Published:

8.30pm David T Breaker on Comment: Householders deserve the right to defend themselves and the means to do so

8.15pm WATCH: David Cameron: "I'm a history obsessive, so I'm sorry I didn't do better"

4.45pm LeftWatch: Nick Clegg thinks Eurosceptics are "insular", "chauvinistic" and "short-sighted". Why must he insult his opponents?

3.45pm Karl McCartney MP on Comment: The problem is not too many privately-educated Olympians – it's the lack of competitive sport in state schools

2.45pm ToryDiary: New Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin insists he is "open-minded" about third Heathrow runway

1.15pm WATCH: Ed Miliband announces support for gay marriage campaign

Cameron on Letterman11.30am WATCH: David Cameron struggles with British history quiz on the Late Show with David Letterman

11am ToryDiary: The Coalition is not doing enough to end the equalities industry – tackling it would be a social and economic good

ToryDiary: Boris Johnson leads Conservative resistance against Clegg's mansion taxes

Columnist Andrew Lilico: What would be the details of a Conservative-UKIP pact?

Wharton James MPJames Wharton MP on Comment: Conservatives should reject lazy left-wing generalisations about "the North East" being affected as one by government policies

Local Government: More Conservative councillors defect to UKIP

The Deep End: The case for staying in the EU basically comes down to blackmail

WATCH: David Cameron appears on the Late Show with David Letterman

Cameron in New York 1): "Blood on their hands": The Prime Minister blames Russia and China for torture and killing of Syrians under Assad's "terror reign"

Times_270912"The Prime Minister effectively blamed the countries for the torture and killing of children by Bashar al-Assad’s regime because they have refused to sanction any intervention by the United Nations  in the war-torn Middle East state. The failure to act had left a ‘terrible stain on the reputation of the UN’, he said at the UN General Assembly in New York… Although he did not name the countries, Mr Cameron’s aides confirmed his remarks were directed at them. The angry tone of his speech risks sparking a diplomatic row." – Daily Mail

> Coverage from yesterday:

Cameron in New York 2): Cameron stars on Late Show with David Letterman

Letterman"David Cameron was subjected to a bizarre quiz on British culture and history as he appeared on one of the US's most influential TV chat shows [last night]. The Prime Minister was welcomed on to the Late Show by host David Letterman to the tune of the house band playing Rule Britannia and dry ice pumping into the studio to replicate a London fog… Mr Cameron had said he would use the show to "bang the drum" for Britain, and raised applause from the audience when he hailed the successful hosting of the Olympics and Paralympics this summer." – ITV News

  • "You've found me out. I’ve ended my career on your show tonight!" Cameron caught out by US chat show king's quiz on British history – Daily Mail
  • PM fails his history test – James Kirkup for TelegraphBlogs

> From today - WATCH: David Cameron appears on the Late Show with David Letterman

We'll stop cut in 45p tax rate, says Clegg: Deputy PM's pledge puts him on collision course with Tory Right

CLEGG NICK"The top rate of tax will stay at 45p until the next election because Britain faces a descent into extremism if it diverts from its austerity drive, Nick Clegg said yesterday. Making his keynote address at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, he said there could be ‘no question’ of further reducing the income tax charged on earnings over £150,000… His intervention will dismay the Tory Right" – Daily Mail

  • Public spending threatens tolerant society, says Nick Clegg – Daily Telegraph
  • A Tory speech from Nick Clegg has done him a power of good – Benedict Brogan for the Daily Telegraph
  • Nick Clegg attempts to rouse Lib Dem troops for general election battle – Guardian
  • Power has come at a colossal price that Clegg isn't ready to concede – Steve Richards for the Independent
  • Liberal Democrat conference: numbers shrink, cost doesn't - Guardian
  • Clegg paves the way for a war on wealth – Daily Telegraph editorial

> Coverage from yesterday:

Clegg's shots at party villains hit Labour the hardest

"Nick Clegg insisted that he could work with either party after the next election while repeatedly attacking Labour’s Ed Balls… Mr Clegg attempted to balance the attacks on Labour by targeting Liam Fox, the right-wing former Defence Secretary, and criticising Tory policy on the environment. However, by selecting a softer Tory target and criticising a policy portfolio which senior Conservatives such as George Osborne no longer regard as critical to the party’s future, Mr Clegg is opening himself to suggestions that he is not being equally scathing about rival parties." – Times (£)

  • For a future Lib-Lab coalition work needs to begin now - Guardian

Boris Johnson: Nick Clegg's mansion tax plans are crazy

BORIS JOHNSON YOUTUBE "Nick Clegg’s “crazy” plans for a mansion tax on homes worth more than £1million “are a non-starter [and] he knows it”, according to Boris Johnson… The Mayor of London’s comments came as it emerged that the plans could saddle more than a million middle-class home owners with higher council tax bills. Mr Johnson’s dramatic intervention will raise the stakes in the row over the tax plans, which are reportedly being worked up by the Treasury." - Daily Telegraph

