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31 Jul 2009 08:59:51

Friday 31st July 2009

9.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Quote of the day

7pm Melancthon on CentreRight: The War of the Parties: The Earth under the Credit Crunch

6a00d83451b31c69e201157154f6c8970c-500wi5.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Do you realise the seriousness of Britain's economic crisis, Alex?

3pm ToryDiary: Edward McMillan-Scott becomes the Left's useful idiot as he throws smear after smear at Michał Kamiński

12.45pm Ridley Grove on CentreRight: Will Britain's contribution to the EU be reduced?

After Gary McKinnon lost his latest High Court bid to avoid extradition to the US for hacking into military computers David Cameron issued a statement: "I am deeply saddened and disappointed with this decision. Gary McKinnon is a vulnerable young man and I see no compassion in sending him thousands of miles away from his home and loved ones to face trial. If he has questions to answer, there is a clear argument to be made that he should answer them in a British court. This case raises serious questions about the workings of the Extradition Act, which should be reviewed.” (Iain Dale has blogged a reaction).

Noon Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight: What happens if we don't get the trampoline recovery Darling is relying on?

10am ToryDiary: Do you support a right-to-die? Is it time to amend the smoking ban? Should George Osborne being doing two big jobs? Is it time to leave Afghanistan?

ToryDiary: The fifth chapter of The Shoestring Manifesto offers 'Practical environmentalism'

TYRIE ANDREW Andrew Tyrie MP on Platform proposes independent appointments to the Lords, term limits and a proper regime for sanctioning and expelling members: Interim reforms for the Upper House

Local government: Cllr Teresa O'Neill on what the Conservatives have achieved in Bexley since ousting Labour

Also on local government yesterday's by-election results including a Tory gain of a ward where a councillor had been expelled from the BNP

Douglas Carswell MP on CentreRight wants your help in writing a Great Repeal Bill

Melancthon on CentreRight: The legalising of assisted suicide

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: LabourList v ConservativeHome

WATCH: ITV1's Loose Women disagree with each other about David Cameron's radio swearing

Gordon Brown is 'John Major in 1996' according to YouGov - Telegraph | Yesterday's ToryDiary

Telegraph calls for Alan Duncan to go in shadow cabinet shake up

Abject&Dismal "Alan Duncan's record as shadow leader of the Commons has been dismal, particularly during the expenses scandal, when the way he had handled his own claims was called into question. His performance as the Tories' representative on the Members' Estimate Committee, which sets MPs' allowances, has been little short of abject. Theresa May, too, has made little impact at work and pensions. Obvious candidates for promotion include the talented Ben Wallace, the first MP to publish all his expenses online; Grant Shapps, who has impressed with the housing portfolio; and Mark Lancaster, who has done likewise with international development. Mr Cameron should also act on his hint that some of the old guard will return." - Telegraph leader

> Alan Duncan is the least effective member of the shadow cabinet according to the ConservativeHome survey of Tory members

Conservatives are biggest spenders as Brown's party uses cash to pay off debts - Independent

Donations to Scottish Labour fell by 90% in just one year - The Herald

> Yesterday's ToryDiary

Edward Mcmillan-Scott MEP says Polish leader of Tory MEPs is face of "disguised extremism in Europe"

McMillan-Scott was writing in yesterday's Yorkshire Post.

Dan Hannan MEP writes a long defence of Michał Kamiński on his blog.

We must be ready to tend to the casualties of this war - Patrick Mercer MP in The Independent

MPs in the Treasury Select Committee attack Darling's "cosmetic" reforms of banks - BBC

Bob Ainsworth admits Labour failed troops

"The Government did not do enough to support British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq at the start of the conflicts, the Defence Secretary has admitted." - Times

The Liberal Democrat leader often leads the way, but not the polls - The Economist

Nick Clegg advocates televised debates between the party leaders

Clegg-Nick-On-Newsnight "If Gordon Brown believed in the Labour party and his own record, he would be champing at the bit to hold this debate. I'm eager because I want people to know about Liberal Democrat policies, and I want the opportunity to explain why Labour and the Conservatives would take us in the wrong direction. Labour's time is up, and the Conservatives think it's automatically their turn, but I think in these difficult times we need to do something altogether different." - Nick Clegg in The Independent

Steve Richards uses his Independent column to say that pundits, fashion, technicalities and soundbites would mean a debate would not inform voters.

