5pm Latest from Parliament:

Herbert_nick_nw_24pm ToryDiary: Nick Herbert explains how rural areas are feeling the effects of the recession

3pm WATCH: Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s exchanges at today’s PMQs

2.30pm Latest on CentreRight:

12.45pm Local Government:Does The Queen have her portrait up in your Town Hall’s foyer?

12.30pm ToryDiary: The economy dominates another session of PMQs

ToryDiary: Talk of a Tory landslide is premature and counterproductive

Villiers470 Theresa Villiers on Platform: The Government have failed to make the case for a third runway at Heathrow

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Stuart Wheeler

Local Government:


WATCH: Ken Clarke makes his Commons debut as Shadow Business Secretary responding to yesterday’s announcement on government support for the car industry 

Cameron_bw_looking_right David Cameron pledges to strip corrupt lords of their peerages

"A Conservative government would change the law so that members of the House of Lords could be stripped of their peerages for breaking new anti-sleaze rules, David Cameron told The Independent yesterday. The move came as it emerged that the four Labour peers at the centre of the "cash for amendments" allegations are expected to lose the party whip." – The Independent

The full interview with David CameronThe Independent

> Last night’s ToryDiary on David Cameron’s pledge

…And Labour also wants to expel corrupt peers

"We should be able to take a range of actions as necessary, including being able to suspend peers immediately while an investigation is being carried out, and longer periods of suspension if cases are proven, and the option not of removing peerages – not in the gift of the House – but of even longer and perhaps permanent exclusions in extreme cases. If the current allegations are proven, we may need as well to consider emergency sanctions if warranted." – Lords leader Baroness Royall writing in The Guardian

Earl of Onslow: We need old lags in the Lords

"I’m a Conservative. I like anything that looks like an ox cart but pulls like a Ferrari, and I think the House of Lords is a perfect example. It is an institution with immense virtues. The majority of people there are there on their honour, and they behave honourably. That is why everybody is so upset about the allegations. It really hurts." – The Earl of Onslow writing in The Independent

Fox_gesticulating Liam Fox: The way we treat our armed forces is a national disgrace

"A decade of Labour’s neglect has left our Army overstretched, undermanned, and in possession of worn-out equipment due to the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unfunded liability associated with this will total billions of pounds. This is not an assumption, but a fact." – Liam Fox writing in The Independent

Ken Clarke gets good reviews on his return to the Despatch Box

"Mr Clarke does not so much stand at the despatch box as dance a country reel with the thing. He dashes up to it, holds it momentarily, turns to the left, the right, steps away and bows… His style, devoid of soundbites and refreshingly under-rehearsed, is quite unlike anything else seen at present in the Commons. To find him here in the post-Blairite Commons is like seeing on a modern motorway a 1960s Bristol, all crinkled leather seats, mahogany dashboard and spoked steering wheel." – Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail

"Ken Clarke was back on the frontbench. The bull was out of the barn and back in the china shop. He was roaring, stamping, charging and plopping down steaming lumps of ordure wherever he felt like it. I haven’t seen the Tories so happy since Gordon Brown claimed to have saved the world." – Simon Hoggart in The Guardian

> Yesterday’s Tory Diary on Ken Clarke’s return

Philip Hammond uncovers civil servants’ £4.5 billion pension boost

"Civil servants have clocked up £4.5 billion of extra pension entitlements in the past year, the Conservatives have revealed. The figures, buried in obscure Government accounting documents, show that pension pots for civil servants are nearly 30 per cent higher than they were 12 months ago. Philip Hammond, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, who obtained the figures, said: "These huge unfunded public sector pension costs are storing up yet more problems for the future at a time when Britain is already facing a £1 trillion debt mountain." – Daily Telegraph

Wintertonnick Sir Nicholas Winterton speaks out against Tory-UUP alliance

"It is only a rejuvenated and purposeful Conservative and Unionist Party, in alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party here in Ulster, which is in a position to highlight the threat to our nation posed by the Government’s reckless and ill-thought-out constitutional vandalism… I am concerned that the arrangement now being entered into between the Conservatives and Unionist Party and the Official Unionists (UUP) in Northern Ireland will divide the vote in marginal constituencies and serve only to let in Sinn Fein." – Sir Nicholas Winterton quoted in the News Letter

PM told to curb "blizzard" of initiatives

"Gordon Brown has been warned by Labour ministers and MPs to stop churning out initiatives to tackle the recession, amid fears that voters are turning against the prime minister’s handling of the downturn. Ministers and Labour MPs have warned Downing Street that people are becoming confused by an apparently endless stream of measures to fight the recession and have lost track of how much they cost and whether they are working." – FT

Tory council replaces portrait of the Queen in council chamber with modern artDaily Mail

The tide is turning for an energy revolution – Tony Lodge writing in the Yorkshire Post

Government aide resigns over Heathrow policyGuardian

Minister: Labour foreign policy has aided radicalisation among MuslimsDaily Telegraph

Sir Paul Stephenson to be named new Met Police chiefBBC

Ministers consider revival of local authority mortgagesGuardian

SNP’s budget hangs in the balance as opponents refuse to strike deal Scotsman

David Blunkett to remarryTimes

Iceland set to be led by world’s first lesbian Prime MinisterPink News


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