8.15pm Local Government: Boris Johnson cleared of wrongdoing over "Greengate"

6.15pm ToryDiary update: Ken Clarke pledges to support part-privatisation of the Royal Mail

Annabel_goldie_25.15pm ToryDiary: Annabel Goldie empashises the need for a close working relationship between Holyrood and Westminster

4pm Parliament: Are the spiritual needs of the Armed Forces adequately met?

3.45pm Parliament: David Ruffley discovers that the Government doesn’t know what the shortfall in police numbers is

3pm Parliament: Liam Fox says NATO allies are "shamefully failing" to do fair share in Afghanistan

2pm Matthew Elliott on CentreRight previews his forthcoming book, The Great European Rip-Off

1.45pm ToryDiary: Tory members see Alan Sugar as most dangerous opponent for Boris in 2012

1.15pm ToryDiary update: Standards Committee failed to reach conclusion on Spelman case this morning

1pm Seats and Candidates: Fancy running the Conservative campaign in Northern Ireland?

12.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: "If Obama is mostly successful, then the epistemological skepticism natural to conservatives will have been discredited."

10.45am Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Geert Wilders on Fox News

Karen_allen 10.30am Seats and Candidates: Karen Allen selected for South Shields


Zehra Zaidi on Platform: An apple a day? Nay, the Working Time Directive may keep the doctor away

Local Government: Why are Conservative Councils leaving parents to play the schools lottery?


Cameron_looking_left How the papers are covering the new Tory plans to deal with anti-social behaviour

"David Cameron yesterday downgraded the Tories’ commitment to civil liberties when he declared that the sole focus of the Home Office under a Conservative government would be to tackle crime. In a sign that the party is distancing itself from the era of David Davis, the former shadow home secretary who resigned over the government’s 42-day detention plan, the Tories pledged to introduce a 21st-century alternative to "a clip-round-the-ear" policing." – Guardian

"David Cameron yesterday declared an “unashamedly tough” new Tory war on teenage yobs and drunken hooligans. In his most strongly-worded remarks on law and order yet, he pledged that the next Conservative Government will transform the police from being effectively a “soft” branch of the social services into “a formidable force to be respected and reckoned with”. – Daily Express

"David Cameron launched a war on yobs yesterday as he warned they will meet their match in a Conservative government. The Tory leader effectively ripped up his “hug a hoodie” stance and declared: “Troublemakers will hear loud and clear, ‘It’s the Conservatives you are dealing with now. You are not going to get away with that any more’.” – The Sun

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on Chris Grayling’s first speech as shadow home secretary

Threat of thousands of police redundancies

"Large numbers of police forces are planning to cut thousands of officers despite the threat of a recession-driven surge in crime and disorder. Representatives from dozens of police forces contacted by The Times last night gave a grim picture of falling numbers and “significant and painful” cuts… Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: “This has to be the final nail in the coffin of Tony Blair’s promise that Labour would be tough on crime. We already have many violent crimes rocketing and crimes like burglaries on the rise again.” – The Times

David Cameron calls for a public inquiry into the banking collapse…

"David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has called for a public inquiry into how financial regulators failed to spot the collapse of banks including Northern Rock and the risky lending practices that led to the current credit squeeze. The Tory leader said that the scale of public support for the banking system demands some form of investigation into the regulatory regime that allowed the current crisis." – Daily Telegraph

…as George Osborne moots restructuring of banks

"Britain’s biggest banks could be forced to restructure their operations or even be broken up under Conservative plans to revive the financial sector. George Osborne, shadow chancellor, opened up divisions with Gordon Brown, prime minister, by outlining his vision of a remodelled sector with smaller banks… Tory officials admit that Mr Osborne does not yet have a fully formed plan on how to reduce the dominance of the remaining four large UK banks. One option would be for the government to use its holdings in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group to force them to restructure or for the regulator to insist on some reduction in their size to promote competition." – FT

William Hague still seeking answers on UK complicity in torture of ex-Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed

"William Hague, the shadow Foreign Secretary, and the Liberal Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesman, Ed Davey, joined with human rights groups in calling for the Government to come clean about British complicity in Mr Mohamed’s alleged torture… Mr Hague said it was “high time the UK Government asked the new US administration for permission” to release information relating to Mr Mohamed’s case which was withheld by the High Court earlier this month." – Independent

> Last week’s ToryDiary on the issue

Gove_michael_nw Gove welcome Ofsted report commending back-to-basics discipline

"Traditional rules such as banning children with shaven heads and those wearing designer trainers or gang colours have proved effective in maintaining order at the best comprehensives, according to a report by Ofsted. Formal assemblies, regular patrols of corridors, frequent school trips, strong values and appointing good teachers are also successful methods of raising standards, the study says… Michael Gove, the Tory shadow children’s secretary, said: "These schools demonstrate that disadvantage should not mean low standards. Schools that have excellent head teachers with strong discipline policies and high expectations can help children thrive regardless of their economic background. We should celebrate this achievement and give parents the power to ensure that these approaches are adopted more widely across the state sector." – Daily Telegraph

New poll suggests Brown is an increasing liablility for Labour

"Gordon Brown’s leadership is dragging Labour’s vote down, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today. By a majority of more than two to one, voters say that the party would do better at the next election if it was led by someone else. The poll — which also shows the Conservatives maintaining a steady double-digit lead — is likely to increase pressure on the prime minister following a week of speculation over leadership manoeuvring by cabinet ministers and a succession of bleak headlines about the rapidly worsening state of the economy." – Guardian

> Last night’s ToryDiary on the poll

Shami Chakrabarti on the 75th anniversary of the founding of Liberty

"The resonance between the year of Liberty’s birth and 2009 is all too worrying. Perhaps many have worn liberty like a fashion accessory, or something only free-born Englishmen should be able to afford. How much easier it seems to demand free speech, a fair hearing and privacy for people "like us" than to extend asylum or protection from cruelty to a stranger. Liberty is not a cocktail party for the converted. Its strength comes from values applied day to day with a long memory and an even hand." – Guardian

Rachel Sylvester: How the credit crunch threatens to undermine the ambitious reform plans of all parties

"It is ironic that just as the Government is nationalising the banks, so politicians of all parties are looking to the private sector to run the public services. But the private sector doesn’t have the money. In the short term, the State may have to do more to help the flow of credit to achieve their long-term aim to create more choice. Already some on the Left are using the recession as an excuse to call for an end to market reforms. A country with debts heading for £2 trillion cannot avoid doing something pretty drastic to improve efficiencies in the public services. This is as much about politics as policy. The next election will be won by the party that shows it has a plan for the social reconstruction of the country as well as a strategy for fighting the economic war." – Rachel Sylvester writing in The Times

Northern Rock to reward 500 executives with bonusesDaily Mail

Alex Salmond meets Hillary Clinton in WashingtonBBC

Louis Susman tipped to be US ambassador in LondonTimes

Electoral Commission voices concerns over Glenrothes count BBC

Pro-nuclear Green candidate faces possible deselectionIndependent

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11 comments for: Tuesday 24th February 2009

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