7.45pm ToryDiary: Should Boris Johnson have banned "ex-gay" bus adverts?
5.30pm Local government: Conservatives are contesting 97.1% of council seats in England
3.45pm Steve Norris on Comment: Addressing London's housing challenge
Noon ConHomeUSA newslinks: Romney will have to work hard to convince conservatives to get enthusiastic
Columnist Andrew Lilico: Why don't the "modernisers" seem authentic?
Chris White MP on Comment: Attacking charity donors will have unintended consequences. The Government must change its plans.
Local Government: Will UKIP deliver victory to Labour in Plymouth?
David Cameron continues his Asian trip
- "David Cameron has called on the international community to back Burma’s reforming president today as he prepares for his historic visit to the country. … Mr Cameron will meet the President before travelling to Rangoon for an audience with Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader held in detention for 15 years." – The Times (£)
- "Muslims must embrace democracy and respect the rights of Christians around the world, David Cameron will say. Speaking in Indonesia… the Prime Minister will urge young Muslims to abandon “the dead-end choice of dictatorship and extremism” by forcing their countries to hold elections." – Daily Telegraph
- "Indonesian airline Garuda has agreed to buy 11 Airbus planes, in a deal that Prime Minister David Cameron said will support UK jobs." – City AM
- PM risks row over China murder probe – The Sun
Ministers' anger at charity tax could force Osborne to back down
"Whitehall sources said Mr Osborne faced pressure from other ministers to phase in the change over two or three years to give charities time to prepare. Vince Cable… is said to be concerned that donations to universities will be hit, and Jeremy Hunt… about the possible impact on arts groups." – Independent
- David Cameron 'must retreat’ on charities, senior Tory MPs warn – Daily Telegraph
- The facts behind the anger over Government's charity tax claims – Independent
- The Government has blundered on reducing tax relief for charitable giving – Times editorial (£)
- David Cameron's dig at Vince Cable's VAT fine – Daily Express
David Cameron retreats on kicking out foreign criminals including burglars and violent thieves…
"David Cameron has abandoned a pledge to deport thousands of foreign criminals, including burglars, violent thugs and thieves. The Tory leader had promised in Opposition to change immigration rules so prisoners from outside the EU were automatically sent home – even those serving short jail terms. … But the Government has admitted it is only tightening the rules so that drug dealers serving less than a year are automatically deported." – Daily Mail
…but Theresa May is close to securing an exit for Abu Qatada
"Theresa May phoned Jordan’s Prime Minister last night in a bid to seal the deal for the deportation of Abu Qatada. Britain is “99 per cent there” on building a watertight case to kick the al-Qaeda mastermind back to his homeland to face terror charges… And the Home Secretary rang PM Awn al-Khasawneh hoping to collect the final piece in the jigsaw. If Mrs May succeeds Qatada — freed from jail on bail in February — could be back behind bars by Tuesday and out of the country by the end of next week." – The Sun
- "Jordanian officials have given the government “all the assurances it needs” to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada." – Scotsman
- 'Tortured' Libyan wants answers from Blair – Daily Telegraph
- Torture casts a ghastly shadow over our country’s reputation - Peter Oborne
Energy Minister Charles Hendry in negotiations with Iceland to tap into geothermal resources – Independent
Cornish MPs from all parties unite in fight against government's 'pasty tax' – Daily Mail
All MPs should be forced to make their tax returns public, says Nick Clegg…
"[T]he Deputy Prime Minister said he would be happy to publish his own ‘rather boring’ tax return to reassure voters that he was subject to the same rules as everyone else. And he suggested that all politicians should be required to follow suit as ‘a matter of principle’. His comments go much further than Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne who have suggested that any transparency drive would be limited to senior ministers." - Daily Mail
- Publishing MPs' tax returns 'would not tell the whole story because it tells us nothing about their assets' – Daily Mail
…but leave my wife out of it!
"Mr Clegg – whose wealth with his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez is estimated at £2million – said… he was in favour of… politicians publishing their tax returns. But he was against scrutiny of the financial details of spouses and family members. Mr Clegg was asked… if his wife… would have to make her earnings public… He replied: “The principle need to be a simple one – us politicians – as servants of the public – should make our own arrangements transparent. But I don't think we should necessarily call on other people to do that." – Daily Telegraph
> From yesterday - Adam Afriyie MP on Comment: Parts of our political class are indulging the politics of envy. It's time to value wealth creators.
Snoopers’ charter breaches the coalition deal – Lord Ashdown (£)
Gesture politics is thriving, yet we always return to the big parties - Martin Kettle
- Bus fares and gas bills are once more deciding who we vote for – Steve Richards
Ed Miliband faces Labour split over candidates for city mayors
"Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, is refusing to promise that he will support his own MPs who want to stand for election as city mayors… Voters in 10 cities, including Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester, will decide on May 3 whether to introduce directly elected mayors in a series of local referendums. But the Labour high command is concerned that the party would be forced to run expensive by-election campaigns – which it could then lose – if MPs quit in the coming months to stand as mayors of English cities." – Daily Telegraph
- City hall leaders try to sabotage campaign for directly elected mayors – The Times (£)
- The cities are taking power from Whitehall – Sue Cameron
> From yesterday:
- WATCH: Vote for the NHS, vote Labour says Ed Miliband's local elections broadcast
- WATCH: Eric Pickles and David Cameron present the Conservative local election broadcast: "We're putting power in your hands", and "don't let Labour do to your council what they did to our country"
- Local Government: Which councils will the Conservatives take from the Lib Dems on May 3rd?
Energy companies deliver independent Scotland power bill warning – Daily Telegraph
Government backs attic clearing service to save energy – Daily Telegraph
> From yesterday:
- Columnist Jill Kirby: The Green Deal could leave Ministers with a giant mis-selling scandal on their hands
- WATCH: Nick Clegg: 70% are on a more expensive tariff than they should be – new Government plans will help end that
Overnight discharges from NHS hospitals to be examined – BBC
Olympics could cause chaos at Heathrow, MPs warn
"The Commons culture, media and sport committee has raised the spectre of long immigration queues and planes unable to unload passengers this summer. In a leaked letter to the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the committee's chairman, John Whittingdale, says delays would "deter tourists from returning"." – Guardian
IMF warns of £750bn pensions time bomb
"The IMF said yesterday that even a slightly faster than expected increase in life expectancy could impose a huge new financial burden on Western economies such as Britain. “The time to act is now,” it said. Governments and the financial sector have consistently underestimated how quickly average lifespans will rise, IMF researchers found." – Daily Telegraph
And finally… Ken Livingstone "started blubbing while watching the launch of his OWN election video — to the obvious embarrassment of Labour leader Ed Miliband, who was sitting beside him when he broke down" – The Sun
- Will Ken Livingstone still be sobbing on 4 May? – Guardian
> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Ken Livingstone's spending plans would cost every London council tax payer £348
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