliament, announced with great fanfare five days ago in a ground-breaking YouTube video, would be rejected in a vote. One cabinet aide said the government faced a "humiliating defeat" if it put the measures to a free vote, adding: "Even our lot won't have it."" - Observer

Peers for cash set to be suspended

"Two Labour peers at the centre of the lords for hire scandal have been found guilty of misconduct by a sleaze inquiry and face suspension from parliament, according to senior House of Lords sources." - The Sunday Times

The Mail on Sunday "shames" the public buildings that did not fly St George's flag on Thursday - Mail on Sunday


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25 Apr 2009 08:50:08

Saturday 25th April 2009

11.15pm ToryDiary: Tory lead constant at 18% in new YouGov Poll

9.45pm Seats and Candidates: Lib Dem parliamentary candidate defects to the Conservatives

6pm ToryDiary exclusive: Being Mayor is "almost certainly my last big job in British politics"

5.30pm ToryDiary: Jeremy Middleton elected chairman of the National Conservative Convention

130597-main_Full4.45pm ToryDiary: Hague throws rhetorical kitchen sink at the "decomposing political muckheap" that is Labour's frontbench

3.30pm ToryDiary: Freeing schools, restoring discipline and teaching by ability: a brief guide to Conservative education policy

3pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Should the Conservatives help the Damian Green whistleblower to get a new job?

2.30pm ToryDiary: Lansley promises to secure spending on healthcare as part of a ten point SAVE OUR NHS plan

CAMERON + FLAG11.30am ToryDiary: David Cameron reaffirms his desire to have MPs from Northern Ireland in a Conservative Government

10am Dr Crippen on CentreRight: Cutting the NHS health care budget - it can be done


Jack Perschke on Platform: The next Conservative Government must delegate power and trust people to do the right thing

Local Government:


CAMERON LOOKING LEFT David Cameron to pledge that a Tory Government will deliver "more for less"...

"David Cameron will tomorrow promise a revolution in the way that central government operates if he becomes Prime Minister, so that the state delivers "more for less" in Britain's "age of austerity". Addressing his party's spring conference in Cheltenham, the Tory leader will call for a "change of culture" so that the public sector takes its share of the burden, in order to bring down the record borrowing figures revealed in this week's Budget." - The Independent

...and put an end to politicians' "snouts in the trough" practices...

"David Cameron will pledge to 'change the culture of government' and end the 'snouts in the trough' practices that have dragged Parliament into disrepute. The Tory leader will promise voters to do away with the publicity-seeking and greed that has gripped ministers and MPs under Labour. In a speech designed to set the tone he hopes to strike in power, Mr Cameron will tell the Tory spring conference in Cheltenham tomorrow that ministers must work to save taxpayers' money, rather than dreaming up new schemes to spend it." - Daily Mail he expresses his desire to scrap 50p tax

"David Cameron yesterday said he wants to scrap Labour’s 50p supertax on the rich — but it will take time. Chancellor Alistair Darling unveiled the new tax on everyone who earns over £150,000 in the Budget. Tory leader Mr Cameron said he wanted to tackle other taxes first. He added: “We don’t like the 50p, but it’s got to get in the queue of taxes we want to get rid of.” - The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron agrees public has a right to know Tory spending plans... but is the party waiting on the IMF to order austerity?

OSBORNE speaking George Osborne: The Budget has unravelled quicker than any in living memory

"Just two days ago, the chancellor said his figures for this quarter would be similar to the last quarter - in fact they are worse. This is worrying as it means the recession will be deeper and people will suffer more. This budget has unravelled quicker then any in living memory as we discover a secret tax bombshell, hidden spending cuts and fantasy forecasts on which the government's whole plan for recovery is based." - George Osborne quoted in The Guardian

The Tories face a dilemma over what to say about how to deal with the public debt...

