Published:

5.30pm LeftWatch: "One of the underlying statistics in today's Sun poll left me absolutely gobsmacked: a massive 71 per cent of voters claim it isn’t clear what [Miliband] stands for – up ten per cent from last year. That should trouble the Labour operation deeply." The more Ed talks, the less people understand

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4.30pm WATCH: Thwack! UKIP's Godfrey Bloom hits Michael Crick on the head with a newspaper

3pm Local Government: Councillors must declare trade union membership

2pm Maria Borelius on Comment: "The European Commission: endless speeches with verbose legalities, people babbling,
talking to no one in particular, autocratic rants from various pompous
eurocrats – all translated by some 10-15 interpreters. It was sometimes pure Monty Python." the European Commission."
Why I was wrong about the Euro, am no longer a Europhile – and why Europe needs reform

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Noon ToryDiary: Introducing…UKIP's White Company

11am MPsETC: And the winner of the Conservative awayday quiz was…

10.30am Local Government: Council by-election results from yesterday

ToryDiary: The lesson of Damian McBride's memoirs is that Labour is the Nasty Party

Also on ToryDiary: Coming for Party Conference – a ConHome redesign

DaleIain Dale's Friday Diary reports on the bonking couple who were to blame for Lib Dem cock-ups

Andrew Lilico on Comment: "We wear jeans when our pals wear jeans, bikinis when our pals wear bikinis, nose-rings when our pals wear nose-rings, and veils when our pals wear veils. Saying veils should be banned because some women wear them to try to fit in makes no more sense than saying nose-rings should be banned." Why we should not ban veils

Local Government: "Here in Britain tolerance, decency and respect for others are embedded deep within our psyche. Our warmth and hospitality, our willingness to welcome other views and embrace other ways of life are what has made Britain a beacon of hope around the world. Now a few voices from the fringes try and challenge those values. "Pickles on Britishness – condemning hate merchants of the UAF and the EDL 

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: There’s only one political divide that really matters and you’re probably on the wrong side of it

McBride memoir lays bare the poisonous culture in Labour's Downing Street

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"The spin doctor says he routinely discredited opponents by tipping off newspapers about ‘drug use, spousal abuse, alcoholism and extra-marital affairs’.  Coming from a figure so central to Mr Brown’s political operation, the book will hugely embarrass Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, the former prime minister’s two closest allies. The pair were in constant contact with Mr McBride, raising urgent questions over what they knew of his brutal tactics." – Daily Mail 

  • Ivan Lewis, Charles Clarke and John Reid among the victims – Daily Mail
  • Brown picked Miliband over Balls – Daily Mail 
  • Did the two Eds really not know? Or did they just not care? – Daily Mail Leader
  • Emails released from inside the Blair bunker – The Guardian

Miliband urged to be more emotional and less geeky – as polls draw level

Labour Rose Wilting"Ed Miliband needs to ‘emotionally connect with the public’, a senior ally warned last night after a shock poll revealed Labour’s lead over the Tories has evaporated. Shadow Cabinet minister Michael Dugher said Labour needed to stop acting like a ‘think-tank’ and spend more time talking about issues the public cares about. His remarks, just before the Labour conference in Brighton begins on Sunday, came as a YouGov poll put the two parties level on 36 per cent." – Daily Mail

Hunt: I wouldn't want to be treated by a doctor wearing a veil 

"Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made it clear that he would not personally want to be treated by a doctor or nurse wearing a veil. The cabinet minister insisted patients should have the right to demand medics remove their veils. He said: ‘Certainly, if I was a patient myself, I’d want to be able to see the face of the doctor or nurse who was treating me."" – Daily Mail

UKIP open jubilant conference – as they threaten to put Labour in government

Farage Nigel Eating Cakes"Cameron’s reluctance to bang the Tory drum was understandable at first, when the feasibility of coalition was in doubt. But now, for the first time in modern history, the Conservatives have a serious rival on the Right in the form of Ukip – and it’s a threat strong enough to put them into Opposition in 2015. Cameron has two jobs: first, to govern, and second, to tell people the reasons why they should prefer Conservative-only government." - Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

Philip Dunne: The Lib Dem plans for downgrading Trident would delight Britain's enemies

"I see three
immediate doctrinal problems with a part-time deterrent. The first: any
aggressors would know our boats are unarmed. The second: a submarine at a
quay side being “re-rolled” is a target not a deterrent. And third: what is
the trigger point for this “surge”? These moves could actually escalate a
crisis and remove the ultimate reason for having a deterrent in the first
place: the ability to strike back. A coherent deterrent? I don’t think so." – Daily Telegraph

Education 1) A quarter of pupils fail to pass English tests

Gove"A quarter of children leaving primary school failed to reach the expected level in new tests for spelling and grammar introduced by Michael Gove. Boys aged 11 struggled more with the test, with almost a third unable to spell a series of two and three-syllable words and to add capital letters, commas or full stops to short sentences. One in five girls, who have long outperformed boys, especially in English, did not reach the threshold." – The Times (£)

Education 2) £15m bill for teachers who actually work for trade unions

"Hundreds of teachers are spending all or part of their time on
union work, costing taxpayers £15million a year. Some union
representatives are paid teaching salaries of up to £70,000 yet many
have not taken a class for years, a survey has shown.  Their salaries
are paid by local authorities and schools receive no extra money to
cover for the union reps – meaning  they have less to spend on educating
pupils." – Daily Mail

Smoking to be banned in prisons

"Smoking is to be banned in all prisons in England and Wales in a move that runs the risk of rioting by inmates, The Times has learnt. A pilot project barring lighting up in all parts of jails, including exercise yards, will begin in spring next year. It will then be introduced in other prisons during a 12-month period." – The Times (£)

News in brief

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