Published:

9pm AUDIO: Chris Grayling accuses Margaret Hodge of using Public Accounts Committee for political grandstanding

8.30pm Dr Liam Fox MP on Comment: The Justice and Security Bill will help keep us safe

8pm Local government: Council by-election results from Thursday

6pm WATCH: Shut up about the ECHR or do something, says Mark Field MP. Voters, he says, aren't going to be fooled by endless words and promises.

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 16.06.344pm ToryDiary: Number 10 likens Nigel Farage to Santa Claus

3pm LISTEN: Lord Forsyth tells Radio 4 that George Osborne must start cutting taxes

Noon Conor Burns MP on Comment: The real lesson of Eastleigh is that the Tory grassroots are dying. Here's how we should revive them.

ToryDiary: Grayling
and May in pincer movement on the ECHR.  They launch the biggest
assault on it from senior Ministers in the party's history.

ToryDiary: Cameron adopts ConservativeHome's "And" Theory of Conservatism

Tom Waterhouse on Comment: The Conservative Party needs its own Team Tech to win a majority in 2015


Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 08.59.46Cameron is preparing to limit the access of immigrants to free healthcare amid concerns the NHS is being abused by new arrivals and turned into a “global health service”
The Sunday Times (£)

Bulgarians and Romanians are already here: "More than a quarter of a million Bulgarians and Romanians have come
to Britain over the past five years – even before the jobs  market is
fully opened to them. About half that number were allowed in as farm
workers on short-term contracts and thousands more got permanent
posts." – Mail on Sunday

  • Charlotte Leslie, Conservative MP for Bristol North West, tells Sunday Times (£) readers by NHS boss David Nicholson must go because of Mid Staffs.
  • Doctors cry foul at NHS 'privatisation by stealth' – Observer
  • At least 1,165 people have starved to death in NHS hospitals over the past four years – Sunday Express
  • Pro-UK campaign warns Scotland that it might lose access to key NHS services – Scotland on Sunday


MAY-THERESATheresa May vows to take UK out of the European Court of Human Rights
Mail on Sunday

"Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, declares that a future Conservative government will scrap the Human Rights Act, in a move which will cheer his party’s MPs and activists. In an intervention on the issue which goes further than any minister since the Coalition came to power, Mr Grayling says he “cannot conceive of a situation” where a Tory majority administration would not repeal Labour’s legislation." – The Sunday Telegraph

  • We should sweep away the discredited Human Rights Act and replace it
    with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities – Charlie Elphicke
    MP in the Mail on Sunday

EU referendum may get legislation in THIS parliament

The Sunday Times (£): "The leadership is considering one more concession on Europe to reduce UKIP’s appeal. Two groups of Tory MPs, led by the backbenchers John Baron and Bill Cash, plan to step up a campaign to push Cameron into introducing legislation before the election to put the promised 2017 EU membership referendum on the statute book. The prime minister has not closed off the idea, even though the chances of Lib Dem or Labour support for such a bill might be remote."

David Cameron answers the critics in his own party by declaring that he will not “lurch to the Right” and will battle to keep the Conservatives on the “common ground” of politicsSunday Telegraph

Emulating Keith Joseph, David Cameron said he will pursue 'common ground' policies to woo voters – Mail on Sunday

Commentators examine the Tory challenge after Eastleigh:

  • Nigel Farage hit the nail on the head with his quip about three social democratic parties: Voters want a REAL choice – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
  • People need to hear a narrative from Cameron that makes sense of the pain, the change and the challenge – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
  • "The Tory Party needs to harness the mood of anti-politics that  we saw in Eastleigh. Until it learns to do so, it will be its victim." – Douglas Carswell MP in the Mail on Sunday
  • "The by-election has demonstrated again that the Tory machine on the ground in many parts of the country is depleted and in serious decline" – Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph
  • Eastleigh is further proof that the two-party system is dead – Adam Boulton for The Sunday Times (£)


UKIPSpotlight on UKIP

 "Though potential UKIP voters are more worried than most about immigration, and sometimes Europe, this is often part of a bigger dissatisfaction with the way things are going in modern Britain. They think most politicians no longer represent people like them – the silent majority, as they see themselves. UKIP, meanwhile, will say the things that need to be said but others are scared to say." – Lord Ashcroft in The People

