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7.30pm ToryDiary: Britain won’t be fooled by Brown’s "tax cons" says Osborne

7.30pm  Local Government: Humps: Boris says No.

6.45pm Latest on CentreRight:

5.45pm WATCH: David Cameron question Gordon Brown on the economy at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions

3pm ToryDiary: One-third of Tory members expect election within six months

3pm WATCH: Jacqui Smith talks about a new law which makes it an offence to pay for sex with anyone who’s been forced into prostitution

Parliament_square_42.15pm Parliament: Should demonstrations in Parliament Square be restricted?

1.45pm Parliament: Sadiq Khan unfairly attacks James Paice

1.45pm ToryDiary: MEPs begin preparing the ground to remain in the EPP

1pm Parliament: Philip Hollobone criticises the use of council rent to subsidise the Treasury

12.45pm ToryDiary: Cameron takes on Brown on the economy at PMQs

10.15am Charles Tannock MEP writes against leaving the EPP and sitting "unattached"

ToryDiary: Nine out of ten Tory members happy with leadership’s approach to tax, spend and debt

ToryDiary: CCHQ must pounce on mis-reporting of Tory spending plans

Daniel Cox in Local Government: How competition drives down costs in Norfolk

Latest posts on CentreRight:

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AmericaInTheWorld: Could Hillary Clinton be America’s next Secretary of State?

Cameron_speaking David Cameron’s abandonment of Labour spending prompts election speculation as new poll cuts Tory lead

"David Cameron abandoned his commitment to match Labour’s public spending plans yesterday after finally admitting that they were "unsustainable" in the current financial crisis. His break from a policy that he had previously steadfastly refused to change was part of a significant political shift designed to position the Tories as the party of economic responsibility." – Telegraph

"Labour backbenchers last night began to forecast a general election next summer after a day when the effects of the economic crisis slashed the Tory poll lead to three points and led David Cameron to abandon his commitment to match Labour spending plans if the Tories win power." – Guardian

"David Cameron ditched the Conservative Party’s pledge to match Labour’s public spending totals yesterday in a significant U-turn that will allow him to offer "permanent" tax cuts at the next general election. The Tories changed tack after being outflanked by Gordon Brown, who is seeking big tax cuts in Monday’s pre-Budget report (PBR) to soften the impact of the looming recession. Mr Brown’s revival was underlined by an Ipsos MORI poll showing the Conservatives’ lead has slumped to just three points." – Independent

"David Cameron has broken free of a commitment that was getting a bit too heavy too handle. His pledge to match Labour spending plans, although only just over a year old, was meant for different times, economically and politically." – Analysis by Philip Webster in The Times

Newspaper editorials welcome an outbreak of clear blue water between the parties…

"David Cameron’s abandonment of the Tory pledge to match Labour’s public spending plans until 2010/11 is a moment to celebrate. We have argued for the better part of two years that this commitment not only imposed an unnecessary inhibition on the Conservatives’ freedom of manoeuvre but also sent out the dangerous message that they were content to go along with Labour’s goal of a bloated state sector… Mr Cameron has opened up clear blue water between the two parties and given the Tories a coherent strategy on which to fight the next election." – Telegraph

"Anyone disposed to complain that British politics is ruined by consensus will find plenty to applaud in David Cameron’s speech yesterday. Whatever the merits of the case he made, a real argument has now opened up between the two main parties." – Times

"A curiously quiet period in British politics has come to a close. Over the past few months the economy has been in wartime, beset by a banking crisis and a global recession, while politicians have been unsure how to react… That all ended yesterday." – Guardian

"At last! In a move which could change the face of politics, David Cameron has abandoned his pledge to match Gordon Brown’s spending plans, pound for pound. In so doing, he has finally opened up the possibility of a genuine choice for voters at the next election." – Daily Mail

"At last, the Tories seem to be finding their voice.They have decided to put hard-working taxpayers first — and dump their daft promise to match Labour’s bloated spending… The floor is yours, Mr Cameron. Now tell us precisely what you plan to do with it." – The Sun

