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30 Sep 2009 09:02:19

Wednesday 30th September 2009

7pm WATCH: Lord Mandelson claims he said "chumps" not "c**ts" during telephone call with News Intl chief Rebekah Wade

Local Government: The Lesson of Fiona Pilkington's suicide: Don't pass by on the other side by Cllr David Parsons, leader of Leicestershire County Council.

6.45pm THREE VIDEOS: Harriet Harman attacks The Sun... David Cameron praises The Sun... and Eric Pickles previews the Tory conference

6pm ToryDiary: Tory lead down to 7% in YouGov daily survey

5pm Two CentreRight updates:

  • Nadine Dorries: "What kind of government is it that thinks it’s right to provide lessons to 13 year old girls on how to place a condom on a banana and not realise that the subliminal message is 'now go and try that yourself'?"
  • Graeme Archer: "At first I thought it was Twitterish hysteria, when on my commute home yesterday I read that Brown had announced plans to lock up young mothers in hostels. But it's true. He does want to do this. Mothers of legal age but without a male partner will be put into hostels, under the 'care' of social workers."


4.30pm Fifty things about David Cameron's Conservatives: Team Cameron has consistently pursued modernisation on ten fronts

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2pm WATCH: Sun readers want a newspaper and not a "Tory fanzine" says Mandelson

1.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Harriet Harman launches heated attack on The Sun for abandoning Labour and plays nasty against George Osborne

1pm International: Czech Republic's Vaclav Klaus is threatened with impeachment if he does not sign Lisbon

11.30am WATCH: Brown tells Sky News that he will certainly lead Labour into next General Election


ToryDiary: The dead parrot Tories are resurrected in The Sun

Alistair Thompson on Platform: Not only is the rise in anti-social behaviour a result of Labour's irresponsible policies, but they have also prevented the police from getting to grips with the problem

Local government:

LISTEN: Radio 4 reports how Labour spin doctors banned photographs of the Prime Minister at the time it became clear that The Sun was about to endorse the Conservatives

The Sun will be backing the Tories at the next election... but not yet in Scotland - BBC

Will The Daily Mail be the next to back the Conservatives?


Its leading article today is very negative about Brown's speech: "Mr Brown's entire political philosophy rests, as it's always done, on redistributing wealth from the middle classes to the poor. This springs from his unshakeable belief that the welfare state, with its bewildering array of benefits and fancy-sounding projects, holds the answer to all Britain's social problems. Meanwhile in the real world, binge-drinking teenagers still get pregnant, the feckless have no incentive to work - and feral youths drive a vulnerable woman to kill herself and her disabled daughter. What use were those state targets and lavishly-funded projects, when all Fiona Pilkington needed was a police force that would answer her pleas for help - and parents in her neighbourhood who would teach their children right from wrong?"

Polly Toynbee's verdict on Brown's speech: "Little was bold or high risk enough to turn the hostile tide" - The Guardian

Benedict Brogan in The Telegraph agrees: "His speech had to persuade a demoralised party to stick with him until polling day by giving them something to fight for. This he did, and the betting must now be that he will be allowed to lead his party into the election. But by producing a speech for a party audience, he offered nothing to explain to the voters out there why they should stick with him next time."

"Gordon Brown put tackling antisocial behaviour at the top of his policy agenda as he set out his plan to pacify an angry Middle Britain." - Scotsman

Voters to be given 'right to recall' corrupt MPs by Gordon Brown - Telegraph

"The prospect of supervised homes for teenage mothers was one of the most eye-catching policy announcements Gordon Brown made in his speech, but the absence of any clear detail about how the commitment would be implemented triggered unease from charities who support young parents." - Guardian

Sarah Brown hails 'hero' Gordon at Labour Party conference - Telegraph

In The Times, Alice Thomson does not approve of Sarah Brown's introduction to her husband: "Why should we vote for her man just because she fell for his brooding stare and floppy locks ten years ago? Does she realise that she has set the cause of women back by years? What’s the point in Harriet Harman introducing equality legislation, when Gordon’s wife is telling the girls to vote for Mr Brown because she still fancies him and he is a gentle soul, not because of his economic policy — figures are far too hard for the weaker sex to grasp."


