8.30pm ToryDiary: New Ipsos-Mori poll gives Tories a 14% lead

Clarke_osborne_and_cameron_in_com_36pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Ken Clarke back on the Opposition front bench – but not for the first time

5.45pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: Bailout II – the terror continues

5.15pm: ToryDiary: Final confirmation of all changes made today to the front bench

5pm Helen Thomas on CentreRight: Bank bailout, take two

4.15pm WATCH: David Cameron explains why he has made the changes he has to the shadow cabinet

3.30pm ToryDiary: Are you pleased that Eric is Chairman? Has Ken’s return blunted the party’s Euroscepticism? Will President Obama help Brown or Cameron? 


1.45pm ToryDiary: ConHome’s observations on the reshuffle – more punch but less reform

1.30pm Tom Greeves on CentreRight: Ken Clarke for Prime Minister?

1.15pm WATCH: Ken Clarke speaks about his return to the frontbench

12.15pm Parliament: Struan Stevenson says recreational fishing must not come under control of Common Fisheries Policy

11.45am Local Government: Boris saves the Kenbassies

10.45am Parliament: Written answers round-up

Pickles_eric_nw_2 10.45am ToryDiary: ERIC PICKLES IS NEW PARTY CHAIRMAN

10.15am Parliament: Eric Pickles forces Government to tell pubs about business rate cut entitlement

ToryDiary: First reactions to the return of Ken Clarke

ToryDiary: Osborne backs Labour’s "trillion pound bailout"

Local Government: "Tory Treasurer’s advice cost local councils £470m"

Local Government: Average council tax rise of 3.5% projected

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Sir Kenneth Bloomfield

Platform: Regina E Herzlinger, former adviser to John McCain, previews her new Bow Group paper promoting consumer-driven healthcare in the UK

WATCH: Two videos featuring the man of the moment

Clarke_happy "Big Beast" Ken Clarke is back in business

"Kenneth Clarke returns to the Conservative front bench today in David Cameron’s biggest gamble since becoming leader. The former Chancellor becomes the new Shadow Business Secretary and will take on the recently returned Lord Mandelson, though as MP and peer respectively the two will not face each other in Parliament. Mr Cameron decided to risk the wrath of the Tory Right, and to face down reservations among some of his closest supporters, in the interests of bolstering his frontbench team with one of the few Conservative heavyweights remaining in the Commons." – The Times

"George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, is understood to have instigated Mr Clarke’s return to frontline politics. The appointment was sealed at a lunch at Mr Osborne’s London home between Mr Cameron, Mr Osborne and Mr Clarke." – Daily Telegraph

"Clarke, one of the most popular politicians at Westminster, has told Cameron he will not seek to change the party’s line on Europe and will accept collective cabinet responsibility. He is understood to recognise that the refusal to accept the euro, and the call for a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, is the party’s settled will. He will however be allowed to express his private views on Europe, since no one is expecting him to change those. Until now, Clarke had expressed a lack of interest in front line politics, partly because he did not want the daily drudgery and was not keen to divest himself of his outside business interests." – Guardian

Profile of the new shadow business secretaryBBC

> Last night’s ToryDiary announcing Ken Clarke’s appointment

Other reshuffle moves to be announced later today

"The current shadow Business Secretary, Alan Duncan, will not be moved out of the cabinet, with Tory sources saying he has been offered a "senior Shadow Cabinet role". Mr Cameron believes there have been unfair and concerted attempts to undermine Mr Duncan, who will be given a new portfolio… Speculation that shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt would replace Caroline Spelman is wide of the mark. The grassroots supporters’ new favourite Eric Pickles, currently the Communities Secretary shadow, will miss out on the position. Ms Spelman is expected to remain in the role." – Independent

Boris_johnson_messy_hair Boris defends taxpayer-funded stay at Tory conference

"Boris Johnson, the Tory mayor of London, has said it was right that public money was used to pay his hotel bill at last year’s Conservative party conference. Labour MPs on Sunday criticised Mr Johnson after it emerged that Greater London Authority paid almost £2,000 for hotels for the mayor and his staff at the Conservative meeting in Birmingham in October. Mr Johnson said attended the conference in his capacity as mayor, which justified the £1,955 bill for taxpayers." – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary

Shapps blasts Beckett over housing market "upturn" claim

"The Government has lost all touch with reality. Experts say 75,000 families may be evicted from their homes this year, yet the housing minister actually seems to believe that life is getting better." – Grant Shapps quoted in the Daily Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt answers Independent readers’ questions on a variety of topics

"David Cameron rightly expects all members of his Shadow Cabinet to put every ounce of energy they can into defeating this disastrous government, so no one should have any interests that deflect them from this." – Jeremy Hunt answers a question about outside interests in The Independent