Frank Skinner drafts a text for Brown to use in a TV debate - Times

Council house cheats can earn £20,000 a year by sub-letting - Times

Mixing music and politics - The Guardian looks at U2's mix of activist politics and music

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30 Jul 2009 09:01:31

Thursday 30th July 2009

10pm ToryDiary: Telegraph/YouGov polls puts Tories on 41%, 14 points ahead of Labour

7.45pm 9.15pm  Seats and Candidates: Richard Ottaway WINS facing confidence vote in Croydon South tonight

75v175.45pm Seats and Candidates: Dudley North selection stopped by CCHQ after association refuses to implement female quotas

3.30pm WATCH: Sir John Chilcot opens his Inquiry into the Iraq War by confirming that Tony Blair will be called to give evidence

2.30pm ToryDiary: Immigration and the BNP

1.30pm ToryDiary: The Conservative Party outspent Labour by more than £5 million in 2008

6a00d83451b31c69e201157154f6c8970c 1.15pm CentreRight updates:

  • Tim Montgomerie: An invitation to LabourList's Alex Smith to be more honest than Gordon Brown
  • Graeme Archer: "I find it impossible to judge people who choose to leave this life. Their decision makes my heart ache and I wish that it didn't happen. But to move from there, to being sufficiently certain to label as wicked people of whom we know little (can in fact never know at all) leaves me speechless."

12.30pm Daniel Kawczynski MP on CentreRight: Why I am challenging the Electoral Reform Society to debate changing the voting system

11.45am LISTEN: Iain Duncan Smith discusses the new report from the UK Drugs Policy Commission

11.30am LISTEN: Radio 4's Today Programme reports on the all-postal Open Primary to select a new Conservative candidate for Totnes

ToryDiary: Shoestring manifesto (4): Immediate progress on social justice

Charlie Elphicke on Platform: How Labour has made the very poorest in society even poorer

CCHQ candidate power graphic

Seats and Candidates: Pickles and CCHQ gain unprecedented power over shortlists for autumn selections

Also in Seats and Candidates: "Free spirits" among the likely new intake of Conservative MPs

Cllr John Whelan in Local Government: How radical, Conservative councils can deliver better value for money

Chris Kelly on CentreRight: How Conservatives are helping to rebuild lives in Srebrenica

WATCH: Sir John Chilcot's Iraq War Inquiry opens today

David Cameron apologises David Cameron apologises over Twitter swearing controversy

"David Cameron was forced to apologise twice for using bad language in a 30-minute radio interview in which he expressed his views about Twitter, the social networking site... The interview on Absolute Radio was designed to show the informal quirky side of Mr Cameron's character." - Daily Telegraph

"To what extent Mr Cameron’s Twitter joke was “in rehearsal” and deemed appropriate by his minders for the hard-rockin’ demographic of the Absolute audience is impossible to know. What I can tell him is that on The Times we try to steer clear of spelling out obscenities, as they offend our readers." - The Times

Christian O'Connell talks about his interview with David Cameron in a Guardian podcast

> Listen to the interview here

> Ridley Grove on CentreRight was unimpressed yesterday by David Cameron's use of language

Mandelson claims Brown "would not have a problem" with a presidential-style TV debate with David Cameron

"Lord Mandelson has suggested that Gordon Brown and David Cameron could go face-to-face in a televised debate during the next General Election campaign. The Business Secretary - Mr Brown's most powerful Cabinet ally - said the Prime Minister would 'not have a problem' with a U.S. presidential-style debate. But last night Downing Street appeared to distance itself from the comments, saying there were still no plans for him to take part." - Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Might we yet see the Cameron v Brown TV debate?

Could all Cabinet ministers share one office building in a Cameron Government?

