10.30pm WATCH: Ken Clarke talks to ITN about the sharp deterioration in the public finances

6.45pm Local Government:

3.45pm Parliament: John Purvis MEP calls for greater flexibility on VAT

1.30pm ToryDiary: Will Parliament get to debate ‘quantitative easing’?

11.30am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: "Slashing public expenditure by £100 Billion just like that is not going to be practical. Yet there does need to be a hard headed look at what Government should be doing and areas that Government should not be involved with…"

11am Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: Back to 2004/5, so cut public expenditure plans by £95bn (for starters)

ToryDiary: What should Margaret Thatcher have advised David Cameron?

NicholassoamesNicholas Soames MP on Platform: What are we going to do if we don’t want our population to rise to 70 million in the next 20 years?

Local government:

Seats and candidates: Search for 100 Peers: Mike Whitby


The Bank of England has written to the Chancellor to begin "quantitative easing"

"The step means that the Bank will begin creating new money to boost the amount of cash and credit flowing through the economy in an attempt to jump-start growth as soon as March 5, when its Monetary Policy Committee next meets to set interest rates. With the Chancellor expected to give a rapid green light to the scheme, the modern equivalent of printing money, the MPC will deploy the cash that it plans to create to buy up company IOUs and other assets held by Britain’s banks, including gilts previously issued by the Treasury." – Times | Independent

David Cameron wants immigration cut by 50,000 a yearDaily Mail

Tory financial backers uneasy at Team Cameron’s "banker bashing"FT

Iain Martin: The state of the public finances is a national emergency

Iainmartintelegraph "In Brown’s Billions, a Scottish finance minister gets his hands on as much money as he can and spends it all. In a decade-long splurge, he pumps up public spending, vastly extends welfare entitlements and blocks the meaningful reform of public services. With the credits ready to roll, he – and we – have very little to show for it.  Just how much has been wasted becomes apparent on a reading of a powerful new report published this week by ConservativeHome. Bankrupt Britain is by Malcolm Offord, a City fund manager. It is dynamite." – Telegraph

> Read Malcolm Offord’s report for ConservativeHome here.

James Forsyth: Coulson and Hilton may not be at Cameron’s side in Downing Street

"Cameron will go into government without at least one of his three key advisers. Andy Coulson, the party’s media man whose hand could be seen behind the recent reshuffle, has long made clear that his job will be done when the Tories are elected. Another, Steve Hilton, the party’s chief strategist, is also thought not to be keen to work full-time in Downing Street, and he already spends much of his time in California. Their departure would boost the importance of the third member of this trio, George Osborne." – Spectator

> Tim Montgomerie: In defence of Steve Hilton

Patrick Mercer attacks compensation jackpot for preachers of hate

"Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a security adviser to the Prime Minister, said last night: ‘This is crazy. Qatada and the others were free to leave this country, and consumed our taxes while living here. The whole thing is a nonsense.’" – Daily Mail

Brown targets tax havens

"Britain is leading moves to end the privileged status of tax havens as part of a planned “global new deal” to tackle the international recession." – Independent

Health secretary concedes Cameron is ‘pitch-perfect’Guardian

Alan Johnson’s article: Cameron is just a good PR man – Guardian

Mandelson launches four letter outburst at Starbucks chief

Mandelson ""Why should I have that guy running down the country?" he told The Daily Telegraph. "Who the **** is he?" He then added: "How the hell are they doing?" – a clear dig at the economic woes of a company that has announced the closure of nearly 1,000 unprofitable stores in recent months.""

> VIDEO (not containing the outburst): Lord Mandelson says ‘over expanded’ Starbucks is not typical of whole UK economy

Now it’s Labour’s turn to organise in Northern Ireland FT

Does anyone really believe that Ms Jowell didn’t know a thing about her husband’s bribery money? – Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail

Parliamentary Standards Commissioner asks Jacqui Smith to explain her housing set up BBC

And finally… Is Harriet Harman Britain’s most deluded woman?

"Unashamedly ambitious, Harriet Harman believes she’s a leader-in-waiting. But the party’s MPs have other ideas," says Andrew Pierce in The Telegraph


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

26 comments for: Thursday 19th February 2009

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