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Thursday 18th January 2007

11.00pm Seats and Candidates update: Lib Dem defector selected for Wirral South

12:30pm ToryDiary update: Northern regions to get more autonomy from CCHQ


ToryDiary: Scottish Tories need clearer identity

Brokenshirevwatkinson_1Seats and Candidates: Brokenshire versus Watkinson

BritainAndAmerica: Your weekly guide to British politics


"Earlier at a stormy Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron branded the crime files row a "scandal" and "fiasco", asked Tony Blair why Joan Ryan, a Home Office minister, was still in her job when she knew about the problem and demanded publication of letters between police and ministers. The Prime Minister said the backlog of cases was not drawn to Ms Ryan's attention, an internal inquiry was ongoing, and, following inspection by police and ministers, there were "no significant public protection issues that have arisen in respect of the criminal records checks so far". - The Herald


"Yesterday Mr Blair denied a claim that he might have been the source of a comment in 1998 that Mr Brown was "psychologically flawed". The suggestion was made by Lance Price, a former Downing Street spin doctor, who told the internet TV channel 18 Doughty Street that "someone very close to the Chancellor" told him that Alastair Campbell had taken the public blame for the remark to shield his political boss." - Independent

"Mr Price, in his interview, said "someone very close to the chancellor" told him Mr Campbell had simply taken the public blame to shield his political boss." - Guardian


Dynamic_earth "Today, the Conservative shadow cabinet meets at Edinburgh's Dynamic Earth visitor centre, though hopefully not in the dinosaur room. This is a welcome visit. There was a time when the Tory leadership in London practically wrote off Scotland as a foreign country." - Scotsman (subscription)

"There has been precious little sign of a "Cameron bounce" in Scottish Tory fortunes but the fault for that cannot be laid at his door. Quite frankly, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party has been bumbling along doing nothing very much for far too long, taxing the patience of Cameron and his senior lieutenants to a remarkable degree." - Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph


"Urgent and far-reaching reform of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G7 is needed to make old-fashioned international institutions fit to cope with the "seismic shifts" of globalisation, Gordon Brown said yesterday." - Guardian

"Mr Brown’s remarks suggest that he can, as he hinted, build upon Tony Blair’s leadership while demonstrating distinctive ideas and themes in foreign policy. This would be a shrewd objective for him. The broader question is whether enough of his party colleagues understand these issues. It is a pity that more of them have not visited India." - Times leader


Mpc_b_of_e_1"If we have faith in the MPC, the economy can bowl along as fast as it can sustain. If we doubt that the MPC knows what it is doing, we try to recoup costs in higher prices or the cost of living in pay. So the MPC has to keep reining the economy back instead of just ensuring that demand does not run ahead too fast." - Graham Searjeant in The Times


"Only an organisation as blissfully featherbedded as the BBC could view today's TV licence settlement as a grievous setback. The licence fee looks set to rise by three per cent this year and next, two per cent in each of the subsequent three years, and by less than two per cent in year six. How many commercial media companies enjoy such predictability?" - Telegraph leader

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