"It is my understanding that the party has even consulted with New Zealand’s National party about that country’s ‘Beehive’ model of government, where all Cabinet ministers are housed in one building. It is uncertain how seriously the Tories are taking this idea. But it would be a way to avoid the emergence of an inner and outer circle of ministers, something that is already threatening to become a problem — note the recent grumblings about the cliqueishness of the Cameron operation." - James Forsyth in The Spectator

> Recent ToryDiary: Cameron considers joint Downing Street HQ with Osborne

Picture 7 The Left continues to smear the new leader of the European Conservative and Reformists

"The new chair of the Conservatives and Reformists group, which includes the 24 Tory MEPs, is Michal Kaminski. He belongs to Poland's Law and Justice party, one of whose MPs, Artur Górski, described the election of Barack Obama in the US as "a disaster" and "the end of the civilisation of the white man". Kaminski is a former member of the neo-Nazi National Revival of Poland party (NOP), which, in a direct quotation from Hitler's Mein Kampf, says in its manifesto that "Jews will be removed from Poland, and their possessions will be confiscated". - New Statesman

"Welcome to the Cam-Kam, the new dance of the European hard right. Choreographed by William Hague, the new dance-master for the Europe-hating media and Tory millionaire MPs, the Cam-Kam allows the worst of 20th-century politics – dislike of Jews, gays, immigrants – to prance and preen on the European stage. Named after the alliance between David Cameron and Michal Kaminski, the Cam-Kam reminds watchers of the worst of ultra-nationalist politics." - Labour MP Denis MacShane writing in The Independent

"Timothy Kirkhope MEP, the leader of the Conservatives in the European parliament and the deputy chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists, said Kaminski had "been subjected to a number of vicious politically motivated attacks". "It is deeply regrettable that some people have been misled by them," he said. "Anyone who knows Michal knows that to accuse him of anti-semitism is complete nonsense." - The Guardian

> Daniel Hannan MEP's recent Platform: We can be very proud of our new leader in the European Parliament

Ken Clarke demands swift publication of MG Rover Inquiry

"The controversial report into the collapse of MG Rover might never be published, The Daily Telegraph can disclose... Ken Clarke, the shadow business secretary, said: "It would be outrageous if this report were never published. The public have a right to know the background to the collapse of the company. There are former Rover workers waiting for possible compensation which cannot be paid until the report is published. Lord Mandelson should remove any doubt about his intention to publish this report in full as soon as possible." - Daily Telegraph

Chloe Smith MP Stephen Glover: Do I really want my country run by a 27-year-old?

"The Tory worthies of Norwich North presumably chose Chloe Smith as their candidate over older and perhaps less attractive women, or middle-aged men in pinstripe suits, because they thought she would go down well with the media - and, therefore, the electorate. We are, indeed, a society more preoccupied with the packaging than what lies inside. I don't say this in any spirit of animus against Chloe, to whom I wish all the luck in the world. But I don't want to be ruled by her, at any rate for the next 20 years or so, or by others who understand the wiles of modern politics but know little about industry and commerce, and, frequently, of our history." - Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail

Chloe Smith has given her first major interview to today's Eastern Daily Press

> Tom Greeves's recent CentreRight post: In defence of youth in politics

Anatole Kaletsky: Headline-chasing is harming Tory credibility

"Tory economic policies really are unconvincing and, worst of all, that Mr Cameron really is more focused on rhetorical gimmicks to use against Gordon Brown than on the policies that he will need to implement if he comes to power. If only Mr Cameron and his minions spent less time thinking about the next election their prospects of victory would probably be better and their credibility as a potential government would certainly be far greater. " - Anatole Kaletsky writing in The Times

Benedict Brogan: Will David Cameron be able to push through the policies they have picked up from around the world?

"What remains unclear is quite how he will do what he proposes, and whether the government machine will be a useful ally in delivering his programme. Will his plans be ready by then? Will they be credible? And can the Civil Service deliver?" - Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

Government forced to announce review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

"Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth cut short his family holiday on Wednesday and flew home to face the political storm engulfing his department... In a victory for the Daily Mail and its readers, he announced he would bring forward a review of the much-criticised Armed Forces Compensation Scheme... Tory spokesman Dr Andrew Murrison welcomed the move, but said: ‘Why has it taken the Government so long to realise that the system needs to be looked at?'" - Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary

Minister admits Labour are now election "underdogs"

"Labour will fight the next election as “underdogs”, Wales Office Minister Wayne David said last night" - Western Mail

Corby council found liable in toxic waste contamination ruling - Guardian

Law Lords due to rule on assisted suicide - BBC

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29 Jul 2009 09:00:27

Wednesday 29th July 2009

11pm Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: The rise of anti-Semitism

7pm ToryDiary update: Conservatives welcome Government review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Picture 55.15pm WATCH: Lord Mandelson explains why he would favour a TV debate between the party leaders at the general election