New bail-out for banks to be announced

"The government will take another step today towards nationalising the entire banking industry by offering to buy shares in those institutions which sign up to a scheme offering potentially unlimited insurance against losses on their assets. In a second, and desperate attempt, to get credit flowing through the economy, ministers will try to put tougher conditions on the banks being bailed out to force them to lend more money to businesses and households." – Guardian

"Barclays may have to accept government stakes to take part in the £200 billion scheme under which the taxpayer could foot a potentially unlimited bill for bad debts such as sub-prime lending in America… Lloyds TSB, which completes its merger with HBOS today, was also in talks with the Government over whether it would swap expensive “preference” shares for a larger number of ordinary shares." – Times

"All hopes of Gordon Brown managing to save the world with October’s great banking bail-out have proved tragically misguided. The £37billion injected into the banks last autumn might have helped save the financial system from instant meltdown. But its effects have proved at best temporary, and now the money has disappeared without trace. The consequences of this failure are grim indeed. Britain now faces, for the first time in history, the prospect of national bankruptcy." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

"Voters have so far been confused by the banking crisis, according to polls and focus groups. They have broadly accepted Mr Brown’s argument that the problems started in America and have given him credit for taking necessary and decisive, if unpalatable, action. This stoical response may not last. The more that the Government, and so the taxpayer, is drawn into guaranteeing the banking system, the more people will hold Mr Brown responsible for turning things around, and blame him and Labour if this does not happen." – Peter Riddell in The Times

Simon_wolfson Don’t overdose the sickly patient, Doctor Brown

"There is, I fear, a real risk that politicians, in seeking an overnight cure, will overmedicate the economy, creating more problems than they solve. We need Government to focus on where it can make a difference – stepping up efforts to get the banks lending again, stabilising public finances, using productive capital projects to stimulate the economy and ensuring regulation encourages rather than strangles job creation." – SImon Wolfson writing in The Times | Search for 100 Peers: Simon Wolfson

Prepare for a Conservative revolution. No, seriously

"Surveying the panoply of current Conservative policies, the revolution I foresee is one of values – the values that determine our social policies, and how our institutions are run. In welfare, tax, health, law and order, the Conservatives advocate profound change. The balance will be tipped away from rights to responsibilities. Families will get explicit support in the tax system. The presumption will be that the man in Whitehall does not always know best. The legal system should unequivocally support the victim, not the criminal. But perhaps the greatest cultural change promises to be in our schools." – George Bridges writing in the Daily Telegraph

British bureaucracy is growing out of control

"There is roughly the same number of employees in the Home Civil Service (about 480,000) today as there was in 1979, despite 30 years of supposed rationalisation, value for money blitzes and efficiency drives. Post-Thatcher Britain was meant to have less government, especially after the nationalised industries were privatised, yet we have more than ever with extra tiers in Brussels, Scotland, Wales and London as well as dozens of central agencies, quangos and regional bodies." – Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph

Picture_3 Obama tells rally of hope for US at pre-inauguration rally

"US President-elect Barack Obama has told a huge crowd of supporters at a pre-inauguration rally in Washington that "anything is possible in America". As the US fights two wars and tackles an economic crisis, Mr Obama said he was "hopeful" the US would overcome its toughest challenges in generations. He was speaking at a welcome concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, ahead of his inauguration on Tuesday." – BBC

"Mr Obama has already said that the recession will be the biggest problem for his new administration. That is likely to prove correct. Many people already feel that expectations have risen into the stratosphere, and that the new President will never be able to meet them. I do not share that view. If anyone can renew the progress of the American people, it will be Barack Obama. He has the courage and the convictions of the great presidents." – WIlliam Rees-Mogg in The Times

Employment minister: Jobless total will rise furtherBBC

Standards watchdog condemns latest secrecy move on MPs’ expensesDaily Telegraph

More on Lord Marland’s bid to chair the ECBTimes

Angela Merkel’s CDU begins 2009 with victory in key state pollIndependent

And finally... Lord Tebbit and Tony Benn are united – in their desire to honour Sir Keith Park

Picture_5_2 "In a combined political career stretching to the best part of 100 years, the two of us have rarely agreed on anything. But on one issue we have discovered common ground – the need for a permanent memorial in London to Sir Keith Park, the Battle of Britain hero. London is the city that he helped save and the Sir Keith Park Memorial Campaign is shortly to submit an application to the planning committee of Westminster City Council to erect a memorial statue to this great man. It is an application that we both fervently support because it would give long-overdue recognition to a man whose achievements have never been properly recognised in this country." – Lord Tebbit and Tony Benn writing in the Daily Telegraph


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