Samantha Cameron gives an insight into life in Number Ten

CAMERON Samantha Carla“David Cameron’s tearful wife Samantha has revealed how their ‘terrifying and heartbreaking’ struggle to cope with disabled son Ivan brought the couple close to ‘breaking point.’ They were physically and mentally ‘shattered’ by the strain of looking after Ivan – who died aged six in 2009 – when he was first born. He needed 24-hour-a-day care, and the Camerons were saved when doctors told them it was impossible for them to look after Ivan on their own. In a wide-ranging interview with Mail on Sunday Editor Geordie Greig for this weekend’s You magazine, Samantha spoke at length for the first time about Ivan, her marriage and being Downing Street’s ‘First Lady.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • BBC attacked for putting comedian who mocked Cameron over Ivan on election panel – Mail on Sunday
  • “In a week when women showed the nation just how good at politics they are, it fell to Samantha Cameron to make by far the best and most straightforward case for her husband.” – Mail on Sunday editorial

Cameron demands end to the slaughter of Christians in Easter message

“David Cameron vowed yesterday to step up the fight to stop Christians being bullied and killed around the world. And he insisted in his Easter message: “We embrace, welcome and accept all faiths or none — but we are still a Christian country.” It comes after gunmen killed at least 147 people at a university in Kenya for being non-Muslim.” – Sun on Sunday

>Yesterday: Nic Conner in Comment: Why I, an atheist Conservative, will be in Church this Easter

Osborne announces housing revolution

HOMES Manifesto“Not only has the government recently helped a record number of people into jobs, but the Tories are preparing a housing revolution with a new pledge – announced today – to give one million more people the security of a home of their own. In an interview on the campaign trail with The Telegraph, Mr Osborne sets out his plan for this “massive” 1980s-style boom in home-ownership; hints at faster tax cuts after the election; and plays down the idea that he could one day take over from his friend in Number 10.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Labour’s new housing policy unravels within hours

May announces Tory plan to make Islamophobic crimes a specific offense

“Every police force in England and Wales will be required to record anti-Muslim hate crimes and treat them as seriously as anti-Semitic attacks if the Tories win the next General Election, Theresa May has announced. In a move hailed by Islamic groups, Mrs May said that police will have to record Islamophobic attacks as a separate category, just as anti-Semitic crimes are recorded separately.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Lib Dems block Home Secretary’s tough new extremism measures – Observer
  • Home Secretary embroiled in controversy over loan to fraudster – Independent on Sunday

Tory poll boost 1) Women think they are most likely to win

Opinion Poll graphic“The Conservatives have overtaken Labour as the party that women believe has the best chance of winning the general election, according to an exclusive poll for the Telegraph. With less than five weeks left, ICM’s Wisdom Index shows that the election race is too close to call, with Labour and the Tories both forecast to achieve 32 per cent of the vote. The research asked 2,000 people across Britain to predict the share of the vote that the major parties would win, rather than to say who they will support. In the previous survey two weeks ago, the Conservatives had pulled level with Labour in the eyes of female voters for only the second time in the three-year history of ICM’s Wisdom Index.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Finally, the Prime Minister sounds like he knows the price of a pint of milk – Nadine Dorries, Mail on Sunday

Tory poll boost 2) Voters view them as the ‘workers’ party’

“The Tories have seized the mantle of the “workers’ party” from Labour, according to a new poll that will give fresh momentum to the Conservatives. A YouGov survey for The Sunday Times found voters think David Cameron will do more for employees at Britain’s biggest firms if he wins power on May 7 than Ed Miliband. The result turns eight decades of assumptions about politics upside down and will boost the Tories’ argument that they deserve a second term because of record job numbers. The poll puts the Conservatives on 34%, with Labour one point behind. A week ago Labour had a four-point lead.” – Sunday Times (£)


Former Mayor of New York eyes Boris’ job

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“Michael Bloomberg, the former three-term mayor of New York, who was last year given an honorary knighthood by the Queen for his “prodigious entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavours” in the UK, is now being urged to cross the Atlantic for good and become the mayor of London. Friends of Bloomberg, 73, have revealed that he is “considering” standing in 2016 as a Tory candidate in succession to Boris Johnson. This comes two years after Johnson joked during an interview that he would do a “job swap” with him. Last week the idea received backing from Steve Hilton, former head of strategy at No 10 and one of Cameron’s most trusted advisers.” – Sunday Times (£)