…as the Tory plans prompt a mixed reaction from columnists

"The campaign for the next UK general election has begun, with the Tory leader’s announcement that he will drop his previous pledge to stick to Labour’s spending plans in 2010-2011. Be clear: the first day of that campaign was a win for David Cameron."  – The Daily Telegraph’s Iain Martin

"Yesterday, Cameron announced that he supported tax cuts, to be paid for from lower spending levels – the same pitch as his election-losing predecessors. But in the extraordinary game of chess that is being played out against the backdrop of the recession, he had no choice." – Steve Richards in The Independent

"Conservative tax cutters should not celebrate too much. Yesterday’s announcement by David Cameron that he will not match Labour’s spending plans from 2010-11 onwards matters more symbolically than practically. Whichever party wins the next election, taxes will have to go up." – Peter Riddell in The Times

"The Conservative leader’s off-the-hook speech prompted immediate applause from rightwing MPs, activists and zealous bloggers who have been saying, as usual, that tax cuts are for men, NHS spending pledges for wimps. Business leaders, as well as the unions, were less impressed by the timing." – Michael White in The Guardian

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on David Cameron’s announcement

Gove_michael_nw Michael Gove says that the rise of "soft" subjects harms the poorest most

"For all those of us concerned with social justice, and keen to widen access to the best universities, the most worrying aspect of the flight from quality at GCSE and A-level is the way in which it harms the poorest most. The growth in the number of students studying softer subjects has been driven almost entirely by an increase in the number of comprehensive and secondary modern students taking these courses." – Michael Gove quoted in the Daily Telegraph

Electoral Commission asked to investigate £47,000 Tory donation

"A Labour MP has asked the Electoral Commission to investigate the £47,000 donation given to the Tories by the teenage daughter of a Syrian businessman, Wafic Said, in the wake of claims by the Conservatives that it was "a clerical error". – Guardian

Goldsmithzac2 Zac Goldsmith held talks on buying The Independent

"Zac Goldsmith, the multimillionaire Conservative Party candidate, came close to buying The Independent in the late summer after holding talks with executives from the struggling newspaper’s owner Independent News & Media… After “a couple of months” of talks, in which Simon Kelner, the managing director of the title, was closely involved, it is understood that Zac Goldsmith and fellow family members decided not to proceed in the light of the newspaper’s financial position." – Times

300,000 visas wrongly issued every year…

"This makes a mockery of Labour’s claims to have a grip on our immigration system. It is obvious that its operation is neither firm, nor fair. This error rate not only increases the scope for increased illegal immigration, but is obviously a security threat." – Dominic Grieve quoted in the Daily Express

…as immigration minister claims people are encouraged to make bogus asylum claims

"Many asylum seekers are economic migrants encouraged by lawyers and charities to ‘play’ the system with false claims, the Immigration Minister has said. Phil Woolas believes genuine claims are ‘fogged by cases that are misusing the law’." – Daily Mail

Picture_1_2 Policing deal ends standoff at Stormont

"A power-sharing stand-off between Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionists in Northern Ireland ended yesterday when they came to an agreement on the devolution of policing and justice powers." – Guardian

Prostitute users face clampdown

"Paying for sex with prostitutes who are controlled by pimps is set to become a criminal offence, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is expected to announce." – BBC

Inflation falls as food and petrol prices dive

"The rate of inflation in Britain fell further than expected in October as the sharp drop in the price of petrol and food helped push the consumer prices index back towards its target level." – Independent

Blair and Sarkozy to host economic summit

"Tony Blair is to co-host a summit on the global financial crisis with President Nicolas Sarkozy in January, in a move likely to infuriate Gordon Brown." – Telegraph

MP loses cash over ‘rude’ blog

"A Labour MP says he has been stripped of a Parliamentary allowance for making fun of other MPs on his blog." – BBC

BBC accused of arrogance as Ross’s return is announced before reportGuardian

Holyrood to vote against ID cardsBBC

BNP membership list published on the internetGuardian

MEP ordered to hand back £9,000 of expenses he spent on a busExpress

Derby Labour councillor defects to the ConservativesDerbyshire Evening Telegraph

And finally… the Houses of Parliament really are full of verminIndependent

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11 comments for: Wednesday 19th November 2008

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