11pm Douglas Carswell MP on CentreRight: What lessons to learn from Lisbon?

5pm ToryDiary: The return of secondary picketing

3.45pm ToryDiary: Gove calls for SATS-marking firm to be dropped

3.30pm Parliament: Mark Pritchard MP on the forthcoming elections in Belarus

3.15pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: Obama 273, McCain 265

12.45pm ToryDiary: ‘Vote Conservative or get stabbed by people who may well be black’

11.45am Charles Tannock MEP on CentreRight: Is it time for the Conservatives to support the International Criminal Court?


PlayPolitical: JibJab launch their fun video for US campaign 2008, depicting McCain as a militarist, Obama as Bambi-lite. YOU MUST WATCH IT!

ToryDiary: Has Dacre given up on Brown?

Mark Reckless on Platform: Criminal justice should be localised and democratised

WiddecombequoteParliament: Ann Widdecombe defends proper pay and reimbursement for MPs

Today’s must-read: "Cameroon insiders don’t appear to have grasped that the economy will be centre-stage"

"The truth is that the world has changed since the credit crunch: there is a growing public understanding that Brown has spent too much (Labour governments always run out of money in the end) and a radical rethink of how spending and taxation are organised is the logical next step." – Iain Martin in The Telegraph

Conservative MPs disclose salaries

"Conservatives use £1.5m of taxpayers’ money a year to pay relatives" – Daily Mail

"More than 60 Tory MPs are paying up to £40,000 to family members employed in their offices at the taxpayers’ expense, it emerged yesterday.  Laurence Robertson, the MP for Tewkesbury and shadow Northern Ireland minister, declares that he pays his estranged wife Susan and his current partner, Anne Adams, up to £20,000 each. Both women act as secretaries." – Independent

Tory MPs’ use of staff budgets to pay for PR advice ‘against rules’ Times

> Over at CentreRight, Greg Hands MP questions whether MPs should be able to employ relatives at all

George Osborne’s statement on Equitable Life

“We Conservatives forced the government to allow the Parliamentary Ombudsman to investigate the regulation of Equitable Life and we welcome her report.  The Ombudsman rightly highlights regulatory failings, including those between 1998 and 2001, when Gordon Brown and the Treasury had responsibility for this area. He cannot escape the blame for what happened on his watch.  We’re glad that the report accepts the principle that there should be payments to those who lost out. The job now is to assess how much those payments should be and to whom they should be paid.  We have to be straight with policyholders. As the Ombudsman makes clear, policyholders cannot expect to receive payments for the full losses suffered and any payment scheme must be consistent with sound public finances.  It is up to the government now to admit its responsibility, issue the apology that the Ombudsman demands and create the payment scheme. If it doesn’t, we will.”

BBC report

Labour could paint Cameron as a man of privilege who sneers at Britain

"So Cameron’s talk of a broken society strikes a powerful chord. But he is vulnerable if he is seen to be talking up problems in a way that is opportunistic and damaging. This charge is already gaining traction. On Monday, the Times’ leader criticised him for adding to the hysteria surrounding knife crime. Labour strategists will be trying to portray Cameron as a man of privilege running down the country." – Matthew Taylor in The Guardian

BurrowesdavidDavid Burrowes MP, ‘Slum Survivor’

"I rush off to the grounds of Westminster Abbey where I am told that a cross-party group of MPs are creating a slum. I stand in front of the Abbey entrance — £12 a ticket, a sum that would keep a family in the real slum of Kibera in Nairobi for weeks — and look for poverty." – Anne Treneman MP in The Times (missed from yesterday).

Nick Clegg promises to cut overall burden of taxation

"We will get wasteful government spending under control and give the economy a boost by cutting taxes from the bottom for those who need the most help. If there is money to spare, we won’t simply spend it. We are looking for ways to cut the overall tax burden." – the LibDem leader quoted in The Independent | BBC

> Our view: Nick Clegg can’t be taken seriously on the economy if he doesn’t take society seriously

Darling’s u-turn on fuel duty is by-election bribe, say ToriesSun

FT leader attacks Brown’s cancellation of higher fuel duty: "Not only is taxing petrol sound fiscal policy – fuel duties bring in large amounts of revenue – but rising oil prices are sending a clear signal to reduce consumption. It is a mistake to interfere with that message. Past freezes on fuel duties have already cast doubt on Mr Brown’s green credentials and this move undermines them further."

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has offered a job to the police officer who called for her resignationBBC

The longer Labour MPs delay ousting Brown, the greater the chances of James Purnell – John Rentoul in The Independent

And finally… blogging Scouse son of youth workers joins Team Cameron

The Liverpool Daily Post prominently covers Sam Coates’ move to David Cameron’s office.

> Click here for information about applying to work for ConservativeHome.


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