(1) Brown promises referendum on scrapping first-past-the-post voting if Labour wins election - Daily Mail

(2) Simon Heffer: Only the Liberal Democrats can save Labour


"[Brown's] rhetoric about what he hopes to do for the country masks what he knows is the reality: that within months his best chance of staying in office is an adulterous act with the Lib Dems. Are they prepared to play that game?" - Simon Heffer in The TelegraphLabour HQ gets tough with lazy candidates

"Labour is withholding campaign money from lazy MPs and candidates in marginal seats who are not showing an appetite to fight the election, The Times can reveal. For the first time Labour election officials are demanding that those standing in marginal seats must provide evidence of the scale of their campaign before they are allocated funds for leaflets and mailshots."

Ben Bradshaw: The BBC must change to survive - Independent

25 years after Brighton bomb, Labour lets unrepentant Martin McGuinness into the Grand Hotel - Daily Mail

It's not just Labour that is in trouble... the Left is in retreat across Europe

"Across the main capitals of Europe, the traditional parties of the centre-left are in retreat. On Sunday, Germany’s Social Democratic party, the oldest and grandest of them all, went down to its worst postwar defeat at the hands of Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats. One day after the SPD scored just 23 per cent in the German poll, the ruling British Labour party saw its opinion poll rating in the UK fall to the same figure – in third place behind the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. But why should the left be doing so badly at precisely the time when raw and unregulated free-market capitalism has precipitated a global financial crisis? ..." - FT

"The ASBO, has all too often been an excuse to delay criminal sanctions, allowing problems to escalate" - Jill Kirby in The Times explains why ASBOs have failed and are a completely inadequate response to the Pilkington tragedy

Scotland's recession sees first increase in thefts for a decade - Telegraph


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

29 Sep 2009 08:59:57

Tuesday 29th September 2009

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11pm WATCH: Sky News's Adam Boulton on the significance of The Sun backing the Conservatives

10.15pm ToryDiary BREAKING NEWS: The Sun deserts Labour to back the Tories

9pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Tackling anti-social behaviour is a favourite of Prime Ministerial conference swansongs

5.30pm David T Breaker on CentreRight: Guess who doesn't love the NHS?

5pm WATCH: Four clips of highlights from Gordon Brown's speech:

4.45pm Iain Murray on CentreRight notes the irony of the choice of entry and exit music for Gordon Brown

4.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Twitterworld's reaction to Brown's big speech

4pm Ryan Robson on CentreRight: Middle England has turned its back on Gordon Brown

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3.45pm ToryDiary: Live blog of Gordon Brown's Labour conference speech

2.45pm Local Government: Fiona Pilkington's suicide: What are councillors for?

12.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight offers Some random observations from his first Labour conference

11.15am ToryDiary: David Cameron responds to Pilkington tragedy: "Everything will be done differently by a Conservative government"

11.15am WATCH: Sky News's Joey Jones previews Gordon Brown's conference speech

10.45am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: When was the last time a speech made a difference?


Kwasi Kwarteng on Platform: Britain needs a manufacturing base - and pure free markets cannot be relied on to deliver it

Nick Seaton in Local Government: School governors should be waste busters

Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Have you an idea about reform of the Lords, Parliament or the EU which you'd like to pitch at a Dragon's Den event at conference?

WATCH: Peter Mandelson's speech to Labour Conference in its entirety

Liam Fox: The Conservatives would send 2,500 more troops to Afghanistan


"A Conservative government would increase British troop numbers in Afghanistan by up to 2,500 and deliver more helicopters, armoured vehicles and “other key battlefield enablers”, the Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox indicated yesterday. Claiming that continued British involvement in Afghanistan was a “national security imperative”, Dr Fox told an audience at the International Institute for Strategic Studies: “A Conservative government would be sympathetic to a request for an increase in the number of British troops to help" - The Times

"I believe the goal of security is achievable. The current war in Afghanistanin that context is winnable. This is the message we must get across to the British electorate-many of whom think any military action in Afghanistan is doomed from the outset. From many quarters we are constantly told that the war in Afghanistan is "unwinnable", "impossible", or a "losing battle". To support this claim we are told that Afghanistan is a "graveyard of empires" as if any military, regardless of its intentions, objectives, or capability has some sort of predisposition to strategic and tactical failure once they cross the border into Afghanistan." - An extract from Liam Fox's speech reproduced in The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Liam Fox accuses the Government of failing in its three main responsibilities in Afghanistan

