Scotland 1) Cameron promises to stop Scottish Parliament policies hurting the UK…

David Cameron 14-04-15“A Conservative government would create a new principle to ensure decisions by Holyrood do not have an ‘unforeseen detrimental effect’ for people south of the border, he will say. The Prime Minister will tell voters in England that new powers for the Scottish Parliament mean it ‘can now have a big impact on your job, your income, and investment in your area’. Mr Cameron will call the idea the ‘Carlisle Principle’ – named to reflect the sort of border communities in the rest of the UK that could be particularly badly affected by decisions taken by the Scottish government.” – Daily Mail

  • Annual policy review to stop Britain ‘losing out’ – The Times (£)
  • We won’t let Holyrood harm England, says the Prime Minister – The Scotsman
  • SNP to pitch itself as party that benefits the whole UK – The Independent
  • Sturgeon refuses to rule out second referendum – Daily Telegraph

Scotland 2) SNP make eyes at Labour with manifesto pitched for power-sharing

“Nicola Sturgeon will today launch an extraordinary bid to ‘lead the UK’ as she unveils a string of policies apparently tailor-made for a power-sharing deal with Labour. The SNP leader will unveil a manifesto including proposals for British foreign policy, welfare payments, energy bills and English university tuition fees. Several of her election pledges overlap with Labour policy, including slashing tuition fees in England from a maximum of £9,000 a year to £6,000, and rolling back competition in the English NHS. Others are calculated to drag a minority Labour government to the left, including halting the roll-out of Iain Duncan Smith’s popular changes to benefits and cancelling the Trident nuclear weapons system.” – Daily Mail

  • Deputy claims party is prepared to wage ‘war of attrition’ against Labour – The Independent
  • Sturgeon claims SNP could ‘change direction’ of a minority government – The Guardian
  • SNP plans to wield veto over UK spending… – Daily Mail
  • …and hold defence to ransom – The Times (£)
  • SNP threat to army pay – The Sun (£)
  • Nationalists will paralyse Armed Forces unless Trident is scrapped – Daily Telegraph
  • Sturgeon’s radical transformation – Daily Mail

Main parties’ responses:

  • Shadow Welsh Secretary claims Labour would scrap Trident if it could – Daily Telegraph
  • Eagle claims Labour will negotiate with any party to secure a majority – Daily Express
  • Prime Minister finds prospect of Lab-Nat pact ‘frightening’ – Daily Telegraph
  • How tactical voting could stop Salmond – The Independent
  • Plaid’s Wood is to the left of Labour, ‘but that’s not hard’ – The Independent


  • Westminster doesn’t matter – all the SNP care about is separation – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
  • The Scottish Nasty Party’s growing intolerance of dissent reeks of fascism – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • Sisterhood politics won’t be ladylike – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)
  • Between a rock and a hard place in SNP land – Melanie Reid, The Times (£)
  • To win, the Tories must look to 1983 – Brian Monteith, The Scotsman
  • You thought coalition was bad? What’s coming is uglier – Matthew D’Ancona, The Guardian



  • Davidson, the jolly Scots Tory who could teach Cameron a thing or two – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Cameron – A more powerful SNP after the next election is a “frightening prospect”

Boris Johnson: If Miliband is in the driving seat, Sturgeon will be steering him left

UNION FLAG torn“So can someone tell me why in the name of all that is holy there are some apparently rational people who are even contemplating the elevation of the Scottish Nationalist Party to a position of effective dominance in the government of the United Kingdom – an entity that they are sworn to destroy? That is their charter, their aim, their ambition, their mission statement: to overturn last year’s referendum, and to break us up. They want to end Britain, to decapitate Britannia, to cause a constitutional upheaval that would gravely weaken this country, a rupture that has provoked horror in Britain’s friends around the world – and a silent chuckle among those who do not wish us quite so well. And yet it is now clear that it is only with the help of the SNP – a party that is literally anti-British – that Ed Miliband can have any hope of governing this country.” – Daily Telegraph

Campaign 1) Prime Minister ensure three in every five new jobs is created outside the South East

“David Cameron will today set out his ambition to ensure that three out of five new jobs created under a Tory-led government would be outside London and the southeast. The prime minister will also defend the coalition’s past record on supporting job creation in the regions, saying that 61.5 per cent of the two million jobs generated since May 2010 were outside the capital and the home counties. He wants to repeat that ratio for another two million jobs projected over the next parliament. Speaking at an event in the northwest, Mr Cameron will say: “I didn’t come into this to create some reckless, booming economy just within the M25. That’s what we had before.”” – The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister vows to deliver jobs to the North – The Sun (£)
  • Cameron intervenes in row between UK oil companies and Gabon – Financial Times
  • Banks avoid supporting ‘big society’ volunteer leave policy – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Reasons to be Tory 1) Garden Cities

