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31 Mar 2010 09:07:47

Wednesday 31st March 2010

11pm Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight: Telegraph Blogs gets it wrong

10.30pm ToryDiary update: YouGov puts Tories 6% ahead, Harris 10% ahead

Pop 7.30pm ToryDiary: Labour back below 30% in ConHome's Poll of Polls

5.45pm ToryDiary: Cameron must use the debates to hammer Labour on immigration

5.45pm Local government: The cost of living in Tony Blair's "political and spiritual home"

5pm Harry Phibbs on CentreRight finds a FOURTH reason why Brown is to blame for the recession

2.30pm LeftWatch: Harriet Harman, paedophilia - and double standards

1.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron promises "neighbourhood army" of 5,000 full-time community organisers

Noon Mark Field MP on CentreRight: If we do not encourage the young entrepreneurs we will never clear up Brown's economic mess

11.30am On CentreRight:

Screen shot 2010-03-31 at 09.10.25ToryDiary: Tories need contingency plans for a hung parliament

Howard Flight on Platform: Darling's last stand - The Budgetary challenges bequeathed by the Chancellor to the next Conservative government

LeftWatch: Michael Fallon forces Alistair Darling to admit that his NI rise will cost jobs

Local government: Leaders of three flagship London Councils are asking the new Government for the freedom to show how to save £13.9bn of public money while delivering better services

Widdecombe Parliament: Ann Widdecombe uses her final speech in the Commons to highlight the plight of the non-working mother and people trapped on deprived, crime-ridden estates

Mark Prisk MP on CentreRight: Freeing freelancers

Tory lead constant at 7% in YouGov/Sun daily poll - Yesterday evening's Tory Diary

Gordon Brown is to urge all parties to show a "united front" against those opposing immigration out of prejudice - BBC

The politicians aren't talking about Europe, immigration and party funding - Gaby Hinsliff for Channel 4

Michael Gove proposes Saturday schools to help under-performing pupils

Gove Union Flag "Saturday morning classes for children from disadvantaged homes will be set up if the Conservatives win the general election. Michael Gove, the shadow Education Secretary, said he wanted schools to open for longer during the week and on Saturday mornings to help close the achievement gap between poorer pupils and those who are better off." - Independent

Tories pledge small business tax reform

"Shadow Business Minister Mark Prisk said the Tories would carefully scrutinise the controversial IR35 legislation which has hit the self-employed." - Telegraph

The election debates

Bruce Anderson expects Cameron to win: "When the voters have the chance to see the politicians as they are, David Cameron should benefit. Nick Clegg will come across as an amiable lightweight: merely a sober version of Charlie Kennedy. However much his minders rehearse him, Gordon Brown’s personality will shine through: a blend of aggression, desperation and self-pity. To appear rather better than all that, David Cameron will only have to do one thing: to come across as he really is. Mr Cameron is strong, able, articulate, likeable – and committed to his country’s well-being. He has it in him to be a formidable prime minister." - Bruce Anderson in The Telegraph

Tories are worried about LibDems getting an easy ride: "Senior Conservatives, including David Cameron, were irritated by the way Mr Cable was able to present himself as a referee between two opponents rather than facing pressure over his own policy positions." - Times (The Independent came to the same conclusion: "It was noticeable how Vince Cable ganged up with Darling against Osborne much more frequently than with Osborne against Darling. The best outcome for the Liberal Democrats in this election is a hung parliament, so it makes sense for them to concentrate on discrediting the Conservatives. If Nick Clegg follows the same tactic, it could make Cameron look isolated. But if he is astute, he will turn it to his advantage by making himself look like the man they are both trying to stop because he is making the running.")

Brown's eyesight will mean he will choose his standing position: "Gordon Brown has been given the right to decide where to stand during the leaders' general election television debates after his political opponents agreed the prime minister's partial blindness merited special treatment." - Guardian

Anatole Kaletsky: The Tories aren't serious about the deficit

"if they genuinely believe that Britain has suffered 13 years of shocking economic mismanagement since 1997, that reducing debt is an overriding moral obligation and that the country is now on the brink of bankruptcy, then Dunkirk-style sacrifices must be demanded. In that case — which might be described as the Greek scenario — the Tories are grossly irresponsible to promise tax cuts or protect spending programmes such as the NHS, not to mention foreign aid, bus passes and winter fuel payments." - Anatole Kaletsky in The Times

1.8 million watched Ask the Chancellors - Times

Tony Blair returns to attack the Conservatives...