Cameron cleared over four-letter radio interview

"A radio interview in which Tory leader David Cameron repeatedly swore did not breach broadcasting regulations, Ofcom has ruled. Mr Cameron was forced to apologise over a live interview he gave to Absolute Radio presenter Christian O'Connell on July 29... The incident prompted 20 complaints about offensive language to Ofcom, but the broadcasting watchdog ruled the show was "not in breach" of its code for broadcasters." - ITN

Lansley demands urgent investigation after cancer vaccination death


"A 14-year-old girl has died after being given a cervical cancer jab as part of a national immunisation programme, but the exact cause of death is unknown... Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the tragedy needed to be investigated "as a matter of urgency". He said: "This again raises the question which we have asked for some time, as to why the government won't publish the assessments it made of the relative merits of the two HPV vaccines and why we therefore use a different vaccine to most other comparable countries."  - BBC

Welsh Tories unveil home insulation plan

"Welsh Conservatives yesterday unveiled a £120m plan to cut carbon emissions by improving insulation in thousands of homes across Wales. The party proposes fitting loft and cavity wall insulation to homes if it has a role in the Assembly Government after the next election in 2011. It is estimated the four-year programme could cost £120m at today’s prices and create up to 2,500 jobs." - Western Mail

David Aaronovitch: The Tories should beware the Irish, not Labour

"There is a significant chance that by December — with all 27 member states having ratified Lisbon — the EU could be discussing candidates for president and foreign affairs chief. And here is the formal position of Her Majesty’s Opposition: if, by the general election, the treaty is in force, it “would lack democratic legitimacy in this country and we would not let matters rest there”. So the question — if the Irish Republic votes yes just in time for the Tory conference in Manchester — is what on earth “we would not let matters rest there” actually means. If scrutiny of the Opposition is any part of the modern journalist’s trade, it is the question that will be asked and reasked until it is answered. What “matters” will not rest?" - David Aaronovitch in The Times

Poll puts Labour in third place behind the Lib Dems...

"Labour has been pushed into third place for the first time in a generation according to a new poll that heaps pressure on Gordon Brown ahead of his fightback speech to his party conference today. The Prime Minister will make a last-ditch bid to save his embattled leadership by highlighting his actions to rescue the economy from a major banking collapse." - The Scotsman

> Last night's ToryDiary: New Ipsos-Mori poll puts Labour in third place behind the Lib Dems Labour activists are told the country's worst-kept secret: the general election will be on May 6th 2010

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"While Brown has until June 3 to call the vote, local elections are already scheduled on May 6. A 34-page Labour document titled, “General Election Handbook Part 1 -- A day-by- day planner for your general election campaign,” was issued to candidates and campaign chiefs this week at the conference. The document’s description of an April campaign suggests that Brown is planning to hold the general election the same day as voting for local officials. “This would appear to confirm a May 6 election,” said Justin Fisher, professor of political science at Brunel University and an expert on election campaigns." - Bloomberg

Brown to take fight to 'middle England' when he addresses the Labour conference today

"Gordon Brown takes his “fightback” to the streets of middle England on Tuesday, with a crucial Labour conference speech aimed at challenging the Tories on crime and family breakdown." - FT

"Gordon Brown is expected to announce a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in his keynote speech to the Labour party conference. He will say: "Whenever and wherever there is anti-social behaviour, we will be there to fight it." - BBC

"Gordon Brown will announce that local councils are to be given new powers stop pubs and clubs opening for 24-hours a day. The move will be part of a wider package of crime measures that the Prime Minister will unveil in his crucial pre-election party conference speech. He has previously indicated that he is unhappy with parts of the licensing law changes that were brought in while Tony Blair was Prime Minister but has stopped short of overhauling the legislation." - Daily Telegraph

> ConHome will be live blogging Gordon Brown's speech this afternoon from 2.15pm

Alistair Darling slams Tory economic policy

"Alistair Darling warned Britain that victory for David Cameron at the next General Election would herald a return to “Tory dark ages”. In his keynote address, the Chancellor sought to draw a stark distinction between the 12 years’ experience he and Gordon Brown had in office with the youthful inexperience of the Conservative leader and George Osborne, his Tory shadow, whom he insisted had contributed ­“little that is grown-up” to the economic debate." - The Herald

"Words by Machiavelli, choreography by Pan's People, and yet it worked" - Quentin Letts' verdict on Mandelson's speech