  • Tories vulnerable to ‘grey vote’ anger - FT (£)
  • Douglas Alexander: “It’s time to take Boris seriously” - New Statesman

> Today on ToryDiary: Boris Johnson leads Conservative resistance against Clegg's mansion taxes

> From yesterday - Lord Flight on Comment: The Treasury needs to be more imaginative when it comes to tax

Andrew Mitchell under pressure to skip Tory party conference over 'pleb row'

Andrew Mitchell"Andrew Mitchell is under pressure to skip next month's Conservative party conference because of fears that the continuing row over whether he called police officers "f****** plebs" will overshadow the annual gathering. Friends of Mr Mitchell said “indeed he is” intending to go to the autumn conference in Birmingham, which begins a week on Sunday, and would attend for the “full stretch” of the five day conference." – Daily Telegraph

  • Police officers protest outside Andrew Mitchell's constituency office – Guardian
  • "He was not popular with officials in his previous job at [DfID]… it seems that his private office was “not a happy place”. Staff turnover there was brisk, Civil Service high-flyers did not want to work for him and if they couldn’t avoid it, they left as soon as decently possible… Apart from a propensity for swearing [he]… had a tendency to bark out instructions like: “Go and get us some tea.” When one official mildly pointed out that tea-making was not her job, he glared at her and repeated his order for tea." – Sue Cameron for the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - WATCH: David Cameron answers questions about Andrew Mitchell from New York

Hague to discuss Assange's future with Ecuador

Hague William Syria"Ecuador's foreign minister is to hold talks with the UK Government today to try to resolve the deadlock over the fate of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, it was disclosed last night… An embassy official said Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, planned to meet his British counterpart, William Hague, at the United Nations in New York today." - Independent

BAE merger is a national security risk and should be avoided at all costs, says Bernard Jenkin

JENKIN BERNARD TWITTER"Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the Public Administration Select Committee, warned that government support for merging BAE with Franco-German aviation firm EADS will undermine Britain’s status as a ‘major military power’ and waste taxpayers’ money. The former shadow defence secretary warned that giving the French and German governments, who own parts of EADS, access to our military secrets would undermine the UK’s vital intelligence sharing with the United States." – Daily Mail

'I was once made Minister for Trade – for about half an hour' – Ed Vaizey MP interview in the Independent

Tory grassroots 'despair' at £12bn foreign aid spreeDaily Mail

  • Warped priorities: £28bn cuts. Our Armed Forces slashed to the bone. So why is Cameron boasting to the UN about spending yet more billions on overseas aid? – Ian Birrell for the Daily Mail

After years of conflict, the phonics method is emerging as the best way to teach children – Nick Gibb MP for the Daily Telegraph

Allister Heath: Troubled Britain should not mock the Eurozone’s nightmare

EU and BRITAIN"[S]ome of the Eurozone countries that are nearly bankrupt could yet end up with budget deficits as a share of GDP that are lower than Britain’s. It shows just how hubristic the British have become: the only reason the UK is not facing Armageddon is because the Bank of England (one part of the British state) is buying all of the gilts issued by the Debt Management Office (another part of the state) to finance public spending. Coalition ministers should stop gloating – and opposition spokespeople should stop being so deluded." – Allister Heath for City AM

  • Our financial crisis is unique, and the route back to health will be painful, costly and long – Jeremy Warner for the Daily Telegraph

> From today:

Miliband needs to spell out welfare cuts, say party grandees

Miliband Ed Yes"Ed Miliband has to do more to demonstrate he is a leader and needs to use next week's Labour conference to set out more detailed thinking behind last year's conference speech, the former cabinet minister Alan Johnson warns in the Guardian… Labour is enjoying a 10-point lead going into its conference, but there have been a string of polls showing Miliband trailing David Cameron as the preferred prime minister." – Guardian

  • Ed Miliband, show us you have what it takes to be prime minister – Alan Johnson MP for the Guardian
  • Project “Ed’s Charisma” – the mission to help Miliband loosen up – New Statesman

Labour will back Leveson press curbs, says HarmanDaily Mail

Slippery Salmond is "trying to engineer second referendum question"

Salmond Alex iv"Fresh claims that Alex Salmond was attempting to “engineer” a second referendum question surfaced yesterday. Correspondence, uncovered by Freedom of Information legislation, revealed Mr Salmond wrote to Martin Sime, of Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, asking him to encourage people to have their say about the “format” of the referendum." – Scotsman

  • Alistair Darling: Yes Scotland chief is Alex Salmond underling – Daily Telegraph

Private school share of new Cambridge places plunges to 30-year low after drive to recruit state pupilsDaily Mail

NHS finance directors fear standards of care will worsen, study revealsGuardian

Trident submarine missiles review to suggest 'stepping down nuclear ladder'Guardian

  • Top military chiefs go cold on nuclear deterrent – Independent

And finally… Crisis? Do as Margaret Thatcher would have done, China tells its future leaders - Daily Telegraph

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