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Saturday 13th December 2008

9.45pm ToryDiary: YouGov poll for the Sunday Times puts Tory lead at 6%

8.45pm ToryDiary: New ComRes poll has Tory lead remaining at 1%

7.15pm Seats and Candidates: Richard Harrington selected for Watford

1.30pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: Jean Charles de Menezes was not the 53rd victim of the 7/7 bombers

11am Local Government: More Council byelection results

11am Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: The paranoia of (Labour MEP) Ms Mary Honeyball

10.45am Seats and Candidates: Alberto Costa highlights his opponent's use of public funds to send out political propaganda

10.30am WATCH: Gordon Brown claims triple triumph at EU summit

ToryDiary: Should MPs be preparing for such a long Christmas recess?

Nicholas J. Rogers on Platform: The case for a Conservative policy on airships

Local government: Elected Mayor? Surrey says no.

Camerondavidredtie Tories demand apology and truth in knife crime figures spin row

"We are not going to get anywhere with a government giving us dodgy statistics and deliberately disobeying what its own Statistics Authority is saying. It really is an appalling way to behave. The Prime Minister has got to own up to it, he's got to apologise for it and he's got to make sure it never happens again." - David Cameron quoted on the Sky News website

"If Government ministers have sanctioned the selective and manipulative spinning of these statistics, it is reckless and irresponsible. Labour should immediately publish the full figures so that we can see the truth." - Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve quoted in the Daily Telegraph

Cameron focuses Tory minds on policies in case election called

"Tory high command is gearing up for a possible General Election as early as March 2009. Senior party sources have revealed to The Herald that David Cameron has ordered his front-bench team to put the finishing touches to a raft of policy ideas that will begin to be rolled out early in the New Year and which will be aimed, in part, at countering the "do nothing" label Gordon Brown has pinned on the Conservatives." - The Herald

Anger at length of MPs' Christmas break

"It's totally outrageous and absolutely wrong. We still need to properly debate the economic situation. There are so many issues, so much legislation that needs scrutiny, and all we get is a longer holiday." - Tory MP Peter Luff quoted in the Daily Telegraph

Penning_mike Tories attack Labour failure over to widen access to NHS dentistry

"In the face of drastic reductions in patient access, an increase in tooth extractions and a worrying fall in the number of complex treatments, Labour remains complacent. Rather than conducting a meaningful evaluation of planned reforms prior to 2006, this ludicrous new contract was imposed without adequate piloting." - Shadow health minister Mike Penning quoted in the Daily Express

Manchester rejects congestion charge

"The government's plans for road pricing across the UK were in disarray yesterday after Manchester resoundingly rejected plans to introduce a congestion charge. In a referendum, the proposal was defeated by a majority of 4 to 1, meaning there is now little chance of a pay-as-you-drive scheme being introduced for at least a decade... The city's yes campaign may not have been helped by the decision of Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, to abolish the western extension of the capital's charging zone. It is expected that other cities that had been considering schemes, including Cambridge, Bristol and Leeds, will abandon their plans." - Guardian

Mitchell_andrew_nw Andrew Mitchell highlights the forgotten crisis in Chad

"When Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister last year he stood alongside President Sarkozy and made a personal pledge that Darfur would be a priority. But since then there has been little effective action and Darfur did not even merit a mention his response to the Queen's Speech. Although the crisis in the region has faded from the headlines, it has actually internationalised, crossing over the borders of Chad and the Central African Republic." - Andrew Mitchell writing in the Daily Telegraph

Emergency rescue plan for British motor industry

"A financial rescue package for Britain’s motor industry was being put together last night, mirroring efforts in Washington to save America’s three big carmakers from collapse." - The Times

Irish referendum could re-open calls for Lisbon poll in Britain

"Ireland confirmed on Friday that it would press ahead with a second referendum on the European Union’s Lisbon reform treaty, but only after protracted late night negotiations to try to stop the plan reigniting controversy over the treaty in Britain. Ireland won a number of concessions intended to make it easier to secure a Yes vote, reversing the Irish rejection of the text in June. But British negotiators feared that any apparent rewriting of the Lisbon treaty to appease Irish voters could spark demands for renewed scrutiny of the text in the UK in the run-up to the next general election." - FT

The diplomatic row between Britain and Germany continues...

"The simmering row between the UK and Germany took another twist yesterday when Britain took the rare step of protesting to a friendly EU country over its finance minister's description of Gordon Brown's £20bn fiscal stimulus plan as "crass Keynesianism". Sir Michael Arthur, the British ambassador to Berlin, telephoned the German finance ministry to express Britain's displeasure after Peer Steinbrück intervened in a sensitive area of British politics" - Guardian

Merkel_angela Angela Merkel signs up to EU economic rescue deal

"Ms Merkel, the German Chancellor, gave her support to an EU-wide recovery plan costing €200 billion (£180 billion) across the 27 member states, suggesting that she is planning to increase the level of tax cuts in Germany in the new year as the recession deepens." - The Times

Peter Oborne: David Cameron has now proved himself worthy of becoming Prime Minister

"There is a moment in every rising politician's life when he or she needs to prove themselves as more than an adroit tactician. After this week, no one will be ever again be able to say that David Cameron is just a smart public relations operator with a nice wife and a pretty face. He has started to shape the political weather and react in a serious way to the greatest challenge of our time. One day historians may come to judge that this week was the moment when the Tory leader at last proved himself worthy of occupying the great office of Prime Minister." - Daily Mail

Matthew Parris: How the "do-nothing party" can triumph

"Something must be done! is an age-old cry. From politicians the age-old response is: “Something can be! Vote for us and we'll do it.” In what circumstances, then, could “Nothing can be done about the recession!” prove a vote-winner?" - Matthew Parris in The Times

The high cost of democracy on Sark

"Residents of Sark were coming to terms with the loss of their livelihoods yesterday as islanders absorbed the cost of their journey from feudalism to democracy. The anger and uncertainty about the future may even have exceeded that of the acrimonious election campaign, after the news that the billionaire Barclay brothers were shutting down their operations and withrawing their investment." - The Times

De Menezes verdict: Did the police lie? - Independent

Frank Field: The Government's economic strategy is dangerously inadequate - Daily Telegraph

Tony Blair discusses his conversion to Catholicism for the first time - BBC

"Heartless" postmen to strike on Friday - Daily Mail

Slap on wrist for Jack Straw over late donation - Independent

"Dizzy" Lib Dem MP calls out fire brigade because her boiler was making noises - Daily Mail

Greek Prime Minister rejects calls for early election - BBC

Sinn Fein and DUP united... in support of X Factor finalist - Belfast Telegraph

Picture_10_2 And finally... Another accolade for Boris this week: Best Celebrity Hair in Britain

"He was voted as having the best celebrity hair by 1,300 people in a poll to mark Brylcreem National Men's Hair Week. Mr Johnson said: "I'm baffled but delighted by this award. Thank you very much to everyone who voted for me. I'm afraid that other people probably pay more attention to my barnet than I do and over the years I've had various suggestions for what to do with it including a Mohawk. However, the Johnson hairstyle is, I fear, impossible to imitate, as it is a product of random and competing forces of nature." - Daily Telegraph


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