Picture 9

"Pure panto. A growling, scowling, toot-the-flute Peter Mandelson delivered a hypnotic speech yesterday afternoon, a caricatured cocktail of menace and guile. All it lacked was a black eye-patch, stumpy leg and the pirate’s cutlass. Oh, and a bouquet of gladioli for the blushing diva himself. There were self-puncturing jokes, swishes of kitten claw and a series of exaggerated waist swivels, arm gesticulations and eye flashes worthy of a Michael Jackson impersonator." - Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail

...but Ken Clarke is unimpressed

"The Conservatives said the speech showed the government was "empty" at a time of national crisis. "It is sad that Peter Mandelson did not appear to have a new idea or policy to offer," said shadow business secretary Ken Clarke. "The speech largely consisted of school-boyish attacks on the Conservative Party." - BBC

Lord Adonis: Cameron is trying to offer "better Blairism"

"David Cameron is stealing Tony Blair’s rhetoric, Lord Adonis told The Times’s fringe meeting at the Labour conference yesterday. The Transport Secretary said that the Conservative leader flipped between Blairism — “often a shorthand for a pro-business, pro-market approach” — and dire warnings to scare voters. “Cameron is trying to offer a better Blairism when he’s trying to be sunny,” he said. “Then when he’s not, it’s the age of austerity and broken Britain.” - The Times

What’s the point of the Labour Party?

"As Lord Mandelson said in his speech on Monday, “you win elections on the future, not the past”. This is the test for Gordon Brown, prime minister, when he rises to speak to his conference on Tuesday – one that he has failed dismally so far. He must explain why he thinks that his party deserves a fourth term and what he would do with it. This means setting out a clear vision about what he wants the state to do, and what he wants it to stop doing. Mr Brown must stop endlessly reciting his credentials and finally set out a direction." - FT editorial

Peter Riddell: Gordon Brown and Labour may get little credit for economic recovery

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"Gordon Brown and the Labour Party may get little credit, and few votes, even if there are clear signs of an end to the recession and the start of economic recovery early next year, a new poll for The Times suggests... The poll shows that only 24 per cent of the public say that Mr Brown will deserve a great deal of credit if there are clear signs that the economy has come out of recession and is recovering at the beginning of next year. Forty-seven per cent say that he will deserve a little credit and 27 per cent no credit at all." - Peter Riddell in The Times

Rachel Sylvester: Gordon Brown is finished - and the Labour Party might be too - The Times

Steve Richards: Operation Fightback is a clever idea, but signs of panic abound - The Independent

Angela Merkel faces demands for tax cuts as coalition talks begin

"Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was under pressure to take make quick tax cuts and take a tough stand on Turkey's bid to join the European Union as she launched coalition talks. Negotiations between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the smaller pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) opened in Berlin a day after voters gave the parties 332 seats, enough for a working majority, in the Bundestag." - Daily Telegraph


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

28 Sep 2009 08:59:55

Monday 28th September 2009

10.30pm ToryDiary: New Ipsos-Mori poll puts Labour in third place behind the Lib Dems

10pm Seats and Candidates update: Edmonton Conservatives select Andrew Charalambous as their parliamentary candidate

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9.45pm WATCH: "If I can come back, we can come back" - Lord Mandelson's message to the Labour Party Conference

9pm Seats and Candidates: The final six names emerge for Macclesfield

8.30pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: Encourage marriage by reducing the cost of weddings

7.30pm Seats and Candidates: Edmonton Conservatives are selecting their parliamentary candidate tonight

5.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight has spotted The Sun's ad van touring Brighton with a message for the Government

4pm WATCH: Alistair Darling claims the Conservative Party failed the tests of judgement posed by the economic crisis

3.45pm ToryDiary exclusive: Tories set to launch groundbreaking campaigning website

3pm ToryDiary update: Chris Grayling demands that the inquiry into Baroness Scotland be re-opened

1.15pm WATCH: Is this Labour's last ever party conference in Government?

Tim Loughton

12.30pm CentreRight update: Shadow Children's minister Tim Loughton agrees with Jonathan Isaby that banning friends from babysitting each other's children "defies common sense"

12.15pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: The DNA database: a part of you, forever in the Government’s hands

11.45pm CentreRight updates:

11.15am WATCH: Lord Mandelson says that controlling bankers' bonuses will sustain, not sabotage, wealth creation

10.45am Local Government: Gordon Brown's fightback falls flat in Brent as Labour councillor defects to the Conservatives

10.30am ToryDiary: A very big day in UK opinion polling... the arrival of daily polling

10.15am Mark Field MP on CentreRight: Alternative Investment Directive - the impact on hedge funds


ToryDiary: Liam Fox accuses the Government of failing in its three main responsibilities in Afghanistan

Bob Seely on Platform: Is Patriotism going to be the next big political idea?