Campaign 2) Boris and Major enter the fray

BORIS blue and red“John Major and Boris Johnson are to join the front line of the Tory campaign this week in an effort to boost the morale of voters and party members. The two heavyweights arrive after a growing chorus of Tory MPs have said that the campaign has been too negative. Mr Major is to make a speech warning that the future of the Union would be endangered if Labour, propped up by the SNP, won power. It was reported yesterday that the Conservative party alighted upon the idea of exploiting Mr Major after they saw how much media attention Tony Blair received from a speech in defence of Britain’s membership of the EU.” – The Times (£)

Campaign 3) Boost for Tories on campus as Greens slump

“Support for the Green party has plummeted among students since the start of the election campaign amid a growing dislike of its leader, an opinion poll has found. Backing for the Greens on campuses has plunged from 28 per cent in February to just 15 per cent now, enabling the Conservatives to overtake them as the second most popular party among students. The research suggests that a rising dislike of Natalie Bennett, the Green party’s leader, among undergraduates may explain part of the fall in its support.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck amongst student voters – Financial Times
  • Tuition fees put young voters off Liberal Democrats – The Independent
  • The bizarre blog of Bennett’s boyfriend – Daily Mail

Campaign 4) Low BME support jeopardising Tory position in ever more constituencies

Britain shield“The Conservative party’s problem in attracting voters from ethnic minorities could cost them nine seats at the next election, and up to 50 by the middle of the next decade, according to new research. Analysis by the Runnymede Trust thinktank suggests David Cameron’s party must redouble its efforts to engage this growing group of voters, particularly in the capital. The Tories attracted just 16% minority support in 2010, and demographic movements by minorities from urban areas into suburbs could put their share of the vote at risk in seats that may be Conservative-held or marginal, the report says.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: The Conservatives’ Indian spring?

Hunt leads calls for investigation into NHS executive pay

“The head of the Royal College of Nursing said nurses who had faced five years of pay freezes would struggle to comprehend the six per cent pay rise for their bosses. Patient groups said the packages were indefensible when patients were seeing spiralling waiting times and cuts to routine procedures… The main political parties promised an inquiry. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘A future Conservative government would ask the Department of Health to look at the Mail’s investigation in detail. ‘Too often high executive pay has been awarded as a matter course, not because of exceptional performance.’” – Daily Mail


Melanie Phillips: We’re hopelessly addicted to the NHS

NHS_Logo“The real swindle lies in the pretence that the NHS model works, and that the only issue is which party is most committed to it. In fact, successive governments have poured ever-more eye-watering amounts of money into the service. NHS net expenditure increased from £64 billion in 2003/04 to £113 billion in 2014/15. Such money will never be enough, though, because demand for health care is infinite and taxpayers’ willingness to fund it is not. In addition, the NHS is far too big and unresponsive to be run from Whitehall. Targets have produced perverse incentives; regulators have covered up poor care because of the imperative to sustain the illusion that the service is getting better and better.” – The Times (£)

Davis attacks CPS chief

“Senior Tory David Davis has branded Alison Saunders the “worst DPP in modern times”. He demanded a full inquiry into the Crown Prosecution Service for “persecuting” innocent Sun journalists. Director of Public Prosecutions Saunders is under fire for not pressing charges against Lord Janner over child sex abuse claims. Mr Davis said: “I think she is the worst DPP in modern times.” Saunders pressed 48 charges against Sun journalists and failed to get any convictions. On Friday, three Sun men were acquitted of paying public officials. Charges against five current or ex-Sun staff were then dropped.” – The Sun (£)

Miliband snubs self-employed…

MILIBAND Red Ed“Ed Miliband was last night accused of snubbing Britain’s army of self-employed workers – for refusing to send them a special Election message. The Labour leader prompted claims that he was worried about upsetting his party’s ‘union paymasters’. In a special Election edition, the magazine of the respected Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) carries tributes from nearly every major party leader to people who work for themselves.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader mobbed by hen party in Chester – Daily Telegraph
  • Ed gets the Left’s Royle assent – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

