4.15pm ToryDiary: Tories lead attack on sale of Aldermaston

1pm Local Government: Unrest in Bedford

Noon Parliament: Equitable Life statement promised to Daniel Kawczynski… again

Clarkekendarkshirt11.30am ToryDiary: "If I was asked, I’d certainly think about it."

ToryDiary: Forget the talk of an early election

Eddie Lister in Local Government: How Wandsworth Council is using micro-chipping to tackle aggressive dogs

Harry Benson on Platform: Labour’s family policy – new beginnings or same old hang-ups?

WATCH: David Cameron talk about the role of the BBC as a public service broadcaster

Increasing Tory poll lead suggests Brown "revival" has  been halted

"The Daily Telegraph/You Gov poll has the Conservatives on 42 per cent of the vote with Labour on 35 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 14 per cent. More than half the British public are dissatisfied with the Government’s record. Last month, a poll taken in the immediate aftermath of the pre-Budget Report had the Conservatives recording only a four point lead. However, as the ramifications of his multi-billion pound "fiscal stimulus" package of public spending and tax cuts has been digested, public opinion is now shifting away from Mr Brown’s administration." – Daily Telegraph

> Last night’s ToryDiary: Latest YouGov/Telegraph poll has Tory lead rising to 7%

Tories warned on civil service briefing leaks

"Gordon Brown yesterday finally gave his approval for David Cameron and the shadow cabinet to hold meetings with Britain’s most senior civil servants to brief them on Tory plans for government. But the prime minister, who believes the Conservatives have been running moles at the heart of Whitehall, warned Cameron not to leak details of the meetings." – Guardian

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Gordon Brown will grant David Cameron access to the civil service in the New Year

Cameron promises two-year council tax freeze

"One of the first things we would do is freeze the council tax, because after your mortgage that is one of the big bills that you have to pay, and we have identified savings in the government – the stuff they spend on advertising and consultants – and use that money to freeze your council tax for two years to try and help at this time." – David Cameron quoted in the Herald

Scottish Tories demand urgent action to curb drug drivers

"Moves to speed up the introduction of roadside drug-testing were today demanded by the Scottish Conservatives. Bill Aitken, the party’s justice spokesman, said the problem demanded "urgent" attention: "It has been suggested as many as one motorist in ten leaving Glasgow city centre after 2am on a Saturday or Sunday is driving under the influence of drugs." – Scotsman

New Routemaster a step closer as Boris Johnson unveils winning designs

"Heralding a “greener, lighter and less noisy” modern bus, the Mayor of London promised that the new version of the Routemaster would be trundling the streets of London by 2011… Despite some scepticism surrounding the project, Mr Johnson said he was confident that safety issues and cost could be overcome." – The Times

> Yesterday in Local Government: Boris unveils winners of competition to design a new Routemaster bus

Brown ignores CBI’s call for help for British car manufacturers

"Gordon Brown ignored renewed calls from business leaders to save the car industry yesterday, just as America’s ailing automotive giants were offered a $17.4 billion (£11.6 billion) bailout. The Prime Minister insisted that the responsibility to help carmakers lay with their owners." – The Times

"We’ve been through these arguments before, and not so very long ago, and I thought we’d concluded that bailouts were not the answer." – Matthew Parris writing in The Times

Former MP Gyles Brandreth asked to join David Cameron’s speechwriting team

Brown gives strongest hint yet in support of third Heathrow runwayGuardian

John Hutton compares the Taleban to the NazisTimes interview

Barclays boss: "No recovery soon" in bank creditBBC

Opec chief urges "confused" Brown to cut fuel taxesDaily Mail

Aldermaston sold to AmericansIndependent

The extraordinary bond between Gordon Brown and Lord Mandelson – Andrew Pierce in the Daily Telegraph

Gordon Brown caught dozing at energy summitSun

Chaos in South Korean parliament as politicians brawl – plus the Top 10 political punch-upsDaily Mirror

And finally… Rory Bremner welcomes the return of some characters to the political frontline this year

"Who can doubt that the loss of Tony Blair, John Prescott, David Blunkett, Charles Kennedy, Ming Campbell and Michael Howard in little over a year, and their replacement by the likes of Nick Clegg, John Hutton and Ed Miliband is a hard blow to mimics and caricaturists the length and breadth of the country?… In such straitened times, we’re pathetically grateful for a William Hague, a Ken Clarke, a John Major or a Ken Livingstone. If Boris Johnson is Christmas for comedians, Mandelson is manna from heaven." – Daily Telegraph


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