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government:

Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: Some thoughts on the German elections

Fifty Things about David Cameron's Conservatives: 3 - David Cameron is rebuilding the Tory Big Tent

Star Chamber: Abolish the £30 allowance for 16 to 19 year-olds in full time education


Tory outrage at demands from Scottish airport police for passports from English visitors

Chris Grayling head shoulders tie

"Passengers travelling on flights from England to Scotland are being forced to show passports to police. The situation came to light when Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling was shocked to be asked for identification under anti-terror laws by airport officers. And last night he demanded an explanation from Scotland’s top police chief and said he was worried that people travelling on domestic flights now face checks akin to border controls. The Tory MP has written to Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House asking why his officers are routinely stopping airline passengers using powers normally used to combat terrorists." - Daily Mail

David Ruffley exposes alarming rate of police station closure

"Police stations are closing at the rate of one a month, despite the Government’s rhetoric for improving neighbourhood policing, The Daily Telegraph can disclose... David Ruffley, the shadow policing minister who obtained the latest information, said: "Police stations, a visible police presence in any community, continue to close. While some forces argue that police stations are less necessary because of new technology, the fact remains that the police presence on our streets has decreased under Labour. Beat officers spend less than one hour in five on patrol." - Daily Telegraph

Conservatives plan to use more lottery cash to save historic buildings


"Neglected churches and crumbling castles would receive millions of pounds of extra funding if the Conservatives win power at the next election, a Shadow minister has suggested. Endangered historic buildings such as cathedrals and abbeys in need of urgent repair would benefit from additional funding from the National Lottery under a Tory plan to allocate more cash to traditional projects and the preservation of the nation’s heritage. Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said that up to £40 million would be found by cutting bureaucracy and allowing the lottery to operate independently. Buildings most likely to benefit are those managed by organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust." - The Times

New poll suggests Labour could prevent Tory victory if Brown is ditched

"Support for the Conservative Party is so flimsy that Labour could head off a general election defeat by ousting Gordon Brown, according to a survey for The Independent. ComRes found that Labour would do better under all eight alternative leaders, whose support it tested with the public, than under Mr Brown. Under David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, or Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, Labour would be the largest party in a hung parliament, raising hopes that it might cling on to power for a fourth term." - The Independent

"The leadership of the Government has lost the right to be listened to... Gordon Brown will lead the Labour Party to defeat. It might be a serious defeat from which the party will take a long time to recover. If it retains the will to be competitive — which is doubtful — it has to summon some courage and find a more appealing face." - Times editorial

> Last night's ToryDiary: Conservatives at 38% and Labour and LibDems both on 23%

Further poll analysis points to big Labour names being defeated

"Some of Labour’s best-known MPs, including Margaret Beckett and Jacqui Smith as well as ten ministers, are predicted to lose their seats in the event of a landslide election defeat... The most prominent names to lose their seats in this case would include Ms Smith, a former Home Secretary, who has a 1,948 majority in Redditch, Mrs Beckett, a former Foreign Secretary, which would take a shift of 2,755 votes in Derby South, Barbara Follett, the Stevenage MP, whose lead is 3,451, and Glenda Jackson, the Hampstead MP, whose majority is 1,134." - The Times

Chris Grayling: Baroness Scotland's position is "completely untenable"

"Law chief Baroness Scotland faced fresh pressure last night after her illegal immigrant maid claimed she was hired in ten minutes flat. Loloahi Tapui insisted she did not show her passport when she applied to work for the Attorney General - and was never asked for it... Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling called her position "completely untenable" and added: "It looks pretty clear that the Home Office carried out a rushed and incomplete investigation." - The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Grayling accuses Brown of attempting to "whitewash" Baroness Scotland's employment of illegal housekeeper

Speaker Bercow calls a halt to the hunt for the whistleblower on MPs' expenses

Speaker Bercow

"John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has called off the hunt into the source of the Telegraph’s expenses disclosures, branding it a waste of money... The Speaker said that he was “deeply disturbed” to discover that taxpayers’ money was still being spent on the investigation, despite widespread public anger at MPs over the disclosures, describing the inquiry as a “witch hunt”. - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary post on the matter