…and claims that Labour will protect Christians

“Ed Miliband set out to woo Christian voters signalling he would consider new measures to protect their right to express their beliefs in the workplace after a series of controversial cases. The Labour leader also pledged to work closely with faith schools and said religious groups running community projects should not face suspicion from councils and government bodies over their motives. Mr Miliband, who is an atheist, took his place alongside worshippers at Praise House, an evangelical Church in a former office block in Croydon, South London, for a lively Sunday service in which he took questions from the congregation.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: The Deep End: Ed Miliband – the man who showed up

Balls refuses to rule out tax raid on businesses

BALLS Ed Spend can“Ed Balls yesterday opened the door to a tax raid on businesses, which critics warn would endanger the economic recovery. In a TV interview, the shadow chancellor refused to rule out a five-point rise in the main rate of corporation tax if Labour form the next government. He was also evasive about the 40p rate of income tax, into which millions of people have been dragged in recent years, saying he was unsure how quickly the threshold could be raised. Businesses are already concerned about Labour’s stated plans not to cut corporation tax – paid by all large firms on their profits – as the Tories have vowed to if they win office.” – Daily Mail

Farage accuses Miliband of betraying working class people…

“The UK Independence Party chief savages his election rival for siding with multi-national corporations that benefit from mass immigration while damaging traditional communities and undermining small firms. And he made a passionate call for Labour voters to switch to Ukip’s “People’s Army” on May 7. In his most withering attack on the Labour leader yet, Mr Farage said: “I really think that traditional Labour voters, who care about issues like immigration and Europe, just cannot vote for Miliband.”” – Daily Express

  • …and claims Cameron partly responsible for Mediterranean migrant deaths – The Guardian
  • The UKIP leader is fading away without a fight, as predicted – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph

Lib Dems 1) Clegg hints his party will support whomever has the most seats

Lib Dem Logo“Nick Clegg has cast doubt on the legitimacy of Labour forming a government after the election if Ed Miliband’s party does not win the most seats. “The Liberal Democrat leader’s remarks will be a concern for Labour strategists who hope that Mr Miliband could cut a power-sharing deal with the Lib Dems and the SNP even if Labour comes behind the Tories. As another hung parliament looks likely, the question of which governing combinations could maintain the public’s confidence is likely to take centre stage. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Clegg said: “Where we’re entering into an era of coalition and people are still trying to feel their way, it is essential at every step that however we are governed, its legitimacy is not questioned.”” – The Times (£)

Lib Dems 2) Alexander could join the Lords to keep Treasury role

“Lib Dem Danny Alexander could be given a peerage in a bid to keep him in his Treasury post in a second Coalition, it emerged today. The high-flyer and close ally of Nick Clegg, who has won praise as George Osborne’s second-in-command, is on course to lose his seat to the Scottish nationalists. He would be one of the highest-profile casualties of the SNP surge which is set to take the seats of many of Scotland 40 Labour and 11 Lib Dem MPs on May 7. But one plan said to be under consideration by the party, is to keep the 42-year-old MP Inverness MP as Chief Secretary to the Treasury by giving him a lifetime sinecure in the House of Lords.” – Daily Mail

Lib Dems 3) Tensions rise between Clegg and Cable

CABLE Dr Evil“Nick Clegg has threatened to sack Vince Cable as tensions rise between the two top Lib Dems. The warning came as the Business Secretary refused to rule out a leadership bid if Mr Clegg loses his seat. Mr Clegg said he would not resign if the party loses seats. Asked if Mr Cable would be a better leader to make a deal with Labour, he said: “It’s not for any individual in a highly democratic party to appoint themselves in a different position.” And asked if he would move Mr Cable out of his job if the party got back into government, he replied: “I might well do.”” – The Sun (£)

News in Brief:

  • ISIS slaughters Ethiopian Christians – Daily Mail
  • Mediterranean migrant death toll could rise to 950 – Daily Telegraph
  • EU accused of ‘closing its eyes’ to tragedies at sea – The Independent
  • Revealed: the link between the DPP and Lord Janner’s son – The Times (£)
  • MPs dismal counting skills cast doubts over their ability to manage big budgets – Financial Times

And finally… new Channel 4 comedy set on the battle buses – and partly shot on the day

Television“Ballot Monkeys, a new five-part comedy series that hitches a ride with the party apparatchiks on the general election battle buses, will be shot at the last-possible moment to make sure its satire is absolutely up-to-the-minute. It’s an exciting concept that would nevertheless have most writer-directors swinging from the trees with nerves. Not Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. The creators of Drop the Dead Donkey, the Nineties newsroom sitcom which featured great swathes of topical material inserted at the 11th hour… are not fazed by the notion of recording up to a third of the new Channel 4 comedy on the day of transmission.” – The Independent

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