9.30pm CentreRight updates:

3.45pm ToryDiary: Sunny George

3.45pm Peter Franklin on CentreRight: Has Labour delayed the HFEA Bill to avoid losing Catholic votes in Glasgow East?

1pm Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: At last the Government admits that the VED will cost ordinary motorists dear

ToryDiary: On the day that Haltemprice & Howden votes in the David Davis by-election, Was it worth it?

Maria Miller MP on Platform authors the fourth part of our ‘A Government Worth Having’ series:


Seats and candidates: Winning in Wales, Iain Dale talks to the Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Party

Three PlayPolitical videos:

> ‘My 18 pints were never wasted!’ William Hague in fine form at PMQs yesterday.
> Jesse Jackson overheard saying Obama is "talking down to black people"
> Banned! Banned! Banned! How the US government is slapping bans on ‘everything’

Today’s must-read: "At last a party moves beyond the soundbite"

"Mr Cameron seems to have understood that
developing policies for a complex modern society requires a synthesis
of ideas from different parts of the ideological spectrum. Politics is
not just a matter of inventing slogans to try to impress tabloid
editors – that is the failed politics of Gordon Brown." – Anatole
Kaletsky pours praise on to Conservative heads, The Times

David Cameron’s crackdown on MEPs’ expenses

"Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday launched a "deep clean" of expense claims by his party’s MEPs, which, he said, would usher in a new transparency and honesty. He warned that anyone refusing to sign up to a new code on allowances would not be allowed to stand as a Tory candidate in next year’s elections to the European Parliament." – Yorkshire Post

"Conservative MEPs have reacted furiously after David Cameron ordered a "deep clean" of their expenses and ordered them to accept public scrutiny or leave the European Parliament." – Telegraph

> Dan Hannan MEP gives the reforms a big thumps up
> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on Mr Cameron’s initiative

Boris Johnson acts to raise pay of the Greater London Authority’s lower paid staff

"Boris Johnson is to increase and extend the minimum wage for tens of thousands of poorly paid Londoners to £7.40 an hour, the Guardian has learned.  The mayor will announce the decision on July 28, committing City Hall to paying the "living wage" to all staff employed by the Greater London Authority and related bodies, including Transport for London." – Guardian

London Assembly to examine Boris’ system of appointments – BBC

CentreRight: Harry Phibbs is hopeful that Londoners may still benefit from the street wisdom of Ray Lewis

Bob Geldof pens passionate article of support for David Davis

"Today East Yorkshire gets to speak for us all, on behalf of justice versus intolerance. To whistleblow against encroaching authority. To firewatch against unthinking power. To speak about an idea of liberty under law. To vote for an idea of a kind of life. The idea of Britain.  Tory, Lib Dem, Labour: who cares – clamber out on this limb with us, for it’s where we all belong. Turn out hugely and thank God that you are in a country that is still free to do so.  Liberty is always dangerous – but it’s the safest thing we have." – Telegraph

"Good, bad and plain daft ideas of power to people"

Peter Riddell surveys Hazel Blears’ plans to encourage local democracy including prize draws and doughnuts to encourage voting – Times

> Yesterday’s local government post: Doughnuts for votes

Half of all UK servicemen want to quitTimes

Road tax increase may hit nine million, admits GovernmentBBC

"Almost half of all car owners will be up to £245 worse off under plans for massive increases in road tax, the Treasury admitted yesterday. And fewer than one in five will benefit from the controversial move, which was sold as a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Government’s own figures demolish ministers’ claims that Budget plans to overhaul vehicle excise duty will have little impact on motorists." – Daily Mail

Gordon Brown = Heathcliff?

"The Prime Minister likened himself to Bronte’s dark, brooding vengeful character who died a broken man haunted by the ghost of his former lover whose body he exhumed twice.  The comparison was made in an interview in New Statesman magazine which was designed to soften the image of Mr Brown." – Telegraph

"The PM is intense, and by God he can brood to Olympic levels, but we must hope the comparisons with Heathcliff cease there. For the latter is one of the nastiest pieces of work in literature. He may have been impersonated on screen by beetle-browed hunks from Laurence Olivier to Ralph Fiennes, but he’s still a 24-carat bastard." – John Walsh in The Independent

And finally…

Noone has tried to flirt with Ann Widdecombe for at least ten years – Guardian


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