4.15pm CentreRight:

3.45pm WATCH: Schwarzenegger makes "ugly" cuts in education, health, AIDS prevention and child welfare spending

2pm ToryDiary: Might we yet see the Cameron v Brown TV debate? Updated at 4.30pm with link to video of David Cameron's response and at 6.30pm with the text of the letter he has written to Gordon Brown on the issue

1pm CentreRight:

11am LISTEN: David Cameron in relaxed form discussing Midsomer Murders and Twitter

10.45am Seats and candidates: Wham! Leah Fraser takes out full page advertisement to slam Angela Eagle MP on expenses

ToryDiary:

Smith470 Chloe Smith MP on Platform: By voting for change, the people of Norwich North rejected the old politics and embraced a new era of openness and honesty

Seats and Candidates: The future Conservative MPs who have already represented their consituents as a local councillor

Cllr Ken Maddock in Local Government: My first few weeks as Conservative leader of Somerset County Council

Robert Halfon on CentreRight describes a bleak evening in Rwanda watching Shooting Dogs

WATCH: The Times's Daniel Finkelstein explains the hazards for politicians of choosing a holiday destination

New poll suggests a three-figure Conservative majority is on the cards

"The Tories have opened a commanding 18-point lead over Labour, enough to put David Cameron into Downing Street with a general election majority of more than 150, according to the latest ComRes poll for The Independent... The Tory surge will deal a further blow to Labour morale after a torrid spell for Gordon Brown which culminated in the party's heavy defeat in last week's Norwich North by-election." - The Independent

> Last night's ToryDiary: Tory lead increases to 18 points in new ComRes poll

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT Jeremy Hunt attacks Labour sell-off of school playing fields

"Ministers have approved the sale of more than 200 school and community playing fields, despite repeated promises to protect them. Even in the four years since London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympics, the Government has allowed the sell-off of 49 school sports fields...  Tory culture spokesman Jeremy Hunt said: 'Labour insist they are the guardians of school sport yet they have clearly failed, and are continuing to fail, on a key manifesto promise. The fact that more than 200 pitches have been sold with direct ministerial approval shows Labour's commitment to school sport is nothing more than an empty promise. Their actions simply do not match the rhetoric'." - Daily Mail

Fury at MoD attempt to slash injured soldiers' compensation

"The Government was condemned yesterday for taking legal action to slash compensation awards for two injured Army heroes... MP Patrick Mercer, a former commanding officer, branded the case a “an insult to our armed forces”... Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said: “The MoD and other departments must deal not only with injuries but their consequences.” - Daily Express

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Liam Fox demands "urgent" review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Top accountancy firms channelling staff into the Conservative Party

"Analysis by The Independent has revealed that leading companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and KPMG, have given the Tories nearly £500,000 since the start of last year as they attempt to build ties with the party that has a double-digit lead in the polls." - The Independent

New MPs' allowance defied Sir Christopher Kelly's advice

"MPs decided to press ahead with a controversial new allowance that lets them claim thousands of pounds without producing receipts in defiance of Sir Christopher Kelly, head of the official sleaze watchdog. Sir Christopher, who is investigating the discredited expenses system, told MPs they should supply invoices to back up every single claim before new parliamentary rules were introduced early this month. He is now expected to formally recommend that the allowance is scrapped in the autumn." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's Telegraph story on MPs' expenses was taken apart by Dizzy here

Stelzer Irwin Stelzer: George Osborne has flunked reform of financial institutions

"He was among the first to suggest that the capital requirements of banks be raised as lending increased, so their strength would rise with the risks they took on. So far, so sensible. But it appears that Osborne, the radical reformer, had second thoughts about what should have been his signature discovery – if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big... Reforming the regulatory institutions will be of little use without fundamental reform of the structure of the financial institutions they are charged with regulating" - Irwin Stelzer in the Daily Telegraph

Daniel Finkelstein: Why a Conservative Government will have to raise taxes

"Logically, reform of public services and reducing public spending go together. The big practical difficulty is the timing. An incoming government has to make savings quickly. Serious reform of public services... can take years, sometimes decades." - Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