Screen shot 2010-03-31 at 08.55.37 "The Conservatives' "time for a change" mantra, he argued, would not wash. It left him, he said, "puzzled", "confused" and he described it as "vacuous"... Blair also criticised the Tories on law and order, suggesting they had gone too far to the left: "They've gone liberal when actually they should have stuck with a traditional Conservative position"." - Guardian

Spare us election sermons from the man who corrupted and degraded British politics - Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

> Watch Blair's speech in full the Blairites and Brownites unite against Cameron

"It is a reunion that few would have thought likely when Gordon Brown became prime minister in 2007. Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair himself have made a decisive return to the political fray to help save the New Labour project from extinction. Over three terms in power the tensions between the “Blairites” and “Brownites” threatened to destabilise the government and forced many of its most prominent characters into the wilderness. Now, several key figures are back in the New Labour “bunker” advising the prime minister ahead of the general election." - FT

> The Right could usefully show the same discipline and avoid 'blue on blue' friendly fire

Roman Catholic voters have been urged to ask election candidates how they would support marriage, in a move likely to benefit the Conservatives - Telegraph

Martin Popplewell: Tories haven't changed enough on gay rights

Gay Pride Flag "When Labour won power in 1997, it went out of its way to convince the electorate that the party really had changed. The scrapping of clause four was its way of driving home that the party really had moved on. For the Tories to convince more gay and lesbian voters, they need to slam the door on the party of section 28. At the moment, they still seem to want to leave it a little ajar." - Martin Popplewell in The Guardian

> Martin Popplewell's interview with the Tory leader for Gay Times did not go well.

Mutualisation is the future for public services, Labour tells councils

"The government today announces a "mutual manifesto" as it unveils plans to allow people to own and run a plethora of local services including council estates and SureStart centres." - Guardian

And finally...

"A Conservative MP has admitted sending a letter to Lord Mandelson in which the Business Secretary was referred to as "Mr Mandelweasel". Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner said the bizarre comment was "a bit of a boob" for which he accepted responsibility." - Metro


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

30 Mar 2010 08:57:22

Tuesday 30th March 2010

10.15pm ToryDiary: Tory lead constant at 7% in new YouGov/Sun poll, Blair three times as popular as Brown

9pm ToryDiary: "There is constructive criticism and there is destructive criticism. There is a time for debate on the Right and a time to either be silent or gun for Labour. At the moment there's too much ill-discipline on our side of the fence." Click here.

Rotherhamlee6.15pm Lee Rotherham on CentreRight: The expansion of the European bureaucracy

4.15pm Seats and candidates: Andrew Pelling MP confirms he is standing as an independent in Croydon Central

3pm Seats and candidates: Tory candidate for Aberdeen South steps down for family health reasons

1.15pm WATCH: Tony Blair makes the case for a fourth term Labour government

12.45pm LeftWatch: Meet Vince Cable; Labour's attack dog

Noon LeftWatch: Labour and Conservatives are the same says new Liberal Democrat website

FullList 11.30am ToryDiary: A full list of Tory tax pledges

10.45am Local government: Should councillors wear jeans to council meetings?

10.15am WATCH: Thank heavens Britain kept the pound, Dan Hannan tells European Parliament

10am ThinkTankCentral: Open Europe says Tory regulatory policy must focus on EU red tape

OSBORNE BLUE TIEToryDiary: Osborne gets thumbs up from Tory commentators

WATCH: Highlights of the Cable v Darling v Osborne debate

Jean Geran on Platform: The needs of children are best served by family-based alternatives to institutional care

Local government: The battle for Stevenage

Ribal Al Assad on CentreRight: A free and democratic Syria is the best way to undermine Iran

Tories 7%, 7% and 10% ahead in latest opinion surveys - Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

The Independent finds frustration with Labour and the Conservatives: "Fifty per cent of people regard it as "unthinkable" to elect Mr Brown for another five years, while 44 per cent disagree with this statement. Almost one in four Labour supporters believe electing Mr Brown for another term would be "unthinkable". However, 51 per cent say they personally feel no enthusiasm for the Conservative Party, with 42 per cent disagreeing. Remarkably, a quarter (24 per cent) of those people who intend to vote Tory say they have no enthusiasm for the party."

