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Saturday 7th January 2006



ToryDiary: The FT gives some poor advice to the LibDems


FT: "Canada's election campaign has taken a dramatic turn with several opinion polls suggesting that the opposition Conservatives could supplant the Liberals in a minority government... One big surprise has been a rise in Conservative support in Quebec, putting the separatist Bloc Québécois on the defensive for the first time in the six-week campaign. According to Léger Marketing, support for the Conservatives has grown from 7 to 16 per cent over the past fortnight."


Telegraph: "Charles Kennedy's reign as Liberal Democrat leader was effectively over last night after nearly half of his MPs sought to force him to quit by announcing that they would no longer serve under him.  His hopes of appealing over the heads of MPs to party activists appeared doomed. Preliminary results of a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today showed that only 27 per cent of members wanted him to lead them into the next election, with 65 per cent wanting a new leader."

Guardian leader: "Charles Kennedy is inflicting intolerable damage on the Liberal Democrats. More than a third of his MPs have declared no confidence. Nearly half his shadow cabinet will no longer work with him. Another senior MP, Matthew Taylor, has revealed that after the election he declined to serve in the front bench team. It is jaw-dropping that, even so, Mr Kennedy is still determined to hang on to power."

FT: "The good news for the opposition parties, however, is that Labour will forfeit its Commons majority if it loses just 25 seats at the next election. That is according to Downing Street's own figures, which take into account the impact of forthcoming boundary changes on the relationship between votes and parliamentary seats.  Professor John Curtice, of the University of Strathclyde, believes this is highly likely to happen. The average of the four national opinion polls conducted last month puts the Conservatives on 37 per cent, Labour on 35 and the Liberal Democrats on 20.  If those levels of support are translated into votes at an election, Prof Curtice says, there would be a hung parliament, with Labour short of an overall majority by one seat in the House of Commons."


The Times presents a short history of alcohol abuse and British politics


BBCi: "Anti-Iraq war MP George Galloway has been accused of arrogance and self-interest for taking part in the Celebrity Big Brother contest.  Actress Helen Mirren, who campaigned against Mr Galloway at the general election, accused him of self-interest.  Minister for London Jim Fitzpatrick said: "I am not too surprised about it, as Mr Galloway is a C-list politician with an A-list ego."


Jerzy Buzek, Former Prime Minister of Poland (1997-2000), encourages David Cameron to remain faithful to his centre-right allies on the Continent at the same time as he reaches out to Liberal Democrats in Britain.  In a letter to the FT he writes:

"As a new member state we need strong champions working with us in a real position to influence the European Union reform agenda. With Conservative MEPs under the leadership of Timothy Kirkhope, that is exactly what we have.  I give special credit to Dr Charles Tannock for his vigorous support of democracy in Ukraine, to Giles Chichester as chairman of the industry, research and energy committee (a particularly key role given the current gas supply crisis), and to Malcolm Harbour for his significant work on completing the internal market. By leading EPP-ED Group policy in these areas, these British MEPs have been able to affect EU policy as a whole."

CONSERVATIVE NEWS David Cameron meets French conservative leader Nicolas Sarkozy

The Motoring section of The Telegraph reviews a Tory press release on Labour's transport failures

Independent: "The art dealership backed by the former Tory arts minister, David Mellor, last night looked set for victory in its battle for Partridge Fine Arts after the only other prospective bidder pulled out."

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