8pm ToryDiary: Tories 11% ahead in new ICM survey

4.15pm Seats and candidates: David Skelton adopted for Durham North and Barry Flux adopted for Blyth Valley

12.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Lord Ashcroft on the "cold courage" of our special forces

12.15am AmericaInTheWorld: Obama moves USA towards international consensus on global warming

11.30am Graeme Archer on CentreRight: Keynes for beginners

Timmontgomerie10ToryDiary: Fasten your seat belts (II)

Warwick Lightfoot on Platform: How to stimulate the economy and avoid a slump

On CentreRight, Andrew Lilico sets out his ideal slump-defeating budget:

  • I would announce unfunded tax rebates of £30bn…
  • I would announce a cut in the annual rate of growth in public expenditure to 1.5% in real terms in the period out to 2011…
  • I would set a medium-term path for rectification of the budget…

Read the rest of Andrew Lilico’s prescription here.

Local government: Nick Bye of Torbay explains that Being An Elected Mayor Does Work.

WATCH: Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State

Labour tactic 1: Borrow, borrow, borrow

"Paying off Britain’s massive debt will cost every family £4,000 a year, Gordon Brown was warned last night." – The Sun

Labour tactic 2: New controls on banks

"The Government is using the threat of a wholesale nationalisation of banks in an attempt to force institutions to lend billions to small companies struggling to survive as Britain slips into recession." – Independent

Cameron puts CCHQ on election alert but Brown dampens election speculation
Daily Mail

"My undivided attention is on the economy. I am not thinking about anything else," Mr Brown said. "It is 100 per cent of my attention, and you can just discount all of these stories." – Scotsman

"If [Gordon Brown] is giving his full attention to getting us out of this mess, partly created by Labour’s hubristic profligacy, he cannot afford the distraction of an election in the next few vital months. Neither can Britain." – Daily Mail leader

Ken Clarke: I wish I was Chancellor (but not Shadow Chancellor)The Times | Yesterday’s ToryDiary

Andrew Selous MP: It would be madness to dump George Osborne

"Tory MP Andrew Selous said: "Who is the one shadow chancellor who has got under Gordon Brown’s skin? It’s not Portillo. It’s not Letwin. It’s not even Clarke. It’s George Osborne. The idea we’d get rid of him is madness."" – Quoted in The Guardian

More than ever, the Tories need Ken Clarke – Tom Richmond in the Yorkshire Post

Polly Toynbee: Progressive Cameronism is dead

"It began at the party conference with George Osborne’s promise to cut
council tax by cutting local government spending – slicing away
services straight into the oncoming hurricane. Or maybe it really began
the year before with the inheritance tax cut, gifting £1bn to the
richest 6% of families: forget progressive. But modernisation finally
died this week when Cameron said he would no longer stick to Labour’s
spending plans." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

Boris is to commission a study of a potential amnesty for illegal immigrants in the capitalBBC

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Boris breaks ranks with party on illegal immigrants

Peter Luff MP warns that energy companies are using direct debits to overcharge customersBBC

Welsh Tory leader to call for major infrastructure projectsNorth Wales Daily Post

Hazel Blears on why the BNP prospers: "Shouting ‘Nazi’ is not the answer"

"Estates that have been ignored for decades; voters taken for granted; local services that have failed; white working-class voters who feel politicians live on a different planet. In such a political vacuum, the BNP steps in with offers of grass-cutting, a listening ear and easy answers to complex problems." – Hazel Blears quoted in The Guardian

Reaction to BBC Trust report on Brand and Ross

"These are matters of judgement. But if I personally was in charge of the BBC, I wouldn’t want Jonathan Ross working for me again." – Tory MP Philip Davies quoted in The Telegraph

"On a train last week, I heard two schoolboys arguing about Ross. A smaller boy, aged perhaps eight, was with them. "But what did Ross say?" he kept asking, until at last they told him. He tried to laugh, but looked bewildered, almost afraid. Bad seed, bad harvest. So, as I said three weeks ago, I shall keep my television, but refuse to renew my licence, and see whether Mr Thompson decides to treat me more harshly than he has handled Ross. I shall pay the £139.50 (.002325 per cent of Ross’s annual cheque) to Help the Aged." – Charles Moore in The Telegraph


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