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30 Nov 2008 09:01:14

Sunday 30th November 2008

6.45pm ToryDiary update: Damian Green instructs General Pinochet's solicitor

4.45pm Local Government: IDS report backs ending life tenure for Council tenants

Smith_jacqui_2_22pm Simon Chapman on CentreRight: Jacqui Smith personifies the phrase "Nothing to do with me, Guv"

1.30pm Seats and Candidates: City of Durham's newly-selected candidate, Nick Varley, is the youngest Conservative ever to stand for the House of Commons

12.30pm ToryDiary: Dominic Grieve says he thinks Jacqui Smith did know an MP was involved in the Home Office leak inquiry and Local Government: Labour-run Norwich persecute mulled wine serving hairdressers

10.45am CentreRight:

10am ToryDiary: Jacqui Smith refuses to apologise to Damian Green

ToryDiary: Was this the week which determined the result of the next election?

Andrew Mitchell MP on Platform: What I witnessed in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Mark Wallace in Local Government: Why is only Hammersmith and Fulham cutting council tax?

Seats and Candidates: Christian Holliday selected for Swansea East

Cameron_looking_left_2 David Cameron increases pressure on Brown over Damian Green arrest

"The Prime Minister has simply repeated that he “had no prior knowledge” and this is “a police matter”. Frankly, that’s not good enough. The question is, does he think it is right for an MP who has apparently done nothing to breach our national security to have his home and office searched by a dozen counter-terrorist police officers, his phone, BlackBerry and computers confiscated, and to be arrested and held for nine hours?" - David Cameron writing in the News of the World

Alleged Home Office "mole" was a Tory candidate

"Civil servant Christopher Galley, who is accused of leaking information to Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green, stood as a Tory candidate in 2004 elections for Sunderland Council." - Mail on Sunday

Greendamianredtie_2 Are senior Tories' Commons offices being bugged?

"The House of Commons office of Damian Green, the Tories' immigration spokesman, is routinely swept for electronic bugging devices, along with other offices belonging to senior Conservatives, amid fears of covert monitoring, The Independent on Sunday has discovered. Anger surrounding the shadow immigration minister's arrest last week escalated dramatically last night over suspicions of a major bugging scandal inside the Palace of Westminster." - Independent on Sunday

Did the police entrap Damian Green?

"The police used a Whitehall whistleblower to try to lure Conservative frontbencher Damian Green into incriminating himself, it was claimed last night. The Mail on Sunday understands that the Shadow Immigration Minister, who was controversially arrested for allegedly leaking information embarrassing to the Government, may have been the victim of an entrapment plot. " - Mail on Sunday

Wallace_ben_2 Ben Wallace demands review of the Wilson doctrine

"Last night, a Conservative MP wrote to Gordon Brown demanding an urgent review of the Wilson doctrine, the convention that protects MPs from phonetapping but does not cover other surveillance techniques. Ben Wallace, the Conservative MP for Lancaster & Wyre, said the Wilson doctrine, which dates back to 1966, needed to be changed to cover all forms of surveillance, not just intercepting of calls." - Independent on Sunday

Melissa Kite: Why I published Home Office memo passed on by Damian Green

"Leaks form an essential basis of journalism. In a perfect world, they would not have to. But in a system where people try to cover up mistakes for personal or political reasons, we rely on finding out the most inconvenient truths in ways which are necessarily covert." - The words of Sunday Telegraph deputy political editor, Melissa Kite

More cross-party attacks on the circumstances of Damian Green's arrest

"Calling for a review of “operational methodology in the light of Damian Green’s arrest”, David Blunkett said it also “would be prudent for the cabinet to consider reviewing the process by which the police have access to the offices and confidential material of MPs. It’s clear that whatever process is currently in place is not sufficiently robust to give confidence either to MPs themselves, their constituents or the wider community”. - Sunday Times

"In an extraordinary attack, Denis MacShane said it would destroy people's belief that they could deal confidentially with their MPs about matters of concern to them. 'The Speaker should have eyes to see and ears to hear only as the House directs him, and I am not aware the House of Commons has ever debated, let alone authorised, raids by the police as agents of the executive into the private offices within the Commons of MPs. We need an urgent statement and debate on what has taken place, and a reaffirmation of the doctrine that MPs and their offices are protected by privilege." - Observer

