8.30pm ToryDiary update: Second Tory MEP caught up in Mumbai terrorist attacks

Picture_16_46.30pm ConservativeHome EXCLUSIVE

6.15pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: Benefits will be raised in real terms

6pm ToryDiary: Tory MEP involved in siege at hotel in Mumbai

4pm Local Government: From Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs column.

4pm WATCH: David Cameron and Gordon Brown’s full encounter at today’s PMQs

3.45pm Latest on CentreRight:

2.15pm ToryDiary: The latest list of donations to the political parties have just been published

12.30pm ToryDiary: A solid performance from David Cameron at today’s PMQs

11.30am Seats and Candidates: Spencer Drury selected for Greenwich and Woolwich

10.45am Parliament: Mark Hoban calls on the Government to act on Equitable Life

10am Local Government: Hammersmith and Fulham cuts council tax by 3% again

Woodquote Nick Wood on Platform: If Tories allow Brown to win the next election they should retire to a monastery

ToryDiary: At the last minute Brown decided against announcing an increase in VAT to 18.5%…

Bob McCartney on Local Government: Let councils open new grammar schools

WATCH: Tory Bear’s "trance remix" of George Osborne’s brilliant response to the PBR

Osborne_george_nw Government accused of "secret" plan to increase VAT as George Osborne secures emergency debate on the Pre Budget Report

"David Cameron accused the Government of "planning a secret tax bombshell" after official documents disclosed that ministers prepared to increase VAT to 18.5 per cent after the next election… The Treasury said it was merely an "option that was considered and rejected". – Daily Telegraph

"Gordon Brown faced embarrassment in the Commons last night after the Speaker ordered an emergency debate on his economic rescue package. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne persuaded the Speaker that measures worth £20billion in Monday’s Pre-Budget Report were important enough to deserve ‘urgent consideration’." – Daily Mail

"The government and opposition were at loggerheads last night over claims that the chancellor’s changes to the tax system would affect not just the super-rich but middle-income Britain too. On the same day Alistair Darling acknowledged that those earning over £40,000 will pay more tax through the half-point increase in national insurance from 2011, independent analysis conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggested that those earning less than £40,000 might also be worse off." – Guardian

"Gordon Brown’s taunts about Tory spending cuts sound hollow now. His own Government is planning savings as large as those he accuses the Tories of proposing. The Treasury’s spending squeeze represents a much bigger challenge to the Conservatives’ economic strategy than the rise in taxes on the higher paid. Monday’s statement has both stolen the Tory clothes on spending and narrowed the Opposition’s options." – Peter Riddell in The Times

> Our coverage yesterday of the lack of parliamentary scrutiny of the PBR

There is no shortage of economic advice for the Conservatives

"The Tories must champion an enterprise society and make the moral, political and economic case for lower taxes, starting with a reversal of the 45 per cent rate proposal and a smaller state. In short, in today’s emergency Commons debate on the Budget, they must do what the country wants and dwell not on how we got into this hole – but on how they intend to get us out of it." – Daily Telegraph editorial

"The Tory team should argue that they believe that they can do better than Labour at efficiency savings and at reform, and that they will therefore spend less over the medium term, but that all previous exercises that pretend to provide exact numbers have been entirely bogus." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

"The Tories must proclaim that these are ghastly times, made by Labour, that require drastic measures. Everyone outside the ring-fenced, feather-bedded client state, which Mr Darling refuses (in defiance of economic gravity) to cut, will have to make a sacrifice… A properly funded tax cut for everybody – not merely the "super-rich" but all wage-earners – would boost demand, confidence and jobs. It would also help a Tory election victory." – SImon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph

YouGov poll cuts Tory lead to 4 per cent

"If the results of today’s YouGov/Daily Telegraph poll were repeated in a general election, Gordon Brown would win with a hung Parliament as Labour has an inbuilt electoral advantage. The poll has the Conservatives winning 40 per cent of the vote with Labour on 36 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 14 per cent." – Daily Telegraph

"Anyone looking at the detailed findings of YouGov’s poll is bound to conclude that, while Gordon Brown and the Government have gained a modest boost from their handling of the current crisis, their long-term outlook remains bleak." – Anthony King’s analysis in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on the poll

Chris Grayling expresses doubts over Governemnt plans for "fit notes"

"The government has had 10 years to address these sorts of problems but has done nothing. So why should we believe them that this is going to make a difference?" – Chris Grayling quoted on the BBC website

Michael Gove accuses Government of U-turn on free childcare

"The real effects of the Government’s mismanagement of the economy are buried deep in the detail of the emergency budget. Gordon Brown is going back on a pledge he made just a few weeks ago to provide free childcare for two-year-olds," [said Michael Gove]. The Tories also claim the the Department for Children Schools and Families has refused to commit to more than a pilot for free places for the most disadvantaged two-year-olds." – Daily Telegraph

Sale of national assets under consideration

"Lock-keepers’ cottages, assorted forests, a conference centre, military radio frequencies and a uranium enrichment company – the sale to help to plug Britain’s £1 trillion deficit is now open. Buried in the Pre-Budget Report is a list of state-owned assets with “potential for alternative business models”. – Times

Income tax hike raises fears of socialism among business leaders

"The ComRes poll, taken after Monday’s pre-Budget report, found 68 per cent of business leaders believe the decision signals a return to Old Labour. Only 35 per cent think it fair; and only 26 per cent that it is necessary to help the Government balance its books." – Independent

Mercer_patrickMercer: Terrorists must be fought within the law

"We cannot respect human rights at home and be complicit in the killing of suspects abroad." – Patrick Mercer MP writing in The Times

The Sun publishes an obituary of New Labour

"The tragic death of New Labour has been announced in No 10, Downing Street. New Labour passed away after a 14-year battle with socialism. The lethal disease was thought to have been eradicated in Britain. But New Labour was unable to fight off the killer condition which has claimed the lives of previous Labour governments… Its heartbroken father, Tony Blair, was too upset to comment." – George Pascoe-Watson in The Sun

Tory pensions team backs auto-enrolment to existing pensions schemesMoney Marketing

Unemployed on benefits to increase by 550,000 in two yearsDaily Telegraph

British cost of Iraq and Afghanistan reaches £13bnTimes

Debt interest payments nearly £50bn, equal to schools’ budgetDaily Telegraph

British pupils are ‘too spoon-fed to cope with tough degrees’Daily Mail

New generation of "floodable" towns to be unveiledGuardian

Pubs and clubs told to bring an end to happy hoursTimes

Boys and girls should be taught separately for key subjects, says schools ministerDaily Mail

Gas prices could be "very, very fightening" in future, MPs told Daily Telegraph

(Labour) Council pays spies £70k to sift through wheelie binsDaily Express

Picture_11 And finally… A pinstripe suit-clad Peter Stringfellow made an appearance in Parliament yesterday

"Don’t get me wrong but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Peter Stringfellow when he wasn’t wearing a thong. But that was in the papers, of course, not in the flesh (so to speak)… The Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s session on lap dancing had attracted an odd crowd. There was Mr Stringfellow, a former dancer named Nadine Stravonia de Montagnac, and a beautiful woman who went by the name of Solitaire." – Ann Treneman in The Times


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