4.30pm Local Government: Grammar Schools are safe with us:Kent Council replies.

3.30pm WATCH How George Bush’s personality helped shape his presidency

3pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: I’ve given my last penny to World Vision

1.15pm Uk_map_with_union_jack_flag_2

12.30pm Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: In Praise of the Conservative Transport Team

Noon: WATCH Prominent British Jews warned they could be targeted over Gaza

11.30am Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: The Fed is now discussing the introduction of a price-level target

11am Local Government: Bristol Council orders boys club to change "discriminatory" name or lose funding

10.15am Parliament: John Bowis opposes EU ban on incandescent light bulbs

9.45am Local Government: Bristol Council orders boys club to change "discriminatory" name or lose funding.

9.30am Julia Manning on CentreRight: Obama’s GOATs

ToryDiary: Shadow Cabinet return for Ken Clarke increasingly on the cards

Mark Field on Platform: Tales from the front line

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Ruth Lea

Seats and Candidates: TV fisherman Jimmy Buchan selected for Banff and Buchan

Local Government: Boris biffs the gloomadon poppers


Elliottmatthew Taxpayers’ Alliance welcomes David Cameron’s tax cut for savers…

"On Monday, the Conservatives announced plans to cut taxes on savers and pensioners. Under their plans, basic rate taxpayers would not be taxed on savings interest and pensioners would see their income tax personal allowance rise by £2,000. All this would be paid for by cutting the real terms growth in spending by a number of government departments to 1% in 2009-10, with only health, schools, defence and international development kept to Labour spending plans… While it is possible to do a lot more, it would provide a lot of people with some welcome relief during the recession." – Matthew Elliott writing for Comment is Free at the Guardian website

> Monday’s ToryDiary

…but Simon Heffer is still waiting for radical Tory policies

"Even radicalising their economic policy now would entail an element of followership, since the public have found a desire for radicalism that precedes that of the Conservative party. So now Mr Cameron must catch up with a country fed up with being bled white, and appalled at the beggaring of their children and grandchildren by Mr Brown’s addiction to debt. He must then lead them further down that path. This requires him to stop pacifying, nourishing and propitiating Mr Brown’s client state, almost none of which would vote Conservative even if a gun were held to its head." – Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph

John Redwood: Another interest rate cut would be a mistake

"As someone who called strongly for interest rate reductions a year ago to stave off recession, I now feel equally strongly that base rate is more than low enough. The MPC has not given the lower interest rates the year or so they need to feed through to the system. If this is a normal cycle, and if the banks have now been saved, in due course the stimulus of the much lower interest rates will work. It is important not to overdo it." – John Redwood writing in the FT

Herbert_nick_nw Nick Herbert attacks hushed-up plans for bail hostels

"A secret leaked memo last night revealed 200 bail hostels for dangerous criminals are being opened in residential streets across Britain without any consultation with the public… The Tories, who obtained the protocol, said the Ministry of Justice – which handed the contract to ClearSprings – was guilty of devising a plan to keep the public in the dark. Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert said: "The Government has failed to provide enough prison capacity so they’ve devised a covert plan to set up what amount to mini open jails in residential areas while avoiding any consultation with the public. Placing offenders in residential properties causes immense aggravation when neighbours suddenly discover what’s going on, only to be told that they are powerless to stop it and the local community didn’t even need to be consulted." – Daily Mail

Shadow minister Alan Duncan’s skiing trip leaves Tory chiefs red-faced

"David Cameron was embarrassed last night by the decision of his business spokesman to go on a skiing holiday rather than touring Britain to learn about the recession. As his colleagues fanned out across Britain to promote the Conservative party’s policies for business and families, Alan Duncan was in Davos in Switzerland on the annual MPs’ skiing holiday… Mr Duncan said last night that he was on duty over Christmas and so was having his break now… He said that he has his own separate programme of meetings. He had already conducted two nationwide tours and was delighted colleagues were playing a greater role in his area. He is also meeting the Swiss Chamber of Commerce during the holiday." – Times

Richard Spring leads delegation advising the President of the Maldives

"A delegation of senior Tories flew to the Maldives on Tuesday to help prepare the island nation’s new president for the country’s first-ever multi-party democratic parliamentary elections next month. Mohammed Nasheed, a one-time Amnesty International "prisoner of conscience", spectacularly beat his former jailer and Asia’s longest-serving ruler, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in the Maldives’ first democratic election in October. But now his Maldivian Democratic Party faces its first test next month, with all the seats in the People’s Majlis, or parliament, being contested. The Tories played a key role in Mr Nasheed’s defeat of Mr Gayoom, who had been in power for 30 years, and the new president has called on Richard Spring MP, vice-chairman of the Conservative party, to lend advice on how the MDP can capture a majority in the February elections". – Daily Telegraph

The Guardian questions the value of politicians’ January tours…

"Nowhere in the country is safe from the political roadshow in these, the dog days between Christmas and parliament’s return… Strategists start with the itinerary, then try to manufacture activities to fill it and statements to justify it, as if Gladstone had found himself in Midlothian, and only then begun to think of something to say. Mr Brown wants to get the cabinet out of London, but the result is the same people sitting in a different room and, in the case of a session in Leeds last November, a £200,000 bill left behind for policing. Mr Cameron’s visit to Manchester this week (like William Hague’s to Tyneside and George Osborne’s to Cardiff) has been declared a tax-cutting roadshow, but is really a publicity-boosting one." – Guardian editorial

Goodwill_robert …as Robert Goodwill says Labour should fund the costs of holding Cabinet meetings outside London

"While it is important for Cabinet ministers to visit Yorkshire and find out about particular issues, holding the Cabinet meeting here was a bit of a gimmick. I can understand them wanting to show their presence in Yorkshire for political reasons. But the cost of hosting it, given the increased security, is something that should be borne by Labour rather than taxpayers." – Shadow minister for Leeds, Robert Goodwill, quoted in the Daily Mail

Government may increase basic income tax threshold to £10,000Mirror

Andrew Pelling stopped and searched for taking pictures of a cycle pathDaily Mail

Met police officer numbers will not be cut, insists Boris’s deputyGuardian

Brown begins three-day tour of England and WalesBBC

Scottish Tories slam SNP over prison rowScotsman

Alistair Darling interviewedFT

MI5 chief Jonathan Evans interviewedGuardian | Times

Picture_8 And finally… Cameron and Brown contribute to charity cookbook

"Gordon Brown would whip up a "Chequers steak pie" for the Scottish athlete Eric Liddell, immortalised in the classic film Chariots of Fire, while David Cameron would take the time to slow roast a shoulder of lamb for Victoria Cross recipient Johnson Beharry. The prime minister and Conservative Party leader have revealed the recipes they would serve up to personal heroes for a charity cookbook designed to raise money for Help the Heroes, a charity set up to help wounded military personnel… Brown appears to be suddenly and strangely busy as a food writer. This is the third contribution to a charity cookbook revealed by the prime minister this week." – Guardian


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