The City is increasingly united in seeking a Tory victory

"Any doubt that the Conservative leader may have had about whether he could rely on City votes in the general election next year were swept away at a packed banqueting hall last Tuesday evening, when the Tories played host to a private fundraiser that was all but standing room only. The black-tied bankers attending the dinner, who included Michael Spencer, the founder of Icap, Richard Gnodde, a managing director of Goldman Sachs, and Naguib Kheraj, the chief executive of JPMorgan Cazenove, are accustomed to grabbing business from one another at opposite ends of a trading screen. But the occasion united them in a common cause: to help the Conservatives to seize power for the first time in 13 years — and to replenish the party’s coffers to help them to get there." - The Times

Peter Riddell: Beleaguered Gordon Brown carries echoes of John Major's doomed premiership

"A Prime Minister widely derided in the press as a doomed loser faces his last conference before a general election with his party lagging well behind in the polls. Sounds familiar? Gordon Brown’s predicament has uncanny echoes with Sir John Major’s situation in autumn 1996, ahead of the landslide defeat for the Conservatives in May 1997. History never repeats itself exactly but all prime ministers in trouble have similar experiences. They tend to be accident prone. Foreign trips are particularly hazardous when a press pack scenting blood pursues the PM on matters that he considers irrelevant, such as how much time he spends with a foreign leader (for Bill Clinton in 1996, read Barack Obama now) or over unsubstantiated rumours about his personal health." - Peter Riddell in The Times

> Saturday's CentreRight post from Tim Montgomerie: It's 1996 all over again at the Labour Conference

Downing Street clashes with BBC over Marr's questioning of Brown

MARR andrew

"Downing Street was involved in a heated row with the BBC last night over the corporation’s “astonishing” questioning of Gordon Brown's health. Andrew Marr, the BBC’s main political presenter, shocked the Prime Minister during a live television interview on the opening day of Labour’s annual conference in Brighton by asking whether he took pills to help him “get through". - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: CCHQ ready for Marr to question Cameron's drug history

> WATCH: Gordon Brown denies he is taking prescription pills during Andrew Marr interview

Stephen Glover: Readers will decide if Lord Ashcroft is interfering with websites' editorial lines

"If the billionaire deputy chairman of the Tory party acquired control of two newspapers, I am sure there would be a terrific hullabaloo. Lord Ashcroft's purchase of the two websites, and has attracted relatively little controversy... In the end it will be the readers of and who decide. If they trace the interfering hand of Lord Ashcroft – and if they do not like it – they will simply stop reading them." - Stephen Glover in The Independent

> Last week's ToryDiary: Lord Ashcroft and ConservativeHome

Angela Merkel claims victory in German election


"German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday recorded a resounding triumph in her country's general elections and will be able to leave her coalition partners behind after they suffered their worst parliamentary election result since the Second World War. Mrs Merkel was seeking to end her uneasy four-year-old "grand coalition" with the centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD) of challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier and form a government with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) instead." - Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's International blog on the German elections

Boris's EastEnders cameo will be broadcast on Thursday - The Guardian

Alistair Darling to announce crackdown on City bonuses - The Independent

Jack Straw confirms he will take on Nick Griffin for Labour on Question Time - BBC

Bruce Anderson: We are in desperate need of good and honest government - The Independent

Ed Balls blows £3 million doing up his office - The Sun


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

27 Sep 2009 08:57:56

Sunday 27th September 2009

10.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Labour are now copying the Tory stage set

9.45pm ToryDiary: Conservatives 38% and Labour and LibDems both on 23%

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7.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Labour hope for 5% boost from Brighton

6.45pm Update to earlier Parliament post: The Guardian is reporting that The Speaker has now called off the 'expenses mole' hunt

6.30pm ToryDiary: CCHQ ready for Marr to question Cameron's drug history

5.45pm International: BREAKING NEWS Exit poll suggests Merkel (CDU) and Westervelle (FDP) may have won enough support to form a centre right coalition

4.30pm ToryDiary: How would you trim the deficit?

