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10pm International: Harper wins six weeks to keep Canada’s premiership

6pm Parliament: Lord Bates is a new star of Conservative team in House of Lords

4.30pm Louise Bagshawe on CentreRight: The Met contradicts the Speaker… Who is telling the truth?

4pm ToryDiary: Tonight’s Conservative Party Political Broadcast focuses on the economy

        WATCH: The Post-Queen’s Speech Party Political Broadcast

2.45pm Parliament: Conservative MPs respond to the Queen’s Speech

2.30pm Local Government: Defection Watch. Bradford Labour councillor joins Tories.

1.30pm Parliament: The Speaker’s committee into the issues surrounding Damian Green’s arrest is not as we expected

12.30pm Latest on CentreRight:

12.15pm ToryDiary: How many people will benefit from the Government’s mortgage support scheme?

Noon ToryDiary: Interest rates cut to 2%

Noon Parliament: David Melding condemns Welsh Assembly for not promoting Welsh language

11.30am ToryDiary: Villiers accuses Government of dithering over Heathrow decision

Damian_green_211:30am Parliament: The Speaker’s statement on Damian Green

ToryDiary: The original tax bombshell broadcast

ToryDiary: Did Obama really brand David Cameron "a lightweight"?

Rupert Matthews on Platform: Options for Tory MEPs outside the EPP – an answer to Charles Tannock

Mary Mears in Local Government: How Brighton is helping shops by stopping roadworks over Christmas

Isabysguide_6 Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Where does Ken Clarke go to read The Economist? (and other trivia about political restaurants)

International: Canadian Conservatives launch ‘hearts and minds’ campaign to stay in power

Picture_4 Speaker under pressure to quit as he passes buck to Serjeant at Arms over Damian Green arrest

"The Speaker of the House of Commons has come under growing pressure to resign after he blamed a senior colleague for allowing police to raid a Tory MP’s parliamentary office.  In an astonishing statement to MPs, Michael Martin said Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms, had been responsible for allowing officers to search Damian Green’s office last week without a legal warrant. Mr Martin claimed he had not been told that the police did not have a warrant and said they had only been let in after Mrs Pay signed a consent form." – Telegraph

"The Metropolitan Police, whose inquiry was headed by Assistant Commissioner Robert Quick, was also thrown on the defensive by the Speaker’s attack on detectives for failing to provide full information to Ms Pay over the raid’s legality. Although officers obtained warrants for the raids on Mr Green’s constituency office and home and his London home, Scotland Yard insisted the Serjeant’s approval was adequate for entering his Commons office." – Independent

  Greendamianredtie_4 "It is hard to believe that Damian Green, the rather hapless MP for Ashford, has become a celebrity but, after yesterday, who can doubt it? He sat there, free at last, head bowed, arms crossed, legs jiggling up and down. It was supposed to be the Queen’s day, but it was Damian’s day instead." – Ann Treneman in The Times

"Speaker Martin portrayed himself as a regretful bystander as officers were ushered in, despite lacking a search warrant. In his account, the buck appeared to stop anywhere but at the door of the lavishly appointed Speaker’s quarters. Even so, listeners might have concluded that Widow Twankey could have made a better job than Speaker Martin of defending the legislature against the executive." – Mary Riddell in the Telegraph

Boris Johnson under fire for speaking to Damian Green

"Boris Johnson faced calls to step down as head of Scotland Yard’s governing body because he contacted Damian Green following his arrest in the Home Office leaks case. Critics said it was astonishing and inappropriate that London’s Mayor –  and chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority – had been in touch with someone on police bail. Mr Johnson also faced a barrage of criticism from London Assembly members after publicly stating that he believes the police investigation into Mr Green is doomed." – Daily Mail

Jacqui Smith to make statement on the Green case this afternoonBBC

> Yesterday’s ConservativeHome coverage of the Speaker’s statement and reaction to it:

A thin Queen’s Speech gives Gordon Brown 18 months to plan for an election…

"With the session starting several weeks later than usual, the programme was the smallest since Labour returned to power. The measures should cause Mr Brown little trouble with his backbenchers and the aim is also to allow MPs to spend longer in their constituences, preparing for a poll that must come within 18 months" – Times

…but could it yet take place in 2009?

"Senior figures in Government and the Labour Party are still pressing Gordon Brown to hold an election in the summer next year. They are adamant that the economy is going to get worse, not better, in 2009." – Telegraph

Full list of Bills announcedGuardian

Edward Heathcoat Amory writes the speech the Queen should have delivered

"Consider what the Queen’s Speech could have achieved, if bold measures that recognised the true gravity of Britain’s economic nightmare had been initiated. There’s plenty that ministers could have done to tackle the root causes of the recession, to promote enterprise and encourage investment and innovation." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Highlights of David Cameron’s response to Queen’s Speech

Cameron_and_obama_2 New Statesman claims Obama branded Cameron "lightweight"

"According to James Macintyre’s report, Cameron’s attempt to stress his pro-American and Eurosceptic credentials did not meet with Obama’s approval. According to Macintyre’s diplomatic sources, the Democratic candidate was "distinctly unimpressed" and labelled Cameron a lightweight." – Guardian

Emergency rescue for mortgage defaulters

"Homeowners who lose their jobs or suffer a severe drop in earnings are to be allowed to defer their mortgage interest payments for up to two years, Gordon Brown announced yesterday. The emergency state guarantee will help people on upper and middle incomes stave off repossession. Those with loans of up to £400,000 will be able to cut payments, with the taxpayer underwriting the risk of default." – Times

"The difficulty with the government’s proposals is that it’s very difficult to know how many people are going to be benefiting. Until we can get clarity we can’t really come out and say "this is wonderful," because at the moment, quite frankly, we can’t tell." – Dominic Grieve quoted on the BBC website

Harper_stephen Canadian PM Stephen Harper tries to delay likely defeat

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper is widely expected to try to suspend Canada’s parliament in an unprecedented attempt to delay a confidence vote that could topple his government next week. However, constitutional experts have said that the move could be refused." – Telegraph

Bank of England expected to cut interest rates againBBC

Mandelson: I’d still like Britain to join the euroDaily Mail

Obituary of former Conservative Cabinet minister Lord ReesTelegraph

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13 comments for: Thursday 4th December 2008

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