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6pm WATCH:

3.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron and leading Conservatives hold talks with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

11.30am Robert Halfon on CentreRight: When Hamas controls London streets

11.30am ToryDiary: Margaret Thatcher was the greatest peacetime Prime Minister of modern times but conservatism can’t fossilise

10.45am Latest selections on Seats and Candidates:

9.45am ToryDiary: William Hague – We oppose any change to EU rules on freedom of movement

Picture_8_3ToryDiary: David Cameron distances himself from Thatcherism again

Shane Frith on Platform: Reclaiming the "Progressive" mantle for the Right

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Dr Prem Sharma

Mark Wallace in Local Government: The Golden Goodbye culture must stop

Also in Local Government:

WATCH: Gordon Brown claims this week that Britain is well-placed to pull through the recession

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Shadow Cabinet outside interests could be banned by Labour legislation

"Ministers are drawing up plans for a draconian ban on MPs having any outside earnings in the wake of a series of parliamentary scandals. Harriet Harman, the Commons leader, has begun work on the proposals which could be included in a major package of constitutional reforms to be unveiled within months… Ms Harman is working with Nick Brown, the Labour chief whip, on a range of options for a ban on outside jobs. Those being considered are a total ban; a US-style earnings limit of 15 per cent on top of an MP’s salary, or a partial ban under which some outside jobs, such as paid directorships, would be outlawed but others, such as being a doctor, would be permitted… Last year, Mr Cameron had to abandon plans to force his front-bench team to drop their outside earnings after William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, and other senior Tories made clear they would not give up their lucrative directorships" – Sunday Telegraph

Lords Archer and Black head list of peers Government plans to expel from the Upper House

"Peers who avoid tax or have criminal convictions – such as Lord Archer and Lord Black – are to be expelled from the House of Lords in the wake of the lords for hire scandal. The reforms are being drawn up by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, in an attempt to restore the Lords’ battered reputation after last weekend’s revelations in The Sunday Times. He plans to enact the legislation necessary to expel them before the general election, which has to be held by May next year… There is now also cross-party agreement on ridding the Lords of members who avoid paying tax… Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory donor, has repeatedly refused to confirm his tax status, while Lord Laidlaw, the Conservatives’ biggest donor, lives in Monaco and is widely reported to be a tax exile." – Sunday Times

More Sunday Times coverage of the "cash for amendments" scandal

The secret Soviet past of sleaze peer TruscottMail on Sunday

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Damian Green: police case set to be thrown out on "parliamentary privilege" grounds

"The case against Damian Green, the Conservative immigration spokesman at the centre of a Scotland Yard leak investigation, is set to be dropped on the grounds that he is protected by parliamentary privilege, according to sources close to the case. Legal experts from the Houses of Parliament have been locked in talks with senior detectives from the Metropolitan Police over the complex issue of privilege – and whether it applies in the case of Mr Green. This had caused a delay in the decision on whether Mr Green will face charges – he had expected to learn by last Thursday if he was going to be charged, or cleared." – Sunday Telegraph

16 out of 27 Tory MEPs admit employing wives or relatives

"More than half of Tory MEPs employ their wives or relatives as secretaries or support staff, it has emerged. An audit ordered by the party’s leader David Cameron revealed that four out of the party’s 27 MEPs paid their wives salaries of £30,000 to £40,000. And another 12 employed their partner or family member on salaries ranging from less than £10,000 to £30,000." – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary

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Tories count on Carol Vorderman the Maths czar

"Countdown star Carol Vorderman has become a maths czar for the Tories in a campaign to get kids counting again. In her first job since quitting the Channel 4 show last year, the numbers whizz will visit schools up and down the country to see how the subject is taught. She will then tour schools abroad from the US to India to see what lessons can be learned. Carol, 48, will chair a Maths Taskforce for six months and report to Tory leader David Cameron." – News of the World

BBC heals Thatcher rift by painting her as victim

"After 30 years of antagonism between Margaret Thatcher and the BBC, the corporation is to make amends with a two-hour drama depicting her as a heroic victim in the final week of her premiership. In the drama, Margaret, to be broadcast on BBC2 later this month, the actress Lindsay Duncan portrays the former prime minister as let down by a gaggle of pusillanimous, scheming men… Kenneth Clarke, who has just returned to frontline politics as shadow business secretary, is portrayed as the one cabinet member harsh enough to tell Thatcher to her face that she must step down. He is played by Kevin McNally. The drama is set almost entirely during her final week in power in November 1990, culminating in the moment when she was toppled. It shows her let down badly by her campaign team of Peter Morrison, her parliamentary private secretary, who is shown “asleep on the job”, and John Wakeham, her former chief whip, who failed to pass on her colleagues’ genuine feelings." – Sunday Times

Charlie Elphicke uncovers failings in children’s care system

More than a thousand vulnerable children are being forced to live in care hundreds of miles from their homes. The News of the World can reveal that youngsters from as far afield as Wales,
Guernsey and Scotland are being farmed out to old guest houses turned into
cheap children’s homes in Kent… The prospective MP who uncovered the scandal, Charlie Elphicke, stormed: “The
care system needs reform. Dumping children miles from home is disgusting.”- News of the World

Matthew D’Ancona: This was the week in which Labour lost the election

"It is with some trepidation that I look back on the past few days and say the following: this was the week in which Labour lost the next election. By this I do not mean that the root causes of eventual electoral disaster will be traced by historians to the final week of January 2009; rather, that it has become overwhelmingly clear that the die is cast. If the voters were still dithering at the electoral Rubicon before Christmas, they have crossed the river now."  – Matthew D’Ancona writing in the Sunday Telegraph

Tory treasurer to take Marchioness to party ballMail on Sunday

Jobs protests put fuel supplies at riskSunday Times

You can go and work in Europe, Mandelson tells strikersIndependent on Sunday

Chinese PM to be given Foreign Office guard of honourSunday Telegraph

Mandelson backs new "people’s bank" at Post OfficeObserver

Whitehall data-share plan extends "snooper Britain"Sunday Times

Who wants to be Gordon Brown’s successor?Sunday Telegraph

Tax cuts back on agenda at crisis Scottish Budget meetingScotland on Sunday

Poll finds Robert Peston more powerful than Alistair DarlingMail on Sunday

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And finally, you couldn’t make it up: Manager gets £77,000 pay-off from York council – five days after starting his job

"Council chiefs in York have awarded a £77,000 pay-off to a manager – only days after giving him the job, The Press can reveal. The senior social services employee started a new post with City of York Council on November 1 last year, only for councillors to agree a “golden-goodbye” package a mere five days later, on November 6. Officials tried to keep the move secret after the matter was decided by five councillors in a closed-doors meeting. But details have now been obtained by The Press. Councillors were told that the inevitable media and public interest in the issue would lead to “high-profile and damaging publicity” if it were made known." – The Press

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9 comments for: Sunday 1st February 2009

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