Martinmichael Outraged MPs threaten to hijack the Queen’s Speech

"Speaker Michael Martin faces a humiliating revolt by MPs over his handling of the Damian Green affair when the Queen visits Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday. An all-party group of MPs is threatening to hijack the Queen’s Speech in an attempt to force the Speaker to apologise for his conduct – and may call on him to resign." - Mail on Sunday

A second post-PBR poll sees double-digit Tory lead

"Alistair Darling's £20bn 'spend now, pay later' pre-Budget report may have been the beginning of the end of Gordon Brown's 'bounce' in the polls, according to today's Ipsos MORI survey for The Observer. The poll, conducted on Thursday and Friday, shows that among those certain to vote Labour's share has dropped by five percentage points to 32 per cent since mid-November. By contrast, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have gone up by three percentage points to 43 and 15 per cent respectively." - Observer

Darling says he hasn't done enough to save the economy...

"Alistair Darling has admitted that he will 'almost certainly' have to deliver a second dose of financial life-support to Britain's ailing economy as soon as next spring if his unprecedented £20bn tax-and-spending package fails to contain the recession. In an exclusive interview with The Observer, the Chancellor conceded that his pre-Christmas VAT cut might not be enough." - Observer

Picture_4_2 Tessa Jowell raises "anxiety" over tax rises

"Tessa Jowell said the City and the middle classes needed reassurance following the announcement of Government plans to raise the top rate of income tax to 45p." - Sunday Telegraph

David Cameron: We need a scheme to guarantee loans

"Thousands of healthy businesses and millions of people who work for them are desperately relying on the government to get the credit markets moving again. For their sake, it must act now before it is too late." - David Cameron writing in the Sunday Times

> Friday's ToryDiary on David Cameron's speech on "monetary activism"

Goodbye to Britain's low tax system

"Last week was a big moment. A totem of the past two decades was demolished in a moment. The consequences of that moment may be felt for a very long time." - The Sunday Times economics editor David Smith gives his take on the PBR

Fallon_michael_5 Chasm between the two Britains is laid bare

"As the recession clears away the rhetoric, we begin to understand how Brown created two Britains. Beneath the explosion in credit and the boom in house prices, only the public sector was actually expanding, "creating" three-quarters of all new jobs since 1997. The private sector was becoming more efficient, stripping out layers of middle management, out-sourcing back office functions, installing IT that improved productivity. Now it's the private sector that's in the firing line." - Tory MP Michael Fallon writing in the Sunday Telegraph

Ed Balls faces Electoral Commission probe over Smith Institute role

"The Electoral Commission is to investigate whether Ed Balls worked for Gordon Brown while on the payroll of a charity before becoming an MP... “Balls has always been Brown’s bag carrier, but it would be a breach of electoral law if the charity was paying for someone who was actually working for Brown,” said Chris Grayling, the shadow work and pensions secretary." - Sunday Times

The BBC News website profiles the Isle of Wight's Conservative MP, Andrew Turner - BBC

Government to announce sweeping new laws to regulate alcohol sales - News of the World

Lord Mandelson and Alan Johnson at odds over proposed law on cigarette sales - Sunday Telegraph

Preview of the controversial bills set to be included in Wednesday's Queen's Speech - Sunday Telegraph

How Ministers on £138,000 a year dodge Darling's new 45 per cent top tax rate - Mail on Sunday

No scanners means ID cards cannot be read - Observer

40,000 a year killed by the NHS - News of the World

Nick Clegg overheard criticising his frontbench team during flight - Sunday Mirror

Canadian Tories scrap plan to end state party funding as Stephen Harper seeks to hold the reins of power - Calgary Herald 

Picture_9 And finally... Oasis mogul and ex-Labour donor Alan McGee loses faith in Brown

“Do I think Cameron would do a better job? Undoubtedly. Could the Tories do any worse than this bunch of cretins that we’ve got in now? Labour are monumentally useless. Gordon Brown has had a charisma bypass. For all Blair’s faults, Blair had charisma. He was a leader, a winner. Gordon Brown is none of these things. He’s a f****** diabolical prime minister and the country is in a mess.” - Sunday Times


