6.15pm Parliament: David Burrowes says Government has failed on effective sentencing

Sarkozyvbrown 6pm: NEW CONSERVATIVEHOME VIDEO: Sarkozy v Brown

6pm Simon Chapman on CentreRight reflects on Jeremy Clarkson’s attack on Brown: Apology watch – what was this one for?

4.30pm Ben Caldecott of Policy Exchange on CentreRight: The second dash for gas has begun

3.30pm Parliament: Britain’s cheapest MP is a Tory – but how does he do it and is it healthy?

2.30pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight posts a riposte to The Spectator’s Clive Davis in the Carol Thatcher row

1.30pm Parliament: Ken Clarke says that Government’s loan scheme for businesses is "panic-sticken"

1.15pm ToryDiary: George Osborne says bonuses for staff at Government-backed banks would be "an insult"

Auscampaign 10.15am International: Australian Liberals copy British Tories’ ‘baby in debt’ campaign

9.45am Alex Deane on CentreRight: Today’s statistics are brought to you by… terrorism legislation

ToryDiary: Andrew Mackay speaks about his role as David Cameron’s "mine sweeper"


Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Patience Wheatcroft

Local Government: Yesterday’s local by-election results

WATCH: A black tie-clad Lord Mandelson warns a CBI dinner against economic protectionism

Osborne slams idea of bonuses for Government-backed banks

“It would be an insult to struggling taxpayers if the Government allowed banks we part-own to pay out big cash bonuses. To increase taxes on people earning £20,000 to pay the bonuses of someone earning £2 million is totally unacceptable.” – George Osborne quoted in The Times

Gove_michael_red_tie Allow the best teachers to be paid more – and confiscate pupils’ iPods and mobiles, says Gove

"Head teachers would be given greater freedom to pay higher salaries to the best performing teachers, under a Conservative drive to raise the prestige and status of the teaching profession and raise school standards. Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, said that a Tory administration would aim to make teaching a more attractive career to academically high-achievers as well as high-flyers working in other fields." – The Times

"Teachers would be given greater powers by a Conservative government to confiscate iPods and mobile phones from disruptive children, the shadow schools secretary, Michael Gove, announced yesterday. In a speech setting out a series of plans to improve the standing of teachers, Gove pledged to place power back in the hands of professionals. He would change the rules on detention to make them easier to defend; tighten the rules on confiscating mobile phones and mobile music players "which disrupt learning, to remove the fear of challenge from teachers"; give teachers better protection from "vexatious complaints" to ensure that "careers aren’t unnecessarily blighted by students playing the system". – The Guardian

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Gove summarises the Tory education message

Shadow health minister Mark Simmonds reveals impending doubling of clinical negligence payments

"Clinical negligence premiums paid by hospitals will double next year eating into extra funding for services, the Conservatives have warned. Shadow Health Minister, Mark Simmonds, said: "We need a robust and fair way for patients who have received negligent treatment in an NHS hospital to get the compensation they deserve. Instead, we have an inefficient system which incurs vast legal costs for NHS Trusts involved in legal battles. Our proposals would have required an initial ‘fact-finding’ phase, which would then allow more cases to be resolved without costly litigation." – Daily Telegraph

Greendamianredtie Tories and Speaker in new police row over "Greengate"…

"Relations between the Conservatives and the Commons Speaker have reached a new low following a row over which documents should be seen by police carrying out the Home Office leaks inquiry. Michael Martin has refused to stop police reading documents seized from Damian Green, the MP at the centre of the Home Office leaks inquiry." – Daily Telegraph

…as Green claims he has been gagged by Deputy Speaker

"Tory MP Damian Green has protested angrily that he is being prevented from talking in Parliament about a police investigation involving him. He said it was "extraordinary" the Speaker had taken Scotland Yard’s word about a request to see details of his e-mails but had not approached him. He was ordered to stop speaking by Deputy Speaker Sylvia Heal. Mr Green said it was "absurd" that he could not discuss the inquiry into Home Office leaks inside the Commons." – BBC

