5.45pm ToryDiary: Where to send donations in memory of Ivan Cameron

4.30pm Greg Hands on CentreRight: All eyes are on Brown meeting Obama – but when will he have a proper meeting with Vladimir Putin?

4pm WATCH: The parliamentary tributes to Ivan Cameron in full

3pm Local Government: Matthew Elliott responds to Daniel Moylan’s attack on the TaxPayers’ Alliance

2.45pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight responds to Mark Field on the issue of banks printing money

2pm Jill Kirby on CentreRight: So, Harriet, are you sorry for the wasted years?

Noon ToryDiary: Brown, Hague, Cable and Speaker Martin pay tribute to Ivan Cameron as PMQs is cancelled

9.45pm Parliament: Are the Government doing enough to tackle the Chinese on human rights?

9.30am ToryDiary: Ivan Cameron has died

ToryDiary: Should the Conservative Opposition do more opposing?

Jonathan Delaney on Platform: Today’s world leaders are leaders in name only

Seats and Candidates:

And two selections in Yorkshire last night:

Markfieldmp Mark Field on CentreRight: "Printing money now would simply represent more of the same. I fear it will lead this nation to fiscal and monetary ruin."

Local Government:

WATCH: President Obama makes first address to joint session of Congress

Clarkekenlong Ken Clarke confirms Tory backing for part-privatisation of the Post Office…

"The Conservatives pledged yesterday to support the Government over the sale of a third of Royal Mail and warned Gordon Brown against caving in to his Labour opponents. In a move that appeared to guarantee that Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, would get his way, Kenneth Clarke promised to vote for the part-privatisation plan. Only a handful of Tory MPs would oppose it, he said." – The Times

…as a ComRes survey suggests there is opposition to the plans across all sides of the chamber

"The survey of 154 MPs from all parties found that only 28 per cent of Labour backbenchers back the Government’s line that a part-privatisation deal is the only way to safeguard the long-term future of the Royal Mail, while 58 per cent oppose it – a margin of more than 2-1 against. There is more support among Tory MPs, 64 per cent of whom support the Government’s approach. But 28 per cent oppose it, suggesting that some Tories may join with the Labour rebels to oppose the Bill. Among the Liberal Democrats, 53 per cent endorse the partial sell-off while 43 per cent reject the idea." – Independent

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on the issue

Dominic Grieve backs Jack Straw over blocking the release of Cabinet minutes on Iraq War

"Details of cabinet discussions held in the run-up to the Iraq war are to be kept secret after the Government decided to take the unprecedented step of vetoing their publication. Campaigners had demanded to see the minutes of two meetings, on 13 and 17 March 2003, amid allegations that the Cabinet failed to discuss properly or challenge the decision to invade Iraq. The legality of the war was also discussed at the meetings… The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, said releasing the minutes risked doing "serious damage" to the frank discussions that take place around the cabinet table… The Tories backed the Government’s decision to block the release of the minutes, but the shadow Justice Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said the verdict left an "overwhelming case" for a full public inquiry into the waging of war in Iraq." – Independent

George Osborne brands Brown a "headless chicken" over bank bail-out…

"The Prime Minister has been accused of behaving like a "headless chicken" after it emerged the government was giving Lloyds Banking Group a £480 billion discount on loan interest… George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said the government showed a lack of direction over how to handle the economic crisis. "Britain’s recession is made worse by the fact that there is no coherent government plan, no clear sense of direction and no confidence in a Prime Minister who is behaving with the frenzy of a headless chicken." – Scotsman

…and declares savers to be the "innocent victims" of the recession

"Households withdrew a record £75million a day from their savings last month, figures have shown. Over the whole of January £2.28billion was pulled out of personal accounts, the highest monthly figure since the British Bankers’ Association began its records more than a decade ago. … Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, said: ‘Here is further evidence that savers are the innocent victims of Gordon Brown’s recession. We need to help them now by abolishing the basic rate tax on savings and build a long-term economy not founded on debt’." – Daily Mail

The Guardian’s G2 supplement profiles David Cameron…

"David Cameron is potentially only months away from being Britain’s prime minister. But does he know what he wants to do with power, and what does he actually stand for?" – Guardian G2 profile

…as the paper asks in a leader: Where is Cameron’s Tory project headed?