3.45pm WATCH: Gordon Brown denies he is taking prescription pills during Andrew Marr interview


3pm Ruth Lea on CentreRight: "Given the expected scale of fiscal tightening over the next few years, there has to be the danger that the higher taxes and/or spending cuts will undermine the economy’s recovery – if not throwing it back into recession. But I take the view that the financial position is so dire that the most sensible objective would be to get the tightening over as quickly as possible and trust that the Bank of England could maintain overall spending power in the economy at a satisfactory level by keeping interest rates low, extending quantitative easing if necessary."

Noon, On International today, a rolling thread on the German elections

10.15am Parliament: John Bercow is spending tens of thousands of pounds in search for expenses whistleblower

10.15am ToryDiary: Less chit chat please



Jacob Mchangama on Platform: A UK Bill of Rights should be the first step in a human rights (counter)-revolution

Local government: Mark Wallace wants your help in spotting public sector organisations active at party conferences and Camden cuts libraries scissors plan

David T Breaker on CentreRight: Labour plans to serve up Grandmar's apple pie to win the election

Tories 14% ahead in ICM poll - News of the World | Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

Ipsos MORI: "Only 13% of people trust politicians to tell the truth, down from 21%, while 82% think they do not tell the truth, up from 73% last year." - Observer

The Conservatives are planning a "radical simplification" of the national curriculum - The Sunday Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt wants to cut Lottery bureaucracy and plough £40m of savings into British heritage - Observer

"Both Brown and Cameron are going into party conferences knowing the public is not sold on either of them" - Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

What Cameron still needs to do in order to win over the Blairites

John Rentoul: "There are two things he could do that would make it easier for soft-core Blairites to complete the transition from New Labour to liberal Conservative. One would be to accept the Lisbon Treaty; the other would be to ditch the promise of an inheritance tax cut for estates of up to £1m, as Kenneth Clarke tried to do earlier this year. He succeeded only in pushing it back towards the end of a first parliament." - John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

George Osborne says the Prime Minister who doubled the national debt cannot be trusted to halve the deficit

OSBORNE speaking

Following reports in The Sunday Telegraph that Brown will announce a legally-binding plan to halve the deficit, George Osborne issued this statement:

"The idea that Gordon Brown can reinvent himself as the guardian of the nation's finances, after doubling the national debt and spending the whole year opposing anyone who said that borrowing was getting out of control is the latest attempt to treat the public like fools. We Conservatives proposed a year ago a legally binding Office for Budget Responsibility, and Gordon Brown spent the whole year telling us we were wrong. He is now conceding that the Conservatives have got it right all along."

Barack Obama pollster tells Labour to concentrate fire on Tory 'toffs' - The Sunday Times

Lord Mandelson: I would work for the Tories - The Sunday Times

Mandelson to back Ed Miliband as future Labour leader - The Sunday Telegraph

Alistair Darling: Labour leadership has lost the will to live - Observer

Last night Tim Montgomerie compared Labour to the Tories in 1996 but... Peter Hain hopes it's 1992


"I think the next election will be like that of 1992. Then, everyone expected John Major's Conservative government to lose, but in the end voters considered the Opposition too much of a risk. I think that next time, too, voters might set aside their dissatisfaction with their government and ask themselves if they really, really trust the Tories with their jobs, their mortgages, their families, their pensions." - Peter Hain in the Independent on Sunday

Peter Hain warns of "really bad defeat": "Labour is heading for a “really bad defeat” unless the party dramatically improves its performance, Peter Hain, the cabinet minister, warned last night. In an outspoken interview with The Sunday Times, Hain admitted that ministers had been gripped by “defeatism” and said too many serious mistakes had been made." - The Sunday Times

David Miliband: "'Future' is the most important word in politics." - Independent on Sunday

Labour may lurch to the Left after defeat

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"Labour has responded to defeat before by lurching to the left. Its leadership election in 1980, when Denis Healey won the first ballot but lost to Michael Foot in the second, was the prelude to the left-wing unilateralist 1983 manifesto, otherwise known as the longest suicide note in history. Along the way, some of the party’s biggest names broke away to form the Social Democrats. The names have changed but the party faces a similar choice now. A generational shift is taking place." - The Sunday Times leader

Michael Ashcroft's wealth gives him huge influence in political life… and the power to crush debate - Nick Cohen in The Observer

Internal Education Department report reveals waste of taxpayers' money

"The report, by former WH Smith chief executive Richard Handover, has been seen by BBC One's Politics Show... He described how £50,000 was spent installing three toilets at a primary school - 10 times the required sum, while another spent £35,000 on a £1,000 photocopier." - BBC


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