"It's not enough for Cameron to be the anybody-but-Gordon candidate" - Dominic Lawson in The Independent

Liam Fox: 'Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons'

FOX LIAM 2009 "Dr Fox said Iran is the "biggest single emerging threat that we face" but claimed not enough is being done to prevent it becoming a nuclear weapons state. He warned that it was essential to thwart Iran’s attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons or risk Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey following suit." - Telegraph

Tories to stop National Insurance increase

43% support the move, 43% oppose it - The Sun/YouGov

Daily Mail comment: "From the man targeted by Labour as the Tories’ weakest link comes the boldest policy of the election campaign so far. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne deserves great credit for his courage in pledging to reverse part of Labour’s increase in National Insurance."

"The Tories finally have a “retail offer” for voters – something to sell on the doorsteps to rival the Lib Dem promise to raise the income tax threshold to £10,000. The shadow chancellor’s announcement should also nail the lie that Labour cares more about people’s jobs than do the Conservatives. Alistair Darling’s NI increases are a tax on jobs, pure and simple. By also shelving Darling’s proposed rise in employers’ contributions for staff earning up to £20,800, Osborne has acted to protect jobs and to boost recruitment prospects for those currently looking for work." - Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

"Few will believe that Osborne can cut tax and the deficit too." - Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

David Cameron ready to be as 'widely disliked' as Margaret Thatcher - Telegraph

Rachel Sylvester: Old Tory themes can scare some voters

"One Conservative strategist compares his party to an orchestra. “To begin with you heard most from the flutes and violins, but it was inevitable that we would have to bring in the trumpets and trombones as well.” The problem is that voters serenaded by the gentle tunes of a string quartet will be scared off by the brass section blaring out Land of Hope and Glory." - Rachel Sylvester in The Times

Tories blasted by Wall Street Journal

"Mr. Cameron’s mistake has been to paint his party a paler shade of Brown at the very moment when the weaknesses of Labour is being exposed by the economic downturn. That’s a pity for the Tories, and all the more so for a British electorate that is hungering for—dare we say it?—change." - Wall Street Journal

'I am not brilliant. Not a great original' - Douglas Hurd talks to The Telegraph

Blair to campaign for Gordon Brown today - BBC | Yesterday's LeftWatch

BLAIR head looking left "Tony Blair faced new questions over his secretive business empire last night as it emerged one of his companies has been licensed to operate in low-tax regimes abroad. Gibraltar, Lithuania and Liechtenstein are among the countries in which the former Prime Minister's new investment firm has obtained permission to trade." - Daily Mail

A compulsory levy would be introduced by Labour to help pay for social care for adults in England - BBC

Joanna Lumley hits out at Government minister who ‘smeared' her - Times

MPs are allowed to keep their families on the payroll - Independent

And finally... Amanda Platell blasts Cameron's tough guy look

"I'll resist the temptation to accuse Dress Down Dave of cynical calculation in his sartorial choices. But when your father-in-law is worth an estimated £20million and you have to deny reports of a personal fortune of £30million, parading around in a £1 belt is a bit, well, silly. Cameron's wealth has no bearing on his suitability to be our next prime minister. But his judgment has. And this faux 'man of the High Street' is as phoney as those air-brushed billboards that were such a failure." - Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail

"There’s no escaping it: Mr Cameron and George Osborne don’t look like statesmen. They look like minor members of the Hubert Laneites, the spoilt, dough-faced gang of mothers’ boys from Richmal Crompton’s classic Just William stories. I for one can’t look at Mr Osborne without picturing him in short trousers and school cap, tears rolling down his blancmange-smeared cheeks as he complains shrilly to the housemaid that that ruffian William has pinched his pea-shooter."- Michael Deacon in The Telegraph


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

29 Mar 2010 09:00:26

Monday 29th March 2010

10.30pm ToryDiary update: Tory lead is also up to 7% in latest YouGov/Sun tracker poll

10pm ToryDiary update: ComRes figures are 37/30/20

9.45pm WATCH: The opening statements from tonight's Channel 4 Chancellors debate

9.30pm ToryDiary update: Tory lead is 7% in ComRes poll - more details to follow at 10pm

9.15pm ToryDiary: Labour and the LibDems did not win a debate they expected to win

Screen shot 2010-03-29 at 19.57.18 ToryDiary: Live blog of Cable v Darling v Osborne

7.45pm ToryDiary: Opinium/Express poll has Tory lead back at double figures

7.15pm WATCH: Joanna Lumley and the campaign for Gurkhas' rights hit back at Labour minister Kevan Jones for smearing them

5.15pm Parliament update: Sir George Young welcomes new rules on MPs' expenses

Picture 255pm LeftWatch: Labour candidate gives Nazi salute as he lazily smears Tory allies in Europe