"UKIP's literature in Eastleigh promised tax cuts for "everyone" and more spending on everything from the restoration of student grants to more generous pensions to more prisons. It must be the only party to be led by people who still believe in Santa Claus." – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

And, in the Mail on Sunday, James Forsyth returns to the Santa Calus theme: "Tories will soon start hitting it as the ‘Santa Claus party’, ridiculing the claim that it can cut taxes while vastly increasing spending on defence and public services. They will seek to portray Nigel Farage as a confidence trickster, trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes.

The Independent on Sunday offers a guide to UKIP: "It is, in thought if not yet in personnel, the extreme right-wing of the Conservative Party in exile; a party run in the main by self-made businessmen with an agenda to match."

"“People are sick and tired of having three social democrat parties that are frankly indistinguishable from each other,” said Nigel Farage. In those few words he articulated the reality that Britain, until the advent of UKIP, had become a one-party state behind the facade of political competition." – Gerald Warner for Scotland on Sunday

But, in the Independent on Sunday, John Redwood puts UKIP's Eastleigh performance into context: "If Ukip cannot win a protest by-election in Hampshire, with the coalition parties splitting their vote, and the economy becalmed, it is unlikely that it can win anywhere."

The Sun backs Philip Hammond on defence cuts

The Sun Says: "The MoD may have to slash £1.2billion extra from its budget. Mr Hammond points out it would take just a half a per cent from the welfare budget to match the saving. The Lib Dems will squeak. But it’s time to make a firm stand for the world’s best fighting forces."

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The National Union of Ministers' target is IDS's budget – not the health and aid ring-fences

Cameron has made a secret visit to his local food bank, after criticism that Downing Street does not understand the increasing role they are playing in 'Austerity BritainSky News

Cameron buries hatchet with Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell at secret Chequers lunch – and offers him £250,000 EU jobMail on Sunday

*LABOUR* councillors in Grantham want statue of Margaret ThatcherMail on Sunday


DAVIS DAVIDBackbench Tory MPs in the news:

  • "Tackling dangerous boozing is the right thing to do, but minimum pricing is the wrong way to do it" – David Davis MP in The Sun
  • President Obama has done the right thing in signing approval for $85 billion of cuts in US public spending – John Redwood
  • Tory MP Tim Loughton has been subjected to a ‘humiliating’ six-month racism investigation after describing a voter who claims to have a Romany Gipsy background as unkempt – Mail on Sunday


Pressure is mounting on the Government to give up its resistance to a European Union cap on bankers' bonuses as even Swiss tax havens look to put an end to excessive corporate pay deals
Independent on Sunday

Vince Cable has been moved from a key role at a Liberal Democrat rally in favour of the Minister caught up in the party’s ‘sex harassment’ rowMail on Sunday

Tony Blair backs government's overseas aid spend as Tory sceptics call for cutsObserver

  • Aid has transformed Africa. Now is the time for growth and governance – Tony Blair in The Observer

A decade after Saddam was overthrown, why are some progressives still loath to celebrate his demise? – Nick Cohen in The Observer

Massive protests by Sunnis in Baghdad against the government have raised the prospect of a new uprising in the Arab worldThe Sunday Telegraph

Research confirms same-sex couples are just as good at parenting as heterosexualsIndependent on Sunday

Tim Montgomerie may make the Times a more openly Conservative home – Peter Preston in The Observer

And finally… Paul Goodman's wish comes true…

Goodman Paul PSOn ConHome's pages Paul Goodman has long argued for a Business for Britain group.

Buried within his Mail on Sunday article, James Forsyth reports: "David Cameron’s push to change Britain’s EU membership terms will soon receive a boost when a group called Business for Britain is launched.  It is the brainchild of Matthew Elliott, who ran the successful No2AV campaign, and is modelled on Business for Sterling, which played a crucial role in keeping this country out of the euro. The group will represent the business mainstream against extremes of the European debate and has already attracted considerable support, including from one influential Labour donor."

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