Picture_6_211pm ToryDiary Update: Ulster Unionists back alliance with the Conservatives

9pm Parliament: Conservative climate change sceptics speak out again

7.30pm Local Government: Boris unveils housing plans.

4pm ToryDiary: Ulster Unionists set to decide tonight on pact with the Conservatives

3.15pm ToryDiary: John Maples apologises over recession comments

1.30pm Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight releases her inner Mary Whitehouse

1.30pm WATCH: Obama voters found to be ignorant on selected facts

1pm Parliament: Why are so many babies being born in prison?

11.45am Local Government: More social housing? No thanks, says Labour Mayor

11.15am Parliament: Owen Paterson asks why the Bloody Sunday Inquiry has taken so long

10.45am On CentreRight:Field_mark

10am Martin Sewell on Platform: The lessons we should learn from Baby P

10am Ridley Grove on CentreRight: Expel the BNP Tories

ToryDiary: The race to "own" the economic issues

Harry Phibbs in Local Government: You decide – should I attend a conference on "community leadership"?

Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Reasons for getting rid of Labour – their attacks on civil liberties

WATCH: Monmouth MP David "Tory tornado" Davies taking part in a charity boxing match in aid of the Willow Foundation at the Park Lane Hilton

AmericaInTheWorld: The pressures for the status quo in the Middle East

Clarke_large_2 Ken Clarke rejects the suggestion of him replacing George Osborne…

"Kenneth Clarke threw his weight behind George Osborne last night as he sensationally claimed his name was being used in a dirty tricks campaign against the Shadow Chancellor… Mr Clarke warned: "I think for David Cameron to replace George Osborne with me or anyone else would be a serious political mistake." – Daily Mail

…although it doesn’t stop others saying that he should

"What a masterstroke it would prove for Mr Cameron to pluck the most popular and trusted Tory of recent decades from the backbenches and have him by his side. Speaking with the authority of the Chancellor who bequeathed the lavish legacy Gordon so rashly squandered, Mr Clarke would be as effective a rebuttal to the deadly charge of economic callowness as Joe Biden proved for Barack Obama on foreign affairs." – Matthew Norman in The Times

Darling seeks to upstage Tories on cutting costs

"A new front in the political battle over the economy will be opened today when Labour tries to trump David Cameron’s plans for finding big savings in government spending to keep down taxes. The Treasury’s drive to reduce Whitehall waste has found between £4bn and £5bn more than the £30bn it has already announced. The efficiency savings will be used to limit the hike in borrowing needed to fund the tax cuts to be announced in Monday’s pre-Budget report by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling. Mr Cameron has ordered his Shadow Cabinet to consider radical options to find billions of pounds of savings, including reductions in some services, as well as hunting for "waste". – Independent

"Schools and hospitals are likely to benefit from Gordon Brown’s decision to spend his way out of a recession but most departments still face a tight squeeze in the next two years." – Times

Cameron_on_white_2 More mixed reviews for David Cameron’s decision to drop Labour’s spending plans

"The significance of this week’s announcement by David Cameron that he will no longer be bound by Labour’s spending plans in 2010-2011 is enormous… We are witnessing the beginning of a titanic, Left-Right battle. The Conservatives have sensibly decided to stop standing around being shelled in no-man’s land, and to assume a fighting position in the trenches. " – Iain Martin in the Daily Telegraph

"This week, Mr Cameron showed that he had forgotten nothing by suddenly reverting to the policies of John Major – not just the “strong sterling” totem, but the whole package, complete with empty promises of fiscal restraint, warnings about a “Labour tax bombshell” and contempt for Keynesian economics. These were policies that Mr Cameron used to advocate when he worked for Norman Lamont. The leader of the Tory “modernisers” was supposed to have forgotten all this nonsense when he left the side of the former Chancellor on Black Wednesday, but he has now reverted to type." – Anatole Kaletsky in The Times

