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Monday 26th June 2006

6:30 pm update: Daventry shortlist revealed


4pm update: Michael Howard's successor will be an A-lister

Monday_12 BLOGS


Seats and candidates blog: 1% swing would end Labour's majority


"The by-election campaign for a safe Conservative seat was thrown into confusion last night after claims that the Tories' candidate was ineligible to stand.  Bob Neill, the Tory hopeful for Bromley and Chislehurst, confirmed that he was a £5,000-a-year member of the north-east London strategic health authority. Under the House of Commons' Disqualification Act 1975, membership of a such an authority is one of dozens of posts that MPs are not allowed to hold." - Daily Telegraph

Hague_2005_7 WILLIAM HAGUE

William Hague answers questions from Independent readers.  Here is one exchange:

R Netzer of Ealing: "As Tory leader, you became a bit of a joke. Now you are a part-time shadow Foreign Secretary, so why would anyone want so see you in office?"

William Hague: "Well, best regards to you too. I generally need to put in a good 12 hours a day as shadow Foreign Secretary and sometimes a lot more, so it's hardly part-time. Yes, I am finishing a book in what is left of my spare time, but the country is the poorer for it when politicians do absolutely nothing but politics."

Brown_blair_4 GORDON BROWN

Last week Gordon Brown struck a decidely Thatcherite position on Britain's nuclear deterrent.  This week he's imitating Mrs T on Europe if today's FT is to be believed: "Britain is locked in a new dispute over its contributions to the European Union budget, only months after EU leaders thought they had settled the issue...  Although Mr Brown was consulted throughout the bruising negotiations in Brussels at the end of the British EU presidency, his officials claimed he was dismayed by the outcome. Now he is fighting a rearguard action to save money."

"If Brown takes on Cameron with spin or stunts, he'll lose - The chancellor might be dull, but his record is impressive. He would be foolish to forget that in pursuit of a slick image" - Jackie Ashley in The Guardian


"Former Tory minister Lord Tebbit has scolded David Cameron for being part of an "obscene" interview about Margaret Thatcher with Jonathan Ross." - BBC

Clarke_charles_1 "Charles Clarke is to exact revenge on Tony Blair by demanding he set a date for his departure.  The former Cabinet heavyweight will make a return to frontline politics this week by venting his anger at the way he was sacked by the Prime Minister." - Daily Mail

"Speaking almost a year after the global series of Live 8 concerts, the prime minister will announce he has enlisted the concert organiser Bob Geldof, the Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, to a new body, the Africa Progress Panel, to monitor the progress of pledges made at last summer's Gleneagles G8 summit." - Guardian

"The government has denied reports that it is considering extreme measures to combat paedophiles in Britain." -

"Scotland's generous annual block grant from the UK Treasury came under further political pressure yesterday, with both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats calling for a new funding system." - Scotsman


"On Wednesday, at our request, the director of national intelligence declassified six "key points" from a National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) report on the recovery of chemical munitions in Iraq. The summary was only a small snapshot of the entire report, but even so, it brings new information to the American people. "Since 2003," the summary states, "Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent," which remains "hazardous and potentially lethal." So there are WMDs in Iraq, and they could kill Americans there or all over the world." -  Peter Hoekstra and Rick Santorum in The Wall Street Journal

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