- George W Bush discusses his regrets during final White House news conference
- Sky’s Jeff Randall can’t get an apology from Alistair Darling for economic mistakes
- David Cameron attacks Labour’s "foolish" VAT cut
David Cameron defends Alan Duncan
"In an Financial Times interview, the Conservative leader said Mr Duncan’s decision to go on a parliamentary skiing trip, rather than attend the Tories’ recession tour, came after he had been on duty over Christmas. “I don’t think it’s fair to criticise him – he works extremely hard,” said Mr Cameron. The Tory leader dismissed suggestions that he thought only a minority of his 31-strong shadow cabinet team had the experience and skills to serve in government. “It’s complete and utter rubbish,” he said. “People in my shadow cabinet are there because they’re good.”"
More of the FT interview here.
Westminster’s right-leading insiders recommend against return for Clarke
"David Cameron should not bring Ken Clarke back on to the Tory frontbench. That’s the strong verdict of right-leaning members of the PHI100 whose members include senior Tory MPs and key party strategists. But in a notably split judgement, left-leaning and liberal members of the expert panel think that the Tory leader would strengthen his top team by including the former Chancellor."- Andrew Rawnsley on PoliticsHome
New Tory debt campaign
"Every baby born in Britain will be saddled with a £17,000 debt thanks to runaway Government borrowing, Tory leader David Cameron claimed yesterday." – The Sun
> ConservativeHome’s verdict on the campaign: "Almost perfect"
Labour is considering £20bn loan guarantee scheme for small businesses – BBC
George Osborne issued this statement: "With Conservative policies to help get unemployed people back into work and guarantee business lending now being adopted by the government, it is clear that the Conservatives are setting the serious policy agenda for the recession. We have been calling on Gordon Brown to introduce National Loan Guarantee Scheme for two months and while the Prime Minister has dithered dozens of businesses and thousands of jobs have been lost. Let us hope that they will properly implement this Conservative policy rather than a pale imitation, or else they run the risk of repeating the mistakes of their expensive temporary VAT cut and achieving nothing.”
£10,000 in loyalty payments for good teachers in England’s toughest schools – BBC
The Blairites return to the heart of Labour and make peace with Brown – Nick Watt in The Guardian
The Times‘ Rachel Sylvester still sees fundamental disagreements between the Blairites and Brown.
It’s certainly not all rosy in the Labour family: Also in The Guardian is a report that Hilary Benn, Ed Miliband, Harriet Harman and John Denham all object to Brown’s likely green light for a third runway at Heathrow.
The Telegraph backs a third runway for Heathrow.
A new low for Liverpool’s Derek Hatton
"Left-winger Derek Hatton has made an astonishing attack on Baroness Thatcher, saying it was a ‘shame’ she had ever been born. The former deputy leader of Liverpool Council criticised the former Prime Minister’s mother for ‘not believing in abortion’." – Daily Mail
The 22 books you need to be like the Camerons – Guardian
The Independent also chooses its favourite features from the Cameron home.
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