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Wednesday 18th June 2008

Click here at 6.30pm for the live webcast and webchat of Cameron Direct in Plymouth

5.30pm Local Government: Pickles comments on the news that more than £800m was uncollected in council tax and business rates last year

5.15pm Parliament: William Hague says Brown has "simultaneously disappointed the Americans, upset the Europeans and handed Iran a publicity coup'

4.15pm ToryDiary: "Ken's wimmin" to be kicked out of City Hall

3.30pm Jill Kirby on CentreRight: Less dependency = less government = lower tax

1pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: "We took the train to Cambridge on Friday evening.  The post-work, weekend train out of London.  This train has been busy since every since there has been such a train.  Why oh why don't they put extra carriages on, and/or more frequent services?  I'm sure that there is an answer for the failure of the market to service this need, I just don't know what it is.  Do you?"

12.30pm Seats and Candidates: John Howell: The video

Picture_5_2 12.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron at PMQs: It would be ridiculous to ask the Irish people to vote twice when the British people haven't voted once

11.45am Robert Halfon on CentreRight: Brown's 'Shallow Salesman' jibe will lose Labour votes

11.30am Seats and candidates: David Davis' by-election will be on July 10th; Labour has confirmed that it will not be standing.

11.15am Breaking news on Sky, Wintertons cleared: "The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner says two married Tory MPs "unknowingly" breached the rules when they claimed Commons' expenses for their London flat."

10.30am PlayPolitical: Home made news from Zimbabwe

10am Parliament: A selection of recent EDMs by Conservative MPs and Lansley urges Government to rethink polyclinics

9.45am Jim McConalogue on CentreRight: Bill Cash demands judicial review at High Court on Lisbon Treaty

Rupert Matthews on Platform: Let's scrap the school leaving age

PlayPolitical: Gordon Brown defends his government on the balance between security and liberty

FreedlandToday's must read

"Even the prime minister's closest allies say what has happened these past 12 months is "tragic". It would take a Shakespeare to do justice to a story that combines the jealousy of Othello, the ambition of Macbeth and the indecision of Hamlet. Labour's task is not simply to watch this saga play out to its bitter end, but to act - and to help this desperately flawed hero change his destiny.' - Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

Both MPs and peers will debate the EU today in the wake of the Irish rejection of the Lisbon treaty - ePolitix

George Osborne promises action on debt

Osborneandrewmarr"The Conservatives yesterday vowed to tackle Britain’s “addiction to debt” by cracking down on store cards charging “excessive” interest rates. Shadow chancellor George Osborne also proposed a seven-day cooling off period between getting a store card and using it." - Daily Express

Polyclinics threaten 600 GP practices, say Tories - Telegraph

Caroline Spelman faces investigation over payments to nanny

"The inquiry into Mrs Spelman is unlikely to report until the autumn, potentially casting a shadow over the Tories’ annual party conference." - FT

Geoffrey Levy profiles the Tory Chairman: "She began with responsibility for international development, then the environment, then local government, and finally as shadow minister for women before becoming chairman of the party last year.   The whisper among her overwhelmingly male colleagues is that she has made it to such elevated heights only because of a shortage of women  -  she was one of only five new Tory women MPs in 1997." - Daily Mail

Yesterday's ToryDiary on Mrs Spelman.

A schools revolution

Nelsonfraser "If David Cameron forms the next government, a straightforward prize awaits him if he moves fast enough. He can be the Prime Minister who transformed English schools by adopting the education revolution implemented from Chile to The Netherlands. It requires no effort, or even competence, on his government's part. Just a well drafted pledge to fund any new independent school that wants to set up on its own. The sum would be the state school average: £6,000 a pupil in 2010. Then he can watch parent power in action." - Fraser Nelson authors the third in The Telegraph's Tories in Power series.

In The Times, Daniel Finkelstein takes a different view to The Telegraph and concludes: "The party that is first to let the voters know what it really stands for... loses".

David Willetts calls for review of standards over 'cheating' at universities - Independent

Brown V Davis

"Gordon Brown went head to head with David Davis on Tuesday over civil liberties, insisting the government was right to use “21st century solutions” such as closed circuit television, biometric identity cards and DNA databases to fight terrorism and organised crime." - FT | Guardian

David Davis to resign as an MP today - BBC

Has Alan Johnson opened the door to health top ups? - Times | Andrew Haldenby

No pay rise this year, Brown tells ministers - Guardian

"MPs will vote next month on handing themselves an inflation-busting £10,000 pay rise. Their salaries could soar from £61,820 to more than £72,000 by 2010 – as millions of families are forced to tighten their belts in the economic slowdown." - The Sun

"In a written statement, Harriet Harman, the leader of the House of Commons said: "The Government does not accept Sir John's recommendation that MPs salaries should be increased by £650 a year for the next three years. MPs should set the example at a time of public sector pay restraint." - Telegraph

Labour MP wants more powers for councils to use against lap dance clubs

"MPs are being urged to back calls to give local authorities the power to turn down applications for controversial lap dance clubs.  Currently, lap dance clubs are licensed in the same way as any ordinary pub or karaoke night with a Premises License.  Labour's Roberta Blackman-Woods says they should instead be licensed as "sex encounter establishments", to put them on a par with sex shops and cinemas." - BBC

Britain is the world’s biggest arms exporter - Times

And finally...

A list of fanciable Tories includes Julie Kirkbride, Zac Goldsmith, George Osborne, Mark Harper and Boris Johnson - The Guardian


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