- George Bush Snr makes naughty joke (And Bill Clinton, speaking afterwards, says he wouldn’t have got away with it!)
- Gordon Brown’s phone rings during press conference
- Tories consider ’21st Century Domesday Book’ that would define Labour for a generation
- In defence of Steve Hilton
Lord Strathclyde on Platform: The House of Lords is clean and decent but must act against Labour sleaze
Nicholas Boys Smith on CentreRight: How overregulation could threaten economic recovery
Tories 11% ahead in YouGov poll
"In the autumn, the Prime Minister enjoyed a seven percentage point lead over David Cameron when the public were asked which party was most trusted to restore the country’s economic fortunes. However, the position has reversed and the Conservatives now have a seven-point lead over Labour on economic competence." – Telegraph | Yesterday’s ToryDiary
SNP confident of passing budget on second attempt – BBC
Liberal Democrats’ change of heart makes the difference – Scotsman
> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Were the Scottish Tories right to back the SNP budget?
Tories plan annual mental health checks for returning soldiers
"Military veterans would be offered annual mental health checks under Tory plans to combat soaring numbers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and drink problems… Liam Fox, the shadow Defence Secretary, accused the Government of giving a low priority to former service personnel. He said: "You simply can’t trust to luck the psychological well-being of people who have been willing to risk life and limb for our security. We must not allow these people to slip through the net."" – The Independent
Damian Green reveals high cost of detaining foreign prisoners before deportation – Telegraph
"Suddenly every party is in favour of high speed rail" – Steve Richards in The Independent
Labour plan broadband for every home by 2012 – BBC
> Jeremy Hunt reacts on CentreRight: "David Cameron has pledged that a future Conservative government will aim to get superfast broadband to the majority of the population within 5 years. After delivering the satellite and cable revolution last time, it looks like it will once again be a Conservative government that takes Britain’s digital industries forward."
Brown orders council house building programme
"The biggest council house building programme for decades was ordered by Gordon Brown yesterday as he urged town halls to rescue the construction industry and help to kick-start the economy." – Times
Flagship Labour welfare programme ‘failing’
"A flagship £1bn government programme to find jobs for people on sickness benefit is running 73 per cent short of its target, an unexpectedly bad outcome that will test political consensus about expanding private welfare provision." – FT
Iceland to be fast-tracked into the EU
"Iceland will be put on a fast track to joining the European Union to rescue the small Arctic state from financial collapse amid rising expectations that it will apply for membership within months, senior policy-makers in Brussels and Reykjavik have told The Guardian."
The Telegraph: The euro will struggle to survive the recession
"The one-size-fits-all inflexibility of the eurozone deprives single currency members of the vital weapons of devaluation and monetary policy with which they can at least try to ameliorate the impact of the global downturn." – Telegraph
Barack Obama slams "outrageous" Wall Street bonuses – The Sun
"Obama cares about Europe. Britain he can take or leave." – Martin Kettle in The Guardian
Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit PoliticsHome.com for breaking political news and views throughout the day.