Seconds out for the Great Tory Tax Battle

"Dear Fraser, Do you think the Tories should borrow even more and cut taxes, throwing their fiscal conservatism out of the window? Or do you want them to hold borrowing steady and announce tax cuts paid for by specific spending reductions?" – Fraser Nelson and Daniel Finkelstein trade rhetorical blows in the Spectator

David Cameron warns Brown that his recapitalisation plan is failing

"The Tory leader told the Prime Minister that the banks were not extending credit lines to small firms, despite being bailed out by the Treasury with £37 billion of tax-payers’ money. Businesses were being "strangled" as a result, he said." – Daily Telegraph

The Independent’s parliamentary sketchwriter finds the Tory frontbench "grumpy and toothless"

"Cameron stood up, his summer glow gone. He did so on the ground prepared by George. What a bog. When George said a week or two ago that government spending would prevent interest rates falling, we got the single largest drop in history." – Simon Carr in the Independent

Could the Pre-Budget Report be the launch pad for a snap election?

"Gordon Brown is under intense pressure from advisers to hold a snap election next June. Senior Labour figures — including Cabinet ministers — believe the PM should seize his chance after handing tax cuts to millions." – The Sun

"On Monday, Mr Brown will doubtless unveil a package that will be presented as a radical remedy. Yet its failure will be obvious by Easter. This is why his best chance is to hold an election in the new year, before he is found out." – Fraser Nelson in the Spectator

Soames_nicholas Nicholas Soames and Frank Field issue warning on immigration

"Despite the Government’s pledge to cut numbers coming in, overall net migration has increased fivefold since 1997 to hit 237,000 last year…. In a stark joint statement MPs Nicholas Soames and Frank Field, co-chairmen of the Commons cross-party group on balanced migration, said: "Unless firm action is taken very soon, our population will hit 70 million even earlier than the Government’s present forecast of 2028. There is no way in which our public services can cope with such a rapid increase. Nor can we possibly build the necessary houses on remotely this timescale. We need to balance migration – and balance it soon." – Telegraph

Councils face anger over £97m plan to tackle Gypsy housing crisis

Ministers are poised to announce the locations of scores of new and refurbished Gypsy sites under a £97m scheme aimed at addressing a housing crisis among Gypsies and Travellers… The shadow planning minister, Jacqui Lait, said local authorities were being "coerced" by the government into providing new sites – a policy that would be reversed by a Conservative government." – Guardian

Public Accounts Committee slams bureaucracy of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

"The Ministry of Justice’s declared objective is to place victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. If the scheme for compensating victims of violent crime is anything to go by, that objective is a long way from fulfilment.  A large proportion of citizens who are injured by violent criminals are left in ignorance of the compensation scheme, leading to the absurd situation that only 5% apply for compensation." – PAC chairman Edward Leigh quoted on the BBC website

Greening_justine Women face a six-week ban on working after childbirth under new EU plans

"Many women in high-pressured jobs will want much more flexibility in handling those first few weeks after childbirth than simply a blanket ban on working. It’s not for the EU to mandate what mothers should do." – Justine Greening quoted in the Daily Mail

Speeding drivers to face ban after two offencesTelegraph

Councils to be banned from using anti-terror powers to snoop on people who overfill bins or drop litterDaily Mail

Self-rule back on track in Northern IrelandTimes

Scottish Parliament rejects ID cardsBBC

BNP members are most likely to be called John, David or Paul and living in NottinghamTimes

The constituency party of the new Scottish Labour leader is suspendedBBC

And finally… the blog posts which landed Labour MP Paul Flynn in hot water

"He has likened Labour former Cabinet minister Peter Hain to a Star Trek ‘shapeshifter’, called Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik a ‘clown’ and branded Tory Nigel Evans a ‘turkey’. But while the blog has won awards it has not found favour with House of Commons officials who ordered the Labour backbencher to trawl through his postings and remove any poking fun at MPs." – Daily Mail


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