4.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: The Times’s contribution to the Tory marginal seats campaign
9.30am Latest in Local Government:
- Mark Wallace on Icelandic bank investment: What went wrong in Charnwood?
- Nottingham and Norwich Councils housing scandals
- Tendring Labour councillor "used violent and abusive language"
"An "environmental revolution" in energy policy under a Conservative government would save the average household £160 a year from the cost of electricity and gas, David Cameron has promised. The Conservatives outlined plans to modernise the national grid to deliver power more cheaply, subsidise home insulation projects, and make more use of green technologies including electric cars and off-shore windfarms. Publishing his party’s "Plan for a Low Carbon Economy," Mr Cameron said that changes in the way that Britain generates, distributes and consumes electricity will save families significant amounts of money as well as benefiting the environment." – Daily Telegraph
"Under the flagship scheme, the Government would underwrite loans taken out by the energy companies for the massive investment programme, estimated to be worth a staggering £2.6billion a year. A typical home would have £1,700 of improvements to be paid back at about £70 a year. However, fuel bills would fall by £230 a year – a total gain of £160." – Daily Mail
"The Heathrow runway decision has just gifted David Cameron exactly what he needed. His wilting green oak tree is suddenly bursting with acorns as he trumpets his "environmental and energy" revolution, perfectly timed for Heathrow week. He wears the green halo, and nothing the government does between now and the election is likely to reclaim it." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian
Ken Clarke: "Anybody who stands at the next election on a platform of tax cuts is asking for trouble."
"Ken Clarke has never been one to keep his opinions to himself. And today he dishes out more advice, of the kind that might not please his leader David Cameron, who is mulling over whether to bring him back into the shadow cabinet." – Guardian
"A generation of new mothers is in crisis, the Tories have warned. More than half are said to show signs of post-natal depression as they are increasingly left to fend for themselves after giving birth. Maria Miller, Conservative families spokesman, warned women were floundering because they did not have the traditional family support and advice their own mothers could rely on." – Daily Mail
Dominic Grieve on the "recession crimewave"
"Robbery and burglary are on the rise across the country, almost doubling in some areas, according to figures that provide the first evidence that the economic downturn is fuelling crime… The shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said: These figures are alarming. We already know, from leaked government memos between the Home Office and the Prime Minister, that ministers feared a rise in acquisitive crime due to Gordon Brown’s recession. These figures appear to be bearing this out." – Independent
You home is your castle, says senior judge
Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge called for tougher sentences after stressing that domestic burglary must always be treated as a “serious criminal offence”. Declaring that a person’s home should be regarded as their castle, he threw out claims from six burglars appealing against their sentences… Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: “This is music to my ears and is outstanding news. Finally, we have someone speaking up for the victims of crime and for law-abiding citizens. I hope his message is heard by every judge in the land.” Tory MP and Daily Express columnist Ann Widdecombe said: “This is excellent news and is exactly what Home Secretaries have wanted from our judges.” – Daily Express
Ken Livingstone explains why he still turns up at City Hall to watch Boris from the public gallery
“I could go to the cinema for 10 quid but I can pop into City Hall and get two hours of pure entertainment for free. I thought I could have poked him in the eye on Wednesday, he was being so irritating.” – Ken Livingstone quoted in the FT
"The paradox is that having an established church underlies the separation of religion and politics in Britain. Of course, a few Anglican bishops sit in the House of Lords, but that cannot honestly be described as giving them significant political power. As Alastair Campbell said, when Tony Blair’s religiosity was under scrutiny, "we don’t do God" in British politics. Blair waited until he had left office before converting to Catholicism, because the British electorate is largely suspicious of leaders who look to Heaven for guidance. By contrast, while in the United States religion and the state are kept separate by the Constitution, politicians talk about God all the time. Americans have just elected a black president, but it is still unimaginable that they would vote in a professed atheist." – Michael Portillo writing in the Daily Telegraph
New bank bailout planned – Times
Forced retirement at 65 could be outlawed – Daily Telegraph
Hazel Blears in Gaza extremism warning – BBC
Union leader’s secret £200,000 package of pay and perks – Times
Nick Clegg: School leavers will bear the brunt of Gordon Brown’s economic mismanagement – BBC
Slow start to inquiry into untruthfulness at Holyrood – Scotsman
Completely independent of the Conservative Party and without David Cameron’s approval, an online game created this week highlights the Tory leader’s opposition to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow. You control David Cameron as he uses dynamite to blow up the cement mixers helping to build the runway…
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