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Tuesday 3rd July 2007

Evening update: "A senior Conservative party member in Ealing Southall has defected to the Lib Dems over the selection of their new parliamentary candidate." - Politics.co.uk

Cameronwins

4.30pm ToryDiary: First blood to Cameron in Commons blast at Brown

2.15pm ToryDiary: Baroness Anelay

1.15pm ToryDiary: Why Quentin joined Labour

11.30am: Nick Boles pulls out of London mayoral race

10.30am CF Diary: Ealing Southall campaigning

10am ToryDiary: Today's Constitutional announcements are all about Labour-LibDem relations

ToryDiary: Cameron's standing with the grassroots yet to recover from grammarsgate

Events: Several events in our listings this week. Today's include a Conservative hearing on human rights in Iran and a lecture on the appeal of capitalism to young Europeans.

Priti_patel_2 Our blog of the week is Priti Patel's, Conservative candidate for the safe seat of Witham. Her blog has a clear layout and is updated regularly with short posts on various national and international issues.

TORY RESHUFFLE

"With Gordon Brown enjoying a significant “bounce” in the polls after entering Number Ten last week, David Cameron had to show - quickly - that he is every bit as ruthless as the new Prime Minister in the pursuit of power. His first reshuffle matches, theme for theme, Mr Brown's rearrangement of the government he inherited from Tony Blair - though it is less extensive." - Telegraph

Francois_mitterand "David Cameron had three overriding objectives in reshuffling his shadow cabinet. He had to offer reassurance to party activists who have been bruised by the pace of modernisation and appalled by the debacle over grammar schools. He needed to demonstrate what François Mitterrand always regarded as the principal quality of a successful leader - indifference, not least to the fate of your friends. And he had to restore momentum to the party while it works out how best to deal with a new Prime Minister who is about to embark on a 100-day political blitzkrieg." - Telegraph leader

The Independent profiles four of the newcomers. The Guardian profiles Spelman, Willetts, Maude, Warsi and Gove.

>>> ToryDiary: Ten thoughts on the reshuffle

This is unconfirmed but ConservativeHome understands that the reshuffle of junior frontbenchers won't be completed until Thursday.

CAMERON CONFUSING PUBLIC AND PARTY

"It was entirely right that the Tory leader repositioned his party towards the Centre. But it was wholly unnecessary to keep travelling and to woo social workers by entering “hug-a-hoody” terrain (Mr Cameron did not use those words but the caricature is not totally unfair); or invoking a trendy environmentalism that led to a policy of sharply increasing taxes on flights; or invoking Polly Toynbee, The Guardian’s La Passionara and a woman who would not back the Conservatives in this life, at the very least. If Mr Cameron continues to confuse the public and his party, Mr Brown will crush him on polling day." - Times leader

WINTERTON: COURT THE GREY VOTE

Ann_winterton "David Cameron has come under fresh attack from one of his own backbenchers who says many of the Conservative Party's traditional supporters are "baffled" by some of his policies. The Tory leader has been under increasing pressure in recent weeks over the direction of his leadership. Former frontbencher Ann Winterton told the Parliamentary Monitor magazine that the recent row over grammar schools was an example of the leadership's inexperience." - ePolitix 

BROWN TO BRING IN PR?

"Gordon Brown is to step up his secret campaign to keep the Tories out of power for ever – by changing Westminster’s voting system. He will unveil a massive programme for overhauling Britain’s ancient constitution today in his first statement to the Commons as Prime Minister." - Daily Express

NORRIS: I'D LOVE TO RUN FOR MAYOR IF I COULD AFFORD IT

"It's less than two weeks before Tory London mayoral applications close and with no heavyweights having so far entered the fray, there is interesting news from the Steve Norris camp: he is launching a hedge fund. The two-time mayoral candidate and former transport minister has got together with Jason Granite and Milos Brajovic - formerly of Deutsche Bank and Glencore respectively - to set up Agilo, which will also count Michael Portillo as a member of its advisory panel." - Telegraph Spy

FANTASY POLITICS

Fantasy_island "Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are conducting Fantasy Island politics. Both promise “world-class” public services. Mr Brown says his prescription is the only way, and the Conservatives will make cuts. Mr Cameron says... oh, who cares? It doesn’t matter. Both men are having a Fantasy Island argument for a Fantasy Island electorate through the Fantasy Island media." - Stephen Pollard in the Times

"SCANDALOUS" AMOUNT SPENT ON PRIVATE EXPERTS

"Welsh Conservatives have reacted angrily to news that £34.6m of public money set aside for frontline health care has been spent on employing private firms for external consultancy. Figures released by the Welsh Assembly Government show that the amount of taxpayers’ money used to pay for management and organisational consultancy has rocketed from £1.75m in 1999 to more than £9m last year." - Western Mail

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