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Wednesday 18th July 2007

10.15pm Seats and candidates: Glyn Davies is first candidate adopted in Wales

9.45pm ToryDiary: Another black day for the BBC

Leigh_edward_mp 7.30pm Platform: Edward Leigh MP on leaving Iraq and challenging the EU Treaty

12.45pm LondonMayor: Reservist Rotherham publishes his policing policy

11.20am ToryDiary: Open thread on PMQs

Platform: Mark Prisk MP on why a stalemate in German domestic politics may encourage Merkel abroad

Columnists: Peter Franklin reveals the most important fact in British politics

ToryDiary: Chairman Maude's legacy

BritainAndAmerica: An election like no other?


LondonMayor: Coronation or primary challenge for Boris?

Seats and Candidates: Matthew Riddle selected for Thornbury & Yate

Largest single donation to the party may be recalled

"A mentally ill tycoon left his £10million fortune to the Tories so they could save him from a “Satanic plot”, a court heard yesterday. Branislav Kostic gave the staggering donation — a Conservative Party record — in his will after suffering psychiatric delusions for 20 years. Kostic, who died aged 80 in 2005, sent letters to ex-PM Margaret Thatcher and top Tories asking for help to battle “dark forces” trying to kill him." - The Sun

"Now the son of Branislav Kostic is taking the Conservatives to the High Court, claiming he did not know he was doing when he left his estate to the party." - Daily Mail

Sinking lifeboat

"MPs have overturned a Lords move to set up a "lifeboat" fund for workers who lost out when their final-salary pension schemes went bust. They voted 303 to 253 against Tory changes to the Pensions Bill, giving the government a majority of 50." - BBC

Buy local, eat local

"A campaign aimed at encouraging people to eat locally produced food is being launched by the Conservative Party. They claim that boosting Scotland's local food production industry can deliver both environmental and health benefits. To back the "buy local, eat local" campaign, the party have launched a website and are calling for public support through an online petition." - icScotland

Cameron's marriage incentive should be a dowry

"The one-off dowry doesn’t discriminate against anybody who is already a single parent, say, or widowed. It doesn’t judge their relationships or even appear to do so. It keeps Mr Cameron’s promise, encouraging people to get married, but doesn’t divide society into taxpayers who conform and those who don’t. It’s liberal and Conservative at the same time." - Daniel Finkelstein in the Times

Gay rights fight

"Gordon Brown has challenged David Cameron as a champion of gay rights. The Prime Minister pledged that a new equality 'superwatchdog' would crack down on discrimination. In his first major interview with a gay publication, he said he was proud to have changed the tax system to support homosexual couples." - Daily Mail

Cameron in Ealing Southall again

"David Cameron shrugged off the row over his candidate’s attendance at a Labour fundraising event as he made his fifth visit to Ealing Southall yesterday before tomorrow’s by-election." - Times

"The Tories have accused two of their main rivals in the Ealing-Southall by-election of plotting to scrap weekly rubbish collection in Ealing and tax people to take their waste away." - Ealing Times

MPs' passes come under scrutiny

"As the Leader of the Lords promised to investigate the allegations in yesterday’s Times that peers have been issuing the passes to members of campaign organisations which pay them thousands of pounds, it emerged that MPs are giving passes to chief executives, senior consultants, and, in one case, an employee of an executive search firm." - Times

Snap election alert

"Gordon Brown yesterday ordered a summer offensive against the Tories, fuelling talk of a snap election. He has called a meeting of ministers at Chequers next week to discuss how to exploit what Labour believes are signs of weakness in opposition ranks." - Daily Mail

"Labour MPs were put on election alert as the party's general election co-ordinator claimed the Tory leader David Cameron would make a "lurch to the right". Douglas Alexander said the choice would be between the Conservatives and a forward-looking Labour Party. The strategy for presenting Mr Cameron as a right-wing Tory leader was discussed at Downing Street yesterday." - Independent

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