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31 Jan 2010 09:01:34

Sunday 31st January 2010

7.30pm WATCH: David Cameron says a Tory government will start to cut within its first year but declines to quantify the cuts

5.15pm Seats and candidates: John Glen wins Salisbury

1.45pm ToryDiary: New ConservativeHome survey is live

11.15am Seats and candidates: Local candidate Ian Axton's last minute withdrawal from Salisbury selection

10.15am ToryDiary: Cameron's dynamite quote on householders' rights

10pm ToryDiary: Captions please...

Cameron@Davos2ToryDiary: Cameron ready to fight second election in 2010 after implementing popular policies from Downing Street

David Burrowes MP on Platform: Labour has failed to deliver justice for victims of crime

Seats and candidates: Are shortlists too long?

Local government: Havering to cut council tax by 0.5%

LeftWatch: Outstripping inflation, the cost of politics rises to £650m under Labour

International: Disagreements on tax, Afghanistan and with her conservative base upset Merkel's second term


MailoS Brown used violence against staff - Last night's LeftWatch

Brown is ready to "go on and on" after defeat if Tories win indecisive victory - The Sunday Times

Brown aims to outspend the Tories on defence in 2010/11

"The amount spent by Britain on the war in Afghanistan is to be boosted by £1.5 billion to £5 billion over the next 12 months... In a further move to shore up military spending, ministers will shortly announce that the overall annual budget for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is £35 billion for the current year (2009-10) will be "ring-fenced" for 2010-11.... Gordon Brown will challenge the Tories to match the government's commitment." - The Sunday Telegraph

...but Tories will give extra money to local government to freeze council tax - The Observer

David Cameron plans to put Iain Duncan Smith in charge of a Department for Social Justice - The Sunday Telegraph

George Osborne issues new warning on bank bonuses

"It is totally unacceptable to pay large bonuses, large cash bonuses in particular, at a time when the taxpayer is still reeling from the cost of bailing out the banking system, and when businesses across the country cannot get access to credit on reasonable terms." - The Sunday Telegraph

Senior Tories dismiss stories of tensions between Osborne and Cameron over extent of early cuts - Mail on Sunday

Vince Cable warns that early cuts could send Britain into double dip recession - Mail on Sunday

The Sunday Times says Cameron is right to retreat from threat of large spending cuts

Osborne to take on Darling and Cable in election debate - The Sunday Times

Tories are considering two year freeze in BBC licence fee

"Conservatives plan to keep the licence at its present level - £142 a year - for at least two years. But a three-year freeze would cost the corporation about £300million in real terms... Lord Fowler, chairman of the Lords’ Select Committee on Communications, revealed the licence fee plans after releasing a report entitled The British Film and Television Industries - Decline or Opportunity? He said: “The licence fee may get frozen for a year or two but the fee as such is a system that will continue. I don’t think David Cameron wants to change that.” - Sunday Express

David Davis breaks ranks on Iraq war, saying it has made world less safe

Davis-David-red-tie "The final price of this war is not yet settled. It has not destroyed the morale of al-Qaida; if anything, it has given it a new moral cause. It distracted us from Afghanistan – the necessary war – and has rendered it a thousand times more difficult to resolve. And it has taken the west from a position of moral superiority to moral failure. Where would we be without your war, Tony Blair? Even by your own criteria, in a rather better position than we are now, I fear." - David Davis in The Observer

Fraser Nelson in the News of the World finds Blair innocent of being America's poodle but guilty of losing the war.

> WATCH: Despite mistakes in Iraq, Cameron tells CNN that he is glad Saddam is gone

"Calls to clarify Lord Ashcroft's position after revelation that he provided flights for William Hague's visit to Havana last year, and then accompanied him to top-level meetings" - Observer

Could David Willetts' future lie in a more literary direction? - The Observer profile

Former Tory MP Piers Merchant left all his £695,000 estate to his wife who stood by him despite his affair with a younger woman - Mail on Sunday

Screen shot 2010-01-31 at 09.05.41 Ed Miliband declares war on climate change sceptics - Observer

Labour plans to force cigarettes to be sold in in plain, unbranded packets in the war on smoking - Sunday Telegraph

Blair's £1.5m Africa Panel fails to scrutinise aid pledges - Sunday Telegraph

And finally...

If Cameron becomes PM he can invite ANYONE to lunch. Nigel Farndale in The Sunday Telegraph recommends Cheryl Cole and Joanna Lumley...