Chris Grayling calls for action to tackle burglaries

"The major burglary "hotspots" in England and Wales are revealed today... Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "These figures show that in the worst areas there has been a burglary in almost every street in the past few months. This increase in burglaries is a big problem, and it's not just down to the recession. The jump in drug taking announced last week is also a big factor - since a large proportion of burglaries result from people trying to get money to feed a drug addiction. We desperately need real action to get police away from filling in forms at their desk in police stations and out on to the beat tackling the problem." - The Independent

Simon Heffer savages David Cameron (again)

"Labour is on the canvas and staring, its opponents feel, at an obliteration rather than a defeat... Yet the moral and intellectual flaws in Mr Cameron's leadership suggest, equally, that the honeymoon would be short, and the struggle thereafter long and not inevitably successful. With almost every statement he makes, he seems determined to alienate those who want to vote for him. His handling of his own party, as the expenses scandal illustrated, is sectarian and rooted in cronyism." - Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph

> Last night's ToryDiary: Simon Heffer launches strongest attack yet on David Cameron

Mandelson in U-turn over spending cuts

"Lord Mandelson performed a dramatic Labour U-turn on spending cuts last night -on Gordon Brown's first full day on holiday. The Business Secretary, who has become deputy Prime Minister in all but name, made it clear the recession will force the Government to rein in spending even in areas it wants to protect. His confession blew a hole in Mr Brown's repeated insistence that voters will face a choice at the next election between Labour investment and Tory cuts." - Daily Mail

Click here to watch Nick Robinson's Newsnight interview with Lord Mandelson

Esther Rantzen launches Independent bid for Parliament

"The broadcaster Esther Rantzen has officially announced that she intends to stand as an MP. The former That’s Life! presenter will be an independent candidate in the next election for Luton South." - The Times

"For such an eloquent and vociferous advocate of consumer rights, Esther Rantzen wasn't entirely convincing yesterday when asked to outline her manifesto for the voters of Luton South." - The Guardian

> Watch Esther Rantzen explain why she is standing for Parliament and see also yesterday's Seats and Candidates post: Luton South's Conservative candidate says voting for Esther Rantzen would risk letting Labour back in through the back door

VIGGERS PETER "Shamed" MPs increasingly failing to vote

"Shamed MPs who are standing down following the expenses scandal are increasingly failing to attend Westminster to vote... Former Labour minister Elliot Morley has voted just 18 out of a possible 78 times since it emerged he claimed for a nonexistent mortgage... Labour’s Margaret Moran has not voted in the House of Commons once since it emerged that she had claimed £22,500 for dry rot repairs at her partner’s house... The attendance rate of Gosport Tory MP Sir Peter Viggers (pictured), who tried to claim for a duck island, has slumped from over half to just 40 per cent." - Daily Express

Labour MP Stoate quits over limits on second jobs

"A Labour MP, Howard Stoate, has announced that he will stand down at the general election in order to continue working as a doctor following the introduction of limits on second jobs... Last month, The Daily Telegraph disclosed that he had claimed a total of £55,836 in second home allowances over four years, even though he had no mortgage or rent, and his constituency was only 15 miles from London. Much of the money was spent in DIY and home furnishing shops. Dr Stoate repaid his entire 2008/9 claims, amounting to £11,000." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday in Seats and Candidates: Labour MP in ultra-marginal Dartford to step down

MPs slam Brown over 'ad hoc' reforms of constitution - The Scotsman

Union fury as civil service outsources jobs to India - The Times

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28 Jul 2009 09:00:17

Tuesday 28th July 2009

10.30pm Ridley Grove on CentreRight lists 14 reasons why he is unhappy with David Cameron 

10pm ToryDiary: Tory lead increases to 18 points in new ComRes poll

8.45pm ToryDiary: Simon Heffer launches strongest attack yet on David Cameron

6.15pm WATCH: Esther Rantzen explains why she is standing for Parliament

5pm Seats and Candidates: Labour MP in ultra-marginal Dartford to step down

2.30pm ToryDiary: Liam Fox demands "urgent" review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

12.30pm Andrew Mitchell MP on CentreRight: Reporting back on my meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Picture 611.30am Seats and Candidates: Luton South's Conservative candidate says voting for Esther Rantzen would risk letting Labour back in through the back door

11am ToryDiary: The DUP is singing from Labour's hymn sheet on "Tory cuts"

ToryDiary:

Sajid Javid on Platform: Parental involvement and encouragement is the key to social mobility

Local Government:

Matt Sinclair on CentreRight highlights his new TaxPayers' Alliance report: The 50p rate will mean fewer entrepreneurs and fewer jobs

WATCH: Gordon Brown on the success of the latest Operation in Afghanistan in pushing back the Taliban

Lord Tebbit leads calls for spending cuts to avoid tax rises

Tebbit2 "David Cameron is under pressure from the Tory Right to pledge bigger public sector cuts to avoid future tax hikes... Former party chairman Lord Tebbit said: 'It would be wiser to concentrate on reducing expenditure - there is plenty of scope for that. It is unusual for people to vote for tax increases for themselves. 'The question isn't what will attract half a dozen Labour and LibDem voters, but what will get back the millions of missing Tories'." - Daily Mail

"In his latest bid to impress the Guardianistas of his Notting Hill hinterland, David Cameron seems to have lost sight of the fact that the Conservative Party can only win the next election if it stands and fights for Middle England."  - Dominic Sandbrook in the Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: If Cameron does not change course his government will face opposition on TWO fronts

Steve Richards: Will Cameron be tempted to cut with too much severity?

"So far David Cameron has won the pivotal battle over "tax and spend", a significant achievement as this is the policy area which decides general elections. Framing the debate as one between honesty and dishonesty, he has pointed to the obvious need for spending cuts and acquires fresh credibility for his candour. In comparison, Gordon Brown is placed on the defensive by his crude attempt to portray the choice as one between Tory cuts and Labour growth. But while Cameron has outmanoeuvred Brown in these early skirmishes, he has yet to win the war over tax and spend." - Steve Richards writing in The Independent

MPs ignore public anger and "give themselves £9,000 expenses deal by stealth"

"The Daily Telegraph can disclose that MPs have devised a new scheme allowing them to claim a £25-a-night “subsistence” allowance when staying away from their designated main home... The allowance, which is almost double the previous £4,800-a-year limit for unreceipted claims, is paid on top of expenses for mortgage interest, rent, council tax and utility bills. It has been approved without any public announcement or debate in Parliament as MPs leave for their summer holidays." - Daily Telegraph

A Tory Government would review the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Picture 4 "Trevor Phillips is fighting for his future as head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) after a spate of resignations and criticism of his management style. The Tories are also threatening to overhaul the watchdog if they win the next election... Tory sources said they supported the principles of the ECHR, but believed it had been unwieldy. They said its structure would be reviewed by an incoming Tory administration." - The Independent

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: "They'll win. Yet something is wrong with these Tories"

"Person for person, the opposition front bench is now unquestionably stronger in intellectual ability than the cabinet, even if that's not saying much, and Cameron has run rings round Gordon Brown... With all his political talent, Cameron is a smartyboots surrounded by a cabal of shady charlatans and shifty chancers" - Geoffrey Wheatcroft in The Guardian

David Aaronovitch: A clutch of shiny new Tory candidates is appealing straight to the centre but plenty of the old school are waiting in the wings

"David Cameron has done a proper, and, at times, courageous, job of recasting the image of his party. Someone like me, a centre- leftist with (he hopes) an occasionally open mind, can find things to like in the new Conservatism... BUT. For every Letwin and Willetts, I discern four or five Tory triumphalists, who seem to believe, simply, that the period of Labour usurpation is soon to be over, and that it is time for their right wings to bask in the sun." - David Aaronovitch in The Times

Matthew Engel: Britain’s ‘new politics’ is nothing of the sort

"In Britain the concept of “new politics” is particularly associated with the notion of an end to inter-party bickering. We heard it, momentarily, when the Labour leader John Smith died in 1994; we heard it again when Mr Cameron became opposition leader in 2005. It lasted for his first session of prime minister’s questions which, as I recall, was gloriously silky in its malevolence." - Matthew Engel writing in the FT

Glasgow North East to be without an MP "for a record time"

"The constituency of former House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin will be left without an MP for a record length of time, Nationalists have claimed." - The Scotsman

> Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Why not hold by-elections a set time after the vacancy occurs?

MoD appealing over compensation awarded to soldiers - The Independent

Government publishes guide to using Twitter for civil servants - Guardian

Suggestions of "trashy novels" David Cameron might like to read on holiday - Guardian

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