"Mr Cameron and George Osborne, shadow chancellor, believe the Tories lost the last three elections because they were successfully depicted by Labour as “hatchet-faced” cutters of public services. Their preferred model is the 1979 election manifesto of Margaret Thatcher, which gave a sense of the general approach of a Tory administration but little hint of the painful monetarism and privatisations that followed." - FT

...but Matthew Parris has a suggestion

"To the question “What are you going to cut?”, Mr Cameron's implicit answer should be: “You tell me. No, really: you tell me. We Conservatives have the steel to do this, and you know we must. Now let's talk openly, without scaremongering or posturing, about how and what and when." - Matthew Parris writing in The Times

HagueSquare William Hague to lambast Gordon Brown over Lisbon Treaty

"William Hague is to accuse Gordon Brown of "debasing the coinage of politics" by not holding a referendum on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty. The shadow foreign secretary will say Labour has squandered voters' trust by not giving them a say on EU reforms. He will use a speech ahead of European elections to argue this is a betrayal of Labour's manifesto promise of a referendum on the failed constitution." - BBC

Francis Maude attacks Government's £4 billion management consultancy bill

"All the management consultants in the world cannot put this broken Labour Government back together. At a time when Whitehall needs to tighten its belt because of the nation's ruined public finances, Labour ministers are burning £4billion of taxpayers' money on consultants to tell them what to do. This is another sign of a government that has completely lost its way." - Shadow Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude quoted in the Daily Mail

Lawrence Robertson is less than happy at Brown's proposals on MPs' allowances

"A senior Tory MP has attacked Gordon Brown's plans to overhaul expenses because he does not want to become 'poorer'. Shadow Northern Ireland minister Laurence Robertson, who has claimed nearly £1million in expenses since 2001, insisted that MPs should be properly compensated for working long hours away from home... The former businessman stressed that he did 'not intend to become personally poorer' at this stage of his career."- Daily Mail

Damian Green condemns Government over Gurkha decision...

“Gurkha veterans accused the Government of betrayal yesterday after the Home Office issued new rules that would allow only a small number of the former soldiers to settle in Britain.... "The Government is trying to evade the effects of a very clear court judgment,” Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, said. “This is an insult to the Gurkhas.” - The Times

> Yesterday's ToryDiary his Home Office mole is sacked

"A civil servant arrested for leaking Home Office documents to Conservative MP Damian Green has been dismissed. Christopher Galley, who had signed the Official Secrets Act, was sacked from the Immigration Nationality Directorate for gross professional misconduct. Mr Galley and Mr Green were told last week they would not be charged, after a five-month inquiry." - BBC

The Independent profiles some of the rising stars who have been selected as Conservative candidates - The Independent

Is the vice girl claiming Tory clients a fantasist? - Daily Mail

Boris Johnson messy hair Boris Johnson: The Tory John the Baptist?

"Meet the Tory John the Baptist. If you happen to be in Cheltenham this evening and see a man in a leathern girdle and sandals leading a group of ecstatic Conservatives, say hello to Boris Johnson, who today presents himself as a mop-haired pathfinder showing his flock the way to the promised land of power. The London Mayor will be the star turn at the Tory spring conference where, after a Budget week that has overturned political assumptions and revived old ideologies, he will deploy a right wing message of lower costs and fierce opposition to higher taxes." - Benedict Brogan interviews Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph

> Last night's ToryDiary: Boris "despises" Cameron says The Times

Charles Moore: As we approach the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's government, we must remember the lessons she taught

"In the course of her time as prime minister, she more than halved the top rate of income tax, and cut the standard rate by a quarter. She was perfectly capable of putting up taxes out of immediate necessity (in 1979, she all but doubled VAT), but always the direction was clear... In all three elections from 1997, Labour promised not to raise the top (or the standard) rate. It was because of Mrs Thatcher's success that this was so." - Charles Moore writing in the Daily Telegraph

Giles Coren: Me, I've always been a Labour man. Until now.

