7.45pm ToryDiary: Tories 12% ahead in ICM poll

5.45pm ToryDiary: Margaret Thatcher’s journey from Finchley to Downing Street (in video)

3.30pm ToryDiary: William Hague’s prediction comes true

2.30pm ToryDiary: Grayling gives first big speech on law and order as nation braces itself for a ‘summer of rage’


David Shiels on Platform: David Cameron’s "new political force" in Northern Ireland will be the only party capable of uniting people from all backgrounds

Local government: Should councillors be CRB checked?

Seats and candidates: UKIP candidate in Stockton South defects to the Conservatives

Andrew Lilico on CentreRight


The Daily Mail decides that Gordon Brown needs kissing lessons
– Click here

Chris Grayling vows to get tough with ‘teenage thugs’

"Courts would get the power to ‘ground’ teenage thugs under Tory proposals being unveiled today. Youngsters who police believed were causing trouble could be banned from leaving their homes, except to attend school… Mr Grayling, in his first major announcements since becoming Shadow Home Secretary, yesterday said all those involved in violent attacks or found with knives in city centres would end up behind bars rather than be issued with a caution." – Daily Mail

David Willetts: Government is missing its targets on apprenticeshipsBBC

Lord Ashcroft’s donations to Tories under scrutiny

Tories received £4.7m of gifts from Lord Ashcroft’s company, Bearwood Corporate Services – Independent

"His formal title – deputy party chairman and member of the party board – does not begin to suggest the power he wields over the Conservative machine. His team of nearly 20 – working from an office bigger than that of the Tory chairman Eric Pickles – is charged with directing operations in marginal seats." – Independent

"Senior Tories are frustrated with Ashcroft; one senior figure reportedly left the party over the apparent influence of the peer. Ashcroft pledged to pay British taxes in 1999 a year before he was appointed a peer on the recommendation of Hague. Cameron has spoken of "assurances" that his undertakings have been met. Senior Tories believe that Ashcroft is inflicting unnecessary pain on the party because they believe he may well be on the electoral roll and that he does pay taxes in the UK." – Guardian

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: In praise of Michael Ashcroft

Mandelson and Harman set for big clash on family-friendly burdens on business

"Plans to axe new laws that would increase costs for businesses, including enhanced maternity leave and tougher equality legislation, are threatening to blow open a Cabinet rift over how Labour should respond to the economic downturn, The Times has learnt. The proposals, outlined in the Queen’s Speech just two months ago, and championed by Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader, are at risk after Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and the Chancellor called for a moratorium on any measures that would add to the current financial pressure on businesses." – Times

‘The next election might not be worth winning’

"Since economic damage from the recession is set to prove lasting, “much of the increase in borrowing is expected to be persistent rather than to disappear”. As a result, the national debt is set to swell to at least 57 per cent of GDP, the highest since the early Seventies, by 2013-14. This marks a rise of more than 21 percentage points, equivalent to £10,000 for every family in the UK, since 2007." – Gary Duncan in The Times

The European gravy train

"Euro MPs’ expenses and pensions are so lavish that they can earn as much as £1m (1.13m euros) on top of their salaries over their five-year term in parliament, a British campaign group says." – BBC | TaxPayers’ Alliance report

EU quangos costing us all £1.8bn called ‘not fit for purpose’ – Daily Mail

Melanie Phillips suggests political sleaze is one explanation for the BNP’s rise

"Labour is irredeemably incompetent and sleaze ridden. The LibDems (with the exception of their impressive economics spokesman Vince Cable) are irredeemably irrelevant. As for the Tories, although they are benefiting from the collapse of Labour’s support, there is precious little enthusiasm for them either. They are seen as no more than ‘blue Labour’ on many social issues, devoid of any big idea to address the economic crisis and – as their relatively muted response to the Home Secretary’s extraordinary expenses scam suggests – up to their own necks in the same kind of fiddle." – Daily Mail

> CentreRight’s Graeme Archer offered his own explanations on Saturday

"Lord Astor, the stepfather of David Cameron’s wife, is seeking to
block legislation which would force peers to pay tax in the UK or
resign from the House of Lords."

An editorial in the Liverpool Daily Post trashes Tory mayoral plansLiverpool Daily Post

Blair gets rich as his economic legacy collapses

"Since leaving office in June 2007, Mr Blair is said to have raked in
up to £15 million from a variety of business deals, including a £4.5
million advance for his Downing Street memoirs." – Telegraph

Trevor Kavanagh’s judgment: "Gordon Brown comes under fire for landing us in this economic mess – not least from me. But what about Tony Blair, who gave the Chancellor his head and is now gliding around the world as if he had nothing to do with it? Amazingly, TB is adding to his fortune with a “commercial partnership”, offering clients tips on economics and politics."

Four environmentalists speak out in favour of nuclear power

"The four leading environmentalists who are now lobbying in favour of nuclear power are Stephen Tindale, former director of Greenpeace; Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, the chairman of the Environment Agency; Mark Lynas, author of the Royal Society’s science book of the year, and Chris Goodall, a Green Party activist and prospective parliamentary candidate." – Independent

Former Director of Public Prosecutions expresses anger at unfair treatments of crime

"If you mug someone in the street and you are caught, the chances are that you will go to prison. In recent years mugging someone out of their savings or their pension would probably earn you a yacht." – Sir Ken Macdonald QC in The Times

Plus there’s this: "Britain’s most senior police officer with responsibility for public
order raised the spectre of a return of the riots of the 1980s, with
people who have lost their jobs, homes or savings becoming
"footsoldiers" in a wave of potentially violent mass protests." – Guardian

And finally… Michael Gove praises Starbucks

"We wouldn’t have such a choice of hot drinks that do taste of something if it wasn’t for Starbucks. They drove the coffee house revolution that ensured you didn’t have to live in Milan to get something worth drinking. Mind you, it’s hardly surprising that Peter Mandelson is so dismissive of Starbucks. His favourite beverage is warm water with lemon peel in it. You’d get more of a kick from an exhausted dragonfly than from that concoction." – Michael Gove in The Times 


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