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29 Nov 2008 08:58:22

Saturday 29th November 2008

Bombshell_vat 5pm ToryDiary: CCHQ launch new campaign materials

2pm ToryDiary: We shouldn't bash the Tories but leave them behind in the battle of ideas says Peter Mandelson

1pm Ben Rogers on CentreRight: Damian Green's arrest severely undermines democracy


Goodmanfromindia_2 Paul Goodman MP on CentreRight reports from Delhi: Terror in India

Nick Seaton on Local government reveals A threat to close good schools in Stoke

Seats and candidates: Caroline Johnson adopted for Scunthorpe

Tories hit 45% and are 15% ahead - Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

Quote of the day

Howardmichaelbigben "'If this approach had been in place when Gordon Brown was in opposition, he'd have spent half his time under arrest." - Michael Howard referring to the Prime Minister's reputation for handling leaked documents when he was in opposition.

Blunkett leads attack against police 'overkill' after Green's arrest - Guardian

The Sun is suspicious of Labour's denials of knowledge and focuses of Alicia Green's ordeal

"London Mayor Boris Johnson, Speaker Martin and David Cameron were warned about the arrest. Yet Ms Smith and Gordon Brown insist they knew nothing. Is it likely a Shadow Minister would be seized without the Home Secretary or PM knowing? MPs from Mr Brown downwards have used leaked documents to grab headlines. It’s part of politics. Mr Green’s arrest stinks." - The Sun Says

"The wife of Tory MP Damian Green last night described her ordeal when counter-terrorism cops raided the family’s home. Alicia Green revealed how the couple’s 15-year-old daughter broke down in tears when she arrived back from school to find officers searching the house. The barrister told one pal she feared her husband had been in an accident when cops arrived at the house in Acton, West London, at 1.35pm on Thursday. She said: “My blood ran cold. I thought something terrible had happened.”" - The Sun

More on Damian Green

"Police seized his mobile phone, his BlackBerry, bank statements, computers containing confidential details of constituents, and were only prevented from carrying off legal documents by his wife, a barrister. Officers even leafed through the couple's love letters. " - Daily Mail

Sir David Normington, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office: "The Home Office has suffered a number of leaks of sensitive information over an extended period ... this was clearly a matter of serious concern in that it risked undermining the effective operation of my department." - Quoted in The Independent

"The civil servant at the heart of a Whitehall leak investigation was in hiding last night as a political storm raged over the arrest of the Tory frontbencher Damian Green. The 26-year-old civil servant was detained at his home in Middlesex at 6am on November 19. The assistant private secretary, who has been suspended from his job, is being looked after by the Home Office at a secret location because it owes him a “duty of care”, officials said." - The Times

"The draconian anti-terror legislation it has introduced alone has given the police so much power that it has been used to detain an elderly heckler at a Labour party conference, stop protests and, last month, to freeze the assets of Icelandic banks. The government must stop making free with civil liberties." - FT leader

David Cameron's promise to underwrite bank lending

Cameron_in_dark "David Cameron called on the government to offer to underwrite all new business lending as the Tories on Friday signalled an end to their bipartisan support for Gordon Brown’s handling of the banking crisis... Ministers are understood to be resistant to the Tory idea, fearing the banks could offload too much high-risk lending on to the scheme, leaving taxpayers with billions of bad debts." - FT

> Yesterday's ToryDiary on the Conservative leader's "monetary activism"

Lord Mandelson draws up list of businesses Government should save from collapse - Telegraph

"Was it the sheer insouciance over his £100billion tax bombshell? Or was it simply his peculiar rictus grin? Either way, wasn't there something unsettling about the Prime Minister's attitude to the pre-Budget report? It's almost as if he relishes the doom and gloom enveloping this country. There's a new swagger to his step that's as unfamiliar as it is inappropriate." - Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail

LibDems may have to repay £2.4m stolen donation

"The Liberal Democrats may be forced to pay back a record donation of £2.4m after a jury decided the party's biggest donor was a con man... Nick Clegg, the party leader, said: "We took that money in good faith. We did all the due diligence checks we could have done, totally unaware of the crimes of which Michael Brown has now been indicted. Beyond that, I can't comment."" - Independent

'Beckham of the City' who preyed on banks gave Tories £30,000 - Daily Mail

And finally...