3.45pm WATCH: The BBC's Giles Dilnot explains where in England there are local elections taking place on May 6th

3pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight welcomes the announcement of rises in NICs thresholds and early spending cuts as promoting recovery and protecting jobs

2.45pm Local government: Labour-run Copeland Council's zero rating on housing

2.15pm Seats and Candidates: Reading West's Alok Sharma releases a campaign video

Picture 221.15pm WATCH: Sir Ian Kennedy explains the principles behind the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's overhaul of MPs' expenses

12.30pm ToryDiary: Ian Birrell joins David Cameron's office as speechwriter

12.15pm ToryDiary: Former Labour MP joins the Conservative Party

11.45am Parliament: Parliamentary Standards Authority announces MPs' expenses shake-up - but they will still be allowed to emply one family member

11.30am Matthew Elliott on CentreRight welcomes George Osborne's announcement on National Insurance

11.15am ToryDiary: Taxpayers, the NHS AND defence benefit from Tory assault on waste

10.30am WATCH: George Osborne announces Conservative plans to block rises to National Insurance 

Picture 12
ToryDiary: The Conservative attacks on Gordon Brown are entirely justified and justifiable (whereas Labour's personal poster campaign against George Osborne is not)

Mark Littlewood on Platform: Selling off unnecessarily state-owned assets should be part of a package to drastically cut public spending

LeftWatch: Tony Blair to make first election campaign appearance tomorrow

Seats and Candidates: Antony Calvert launches new fundraising website in his bid to give Ed Balls a "Portillo moment"

Local Government:

ThinkTankCentral: Tory government urged to develop strong policies against genocide and war crimes

WATCH: Philip Hammond clashes with Hilary Benn over tax and spending plans

Gazette: A tribute to Myrtle Boal

Conservatives to block National Insurance rise

George Osborne on Politics Show "The Conservatives will promise to block next year’s rises in National Insurance, allowing them to fight the general election on a platform of lower taxes than Labour. The multi-billion-pound tax pledge, to be made by David Cameron and George Osborne, is intended to open up “clear blue water” between the parties. Tory insiders said it would form the centrepiece of the Conservative election campaign and make seven out of 10 workers better off." - Daily Telegraph

"After several weeks in which the Tory poll lead has narrowed, George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, will announce that the party will cut the cost for employees and employers, who each face a 1 per cent increase in contributions from April 2011. It is understood that the Tories would reduce the planned rise by about half, although only low and middle-income earners would benefit. The announcement comes on the day that Mr Osborne confronts Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, and Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, in the first big television debate of the election campaign." - The Times

"One can see the appeal for the Conservatives of today's announcement of a cut in national insurance. It comes just a few days after Alistair Darling's budget – which was notably short on tax-and-spend doorstep pleasers – and on the morning of the chancellors' debate on television." - Guardian editorial

"Tonight's debate between the three men vying to be the next Chancellor is not only the first real salvo in the election campaign but also a crucial test of credibility for George Osborne. After the blatant dishonesty of his latest budget was exposed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Alistair Darling might be expected to be nervous at the prospect. But with the polls still too close to call and the public apparently unconvinced that the Tories are to be trusted with the economy, it is arguably the Shadow Chancellor who has most to prove." - Daily Mail editorial

Picture 14

> Last night's ToryDiary: Seven out of ten working people will be better off if Cameron becomes Prime Minister

Michael Gove wants ex-servicemen to retrain as teachers...

Michael Gove 2010 "Forces heroes will be given financial help to retrain as teachers under Tory plans. Former members of the Army, Navy and RAF would receive £9,000 for a post-graduate teacher training course. Fewer than 70 ex-servicemen a year shift their leadership skills and discipline to the classroom. But shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said his Troops to Teachers scheme would lead to hundreds more signing up." - The Sun he accuses Labour of undermining adult authority in schools

"More than one in four teachers has been forced to deal with violent pupils this year, new figures show... Michael Gove, shadow schools secretary, said: "The Government has undermined adult authority in schools. Over the last ten years teachers have been denied the power to keep order in the classroom and stop violent incidents. Unless there is good discipline pupils can't learn and teachers can't teach and the children who suffer most are the poorest." - Daily Telegraph