Adam Boulton: Cameron seeks the smugglers’ road back into office

“Cameron has noticed that the centre is not popular and is making no effort to hold it together, calculating that Clegg’s and Miliband’s problems with dissenters are worse than his. So instead of making the case for what they have achieved together, the two former coalition partners rather obviously acted out their differences in the television studio. In a month’s time all parties could be desperately trying to build coalitions. But rather than explore this present reality and future likelihood, they are indulging in fantasies of difference even though on the key social and economic questions the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour and SNP are actually offering only varying shades of similar policies.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • The Prime Minister’s book of miracles is an empty tome – Damian McBride, Sunday Times (£)

How both parties stepped up their online campaigns

Twitter“Labour’s press team gave the video first to MailOnline, an outlet not well disposed to the party but with the biggest newspaper website reach. The headline “Hobbit star Martin Freeman brings some Hollywood stardust to new Labour election ad . . . but he doesn’t mention Ed” was not one that Labour would have chosen. But the coverage put “rocket boosters” under the video. At CCHQ, Alex Dawson’s research unit went into action, digging out material on Freeman’s previous support for the Socialist Labour party of Arthur Scargill to give Tory commentators a means of undermining Labour’s video.” – Sunday Times (£)

FTSE leaders deal fresh blow to Miliband’s business credentials…

“Labour’s standing with big business has plumbed new depths, with a phalanx of FTSE 100 bosses warning that Ed Miliband could derail Britain’s economic recovery. Some 70% of Footsie chairmen polled by a headhunter predicted that Miliband would be an economic “catastrophe”. The survey echoed recent comments from Stefano Pessina, the Monaco-based tycoon who is the biggest shareholder in pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance. The poll of 35 chairmen reveals that 90% believe David Cameron would be the best prime minister for corporate Britain.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • The left-wing Argentinean ad men helping Ed’s campaign – Mail on Sunday
  • Ed’s war on zero-hours contracts is an attack on the prospects of the young – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)

Nats join forces to ‘kill Mil’ in next debate

Miliband and Salmond“Scots and Welsh Nationalists have teamed up for a “Kill Mil” mission in the next TV election debate. Friends Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood plan to “skewer” Ed Miliband after last Thursday’s seven-way leaders’ debate. The pair are in regular touch about bringing Mr Miliband down in the next debate on April 16, which will not feature David Cameron or Nick Clegg. A source said: “It’s about skewering Ed and they’ll work to do that.”” – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • Miliband’s note to self: be a ‘happy warrior’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Tories will ‘get the beer and crisps in’ for the challengers’ debate – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

Young warns of Labour threat to free schools

“Hundreds of flagship schools face the axe in a left-wing crusade if Ed Miliband wins power, a classroom pioneer warned last night. Toby Young, who set up three of the revolutionary “free schools”, raised fears for their future as militant teaching unions held Red Ed hostage. he schools — funded by Government but not under meddling council control — are hugely over-subscribed but bitterly opposed by control-freak lefties. Labour has vowed to end the scheme if elected but claims existing schools will not be shut. However, Mr Young said: “I’m concerned free schools may not be safe if Ed Miliband is PM. Ed Balls said he was going to shut them down. He ‘clarified’ it afterwards.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

Lord Prescott reveals Prince Charles’ letters

John Prescott“John Prescott has revealed the content of private letters sent to him by Prince Charles for the first time. Lord Prescott, writing in his Sunday Mirror column, has spoken of two letters the future king sent to him during his time as Deputy Prime Minister. It follows claims that Prince Charles has involved himself in politics in 27 “black spider” memos to ministers, given their name due to his spidery writing.” – Sunday Telegraph

Janet Daley: Class war versus the free market – haven’t we been here before?

“Instead of trying to counter the argument that his policies would be anti-business (and therefore anti-growth), Ed Miliband upped the ante and made an attack on business, depicting it as the merciless exploiter of the worker. His assault on zero-hours contracts (or, in other words, a flexible labour force) put him, and party politics, squarely back on to the old class-war formula that some of us are old enough to remember. Yes, children, back in the days before Thatcherism caused the Labour Party to reinvent itself and learn to love capitalism, there were major national leaders who talked like this all the time.” – Sunday Telegraph

Lib Dems 1) Members would block second Tory deal and could cede kingmaker role to SNP

Libdem bird vs TORY“MPs, including frontbench spokesmen, with the party’s most influential activists, say another deal with the Conservatives would not secure the approval of enough delegates at a conference that must be convened under party rules. “The activists will be saying to MPs: ‘We haven’t just bust a gut for you guys so that you can go off and be ministers for another five years,’” warned one long-serving MP. “In 2010, it was clear that we had to help create a stable country, and we were the only ones who could do it. If we’ve learnt anything from that, we’ve earned the right to say ‘no’ [to another deal]. There should be plenty of Scottish National Party MPs [elected this time]. We could say: ‘Sod it, it’s their turn – it’s up to them to make an arse of themselves this time.’”” – Independent on Sunday