David Cameron's signature worth more than Gordon Brown's - Telegraph


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28 Nov 2008 07:48:55

Friday 28th November 2008

7.15pm ToryDiary: Tory lead UP to 15% in ICM poll

6.45pm VIDEO: Gordon Brown tells Adam Boulton that no minister had prior knowledge of Damian Green's arrest

6.15pm Douglas Carswell MP on CentreRight defends Theresa Villiers and attacks BAA

Grieve_dominic5pm ToryDiary: "Is it not a breach of Parliamentary Privilege for the police to arrest a Member of Parliament for using information he received for Parliamentary purposes?" ...and other questions Dominic Grieve wants answered about Damian Green.

4pm CentreRight updates:

3.15pm Parliament: Conservative MSPs defend fishermen

2.30pm CentreRight updates:

12.15pm Parliament: Should we do more to make Parliament more representative?

11.15am ToryDiary: Cameron advocates taxpayer-underwriting of commercial lending to business

10.45am Local Government: Confusion at Thurrock Council over honouring Burma vets

10am Parliament: Earl Howe asks when the EU is going to start messing with food supplements

Picture_510am WATCH: I was only doing my job, says Damian Green

9.30am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: Time to focus on border security

8am Live highlights from David Cameron's 8am event

ToryDiary: The "judicial intimidation" of Damian Green

Graeme Archer on CentreRight: "Politically, Monday's mess of a PBR was the end of the beginning for Brown's ministry. Sanctioning the arrest of the Conservative member for Ashford should be the beginning of the end. We don't just require the replacement of a tired Labour administration with a fresh Tory one; as with London's mayor, so with Britain's prime minister: we require, emotionally, to chase these corrupt and venal horrors from public office. Catharsis required."

Mark Reckless on Platform: Government borrowing is preventing private lending

Picture_3 WATCH: Britain is heading for depression says Lord (Geoffrey) Howe

Cllr Barry Dare on Local government: How we cut waste and funded more police on the beat and Latest by-election results

Damian Green arrested for obtaining leaked documents

"A senior member of David Cameron's front bench team has been arrested after obtaining leaked Whitehall documents." - Telegraph

"A mole hunt for the source of a series of embarrassing Home Office leaks led to Thursday’s arrest of Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister. Government efforts to unearth errant officials who may be passing on internal memos and other information to their political rivals are fairly standard practice." - FT

Profiles of Damian Green

"Softly spoken, but with a cheeky twinkle in his eye, Damian Green is one of the quiet stars of the Conservative frontbench. As shadow immigration minister the former Times and Channel 4 News business journalist has pursued the Home Office doggedly and embarrassed ministers with a series of leaked government documents." - Nick Watt in The Guardian

"For a politician considered on the left of the Tory party, Damian Green has made a huge impact handling the sensitive imigration brief. He has spoken out about genuine public concerns about the problems caused by the unprecedented influx of foreigners into Britain, and has opposed the controversial Sangatte II refugee camp near Calais." - Daily Mail

Pensions squeeze for public sector as Tories vow to end 'apartheid' - Independent

Support for Gordon Brown plummets over economic rescue - Times | Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

Ian Blair wants to change to law to prevent another Met Chief being ousted by Mayor - BBC

Jacqui Smith will take action to tighten licensing laws for lap-dancing clubs - BBC

India's fight is our fight

"The evil that was on display in Mumbai is the same evil that brought bloodshed to the streets of London on July 7, 2005, that is being challenged by British soldiers in Helmand Province and by American drones in the badlands of the north-western Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan. This is not a battle that will ever be resolved through diplomacy or negotiation, but only through force of arms. Islamist terrorists, wherever they are, must be hunted down. India's fight is our fight." - Telegraph leader

Britain should join euro says Hong Kong's leader Tsang - Telegraph


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27 Nov 2008 09:01:54

Thursday 27th November 2008

11.45pm Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: A curious statement from Gordon Brown about the Damian Green affair

11.30pm ToryDiary: When did ministers know?

10.45pm ToryDiary: Damian Green was acting in public interest

Green_damian_blue_background9.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron "supportive" of Damian Green and angry at "Stalinesque" treatment of him

8.45pm ToryDiary: Treasury mole leaking to Damian Green?