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30 Jan 2010 08:58:26

Saturday 30th January 2010

MailoS 11.30pm LeftWatch: Brown accused of violence against staff in damaging new revelations

11pm Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: It's hard to imagine the BBC publishing an article as utterly patronising and unthinkingly biased as this one about any country but the United States...

8.45pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: The British and US governments must stop undermining President Karzai

7.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron confirms that a "Low Carbon Economy" will be an "urgent" priority for a Tory government

5.45pm WATCH: A three minute video from CNN attempts to answer the question, Who is David Cameron?

5pm ToryDiary: Any questions for the end-January ConHome survey?

3.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Twenty years of the Conservative Christian Fellowship

6a00d83451b31c69e20120a5dab31a970c-200wi2.45pm Seats and candidates: Matt Hancock, George Osborne's Chief of Staff, selected for Suffolk West

12.45pm ToryDiary: Tories 9% ahead in second YouGov poll in 24 hours

12.30pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: "Future historians will look back and judge that the Iraq invasion, which was heavily criticised at the time, was in the end vindicated by bringing democracy and stability to Iraq, and that Iraq subsequently provided a model for other Arab states to follow, leading over time to the spread of liberal democracy across much of the Arab world."

12.30pm International: A warm welcome to

ToryDiary: The Tories dip in polls as Cameron sounds an uncertain trumpet

Cgraffy photo Colleen Graffy on Platform: The war against Iraq was the right decision and it was legal

Local government: London quangos spend £5.6bn

Seats and candidates: Overnight we reported the selection of Gavin Williamson as Tory PPC for South Staffordshire


David Cameron in Davos

"Many Americans have been intrigued to encounter a conservative leader who is willing to countenance the idea that tax rises might be necessary to balance the budget – and who has taken socially liberal positions on gay rights and the environment. He has come across as far removed from the “tea-party conservatism” rampant in the US." - FT

'British leaders aren't what they were'

"It is increasingly hard to imagine David Cameron having the same impact. As the self-styled “heir to Blair’, after all, he seems to have learned all the wrong lessons. From his vague plans for deficit reduction to his born-again social liberalism, public opinion leads and he trails tamely behind. What with him, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg, the focus group organisers must be making a killing." - Dominic Sandbrook in The Telegraph

Darling v Osborne

"Darling has won a certain grudging respect for the way he has dealt with the disastrous economic legacy left to him by the fellow next door. Osborne, on the other hand, has yet to convince Middle Britain he is the man to bring back the good times." - Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

Ken Livingstone predicts that Boris will run again

JOHNSON-MAKING-NOTES ""Cameron will insist," Livingstone said. "He will never allow Boris Johnson back into parliament while he's leader because he will upstage him every day. Boris can't help himself. Therefore he will have to run again." In a reference to Johnson's reputed ambition to lead the Conservative party one day, Livingstone said: "He has to get re-elected in 2012 to demonstrate it wasn't just one flash in the pan thing or a bad year for Labour. He has to demonstrate he can run something."' - The former Mayor quoted in The Guardian

Bernard Jenkin has repayment halved

"Bernard Jenkin, the MP for North Essex, said he had been “vindicated” after Sir Paul Kennedy cut the amount of expenses he has to repay. The Tory MP had been ordered by House of Commons auditor Sir Thomas Legg to repay £63,250 claimed as rent for a farmhouse in Hatfield Peverel, which is owned by his sister-in-law." - Telegraph

> Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight yesterday: First Tory MP (Roger Gale) to successfully appeal against Sir Thomas Legg's expense demands speaks out

Outgoing Tory MP Anthony Steen claims he has been 'vilified' for having a big house and is the victim of an 'unfair witch-hunt -

Screen shot 2010-01-30 at 08.13.29 Simon Jenkins reviews a new book on The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron - Guardian

Sandra Howard explains why she is finding it hard to be the mother of an empty nest - Daily Mail

John McFall, the Labour chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, is to stand down as an MP - Telegraph

Andrew Grive looks for hope for the Left in that social attitudes survey

"On the face of it, the attitudes survey suggests that Labour needs a miracle to cling on to power at this year's election. Yet a closer look at the small print gives Labour a few crumbs of comfort: 81 per cent of people want more health spending and 72 per cent favour a bigger education budget. Two-thirds of voters still think the Government has a responsibility to reduce the gap between rich and poor." - Independent

The Daily Mail's verdict on Tony Blair

"Few will be surprised by yesterday's self-righteous and unilluminating display - still less by the complete lack of contrition, from a man whose only regret is that the war was 'divisive'. But two mysteries remain: Why are so many prominent businesses prepared to pay huge sums to employ this utterly discredited fantasist? And how, when he's the most distrusted politician in the region he destabilised, can he remain the UN's 'peace envoy' to the Middle East?" - Daily Mail leader

And finally...

