5.45pm Statement from David Cameron on Baby P: "This is an absolutely tragic case of a baby who seems almost literally to have fallen through the cracks of a bureaucratic system. If letters are sent with both Haringey and children in the same sentence, then that should have been a real wake up call. It seems that what may have happened is that bureaucratic changes in how inspections are carried out didn’t help. And it also seems that everyone is saying that procedures were followed rather than actually asking who was responsible and why didn’t they act.”
2pm WATCH: Video profile of Liam Fox
11.45am Latest on the Local Government blog:
11.30am Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: I wept, but let’s not become too quick to seize kids
10.30am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: Responsibility, decency and compassion are far more important than merely following "proper procedures"
Guardian confirms ConHome exclusive on downgrading of green taxes
Today’s Guardian: "In a sign of the depth of Tory soul-searching, senior figures said that Osborne has embarked on a wholesale review of his approach to the economy and has already made two key decisions: To downgrade green taxes in response to growing unease that these could be punitive in a recession… [and] To abandon the language of Osborne’s landmark economic policy of sharing the proceeds of economic growth between tax cuts and public spending increases."
ConservativeHome two months ago: "Tories set to suspend plans for green taxation"
Michael Brown: Replace Osborne with Redwood
"Mr Cameron must recognise that he faces a wholly changed political climate to that on which he based his optimistic leadership pitch three years ago. Such a recognition means accepting that a front-bench of pretty, young – inexperienced – faces in the top economic portfolios is not necessarily the right image to present in the forthcoming era of austerity. If the Tories want to be taken more seriously on their economic plans, how about the return of the grizzled features of John Redwood? At least we’d know the economy would be "safe" in Tory hands. Prudence, currently unloved by most politicians, would certainly approve." – Michael Brown in The Independent
Andrew Lansley’s lovebombing of health professionals pays off
The Health Service Journal puts him number eight in its league table of NHS influentials: "As Mr Lansley is in the unusual position of having been guaranteed to keep his job and become health secretary if David Cameron becomes prime minister, those in the health world do not need telling that now is the time to lobby him. After years on the scene and more NHS visits than most, Mr Lansley has the experience and contacts book to be on first name terms with many of those who try. While some in his party might fear he is a bit left wing for their taste, Mr Cameron’s reliance on him is clear: the would-be prime minister does not dare give a speech on health without Mr Lansley by his side."
Stephen O’Brien reveals that NHS civil servants are enjoying pay rises up to 13% while frontline staff are squeezed at 1.9%
Shadow Health Minister, Stephen O’Brien is quoted in The Guardian: "New Labour have presided over a culture of soaring salaries for top civil servants, while frontline staff have been squeezed. There seems to be one rule for hard working nurses, and quite another for top bureaucrats at the Department of Health. Is it not hypocritical of civil servants to award themselves pay rises like this while telling the nurses who serve our NHS so diligently that they must accept an effective pay cut?"
Tube network still lacks first aid equipment and instructions on what to do in the event of an attack, warns Patrick Mercer – BBC
Tory Spring Conference a ‘£1million boost’ for Cheltenham – ThisIsGloucestershire
Brown’s organ donor plan is rejected by scientists – Times
Up to 2,000 extra British troops are likely to be sent to Afghanistan next year – BBC
Douglas Alexander: Labour can win
"The Right – on both sides of the Atlantic – is disoriented and diminished by recent global events. David Cameron, like John McCain, finds himself stranded in the wrong place: you can’t privatise, deregulate or even nudge your way out of a global financial crisis." – Douglas Alexander arguing that Labour can win the next election in The Telegraph
"Politics is entering a twilight zone, where almost everything seems possible." – The Economist
Former MI5 chief condemns ‘politicisation’ of security – ePolitix
Tax currency trading and use the proceeds for development – Bob Geldof in the FT
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