7.15pm ToryDiary: Brown's standing slides after PBR

5pm ToryDiary update: The results of today's poll on the 45p tax band has been added to this morning's ToryDiary post

2.30pm ToryDiary: Boris scraps westwards extension of congestion charge

_45245158_ap_hospital4662.15pm Suli Shah on CentreRight: We stand united with India

1.45pm Parliament: The Government refuses to say how much it is spending on individual banks

1.30pm Parliament: Grant Shapps calls for more housing

12.45pm ToryDiary: What should the online Brown shop sell?

12.45pm Laurie Thraves on CentreRight: The cap on fees must go

George_osborne_212.45pm Parliament: Highlights from the Pre-Budget Report debate

11am Local government: Should the LGA be defending all councils, including Haringey?

ToryDiary: What should be Tory policy on the 45p tax band?

Nigel Evans MP on Platform: Why I'm supporting the Save the Pub Campaign

Stewart Jackson MP on Local government: Vast sums are being wasted reorganising the fire brigade 

Statefunding International: Canadian Conservatives say spending restraint should begin with political parties

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight notes that Labour is increasingly owned by the unions

Seats and candidates: Angela Jones-Evans selected for Cardiff West

Sunsays Today's must-read from The Sun: "Forgive our heroic troops in Iraq and Afghanistan today if they shake their heads in disgust. Lesbian squaddie Kerry Fletcher has been given £186,000 compo for being pestered by a male sergeant — more than maimed soldiers receive. Sexual bullying is wrong. But how can hurt feelings be worth more than lost limbs? Private Jamie Cooper, who suffered stomach wounds, picked up £57,000. Marine Ben McBean, who lost an arm and a leg in Afghanistan, was offered £161,000. Kerry’s award smacks of the worst political correctness. If she has the Army at heart she will hand over half to Help For Heroes."

Tories warn of 20% VAT

"Alistair Darling yesterday faced accusations the government had considered raising VAT to 20% to plug a "black hole" in the economy which the Tories claim will be deepened by his £20 billion emergency Budget." - Scotsman

"According to the Tories, the Treasury is banking on £100billion more in tax revenue over the life of the next Parliament but has not said where the extra cash will come from." - Daily Mail

Fraser Nelson: Tory victory is close

"Fraser Nelson says that the Pre-Budget Report killed off New Labour without landing a punch on the Tories. It has paved the way for a new Conservatism, in which Cameron woos aspirational voters, focuses on government debt and looks for responsible spending cuts." - Fraser Nelson in The Spectator

"Is George Osborne "nerdy", "nasty" and "overpromoted", as his Conservative critics would have it, or the potential saviour of his party and a future leader?" - Martin Bright in the New Statesman

Cameron hints at phasing out public sector pensions

"Generous final salary public sector pensions would be phased out by an incoming Conservative government, David Cameron has signalled, in comments that could presage a huge battle with up to 5m NHS staff, teachers, civil servants and local government officers. The Conservative leader has told businessmen that he wanted to switch public sector workers away from final salary schemes and into money purchase – or defined contribution – schemes." - FT

Mandelson New Labour not dead, says Mandelson - BBC | Sky

"Yes, New Labour is over, but it is about more than a tax rise - it is part of a sea change in the west" - Ken Livingstone in The Guardian

Blair gives £7,500 to Labour - Scotsman | Yesterday's ToryDiary on the latest political funding numbers

Simon Carr: Don't say anything interesting

"Brown takes opposition remarks, Photoshops them into a different background, recolours them and presents them as a free confession of turpitude. So, "The recession must run its course!" That quasi-philosophical remark from John Maples is now an admission that the Tories are "a do-nothing party". Andrew Lansley has attributed to him the idea that the recession might produce some good as well as hardship. That is the only interesting thing Andrew Lansley has said in 40 years and he was made to apologise for it. You can see why they play this game but it does have a morbid effect on the national conversation, not being allowed to say anything interesting. Thus, I suppose, Boris." - Simon Carr in The Independent

SNP must alter strategy to benefit from a changed battleground - Letter to The Herald

Frank Field attacks violent and broken society and harks back to 'Golden Age' of the 1950s - Daily Mail


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