Eggs.10483219 She fought hard to get the nation's finances back in trim. But only now can the secret of Margaret Thatcher's own diet be revealed - 28 eggs a week. The eggs, along with cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, steak and the odd swig of whisky, went towards a strict meal regime that promised to help her shed 20lb in two weeks. On the brink of becoming Britain's first woman Prime Minister in 1979, the then Mrs Thatcher was said to be keen to lose weight in time for her historic photocall outside No 10. Her crash diet plan was found typed on a sheet of yellowing paper folded up and tucked inside her 1979 personal diary." - Daily Mail

Papers reveal Margaret Thatcher's first days as PM - BBC

The Margaret Thatcher Foundation website.


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29 Jan 2010 08:59:58

Friday 29th January 2010

Midnight Seat and Candidates: Gavin Williamson selected for South Staffordshire

11.30pm ToryDiary: Tory lead 8% in latest Ipsos-Mori poll

 6.30pm WATCH Three more clips of Tony Blair's evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry:

6.15pm Seats and Candidates: Jacqui Smith admits that Tory hopeful Karen Lumley will probably beat her in Redditch

5.45pm Andrew Haldenby on CentreRight reports on a meeting that concluded that government spending should certainly rise in times of economic slowdown – but only through the “automatic stabilisers”

Picture 95.30pm WATCH: George Osborne says he has found quite a lot of support at Davos for President Obama's ideas about regulating the banking industry

5pm ToryDiary update: UUP leader Sir Reg Empey reaffirms his party's alliance with the Conservatives

4pm ToryDiary: Conservative lead remains 16% in latest Angus Reid poll

3.45pm ToryDiary update: Owen Paterson says that he has been reassured by Sir Reg Empey about the UUP/DUP talks revealed by the BBC

2.30pm Local Government: Tory-run East Staffordshire Council to freeze council tax

2.15pm ToryDiary: Owen Paterson demands to see UUP leader over secret UUP/DUP "unity talks" convened by the Orange Order

1.45pm Local government: Doncaster cuts Council Tax by 3% - after a challenging month for the Mayor

1pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: First Tory MP to successfully appeal against Sir Thomas Legg's expense demands speaks out

12.30pm Tim Montgomerie in Seats and Candidates: Why I'm backing John Glen for Salisbury

12.15pm WATCH Three clips from Tony Blair's evidence this morning to the Chilcot Inquiry:

11.30am LeftWatch: An attempt is made to bury the very bad news that is a surge in NHS waiting times

10.30am Local Government: Two council by-election results from yesterday

10.15am Local Government: Liberal Democrat councillor in Harlow defects to the Conservatives

ToryDiary: How the Conservatives will "embed behavioural thinking throughout government"

LeftWatch: Labour's headline-grabbing eco-homes tax incentive has benefitted just 24 people

Fiona Hodgson Fiona Hodgson on Platform: We must help the women of Afghanistan attain the equality promised for them in their constitution

Seat and Candidates: Final six for Suffolk Coastal

Parliament: Theresa Villiers accuses the Government of lagging behind other countries on airline passenger security

Local Government: Tory-controlled Somerset freezes council tax


WATCH: An innovative way of promoting economic theory...

