6.30pm ToryDiary: It appears that David Cameron met José Manuel Barroso last week

Hague_william_nw5.15pm Parliament: William Hague calls for action on Zimbabwe

4.45pm Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: Illinois Governor arrested for trying to sell Obama’s open Senate seat

4.30pm Parliament: The Labour MPs who voted with the Tories in yesterday’s crunch vote

4pm ToryDiary: Conservative MPs’ Christmas reading list

3pm ToryDiary: Is the Damian Green affair about to take a more sinister twist?

2.45pm AmericaInTheWorld: The first Vietnamese American is elected to Congress

2pm Local Government: Waltham Forest Takeaway ban.

2pm Parliament: Mike Penning asks the Government about drug abuse in London

2pm WATCH: Britain is going to be in serious debt until at least 2016, warns Cameron

12.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: A good example of why David Cameron’s new political force in Northern Ireland will make a difference

Florujp12.15pm J P Floru on CentreRight sees ‘new tryanny’ in new Labour’s attempts to restrict cigarette sales and lads’ mags

11.15am Parliament: More on the Damian Green debate

11am ToryDiary: Every shadow minister is instructed to find savings

10.45am Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: What is John Prescott up to?

ToryDiary: David Cameron steps up his attack on Labour’s handling of the economy

Spelman_2 Caroline Spelman on Platform: The Conservative Party machine is ready for a General Election

Seats and Candidates: Gemma Townsend selected for Lewisham Deptford

Nick Seaton in Local Government: Subjects should not be abandoned for "topics" in schools

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Ireland will be asked to vote again on Lisbon

International: US Republicans debate their attitude to size and scope of government

Conservative preparations for government continue apace

"The Tories’ preparations for government enter a new phase next month, when shadow cabinet ministers start a series of formal meetings with the permanent secretaries of their relevant departments. David Cameron is very wary of talking about this process, for fear of appearing to take the electorate for granted. “We don’t want to seem hubristic,” one party official said. But the Tory leader has commissioned substantive behind-the-scenes work, involving a team charged solely with ensuring a new Conservative government could hit the ground running." – FT

Herbert_nick_nw Tories would replace Young Offender’s Institutes with young criminal academies

"Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert will throw his weight behind moves to create local centres where both young criminals in custody and those under supervision in the community will be rehabilitated and educated. Those in detention would also be given mentors to work with them both in the run up to and after they have been released. Trusts would run the centres and funding and contracts would be directly linked with their ability to cut reoffending." – Daily Telegraph

Populus/Times poll reduces the Tory lead to 4%

"The poll puts the Conservatives on 39 per cent, down two percentage points; Labour on 35 per cent, unchanged from November; and the Liberal Democrats on 17 per cent, up one point. It is the narrowest Tory lead in a Populus poll since March… The survey, taken between Friday and Sunday, suggests that as the downturn deepens Labour’s standing has improved. It contains some worrying pointers for Mr Cameron. This is the first Populus poll since April to put the Conservative share at less than 40 per cent, and one of only four polls out of the last 75 to put them at that figure." – Times

> Last night’s ToryDiary with news of the poll

Hunt_jeremy_open_necked_shirt_3 Jeremy Hunt urges transparency over BBC celebrity salaries

"The amount the BBC spends on celebrity salaries should be set out on the back of television licences so viewers can see what they are paying for, the Conservatives have said. Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, has written to Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, urging him to make clear where every penny of the £139.50 fee is allocated – including the amount given over for salaries for highly-paid stars. He told the Daily Telegraph: "What made people most angry at the Ross/Brand affair was the thought that we were all paying for their antics through the licence fee. So now is the time to reform the licence fee so everybody knows exactly what they are getting and how it is spent." – Daily Telegraph

Tories and Lib Dems to boycott inquiry into Damian Green office raid

"An attempt by the Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, to establish a cross-party committee of senior MPs to examine the police raid of Damian Green’s parliamentary office collapsed amid acrimony on the floor of the house last night. David Cameron and Nick Clegg vowed to boycott the committee in protest at what they regard as an attempt by the government to limit its work, after MPs narrowly rejected a call for the inquiry to start immediately… The two main opposition parties formally announced their boycott last night after a cross-party amendment, which would have lifted restrictions on the committee’s work, was defeated in the Commons by just four votes after 29 Labour MPs voted with the opposition parties." – Guardian

"Michael Martin is expected widely by MPs in all parties to stand down at the next election, after it became clear that he had lost the confidence of the House. The Speaker’s office confirmed yesterday that he would listen to the views of the House when deciding whether to attempt to stand again." – The Times 

> Yesterday’s coverage of the debate and votes in Parliament and Watch Douglas Hogg tell the Commons how the Government gutted the Speaker’s promises

Shapps_grant Grant Shapps: Labour is making it even harder to sell your home

"In a move which triggered a furious backlash, Ministers have tightened the rules on the widely-condemned Home Information Packs. They will now have to be available on the very first day a house goes on sale, rather than 28 days later… Tory spokesman Grant Shapps said: "The housing market is on its knees and Labour’s response is to make it more difficult and more expensive to sell your home. If anything, Ministers should be using their emergency powers to suspend HIPs and provide a shot in the arm to the ailing market.’ – Daily Mail

David Cameron: Mugabe must go now or answer for crimes

"Mr Cameron, speaking at the launch of a Conservative report on human rights, said yesterday Zimbabwe was "staring into the abyss". "It is time to say bluntly that speaking up for our common humanity matters far more than tip-toeing nervously around our colonial legacy," he said." – The Herald

"In a speech ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said that traditional liberties such as trial by jury were being eroded, while at the same time common sense had been lost from the justice system." – Daily Telegraph

> Ben Rogers on CentreRight yesterday: Cameron makes first major speech on international human rights

Canadian Opposition leader quits after failing to oust Stephen Harper

"Canada’s opposition leader Stephane Dion tendered his resignation on Monday, paving the way for new leadership to continue his Liberals’ fight with the ruling Conservatives for control of parliament. "I have decided to step aside as leader of the Liberal Party effective as soon as my successor is duly chosen," Mr Dion said in a statement, days after fumbling a power grab from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minority government." – Daily Telegraph

Belfast Ulster Unionist councillor voices concern over Tory linkBelfast Telegraph

"Close Cameron ally" forced to quit Carphone WarehouseIndependent

Boris Johnson on Christmas tree inflationDaily Telegraph

Tobacco displays set to be bannedBBC

Public Accounts Committee: £2 billion lost annually through tax evasionTimes

Sharpest drop in retail sales for 3 yearsGuardian

Michael Stone jailed over murder attempt on Sinn Fein leadershipDaily Mail

"Plane Stupid" activists to target Heathrow nextGuardian

Picture_4 And finally… David Cameron bags a bargain at Woolies

"When there’s 50 per cent off, there’s no point going in half-hearted. So a determined David Cameron braved the crowds and made a beeline for the bargains at his local Woolworths. The Tory leader emerged triumphantly clutching two toy trucks (marked down from £19.99 to £9.99 for the pair) and a couple of rolls of wrapping paper for £2.50 each… His cut-price shopping trip took place at the Portobello Road Woolworths in Notting Hill. The company, which went into administration last week, has become the highest profile victim of the economic slump." – Daily Mail


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