"I did Any Questions on Radio 4 last week. I bombed pretty badly because I don't know anything about anything, but I had a lovely three-hour car ride back to London with the Tory party chairman, Eric Pickles. We turn out to have a shared love of westerns, except that Pickles has real depth of knowledge as well. And a bit of northern soul, too. A big, decent, modest sort of a man, with real hinterland. Whereas Caroline Flint, the Labour minister on the panel, seemed little more than a malfunctioning fembot." - Giles Coren writing in The Times

George Osborne among the mourners at Clement Freud's funeral - Daily Telegraph

Channel 4 Dispatches on Boris prompted over 100 complaints - Broadcast Now

Tony Blair reportedly believes 50p tax to be a "terrible mistake" - Daily Telegraph

Blairite ex-spin doctor Lance Price writes: "Will the last person to leave Gordon Brown's Britain turn out the lights?" - Daily Telegraph

Iceland to hold parliamentary election - BBC


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24 Apr 2009 08:55:07

Friday 24th April 2009

Picture 1 11pm ToryDiary: Boris "despises" Cameron says The Times

6pm AmericaInTheWorld: Hillary Clinton says inconsistent American foreign policy is partly to blame for rise of Taliban in Pakistan

5.30pm Simon Chapman on CentreRight: How do they find bread for "the News Sandwich"?

4pm AmericaInTheWorld: Obama accelerates his 'America has changed' message

3pm WATCH: David Cameron says latest GDP figures prove that Darling's Budget forecasts were over-optimistic

2.30pm Parliament: Murdo Fraser calls for portrait of the Queen in Scottish Parliament

WIDDECOMBE ANN NEW 1pm Seats and candidates: 72% of Conservative members say yes to 'Baroness Widdecombe'

12.15pm ToryDiary: Joanna Lumley, campaigning for Gurkhas, says she is "ashamed" of Labour

11.30am Latest from Parliament:

10am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: How should you vote in the European Elections?

ToryDiary: David Cameron agrees public has a right to know Tory spending plans... but is the party waiting on the IMF to order austerity?

Keith Anderson on Platform: Banks should have to pay a premium for the privilege of being "too big to fail"

CableVince Star Chamber: What do readers think of Vince Cable's savings plan?

Local government:

Ridley Grove on CentreRight: Will a Cameron landslide bury the Labour party AND Tory backbenchers?

Tories storm to 18% lead in YouGov poll - Telegraph | Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

£45bn hole in Britain's public finances

"The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that even big spending cuts in health and schools may not be enough to fill the structural deficit in the nation's finances. Robert Chote, the institute's director, said that by 2017-18 the loss through tax increases and cuts in public spending would be equivalent to £2,840 a year for every family in the country - only half of which has been accounted for by the government." - Guardian

"”Debt freedom day”, when the national debt returns to sustainable levels, will not be reached until 2032 - another 23 years away, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies said." - Telegraph

Labour delay cuts to schools and hospitals... until after the next election - Daily Mail

Bronwen Maddox examines the implications of the fiscal hole for Britain's foreign policy - Times

The Sun attacks Labour's dishonesty

SUN-SAYS "It's a hallmark of Labour Budgets that you have to wait for the smoke to clear before you realise how badly your pocket has been picked. And so it proves again. Chancellor Alistair Darling’s sums mean a secret tax rise of £1,400 lies in store for every family after 2014, says the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies. That’s on top of the £1,000-a-family tax burden Mr Darling has just imposed by hiking petrol, drinks and smokes." - The Sun Says

Daily Mail: David Cameron must show that he has the courage to cut spending

The Chancellor has shown that he does not have the courage to make the cuts required to set Britain on the road to balancing its books. After that rousing Budget performance, Mr Cameron's priority must be to show that he and the Tories do." - Daily Mail leader

"The Conservatives have had an easy ride. That has to stop." - Martin Kettle in The Guardian