Picture 7
The Hayek vs. Keynes rap anthem -  Fear the Boom and Bust

Cameron wants early deficit cut, despite economy fears

David Cameron miked blue background "David Cameron indicated yesterday that – if elected – he would press ahead with plans to start cutting Britain's £178bn fiscal deficit this year even if the economy dips back into recession... Cameron issued his warning at the World Economic Forum in Davos when he was asked on Channel 4 News whether he would cut the deficit even if there is a severe contraction in the economy." - The Guardian

"David Cameron will strike a patriotic note in his address to the world economic forum in Davos today, promising he will “take on the role of flag waver for British business” if the Conservatives are elected. In front of an audience expected to include former US president Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Cameron will extol Britain’s “proud history” as a nation of traders and entrepreneurs." - City AM

Britain must 'rehabilitate economic reputation', says Cameron - Daily Telegraph

"Even if the official statistical picture for the last three months of 2009 does brighten, the prospects for the first quarter of 2010 are unprepossessing. For one thing, the recent cold snap may have hindered production. For another, there may be payback for a boost to consumer spending late last year." - The Economist

> Last night's ToryDiary: David Cameron commits a Conservative Government to start making cuts later this year - even if the economy contracts again

George Osborne: We have no plans to break up universal banks

"In an interview at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Mr. Osborne said he didn't advocate a return to the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking. "I fully understand that modern universal banks need to offer their customers investment-banking services," he said." - Wall Street Journal

Liam Fox blasts Labour economic mismanagement for leaving black hole in defence budget

Liam Fox Daily Politics "The collapse in the value of the pound has left a £1.3 billion black hole in Britain’s defence budget, MPs have been warned... Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said the scale of the losses could have serious consequences for Britain’s armed forces. The £325million a year loss would pay the salary of more than 20,000 Army privates. Dr Fox said: ‘Gordon Brown's economic incompetence is claiming victim after victim, whether it is small businesses, our aid budget, or in this case the MoD. There is hardly an aspect of our national life that has not been damaged by Labour's appalling mismanagement’." - Daily Mail

Afghanistan Conference sets five-year exit plan

"A process of reintegration for the Taleban was the centrepiece yesterday of the London conference on Afghanistan, which also set a tentative timeline for a transition of authority to the Afghan Government and a withdrawal of Western troops. A communiqué issued at the end of the conference set a period of five years for Afghan troops to take control of security in the country, but President Karzai said that such a process might take 15 years." - The Times

> Video from yesterday: Liam Fox says that the Afghan Government should talk to the "reconcilable elements" of the Taleban

Tony Blair goes before the Chilcot Inquiry today

Tony Blair pensive mid-interview "Blair has been working hard to prepare himself for his six-hour session, refamiliarising himself with the documents and reading digests of the evidence given by previous witnesses. He knows that even though he has been asked many of the questions likely to be posed today innumerable times, this represents his last chance to justify the war." - The Guardian

The key questions Blair will face - The Independent

"I had no doubts that the war was legal because I have little time for international so-called law. In my view the war was legal because Parliament decided it was... The crime Chilcot should be investigating is not the invasion of Iraq but the total, comprehensive and needless bungling of the rebuilding of that country, and the virtual destruction of the well educated, more or less secular middle and professional classes which has left the way open for the radical extremists Saddam had kept under control." - Norman Tebbit blogging for the Daily Telegraph

Tories accuse Labour of kicking Commons reform plans into long grass

"Commons leader Harriet Harman has urged MPs not to be "suspicious" after claims she is trying to block reforms aimed at beefing up the powers of backbenchers. Ms Harman said she backed the Wright committee's proposals, which include electing committee chairmen and giving MPs a greater say in what they debate... Shadow leader of the House Sir George Young told MPs: "There is now a widespread suspicion that the government has created an approach that is simply designed to fail." - BBC

> Yesterday in Parliament: Sir George Young suggests that Harriet Harman is trying to block Commons reforms by using procedures giving a veto to any individual MP

Teaching about gay equality should be 'embedded' in schooling, says David Cameron

"David Cameron has said that teaching children about equality for gay people and the importance of civil partnerships should be "embedded" in Britain's schooling. In another sign of his departure from the Tory past, Cameron again apologised for supporting section 28 and said that teaching about equality was an important way of combating homophobic bullying." - The Guardian

> Video from yesterday: David Cameron says that Section 28 was a mistake and that children should be taught about homosexual relationships and the value of civil partnerships

Can Sweden teach our schools a lesson?