Lib Dems 2) Alexander turns fire on Balls

“Labour “can’t be trusted” by working people and would lead the country into a “catastrophic mess”, Treasury Chief Danny Alexander has warned. The Lib Dem tore into his political rivals and claimed the party was not “on the side of cutting taxes” for its traditional supporters. And he accused Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls of “running scared” by ducking a head-to-head debate with him over the state of the nation’s finances. Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Mr Alexander said Labour would “wreck the recovery, stop tax cuts in their tracks and take us back to the catastrophic mess they left us in”.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

Lib Dems 3) Cable backed as Liberal Democrat leader if Clegg falls

CURSE OF CLEGG one“Vince Cable, the business secretary, is being tipped by senior Liberal Democrats as the party’s next leader if Nick Clegg loses his seat or resigns after a poor result in the general election. Cable, 71, who had all but ruled himself out of any leadership contest, is now being promoted by senior Lib Dems as a “safe pair of hands” who can steer the party into a coalition with either Labour or the Tories. However, if the party is annihilated at the polls, Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, who is popular with the party’s grass roots, remains favourite to succeed Clegg.” – Sunday Times (£)

Farage claims that six Tory MPs are ready to defect…

“At least six Tory MPs will defect to Ukip if David Cameron tries to form another coalition with the Liberal Democrats, Nigel Farage believes. The Ukip leader claims Conservatives who do not want another power-sharing deal with Nick Clegg “under any circumstances” are preparing to jump ship after the election. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Farage said he had had conversations with “more than a handful” of Tories about joining Ukip if Cameron offers an in-out referendum on EU membership on terms dictated by the Lib Dems.” – Sunday Times (£)

…but is accused of burying bad news poll of South Thanet

UKIP glass“Nigel Farage faced claims of a ‘cover-up’ last night for censoring a poll that suggests he is on course for a humiliating personal defeat in the General Election. The secret Ukip-commissioned poll, leaked to The Mail on Sunday, shows that Farage has fallen behind his Tory opponent in the Kent seat he is contesting. And he is in danger of finishing third, with Labour catching up fast. If the poll is accurate, it could end Farage’s political career as he has vowed to resign as Ukip leader if he fails to win South Thanet.” – Mail on Sunday

  • UKIP leader denies that it is un-Christian to block foreign HIV cases – Sunday Telegraph

SNP offer Miliband a new deal to see him into Number 10…

“Scottish National party leader Nicola Sturgeon has offered to help make Ed Miliband the next prime minister even if Labour wins fewer seats than the Tories on 7 May. Her appeal comes as she angrily rejects claims that she thinks he is not up to the job. Writing in the Observer – as a furious row erupted over disparaging private remarks she allegedly made about the Labour leader – Sturgeon challenges Miliband to lead Labour into an anti-austerity alliance with the SNP whichever party is the largest in the House of Commons on 8 May.” – Observer

  • Gove warns that Lab-Nat pact would bankrupt the UK – Sunday Express

…as Cabinet Secretary orders enquiry into Sturgeon leak

snplogo“Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has ordered an official probe into claims that a civil servant leaked an official account of a private meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and the French ambassador. The SNP leader has denied telling French ambassador Sylvie Bermann that she would prefer David Cameron to remain in Number 10 while suggesting that Ed Miliband was not Prime Minister material. Ms Sturgeon told supporters at a rally in Glasgow today that she had written to Sir Jeremy to demand an official investigation.” – Mail on Sunday


  • Scotland’s revolution terrifies the main parties – Kevin McKenna, Observer
  • Never before has Scotland been quite this deluded – Bruce Anderson, Sunday Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary – The Union’s future is more important than a Conservative election victory

>Yesterday: ToryDiary – It doesn’t matter who Sturgeon would prefer as Prime Minister

News in Brief:

  • Scottish public health leaders mull call to raise drinking age to 21… – Mail on Sunday
  • …as tobacconists have to hide their stock from tomorrow – Observer
  • Argentina accidently given details of RAF presence on Falklands – Sunday Express
  • Muslim group with extremist links boasts of influencing the election – Sunday Telegraph
  • Campaigners call for Easter to be moved to a fixed week in April – Independent on Sunday
  • BMA chief says basic NHS services should be charged for – Observer
  • Police brutalise strikers at ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirt factory – Mail on Sunday

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