"Labour is in the doldrums, at 30%, but the Conservatives have not found trade winds of their own. At 42% the party’s rating is a squeak above its average in ICM polls over the year; Labour is just below its average, and the 12-point gap between them is typical. Enough for a workable victory, perhaps – but not yet evidence of a nation gripped by prospective transformation… he has taken his party from nowhere to the brink of office. Along the way, the Conservatives have evolved. How that evolution is to continue is unclear." – Guardian editorial

New_thatcher_portrait_for_downing_s Baroness Thatcher returns to Downing Street today to unveil new portrait

"Baroness Thatcher will return today to 10 Downing Street to unveil a portrait that captures her at the height of her power 27 years ago. The event marks only the third time a living ex-prime minister has had their painted portrait on display in Downing Street, after David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. But instead of the prestigious occasion it was supposed to have been, today’s unveiling has become mired in controversy and infighting… When Lady Thatcher was asked who she would like to invite and supplied a list of names, all but one of whom worked with her during her Downing Street years. The odd one out was David Cameron, who was 12 years old when Mrs Thatcher came to power. Someone from Downing Street called back to inquire whether she really wanted this person to be present. The result was an outcry from the Conservatives, who alleged that a petty-minded Labour Prime Minister was trying to ban Mr Cameron from the event." – Independent

Tory music taskforce announces schools’ national music week

"The Conservative Party’s Music Taskforce has announced proposals for an annual national music week, aimed at improving music education in schools. Plans for the event, unveiled today by shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, include visits to schools by UK artists and the encouragement of local and regional school music competitions. The Tory party said the week would end with a televised national competition to find the “finest” school orchestra." – The Stage

Andrew Porter: The Tories should scrap PCSOs

"These ridiculous plastic policemen are an affront. They are a product of David Blunkett’s weak-willed and politically correct tenure at the Home Office and Cameron and Grayling should have the courage to say so. So far the Tory leader has retreated into saying that they can offer a deterrent. Really? The PCSOs offer nothing but fluorescent-jacketed incompetence. A recent report found that a team of PCSOs – which has cost the taxpayer £10 million – has handed out just 15 fines. That means each fixed penalty notice cost more than £650,000 in public money. Brilliant. To watch these employees – I can’t face calling them officers – trying to deal with anything on the streets of London and elsewhere has been a dispiriting experience in recent years…. Grayling should announce that an incoming Tory government would scrap the PCSOs." – The Telegraph’s political editor Andrew Porter writing on the paper’s Three Line Whip blog

Fight against terror "spells end of privacy"

"Privacy rights of innocent people will have to be sacrificed to give the security services access to a sweeping range of personal data, one of the architects of the government’s national security strategy has warned. Sir David Omand, the former Whitehall security and intelligence co-ordinator, sets out a blueprint for the way the state will mine data – including travel information, phone records and emails – held by public and private bodies and admits: "Finding out other people’s secrets is going to involve breaking everyday moral rules." – Guardian

Boris_thumbs_up Boris cleared of breaching code of conduct over "Greengate" – but warned his conduct was unwise

"Boris Johnson’s role in the Damian Green affair was "extraordinary and unwise" but did not amount to an abuse of office, a new report has found. The independent report prepared for the London Assembly by solicitor Jonathan Goolden cleared the mayor of breaking its code of conduct." – BBC

> Yesterday’s post on the news

Rail groups ordered to cut fares for commutersTimes

Army is fighting British jihadists in AfghanistanIndependent

Former Tory MP Jonathan Sayeed misled consumers over "PatientPak" kitsTimes

London Underground MD resignsGuardian

First Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland meeting Brown todayBBC

President Obama vows that the US will emerge stronger than ever before from the economic crisis in first speech to CongressBBC

Picture_3 And finally… You couldn’t make it up: Pensioner given criminal record for hitting teenager with church minutes

"Alma Harding, a retired post-mistress, who gave a teenager a clip round the ear with the rolled-up minutes of a church council meeting to stop him vandalising a village green has been given a criminal record for battery. Mrs Harding, 63, described as a "pillar of the community", was found guilty by magistrates in a case she angrily criticised as a "waste of time and money". Mrs Harding had to spend £2,270 on a legal team to defend herself, and wept in the dock as she was convicted at Newton Abbot Magistrates Court in Devon. The court heard that the 4ft 11ins pensioner confronted a 13-year-old boy, who is three inches taller than her, after she saw him and two friends playing football near some flower beds and swinging from a chain around a war memorial in Kenton, near Exeter." – Daily Telegraph


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