Richard garner visits Hampton Community College for The Independent

Cadbury should thrive under Kraft, says Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke “What we have to concentrate on now is how to get the best out of the change that has taken place. There comes a point when there is no point in reminiscing about the Quaker foundations of Cadbury, nor even getting too worked up about whether they should have been sold or not.” - Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke quoted in the Birmingham Post

Tory backbencher accuses immigrant of 'importing medieval views' about women

"A Tory MP was plunged into a race row after he accused some ethnic communities of importing 'barbaric and medieval' views about women into Britain. David Davies, a member of the Home Affairs select committee, was accused of a 'crass misunderstanding' of the issues after his comments over a rape by 14-year-old Asian Balal Khan." - Daily Mail

Bromsgrove grassroots Tories angry at association chairman's agreement to CCHQ-imposed candidate shortlist

"Members of Bromsgrove Conservative Association have hit out at the organisation's apparent decision to ask the party's London office to supply a list of six candidates to replace Julie Kirkbride... In a report on the influential Conservative Home website, Jonathan Isaby wrote that sources at Tory headquarters had told him the Bromsgrove Association had 'requested' the selection be done under by-election rules, meaning Central Office supplied the six-name shortlist with no local input... We asked Bromsgrove Conservative Association chairman Alan Dent to confirm or deny this fact, but he declined to comment." - Bromsgrove Standard

Lunchtime deadline looms for Northern Ireland deal - Belfast Telegraph

The first two MPs to win expenses appeals identify themselves - BBC

Quangos are a luxury we don't need, and certainly can't afford - Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph

How Labour used the state to punish working families - Patrick O'Flynn in the Daily Express

And finally... David Cameron pips Jeremy Clarkson to first place in best Prime Minister poll

"Sun columnist and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson would make a better Prime Minister than Gordon Brown, say voters. Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and actor Stephen Fry also beat Mr Brown into fifth place. Tory leader David Cameron topped the list. The result is yet another blow for Mr Brown, who is one of the most unpopular PMs in history." - The Sun


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28 Jan 2010 08:59:24

Thursday 28th January 2010

David Cameron blue background 8.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron commits a Conservative Government to start making cuts later this year - even if the economy contracts again

6.30pm Charles Tannock MEP on CentreRight posts Reflections from Auschwitz-Birkenau on the 65th anniversary of its liberation

5.30pm Parliament: Sir George Young suggests that Harriet Harman is trying to block Commons reforms by using procedures giving a veto to any individual MP

4.15pm ToryDiary: What was missing from ConHome's 'Closing the deal' series?

3.15pm Julia Manning on CentreRight: There was never any evidence of a link between MMR and autism - it is a contemporary, disastrous myth

Picture 83.15pm WATCH: Liam Fox says that the Afghan Government should talk to the "reconcilable elements" of the Taleban

2.45pm ToryDiary: Alan Duncan spotted at Cornerstone party

2.15pm Seats and candidates: Does Operation Black Vote have a problem updating its website?

2.15pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight resurrects his proposal to choose the House of Lords by random selection akin to a jury

2pm Local Government: Political opponents block London Assembly Tories' attempt to cut all political groups' budgets

2pm Seats and candidates: BBC reports on the Liberal Democrats' number one Tory target; Eastbourne's Nigel Waterson

1pm Robin Simcox on CentreRight: The Iraqi "war for oil" fallacy

Picture 2Noon Parliament: Francis Maude attacks the Government for doubling the cost of the 2011 census and calls for it to be scaled back and made less intrusive

11.30pm Patrick Nolan on CentreRight: A better system of parental leave requires real reform, not more spending

9.45am WATCH: David Cameron says that Section 28 was a mistake and that children should be taught about homosexual relationships and the value of civil partnerships

William Hague serious square

ToryDiary: William Hague demands that the Chilcot Inquiry be given "unfettered access" to all Iraq documents

LeftWatch: Where did all the stimulus go?

Mark Field MP on Platform: The safeguards for "assisted dying" are illusory

Seat and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Gyles Brandreth

Parliament: Have we really got "the laziest MPs for 30 years"?

Local Government:

WATCH: Barack Obama makes jobs his priority for 2010 in his first State of the Union Address

Cameron and Osborne must listen to their backbenchers — or face revolt

Cameron and Osborne "By rights, Tory MPs should adore the men who are about to end their 13 years in the political wilderness. Three successive leaders have led the Tories to defeat. Now, Mr Cameron is about to take them to victory in a campaign masterminded by his shadow chancellor, Mr Osborne. But talking to backbench MPs, one is struck by the lack of love for either of them. The reason for this is simple: the infantry feel underappreciated and ignored."- James Forsyth in The Spectator

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Team Cameron need to build better relationships with MPs, journalists and other key friends