Tory priority will be to stop 0.5% increase in National Insurance

"The Conservatives are unlikely to withdraw the new 50 per cent higher rate of income tax - despite pressure building within the shadow Cabinet for the punitive new tax to be scrapped. If possible, David Cameron would abandon the new higher rate but this is unlikely to be affordable for several years. Mr Osborne said yesterday that his "priority" was to block the 0.5 percentage point increase in National Insurance which Labour is planning to introduce from April 2011. The rise will hit anyone earning more than £20,000." - Telegraph

69 "In defiance of its 2005 election manifesto, Labour now intends to levy a 50 per cent rate from April next year on those with incomes of more than £150,000 a year. As fiscal policy, this is flawed. It is not broadly based enough to raise significant revenue and may even reduce the taxes raised from the wealthy if they curtail spending and consult their accountants." - FT leader

Iain Martin: David Cameron has taken over Tory economic policy

"The central question, with the country in such a deep funk, is this: are the Conservatives capable of putting our affairs in order? Do they have the right stuff? They are certainly mastering the art of sticking it to Labour – but that is not enough. However, those looking for a fully formed economic programme before polling day are not going to find it. The Treasury does not know what the state of play will be next month, say the Tories, so how can they be expected to judge what spending and taxation will need to be in 2010? David Cameron's colleagues report that this year the Tory leader has effectively taken over the party's economic policy. The penny does appear to be dropping, gradually, that if the country is going to pay off any of the debt he decries as an obstacle to recovery, then spending will need to fall steeply." - Iain Martin in The Telegraph

Scale of recession to be revealed today

"Analysts forecast that gross domestic product (GDP) will have slipped by 1.5% from January to March, having dropped 1.6% between October and December 2008." - BBC

Damian Green's Home Office mole certain to be sacked from civil service - Telegraph

I'm prepared to be PM, says Boris Johnson

Picture 3 "Boris Johnson's rivalry with David Cameron intensified yesterday when the London Mayor said he could one day try to become Prime Minister. Mr Johnson hinted he might not stand for a second term in his current role and would be prepared to lead the country. In a newspaper interview, Mr Johnson likened himself to the ancient Roman nobleman Cincinnatus, who was plucked from his farm to become dictator." - Daily Mail

Yesterday's ToryDiary: Boris Johnson: Tax cutter and... future Prime Minister?

Downing Street says its proposed daily allowance will encourage MPs to turn up to Commons - BBC

"Gordon Brown's plan to pay MPs about £150 a day to "clock in" at Westminster was in crisis last night after it was denounced by senior Labour backbenchers and the parliamentary sleaze watchdog. The Prime Minister could be forced to withdraw the contentious scheme, which would replace the discredited £24,000-a-year second homes allowance, in order to avoid a humiliating defeat in the Commons next week." - Independent

David Blunkett to return to head Gordon Brown's 'compulsory voluntary scheme' (!) project - Guardian

Policy Exchange: Allow weak universities to fail

"Struggling universities should be allowed to fail or be taken over by private companies, a think-tank report suggests today. It warns that there is a real risk of some universities, particularly in London, not being able to survive in the current climate." - Times

And finally...

JasonStGeorge Our PPC in Colne Valley Jason McCartney celebrated St George's Day yesterday by distributing a very patriotic cake in Holmfirth.  He took donations for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.  More pictures here. Yesterday we also reported Tories celebrating St George's Day in Bradford and, of course, Boris in London


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23 Apr 2009 09:00:53

St George's Day 2009

9.45pm ToryDiary: Tories soar to 45% and 18% lead in first post-Budget poll

8.45pm ToryDiary: PoliticsHome predicts return of 20% plus Tory leads

8.30pm Parliament: George Osborne's response to the Budget

Boris st george's 4 6.15pm ToryDiary: Boris Johnson leads London's St George's Day celebrations

6pm ToryDiary: Three priorities for George Osborne's first budget

5pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight compares the Conservative MEP selection process with that employed by Silvio Berlusconi in Italy