Tories attack Labour's £7 billion pre-election spending surge

"Ministers have made £7bn of spending pledges to boost the UK's regional economies in the past two months, fuelling opposition claims that they are engaged in a pre-election binge at taxpayers' expense. Nearly a third of the total comprises transport projects affecting Labour-held marginal seats or areas bordering them, Financial Times research has found. Other projects involve def-ence contracts - some directly benefiting marginals - and grants and loans for industrial companies." - Financial Times

Will this waste of our money never stop? - Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph

David Cameron signals that industrial relations will be an election battleground

David Cameron speaking blue 2010 "British Airways and union leaders clashed again today over the impact of the strike by cabin crew as David Cameron signalled his intention to use industrial relations as an election battleground, condemning Gordon Brown for "weakness" over the dispute... "We have seen from the prime minister a certain weakness in response to these industrial disputes," the Conservative leader told BBC1's Politics Show." - The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Highlights from David Cameron's Q&A with voters on BBC1's Politics Show

Pro-hunting campaigners are supporting the Tories

"Hundreds of hunt supporters are under orders to ride into action in key marginal seats within hours of a general election being called, in the knowledge that David Cameron will allow a return to hunting with dogs if he gets to Downing Street. Documents seen by The Independent show that hunt masters have been rounding up supporters and sending them to the most fiercely contested seats, ahead of a big push planned for the first 72 hours of campaigning." - The Independent

Chris Grayling tears into Labour's five election pledges

Chris Grayling 2010 square "Gordon Brown's five key election pledges were last night branded a CON. Vows on issues affecting every voter were exposed as nonsense. Critics tore into his promises to SECURE economic recovery, RAISE living standards, BUILD a hi-tech economy, PROTECT frontline services and STRENGTHEN fairness in communities. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Gordon Brown is not telling the truth about what he has done. Why on earth should anyone believe any more of his hollow promises?" - The Sun

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Labour's five pledges don't stand up to scrutiny

Darling admits he did threaten to quit the Government

"Alistair Darling has admitted for the first time that he threatened to quit the Government over Gordon Brown’s attempts to move him from the Treasury. The Chancellor said that he told the Prime Minister has not prepared to accept any other post, forcing Mr Brown to back down." - Daily Telegraph

> WATCH: Darling threatened to quit Government if Brown moved him

Female suicide bombers kill 35 in Moscow Metro blast - Daily Telegraph

'Meow meow' review may be hampered after drug adviser quits in scientific objectivity row - The Guardian

MoD planning for surge in casualties 'falls short' - BBC

Labour increases lead over SNP in Scotland - The Times

Sir Bob Worcester: The election debates are the wild card in this election - Daily Mail

Boris Johnson: I accosted the litter louts and you should too - Daily Telegraph

New MPs' expenses regime unveiled - Press Association

Bishops battle for rights of Christians as they back nurse barred from work for wearing a cross - Daily Mail

And finally... SamCam ditches her scooter

Picture 13 "Cameron has given up riding her beloved scooter after falling pregnant with her fourth child. The 38-year-old wife of Tory leader David has made the sacrifice as a safety precaution ahead of the new arrival, due in September. Samantha regularly rode her black Piaggio from their West London home to her office at luxury stationers Smythson in Bond Street... A Tory Party spokesman said: "Now she is more heavily pregnant she won't be using her scooter. She is looking after herself." - The Sun


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

28 Mar 2010 09:00:54

Sunday 28th March 2010

Screen shot 2010-03-28 at 21.02.33 10.30pm ToryDiary: Seven out of ten working people will be better off if Cameron becomes Prime Minister

8pm WATCH: 'Gerry Adams denying he was an IRA murderer is like Hitler denying the Holocaust'

6.15pm MyLabourPoster: Vote for me and I'll wet my pants

Screen shot 2010-03-28 at 15.40.513.30pm ThinkTankCentral: Thatcher failed says self-styled 'Red Tory', Phillip Blond, as he launches twenty policy ideas

3pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: For Conservatives, this election is a choice between victory and extinction

2.30pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight wants your help in finding a one-liner for doorstep voters; his suggestion: "The first thousand pounds of income tax you pay - just goes to pay the interest on the debt the Labour government have run up."

12.15pm ToryDiary: Highlights from David Cameron's Q&A with voters on BBC1's Politics Show

11.30am WATCH:

Screen shot 2010-03-28 at WATCH: David Cameron sets out the Tories' six big promises

ToryDiary: If the Western Isles can confirm a Thursday night General Election count, it's about time everywhere else did too

Rupert Matthews on Platform: What exactly are "the nations and regions" of the UK?