Cameron winning female vote for Tories

"David Cameron is attracting a spectacular surge in support among mothers as women turn their backs on Labour, according to a new survey. The shift towards the Tories is a boost to party strategists after targeting young female voters. Backing for Labour is slumping in particular among mothers from lower income, northern and lone parent families. The survey of 6,000 mothers by the parenting website Netmums found 34 per cent support for the Tories among mothers, compared with 18 per cent for Labour and 15 per cent for the Liberal Democrats. Thirteen per cent said they were still undecided." - The Independent

Andrew Lansley slams surge in NHS managers

Lansley2 "Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley will tell a nursing conference today that he is particularly worried because the number of NHS managers has risen three times faster than the number of nurses under Labour. 'Conservatives are committed to recruiting additional health visitors and to ensuring that efficiency savings in the NHS and cuts in bureaucracy are invested back into frontline services,' he will add." - Daily Mail

Tories pledge to publish Shannon Matthews care report in full

"The Conservatives pledged last night that an incoming Tory government would publish the full report into social workers’ disastrous dealings with the family of Shannon Matthews, the kidnapped schoolgirl who was drugged and held captive for 25 days by an accomplice of her mother." - The Times

Top Tories will attend World Economic Forum in Davos

"David Cameron will be joined this week in Davos by shadow chancellor George Osborne and party stalwart William Hague as they seek to win support from the global business elite ahead of challenging incumbent U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Labour Party in a general election this summer." - Wall Street Journal

Boris steps down as Police Authority chairman

Boris Johnson messy hair "Mayor of London Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he would stand down as head of the capital's police authority, reversing an election pledge that he would personally take charge of the fight against crime. "I think it would be a good thing we changed the chair of the MPA (Metropolitan Police Authority) and I am proposing to stand down," he told a questions session at the London Assembly. Johnson's dual role as mayor and chair of the MPA had been criticised for overly politicising the police authority, responsible for appointing the capital's senior officers." - Reuters

Is it time for political realignment in Northern Ireland?

"With Unionist votes likely to split three ways in coming elections and the consequent ascent of Sinn Féin to become Northern Ireland’s largest party, the talk is once more of the need for a political realignment. The — no longer — secret talks hosted by Lord Cranbourne, the most Unionist member of John Major’s cabinet may have been about improving relations between Northern Ireland’s two largest rival Unionist parties but the perception is otherwise." - The Times

Brown outlines three-point plan and final deadline for Northern Ireland - The Guardian

Stormont probe into Peter and Iris Robinson suspended pending police investigation - BBC

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The recent talks with the UUP and DUP were all about trying to bolster peace and security in Northern Ireland

Tories expose how 10 welfare claimants have been overpaid by more than £1 million

"Whitehall figures obtained by the Conservatives yesterday showed that the Department of Work and Pensions is owed a total of £1,046,514.16 in over paid Income Support from its 10 biggest debtors... Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Andrew Selous said: “It is unforgivable that while taxpayers are tightening their belts, the Government is racking up more debt through poor administration. Ministers urgently need to get a grip.” - Daily Express

Tories appoint shadow ministers to ‘Wales-proof’ party’s agenda

"The Conservatives have begun appointing shadow ministers with responsibility for “Wales-proofing” the party’s agenda for government. Each department would have a minister with a specific duty to ensure Wales is not inadvertently left out of key legislation." - Western Mail

Ben Brogan: The significance for David Cameron of Lord and Lady Ashcroft - Daily Telegraph

Tentative recovery comes with pitfalls for both main parties - Michael White in The Guardian

£230 million annual bill to house asylum seekers - Daily Express

Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data - The Times

MPs in line for retrospective pay rise under post-expenses scandal reforms - The Guardian

Peers to be forced by law to pay taxes in the UK - or quit Parliament by Autumn - Daily Telegraph

And finally... Stressed Treasury staff told: Don't worry, do it tomorrow

DARLING ALISTAIR 2 "Treasury officials have been told to ‘shelve problems’ to help keep their stress levels down in the face of Britain’s dire public finances. A 70-page guide to ‘stress awareness and management’ advises officials to put off difficult decisions to another day if they are causing them anxiety... The Tories seized on the document last night as an allegory for Labour’s approach to tackling Britain’s record budget deficit, which is based on putting off painful cuts in public spending until after the election. Tory frontbencher Grant Shapps said: 'It is a clearly a very stressful environment to work in but this document just underlines the Government’s inability to focus on the important issues’." - Daily Mail


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