3.30pm WATCH: Sir Christopher Kelly says Gordon Brown's "quick fix" on MPs' expenses "is not the answer" as he launches his own inquiry on the matter

2.30pm JP Floru on CentreRight: The Government is chasing the golden geese off the farm as it milks the middle classes

Celebrating2.15pm Seats and candidates: Celebrating St George's Day in Bradford

1.45pm Parliament: John Redwood on the "Damian McBride memorial Budget"

1.15pm Parliament: Ming Campbell calls for debate on Damian Green

12.30pm WATCH: That Gordon Brown webcast has been edited and set to music: Enjoy "Gordon Brown - the dance of the comedian"

Johnson Boris Pointing11.15am ToryDiary: Boris Johnson: Tax cutter and... future Prime Minister?

11am Parliament: Daniel Hannan goes into bat for British expats

10.15am WATCH Two clips of this morning's post-Budget interviews on Sky News:

ToryDiary: Is George Osborne's caution an electoral tactic or part of his DNA?

David T Breaker on Platform: Do we English really need St George's Day to remind ourselves of who we are?

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government

CentreRight :

Elizabeth Truss on Star Chamber: Charge commercial interest rates on student loans

WATCH: BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson highlights how Labour has broken its manifesto pledge on tax

Picture 16 David Cameron's Budget Day attack on the "Government of the Living Dead"

"David Cameron drew the battle lines for the General Election yesterday, dismissing Gordon Brown as the 'clapped out' leader of a 'government of the living dead'. Speaking on what he called a 'day of judgment', the Tory leader said the collapse of Britain's finances means Labour's claims of economic competence are 'dead, over, finished'. Mr Cameron accused the Prime Minister of presiding over 'the fastest rise in unemployment in our history, the worst recession since World War Two and the worst peacetime public finances ever known'." - Daily Mail

"David Cameron’s was the performance to watch. His response to Alistair Darling’s Budget was that of a politician on the threshold of Downing Street. As the red ink cascaded from the chancellor’s speech you could understand Mr Cameron’s easy confidence. But why, you wondered as Mr Darling piled deficit on debt on deficit on debt, would the Conservative leader actually want to win this particular election?" - Philip Stephens in the FT

"His performance was eerily reminiscent of Tony Blair in his heyday, up against John Major, a broken prime minister, and Norman Lamont, a chancellor that lacked conviction." - John Rentoul in The Independent

David Cameron's response to the Budget in full - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron responds to the Budget - Any claim Labour made to economic competence is dead, over, finished

What was in the Budget?

A summary of all the key measures announced by Alistair Darling - BBC

There is widespread hostility to the Budget in today's editorials...

"This was a Budget that tinkered at the edges of Britain's problems, while refusing to look the truth in the face. Thanks in no small part to Alistair in Wonderland, whoever wins the next election will be handed a lethally poisoned chalice. On yesterday's showing, it won't be Labour." - Daily Mail

"In the past year we tumbled into recession, bailed out the banks and funded a fiscal stimulus. Yesterday we looked to the Chancellor to say how it would be paid for. The orchestra assembled. The audience settled expectantly. The conductor tapped his baton on his music stand. A hush fell. And from the stage came the shrill, thin sound of a penny whistle." - The Times

"...there is another side to the burial of New Labour and it was exploited to such lethal effect by David Cameron in his response. Three terms of a government that started out committed to prudence and sound economic stewardship are ending in a catastrophic deficit that bespeaks the very opposite. Mr Darling's projections for a return to growth may turn out to be less utopian than they seem today, but the levels of debt that are forecast to persist until 2017, even by his – presumably best-case scenario – threaten to impoverish into the next generation a country that should be rich." - The Independent

"If we were not to get any sign of contrition from Mr Darling for the Government's economic mismanagement – for only part of this train wreck can be blamed on the banking crash – we at least had a right to expect some inkling of how the Government intends to pay it off. This is where yesterday's statement became utterly unconvincing." - Daily Telegraph