Seats and candidates: Ex-Tory donor Stuart Wheeler to launch Trust Party

LeftWatch: Labour's five pledges don't stand up to scrutiny

Local government: Watford Lib Dems Mayor's war on free speech

On CentreRight, David Heathcoat-Amory attacks Power 2010 as a Liberal Democrat front

Tories lead by 8%, 7% and 5% in three Sunday polls

857 - Last night's ToryDiary

New Saatchi poster aims to 'tear lumps out of Brown' - Mail on Sunday

> See the posters and suggest your own

The News of the World endorses David Cameron

Screen shot 2010-03-28 at 08.17.41 "Overwhelmingly, on all fronts, this country is crying out for change. Which is why, after much soul-searching, the News of the World believes that David Cameron and the Tory Party must now be given the chance to run the country. Right now, they are our best hope for a brighter, saner, safer, more honourable future." - News of the World

David Cameron has a radical agenda but never spells it out - Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

Tory plan to cap immigration 'could prevent clubs signing top footballers' - Observer

Labour plans to target George Osborne

Screen shot 2010-03-28 at 08.17.26 "Labour vowed last night to target the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, as the strategic "weak link" in the Conservatives' bid for power. Party sources told the Observer that a decision had been taken to focus on Osborne as the prime target throughout the campaign, because the future stewardship of the economy is the issue that most concerns voters." - Observer

Martin Ivens, in The Sunday Times, recommends that George Osborne simplifies his message.

The Observer previews tomorrow evening's Channel 4 Chancellors' Debate (8pm, Monday and being live blogged by ConservativeHome).

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: George Osborne deserves our support

Andrew Rawnsley pays tribute to Gordon Brown's "priceless asset", Alistair Darling: "Alistair Darling is one of the few politicians who can still command a degree of respect, not a negligible quality in an era when the political classes are held in such contempt by most of the public. Whether or not he is still chancellor in six weeks' time, his remarkable survival is a parable which other politicians might usefully ponder on." - Observer

Labour split on whether to make 'we won't increase VAT' pledge - Sunday Telegraph

Slash public waste, says Edward Leigh MP - The Sunday Times

Senior Cameron source confirms Tories will reverse NICs hike

"Crucial to any Tory message on growth is repealing Labour’s National Insurance rise. I am assured by a senior member of the Cameron operation that we will hear ‘shortly’ a firmed-up Tory pledge to do this.  Then the Tories would have a good clear message – ‘we’ll cut the tax on jobs’. It would also allow them to show that Labour’s tax hikes aren’t just going to hit people who earn more than £150,000 a year and plan to trade up from one £1million house to another – but anyone who earns over £20,000 a year." - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday

The Sunday Times: No party leader is levelling with us

"David Cameron attacks the government, as he did again yesterday, for “taking people for fools”. So far at least, however, he is doing no better himself. The Tory leader’s opening pitch to voters was that he would cut the budget deficit without touching the National Health Service, as if this bloated bureaucracy, now employing a staggering 1.6m people, should be treated as a sacred cow." - The Sunday Times leader

John Rentoul: Voters think the Tories will put up taxes, which they hate, to tackle a problem - the deficit - which they don't care much about - Independent on Sunday

"The typical member of Cameron’s class of 2010 is still a public-school-educated, middle-aged, white man." - The Sunday Times

Cameron is said to have “turned his back” on Lord Ashcroft - Sunday Express

From Boden Man to Terminator as Cameron goes for tough look - Sunday Telegraph

If the Tories were to lose...

Johnson Boris Copenhagen "The Tory "modernisers" say the party was not "modern" enough. The traditionalists say it needs less PR, and more "substance". The line-up of potential contenders grows by the hour: Osborne, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Jeremy Hunt, David Davis ("I have had time to think"). But the sensation of the day is Boris Johnson's out-of-the-blue ("wholly routine") announcement that he will not be seeking a second term as London Mayor in 2012 and the formation of an unofficial "Draft Boris" group, with its own website and Facebook page, already busily exploring the constitutional possibility of a sitting Mayor becoming an MP in a by-election, before the end of his term of mayoral office." - Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph

Lobbying sting catches out two more ex-Labour ministers, Adam Ingram and Richard Caborn - Observer

Up to a dozen Labour MPs ‘will quit to claim £65k golden handshake’ - Mail on Sunday

And finally...

Screen shot 2010-03-28 at 07.42.10 A Mail on Sunday survey finds Cameron likened to a Jaguar by voters and Brown to a Reliant Robin.


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

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