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Sunday 17th June 2007

Exclusive_2 8.30pm ToryDiary exclusive: Cameron speech aims to reassure traditional supporters

4.15pm ToryDiary: Anyone for progressive conservatism?

11.45am ToryDiary: 'Charging for museums' story illustrates risks of policy review process

News updates: John Major defends his record on Northern Ireland from a Peter Hain attack (BBC) and the Sunday Express spotlights a new attack on David Willetts' grammar schools analysis.

10.15am ToryDiary: Could Scottish Conservatives give the SNP their independence referendum?

ToryDiary: Absolutely no need for panic

Swire_hugo TORIES MAY RESTORE MUSEUMS' RIGHT TO CHARGE FOR ENTRY

"The Tories were at the centre of a fresh controversy after it was revealed that they will scrap guaranteed free entry to top museums and art galleries.  Shadow Culture Secretary Hugo Swire said his party would reverse automatic free admissions introduced by Labour six years ago and allow the attractions to restore entry charges." - Mail on Sunday (and Sunday Telegraph)

TORIES ARE THE PROGRESSIVES NOW

Talking to The Observer's new political editor - Nicholas Watt - the Conservative leader says that the Tories can be the new progressives: "I think the centre-right in politics, if it is optimistic, forward-looking, engaged in the world today, can be an incredible force for progressive politics."

CAMERON NEEDS TO BE MORE RESPECTFUL TO TRADITIONAL SUPPORTERS

"The game gets serious in 10 days' time, when Blair becomes history. When he is neck and neck in the polls with Mr Brown, Mr Cameron will need his base willing him to win, even if he does not give all they want in terms of detailed policy. He can do it, but his tone and manners towards his party need to improve. As an MP who badly wants Cameron to win and is depressed by recent events put it last week: "The leadership do not need to pander to the party, they need to indicate they respect it." - Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph

MICHAEL PORTILLO SEES DANGERS FOR THE TORIES IN THE REVIVAL OF THE EUROPE ISSUE

"The danger in reviving the European question is not that it splits the party as it used to. Conservative enthusiasts for Europe are now few. The problem is that the Eurosceptics look like fanatics. They care about protecting the UK’s independence much more than about winning the election. Or rather, because they cannot imagine that other people’s views could be different from their own, they believe that if the party would just commit itself to withdraw from Europe, elec-toral triumph would be guaranteed. The evidence of the last two elections, at which Eurosceptic Conservative leaders herded the party to disaster, does not dent their certainty." - Michael Portillo in The Sunday Times

Blair_and_eu_star "The prime minister is ready to do a deal over the European charter of fundamental rights this week amid fears that plans for a treaty to replace the failed European Union constitution will collapse if he refuses to compromise." - The Sunday Times

DID THE TORIES TAKE THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS OFF THE AIR? - The Sunday Telegraph has been digging in the archives

Iain Dale says that Gary Bushell is to stand as the English Democrats' candidate for London Mayor

Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary...

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