Major Labour donor defects to the Conservatives

"Richard Caring, a rag-trade millionaire who now owns exclusive London restaurants, donated £70,000 to the Conservatives – in the form of an auction gift – earlier this week. He is understood to have had private meetings with David Cameron and is now poised to become a major backer of the Conservatives at the next general election. Mr Caring’s backing for the Conservatives is a major snub to Labour. The multi-millionaire loaned Labour £2 million to fund the cost of the 2005 general election campaign. The loan is still outstanding and it is not known if he will now ask for the money to be repaid. Mr Caring is one of Britain’s richest men, worth an estimated £450 million" – Daily Telegraph

The Tories must look to Hume, Smith and Burke

"The real prize may go to the party and leader who can defend free markets and free trade in terms of the greatest good of the greatest number while reminding us that there is such a thing as society, that it begins with little platoons, that we are selfish and selfless at once but that self-interest can always be enlightened. Come to think of it, that was what Hume, Smith and Burke were saying a while ago. It should not be such a feat for the Tories to take up where they left off." – Geoffrey Wheatcroft in the FT

Bow ties and balls won’t deter people from voting Tory, writes the Telegraph’s Andrew Pierce…

"It’s frankly childish to imagine that people will be deterred from voting Tory because the party’s leaders still wear bow ties and prefer balls to parties. The public will back a party that radiates confidence and is at ease with itself – even if its supporters include a few ageing dowager duchesses and plummy millionaires." – Andrew Pierce in the Daily Telegraph

…although the Daily Mirror would appear to disagree

"Hundreds of well-heeled aristocrats, socialites and celebrities turned out to gorge themselves in spectacular style at the Conservative Party’s annual Black and White Ball. Arriving in a long-line of chauffeur-driven Bentleys – complete with personalised number plates and built-in TVs – they had paid £10,000 for a table at the lavish do." – The Mirror

Johnson_boris_red_background Exclusion of pupils must be a last resort, says Boris

"Too many children in schools in London are lacking drive and ambition, which in turn leads to poor academic results, high truancy rates and ultimately, exclusion. Exclusions are a fast track to a life of criminal activity, low aspiration and unemployment. We need to reach out to pupils long before they reach the stage of exclusion. Though understandable in extreme cases, exclusion needs to be a last resort." – Boris Johnson quoted in The Guardian

Baroness Thatcher "distressed" at BBC’s sacking of her daughter

"Baroness Thatcher is distressed by the BBC’s treatment of her daughter Carol who was sacked from her reporter’s job after likening a black tennis player to a "golliwog". The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the former Prime Minister believes the furore over her daughter’s remarks in a BBC Green Room is a form of political correctness gone mad." – Daily Telegraph

Interest rates hit another record low

"The Bank of England cut interest rates to a new record low of 1 per cent yesterday, warning that "the global economy is in the throes of a severe and synchronised downturn". – Independent

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Osborne v Redwood on today’s interest rate cut

Miliband defends withholding secret US intelligence

"David Miliband has told MPs that releasing classified US information could do "real and significant damage" to British national security. Publishing details of the treatment of Binyam Mohamed against US wishes could hurt trust key to intelligence sharing." – BBC

"Given the change of administration in the U.S. two weeks ago, the changes in policy that have resulted and the changes in personnel in the CIA, would it not be right to put it to the U.S. administration that it could change its approach to this case?" – WIlliam Hague quoted in the Daily Mail

Peers warn of "surveillance state"BBC

Dorothy Brant OBE, 1906-2009

"With the death of Dorothy Brant at the age of 102 the Conservative Party has lost its last surviving link with the age of Stanley Baldwin. As a young party official Brant was fascinated to observe Baldwin being plied with sweets by his formidable wife, Lucy, as he addressed public meetings in Newcastle in the late 1920s." – Times obituary

And finally… The skoolz minister who must try harder: Jim Knight gets an ‘F’ for ‘Fail’ in spelling on his blog

"He is the minister responsible for ensuring our children have good standards of literacy. But as far as his own spelling is concerned, it seems Jim Knight is firmly at the bottom of the class. The Cambridge-educated MP’s blog on his website, which he uses to communicate with his Dorset South constituents, is littered with basic errors. In an entry from November, about planning consent for a road in Weymouth, the Schools Minister spelled ‘received’ as ‘receieved’ and ‘archaeological’ as ‘archeaological’." – Daily Mail


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