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Wednesday 14th February 2007

7:45pm London Mayor update: Keeping Ken on his toes

11am ToryDiary update: Attack ad on Livingstone launched

BLOGS

ToryDiary: Child Poverty in Britain

Seats and Candidates: Kingswood reselect Owen Inskip and Final four for Hampshire East

YourPlatform: Martin Sewell on the LibDems' so-called progressive drugs policies

Blog of the week is James Cleverly's. The London-based party activist started blogging three years ago on local issues and whatever else interests him. Being a Major in the TA, his postings on troops in Afghanistan and other military issues get a lot of attention.

Mailstory_2

HELPING FATHERS BRING UP BABIES

Daily Mail story on Cameron's plans for paternity leave (not yet online) --->

MPs' TRAVEL EXPENSES PUBLISHED

"A former Labour minister claimed more than £16,000 in mileage and a Tory backbencher over £5,000 in taxi fares, figures released last night showed, putting MPs' travel expenses under detailed scrutiny for the first time. Liberal Democrat Norman Baker published a breakdown of MPs' £5m annual travel bill in what he described as "an important victory in the battle to make parliament and the use of public money more accountable to the people". The figures were released to him after a freedom of information tussle with the Commons authorities." - Guardian

PATRICK CORMACK'S DESELECTION

"A senior Midland MP has vowed to fight for his seat after Tory party activists apparently decided he was too old to contest the next General Election. Sir Patrick Cormack, aged 67, who has served for 37 years in the Commons, was shocked when his South Staffordshire constituency voted against endorsing him as the Tory candidate at the next General Election. He says two members of the committee admitted they voted against him because of his age." - Birmingham Post

"Last night Sir Patrick wanted to keep the constituency guessing but it is more than likely he will Patrick_cormack instigate a postal ballot of the 500 or so paid-up Tory party members in the constituency." - Herald

"
Veteran Tory MP Sir Patrick Cormack was yesterday told he was being kicked out of Parliament by his own local party. The 67-year-old was due to become Father of the House if he survived the next election - an honorary title given to the longest serving MP." - Mirror

>>> Seats and Candidates story

DISILLUSIONED YOUTH

"Nearly nine in ten disagree with the statement that Labour is “honest and principled”. But this disillusionment with Labour has not benefited the other main parties. Some 18 per cent say they would vote Labour, 16 per cent the Tories and 12 per cent the Liberal Democrats. But 28 per cent say they would back other parties, notably the Greens on 8 per cent and the British National Party on 6 per cent. A quarter say they would not vote at all." - Peter Riddell in the Times

CUT THE NUMBER OF MPs

"If an MP holds office, shadow office, or discharges a big select committee job, then he or she is likely to be busy. The scores that do not, however, are in constant search of something useful to do. Some cease to be the elected representatives of their constituents and become, instead, their social workers. They supplant the role that until recently was undertaken by district or county councillors." - Simon Heffer in the Telegraph

Alan_johnson ALAN JOHNSON'S BOOST TO BECOMING LABOUR'S DEPUTY LEADER

"Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, has become the clear front-runner in the campaign to succeed John Prescott as Labour’s deputy leader, with a wide range of ministers and MPs publicly declaring their support for him to The Times." - Times

OTHER LINKS

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prohibit the introduction of any charge, over and above that included in the council tax, on the collection and disposal of domestic rubbish." - 10 Downing Street e-petition

>>> Yesterday's ToryDiary - What will they do with these email addresses?

"Housing vouchers would mean the power for those on social housing to choose where they lived. It would reduce bureaucracy because they would be sorting themselves out rather than have a team of Housing Officers arranging viewings and visits. Also it would offer some potential, by tapering off the amount of the voucher, for those in work to gradually get off dependency rather than the "tenure for life" offered under social housing at present." - Harry Phibbs on the Adam Smith Institute blog

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