8.45pm Ruth Lea on CentreRight: More horrible economic truths

7pm CF Diary: Three Conservative Future activists expelled over online boasts about Madeleine McCann outfit

5.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight finds a Conservative message in a Beach Boys song

4.45pm CF Diary: Young Tory activist expelled from party after boasting online about his Madeleine McCann fancy dress outfit

4pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: Build your own Routemaster

Brown_clapping_23.30pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Gordon Brown opens a school… 16 months after it opened

3pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Rallying for Israel

12.15pm ToryDiary: Dominic Grieve announces plan to restore faith in crime statistics

11.45am Local Government: Play Daily Mail Jobzilla Lingo Bingo and win £500

11.30am WATCH Gordon Brown on the UN call for a ceasefire in Gaza

11am ToryDiary: Conservatives make their ELEVENTH call on Labour to enact a guarantee for bank lending

10.30am Local Government: Gordon Brown’s bin tax – Just Say No!

9.30am Local Government: Yesterday’s council by-election results

ToryDiary: High marks for Grayling and Pickles reflect grassroots’ expectations of shadow cabinet

Seats and Candidates: Iain Lindley selected for Worsley and Eccles South

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Frederick Forsyth

Barry Foulkes on Platform: David Steel shows Prime Minister Cameron the way on Lords Reform

Local Government: Should councillors join Facebook?

Nile Gardiner on CentreRight: Obama is Likely to Back EU Defence Integration

Julia Manning on CentreRight: Why organ donation should always remain a gift

First polls of 2009 make unhappy reading for Gordon Brown

"An exclusive YouGov poll for The Sun reveals the Conservatives are on 41 per cent with Labour on 34 per cent and the Lib Dems on 15 per cent. The Tories are still three points short of the lead needed to secure an overall Commons majority in a general election — which would result in a hung Parliament." – The Sun

"The business world is losing confidence in Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling amid growing evidence that the recession will last much longer than the Treasury predicted only six weeks ago. A ComRes poll of leading businessmen for The Independent shows that trust in the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, which rose after the Government rescued Britain’s banks last autumn, is now on the slide. According to the ComRes poll of 200 business leaders, they trust David Cameron and George Osborne more than Mr Brown and Mr Darling. The Tories’ "confidence ratings" are 46 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively." – Independent

> Last night’s ToryDiary on the YouGov poll

Andrew Lansley accuses Labour of broken promises on mixed sex wards

"In April ministers claimed that they were close to abolishing mixed-sex accommodation in the National Health Service. Figures obtained by the Conservatives suggest that 15 per cent of hospitals in England still use mixed, open-plan “Nightingale” wards… Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, accused the Government of breaking its promises on the issue. “Patients have enough to worry about when they go into hospital without having to suffer the indignity of being placed in accommodation that affords them too little privacy at such a sensitive time,” he said." – Times

Osborne restates call for loan guarantee scheme as interest rate is cut to 1.5%

"The Bank of England’s cut is welcome, but it won’t have the desired effect on the economy unless we can get the rate cuts passed on and credit flowing to business. Gordon Brown needs to stop dithering, understand his bank recapitalisation isn’t working, and that his VAT cut is an expensive failure, and get on instead with introducinga loan guarntee scheme. The longer he delays, the more good businesses will fold and the more jobs will be lost." – George Osborne quoted in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on the interest rate cut

Grant Shapps: Some are charged 10,000% on loans

"People are being charged up to 10,000 per cent interest on loans, according to Tory MP Grant Shapps. Mr Shapps, the shadow Housing Minister, says the "home credit market" which targets vulnerable people is now worth £3 billion a year… He said: "As the Bank of England slashes interest rates close to zero, it is obscene that anyone should end up paying 10,000 per cent APR. The evidence suggests that these loans are targeted at some of the most vulnerable members of our society." – Daily Telegraph

Tories angry over compensation clause in ID card contracts

"Taxpayers face paying tens of millions of pounds in compensation to private companies involved in the national identity card scheme if their contracts are torn up by an incoming Conservative government… Dominic Grieve, the shadow Home Secretary, said: "Especially at times of economic hardship, the public will be dismayed that the Government is prepared to waste so much money. We put the Government and industry on notice two years ago that we would abandon this project. The Government must disclose what steps it has taken to protect the taxpayer from liability." – Independent

Yet more Tory reshuffle speculation

"Alan Duncan’s position in David Cameron’s Shadow Cabinet is being undermined by a worsening relationship with the Tory leader’s inner circle, The Times has learnt. A Cameron ally called Mr Duncan “detached” and drew a contrast with Chris Grayling, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, seen as a potential replacement in the trade brief." – Times

"David Cameron has been warned against returning Ken Clarke to the Shadow Cabinet after the former chancellor was revealed to be the most rebellious Conservative MP. Since Mr Cameron became Tory leader in 2005, Mr Clarke has voted against the party whip 33 times, mainly over the EU Treaty which he supports… Last night, sources close to Mr Cameron revealed a reshuffle is unlikely to be carried out until sleaze watchdogs have delivered a verdict on party chairman Caroline Spelman." – Daily Mail

"I’ll let you into a fairly badly kept secret at Westminster. David Cameron is not exactly a fan of almost two thirds of his Shadow Cabinet. Privately, when tackled about which members he rates as serious Cabinet material, he "struggles to get into double digits". In other words, 10." – Andrew Pierce writing in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on the briefing against Alan Duncan

> Yesterday’s Platform by Philip Cowley, revealing Ken Clarke’s position as leading backbench rebel

SNP and Tories close to deal on budget

"The Tories were last night edging towards a compromise deal with the SNP which would see the Scottish Government’s budget approved. The Conservatives are asking for a number of concessions, including the trial of a new bed-by-bed monitoring scheme for hospital-acquired infections and a week of outdoor education for all schoolchildren. Although the final negotiations are unlikely to be completed until just before the budget vote, in the first week of February, both sides appeared confident of a deal last night." – Scotsman

Labour plans pact to elect Sir Menzies Campbell as Speaker

"Senior Labour figures are urging the Liberal Democrats to rally round Sir Menzies Campbell as a candidate for Speaker of the House of Commons in an effort to stop a Tory replacing Michael Martin. The Lib Dems have been urged to unite behind a single candidate for the post by a senior Labour backbencher close to the Prime Minister and Nick Brown, the Chief Whip. The backbencher has suggested that Labour MPs would accept Sir Menzies Cambell, the former Lib Dem leader, and Sir Alan Beith, the former Lib Dem deputy leader, as candidates. Mr Martin is expected to stand down within months but Labour realises that it will be unable to get the House to accept another one of its own in the chair." – Times

New email law is a waste of money and an attack on civil libertiesBBC

Giant street bin takes over from doorstep collectionsTimes

Nick Clegg shuffles frontbencher he briefed againstIndependent | Daily Mail

EU will grab Britain’s gasExpress

And finally… World Economic Forum to reunite the Corfu Four

"Some interesting entries leap out of the list of participants at the World Economic Forum at Davos later this month. Next to each other, nay, jostling each other even, are George Osborne, Shadow Chancellor, and Lord Mandelson of Foie Gras… Also on the list for Davos, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska… I would suggest separate ski slopes at Davos for all three of them, and no joint photo opportunities. Alternatively, they could all leg it across the mountain to Klosters, and a private meeting away from prying eyes at Nat Rothschild’s chalet there. Now where have all four of them met before?" – Times


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