Published:

Midnight ToryDiary: David Cameron celebrates hitting 0.7% overseas aid target in his Easter message

1pm Lord Bates on Comment: George Carey should worry a little bit more about global poverty and a little less about David Cameron

ToryDiary: Cameron may not be a great leader but he CAN still win the next election and he shouldn't be ousted

MPsETC: Don't cut taxes. Don't cut welfare. Don't cut aid. Tory MPs in marginal seats tell Matthew Parris what they want and don't want.

Philip Booth on Comment: Some Christian objections to the NHS

LISTEN: John Hayes talks to Radio 4 about his new role advising the PM

UKIP to offer personal allowance of £13,000 and transferable tax allowance for married couples

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 07.41.22"The UK Independence party is to broaden its electoral message beyond its usual campaigns against Europe and immigration with a new tax strategy aimed squarely at swing voters in middle Britain. Godfrey Bloom, the party’s economics spokesman, wants to create a flat rate of income tax at 25 per cent with a personal allowance of £13,000, a policy which he accepts will bring particular benefits to middle earners. Meanwhile, in another attempt to chisel support away from the Conservatives, Mr Bloom also wants to allow non-working parents to transfer their tax allowance to a working spouse." – FT (£)

Ministers are looking to raise up to £3bn before the end of the year through the sale of the government’s 33% stake in Urenco, the uranium enrichment company, in one of the biggest privatisations in yearsFT (£)

George Carey claims David Cameron has done more than any other recent prime minister to feed Christian anxietiesDaily Mail

"The Government risks entrenching a very damaging division in British society by driving law-abiding Christians into the ranks of the malcontents and alienated – of whom there are already far too many." – George Carey for the Daily Mail

Two-thirds of Christians now feel part of a persecuted minority – Sky News

Iain Duncan Smith has admitted that he is no longer seeking to cut Britain’s benefits bill and is simply “managing” the increase in handouts

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 07.38.14"The Work and Pensions Secretary said that, unlike other European nations, the “reality is that this country is not cutting welfare”. He added that “all those on benefits will still see cash increases in every year of this Parliament”. He was speaking ahead of the introduction of Universal Credit, which will begin to be rolled out next week and which will initially involve spending more on out-of-work benefits." – Telegraph

Thousands taking jobs 'because of Iain Duncan Smith's benefits cap'; Welfare Secretary claiming that his policies are already working in encouraging people back to work – Daily Mail

The Daily Mail comes to Iain Duncan Smith's defence: "Three pilot schemes for the universal credit have been delayed until the summer, to make sure the fiendishly complicated IT system required to administer it does not collapse. But this hardly justifies yesterday’s hysterical claims by Labour – reported with relish by the BBC – that the entire reform is in ‘crisis’. The truth is Labour will do or say anything to avoid confronting the need to reform Britain’s morally broken, unaffordable welfare system."

  • Peter Lilley says IDS wise to proceed carefully with the pilots – Times (£)
  • Frank Field has condemned the "bedroom tax" as a form of social engineering that would have made Joseph Stalin proud – Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Labour gambles on Universal Credit failing

Teachers threaten Gove with strikes over pay and pensionsDaily Mail

A YouGov poll for the NUT finds that 8% of thought the coalition
had had a positive impact on the education system, while 44% said the
impact had been negative – Daily Mail | Guardian

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: The NUT Conference shows how badly the Gove reforms are needed

Michael Gove is right that children should learn things by heart – Charles Moore in The Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt has defied the central recommendation of the Mid Staffordshire inquiry, that the rights of patients be formally enshrined at the heart of the NHSTelegraph

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 07.37.56Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS' top doctor, says hospitals that don't deliver high quality care will be fined – Guardian

  • "A top NHS boss was facing calls to quit last night over a shock decision to suspend kids’ heart ops at a hospital. Experts questioned the move by Sir Bruce Keogh, saying it was based on “dodgy” death rate statistics." – The Sun
  • The Stafford hospital scandal is far from unprecedented. Dickens and Gladstone would have recognised this human weakness – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

David Willetts complains that Oxbridge and other leading universities aren't doing enough to expand their undergraduate numbers

Willetts David BBCb"[The Universities Minister] said that it was disappointing that the University of Oxford, in particular, was held back from expanding by a limit on student housing in the city. But his comments reflect a wider exasperation that few leading universities have so far used the Government’s higher education reforms to grow." – Times (£)

Environment minister Richard Benyon admits slower progress in defending marine life because of cost pressuresBBC


Hayes John October 2012John Hayes says his appointment as parliamentary adviser to David Cameron move shows the Prime Minister "cares" about the views of his backbenchers
Huffington Post

John Hayes insists Mr Cameron was an “exceptional leader” and “more than capable of leading across the party” – Scotsman

> Listen to John Hayes' six minute interview.

David Cameron is beginning to realise at last that he needs the Tory Party rather more than it needs him – Macer Hall in The Express

"The biggest divide in our party is not Left versus Right; it’s safe versus marginal" – Matthew Parris in The Times (£) talks to Tory MPs in marginal seats about the direction of the Conservative Party.

  • With hung parliaments likely to become the norm, the kind of strop that
    Tory MPs are now throwing will be utterly counterproductive – Mark
    Thompson for the New Statesman

Andrew Mitchell has been sounded out by David Cameron on whether he would like to become Britain’s next EU commissionerFT (£)

Andrew Mitchell should focus on police, not the press – Andrew Gimson for The Guardian


Johnson Boris 2012 ConHomeThe Guardian would like Boris Johnson to do a David Miliband and leave UK politics for a charity job
Guardian leader

  • Eddie Mair talks to student journalists about his interview with Boris Johnson – Guardian

We will lose a sense of memory and history if MPs rise and fall as fast as David Miliband – Chris Mullin in The Times (£)

Ed Miliband brings forward key announcements on economy

Miliband Ed At Rally"Some Shadow Cabinet members want to spell out specific cuts  to show Labour is serious about tackling the deficit. They have been blocked by Mr Balls. But with many opinion polls showing Labour trailing the Conservatives on economic competence, the Labour leadership is discussing issues such as whether to accept the Coalition’s spending ceiling." – Independent

The Labour leader tells Andrew Grice why his party has ditched 'command and control' politics for old-style doorstep campaigning – Independent

Sir Andrew Motion of Campaign for Rural England wants heavy taxation of second homes to force "townies" out of countrysideTimes (£)

Louis Susman, departing American ambassador to London, warns US would frown on further budget squeeze by its greatest allyTelegraph

The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Nils Muiznieks, accuses Britain of shameful rhetoric on migrantsGuardian

One in seven families on homeless benefits are foreign migrants – Express

Victims' Code criticised by ombudsman as Justice Minister prepares to overhaul itBBC

And finally… Basil Fawlty is back

P009w65g

"History shows it is, always, only a matter of time before Germany ends up dominating Europe. After years of refusing to assert itself, Germany’s time has come again. The Fourth Reich is here without a shot being fired: and the rest of Europe, and the world, had better get used to it." – Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail

> From the ConHome archive: Can we talk about Germany without resorting to WWII imagery?

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