9.30pm ToryDiary: Six Conservative MPs have shares in Zimbabwe-operating firms, says Independent on Sunday

7pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: A future Conservative government needs to speak with both truth AND responsibility about Islam to avoid hate attacks on Muslims increasing

1pm PlayPolitical video: Testing time for McCain as Clinton and Obama campaign together in Unity, New Hampshire

12pm Local Government: C-Charge put in doubt as Conservative becomes Manchester’s "Mr Transport"

11.30am ToryDiary: Tory MPs’ away weekend

Seats and Candidates: Glasgow East MP said to be set to quit over ill-health

Platform: Dan Munford pays tribute to Owen Paterson’s campaign for a train service from Mid-Wales to London

Nile Gardiner on CentreRight: The plight of Christians in Iraq


Wendy Alexander to resign

"Speculation was growing last night that Wendy Alexander, the Labour leader in
Scotland, is about to resign. It comes after a Scottish Parliament Committee decided this week to suspend Ms
Alexander from proceedings at Holyrood for a day for breaking the rules on
declaring donations to her leadership campaign. Her resignation would be a
huge blow to the Prime Minister in his political backyard." – Times

9.30am: "Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander is expected to announce she will stand down, the BBC understands."

Another bad poll as Levy turns the screw

"An opinion poll for The Independent gives the Conservatives a 21-point
lead over Labour, which should now "seriously consider" dumping Gordon
Brown, according to [Lord Levy].
Labour backbenchers called on cabinet ministers to tell Mr Brown to
quit after the party came a humiliating fifth in the Henley
by-election, behind the Greens and the BNP. "Brown’s people said it
couldn’t get any worse – now it has," said a senior Labour MP." –
Andrew Grice in the Independent

> 21% ahead with ComRes

Cameron fears ‘witch-hunt’ aimed at Caroline Spelman

"Eric Pickles, the Conservatives’ local government spokesman, is
being lined up as a potential replacement for party chairman Caroline
Spelman… The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is investigating
the claims, but some Tory MPs are privately urging Mr Cameron to sack
Mrs Spelman now, rather than let the matter drag on, allowing Labour to
make capital out of the issue." – Telegraph

"This potentially devastating new claim cast the Spelman
affair in a fresh light, and some MPs now believe that she ought to
stand down at once. David Cameron, however, is still supportive,
taking the line that everyone should be regarded as innocent until
proven guilty, and that his party chairman is entitled to stay in
office until the parliamentary commissioner reaches his verdict." – Peter Oborne in the Mail

Angry Tories accuse BBC of hyping up latest allegations – Birmingham Post

> 20% of members voted for Pickles a year ago

10p rate still an issue

"Attempts to moderate the impact are not enough, declared a committee stuffed with MPs from his own ranks. A few rebel amendments have also been tabled to next week’s Finance Bill that would further water down the impact on the poor from ending the 10p tax. A damning indictment of the policy is illustrated by a survey of 5,000
voters by PoliticsHome. Despite media obsession with the Prime
Minister’s indecision over whether or not to hold an election, it was
the abolition of the 10pBrown_10p tax rate which was seen as his biggest mistake
by the public." – Scotsman

Gordon Brown is facing a £1 billion annual bill for the 1.1 million people who
have yet to be compensated for the 10p tax fiasco – Times

The significance of the Tory vote going up in Henley

"The Liberal Democrats deployed all their formidable byelection black
arts to try to win Henley but ended up with a share of the vote only 2%
greater than in 2005, compared with the 18% increase they notched in
Bromley.If you are looking for the real significance of Henley,
this was it. For a quarter of a century and more, no byelection in a
Conservative seat in southern England has been safe from massive
tactical voting against the incumbent party, mainly to the benefit of
the Lib Dems." – Martin Kettle in the Guardian

Chris Rennard gives his side of the story – LibDemVoice

Harman’s Discrimination Bill blamed

"[Harriet Harman’s] decision to announce a new Equalities Bill which positively discriminates against men was cited as a reason why some of the "white working class" did not even consider voting Labour." – Telegraph

"People comparing pay
slips! You show me yours and I’ll show you mine? How excrutiating, how
un-British! Rather I like the Conservative Party’s more muscular proposal that any
employer losing a discrimination case at an employment tribunal would suffer
a compulsory salary audit. An exquisite punishment to dangle over City
firms: their bigger- bonuses-for-boys scams laid bare." – Janice Turner in the Times

Told you so

"A few years ago, when the tyrant of Zimbabwe was moving from being
wicked to being downright evil, I wrote that we should invade
Harare, depose him, and supervise free elections. Invited to appear on a BBC programme to defend this stance, I was assailed by an "Africa expert" who told me that diplomatic pressure on Mugabe was bound to work, that the idea of sending the Parachute Regiment in to sort the monster out was offensively colonialist, and that I was wrong." – Simon Heffer in the Telegraph

In depth look at the intimidation – Times

We should never lose sight of the fact that in some countries politics are literally a matter of life and death – Telegraph leader

We are deluding ourselves if we think that getting rid of one mad, old tyrant will stop the barbarism – Matthew Parris in the Times

Britons saving less than since records beganMail

The terrorist danger posed by private jetsMail

Suspected senior al-Qu’eda terrorist to be freed on bailTelegraph

Obama to visit LondonTelegraph


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