"Mr Darling took a massive gamble with Britain’s future yesterday. He bet that his own hugely-optimistic forecast of rapid economic recovery will prove correct and pay off Labour’s debts. And what terrifying debts they are: The biggest borrowings in our history which by 2012/13 will be £240billion MORE than Mr Darling predicted only last November. Since he got that forecast so wrong, why should we believe the Chancellor now — when experts like the IMF queue up to disagree?" - The Sun

...and a variety of columnists plunge the knife into Alistair Darling

HEFFER SIMON "Labour's record should speak for itself: destroying wealth, raising unemployment, presiding over waste. Now, though, it seeks to pursue a policy to retain power that puts in the party's sights the very productive and self-reliant people on whom the country must depend for a recovery. It represents a savage and pointless attack on those without whom Britain is sunk. Mr Darling's failure, like that of the Government he serves, is abject. This is Mr Cameron's moment. And it is not just victory that awaits him if he seizes it, but success." - Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph

"This is a horror story. But it could, of course, be worse: the economy may not recover as hoped; losses on support for the banks could, as the International Monetary Fund suggests, be far bigger than the 3.5 per cent of GDP now expected; and, above all, the creditworthiness of the British government could come into question, with devastating consequences. The government is flying on a wing and a prayer." - Martin Wolf in the FT

"Yesterday's Budget statement was a demeaning mixture of bogus initiatives, outright dishonesty and low political stratagem. At a time of crisis, this pathetic Chancellor offered gimmick rather than substance and preferred comforting falsehoods to the difficult and uncomfortable truth." - Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

"This was a cheap budget delivered in a manner unworthy of a man with the title of chancellor of the exchequer. There was no strategy, just a series of cheap and recycled announcements. It was a political budget in that he shamelessly appealed to the Labour party's happy little band of envy warriors." - Iain Dale writing in The Guardian

Matthew Parris outlines "the fight the Tories cannot afford to duck"

"If, as Mr Cameron said in a fine, fighting Budget response, Britain's public finances are in deep trouble, it must follow that tough measures are needed to rescue them. Any opposition with a moral claim to form the next government must now confront the Government on how Britain is to finance its spending, and how ambitions for our public services can be brought back into line with our capability to finance them. What and how can we cut? What and how can we restructure? How can we protect and build on Margaret Thatcher's and John Major's legacy of resistance to vindictive, destructive taxation?" - Matthew Parris writing in The Times

Cameron rejects Brown's proposal of a daily allowance for MPs

"The Opposition parties yesterday rejected Gordon Brown's plan to scrap lucrative Parliamentary allowances and pay MPs a daily rate to turn up to work. Following a meeting described as "heated" in the Prime Minister's office in the House of Commons, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, announced his own scheme to reform the controversial system of second home allowances. Under the separate Tory proposals, all receipts would have to be published online within 28 days and expenditure limited to items such as rent, utilities, mortgage interest payments and council tax." - Daily Telegraph

> Last night's ToryDiary: The Tory leadership will oppose Gordon Brown's reform of MPs' expenses

DORRIES-Nadine Nadine Dorries challenges Brown for a personal apology over Smeargate

"THE PM was challenged yesterday to apologise in person to a Tory MP who was one of the targets of the planned Downing Street email smear campaign. Gordon Brown was asked directly by Nadine Dorries to say sorry to her for the actions of his sacked No 10 aide Damian McBride." - The Sun

Education ministers under fire over evidence to Sats inquiry

"Evidence provided by education ministers to an official inquiry was “fiction”, the former head of Whitehall’s qualifications authority has claimed" - FT

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Michael Gove demands "profound apology" from Ed Balls over the collapse of last year's Sats tests

Inquiry to be held into anti-terror operation in the North West - The Times

Jacob Zuma poised to be next South African president - Guardian


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