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5.30pm Parliament: Tory frontbencher, Henry Bellingham, accuses Church of England of "deafening silence" on basic Christian beliefs

5,30pm Julia Manning on CentreRight: Still waiting for IT to deliver better health

2pm Parliament: Should the Government spend more on clean energy research?

5PCCUT ToryDiary: MPs must lead the way in preparing for the 'austerity Parliament'

12.45pm Parliament: Government still too slow to act on Equitable Life

12.30pm Local Government:

11.15am ToryDiary: 'We miss him' (David Cameron talks to ITV about Ivan)

CameronPunched 11.15am WATCH:

11am Tom Greeves on CentreRight breaks down Dan Hannan's speech

10.15am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: Could we see a new global currency?

ToryDiary: Tory MPs mull anti-BNP tactics

WilliamNorton William Norton on Platform: "The Government’s proposed new 45% income tax band for people earning over £150,000 will not raise any money"

MarkField470 Mark Field MP on CentreRight: Telling voters the truth may improve our prospects at the General Election (and it will certainly give us a mandate)

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight highlights a truly awful YouTube video from Welsh Labour

Local government:

YouGov: Tories 10% ahead, Two-thirds want public spending reduced Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

Liberal Democrats drop vow to cut tax burden

Clegg-looking-back "Nick Clegg on Thursday abandoned the Liberal Democrats’ short-lived pledge to go into the next election promising net tax cuts, urging his party to confront the painful reality that the state will have to shrink."

The FT reports that Nick Clegg also identifies new areas for spending cuts, including Trident, university expansion and Gordon Brown's baby bonds scheme.

When will the Tories come clean on tax and spending?The Economist's Bagehot

How can Tories improve public services but make cuts? – Policy Exchange writes for PublicService.co.uk

Simon Carr: The Tory leadership is winning the debate… but Tory MPs are behaving like children

"Bear in mind that David Cameron's position of fiscal rectitude is now the way things are flowing. He had been derided for being isolated – then, gradually, European heads came out on his side, and the US Congress is moving more his way than Gordon's… How did his followers react? The Tories laughed. They slapped their thighs when Darling claimed "the Bank of England fully agrees with us". They rocked forward and back. It fills them with a sense of election-winning elation. Rewind a moment: the Government policy is so flawed it will destroy five years of jobs, revenues and the public finances. It will impoverish Britain for a generation and the Tories are… delighted?" – Simon Carr in The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Conservatives declare victory in the battle of the fiscal stimulus

Theresa Villiers pledges to reform Network Rail

VILLIERS THERESA NW "Theresa Villiers, shadow transport secretary, declared it was not “properly accountable to anyone” and had persistently failed to focus on the needs of its customers. At present Network Rail, a company limited by guarantee, is answerable to a large membership body of more than 100 members. The Tories said they would slash this “cumbersome” group to a smaller core of 10 to 20 with stronger powers to hold management to account." – FT

David Cameron backs wider inquiry into Binyam Mohamed torture allegationsconservatives.com

Brave Ivan made David 'stronger' – George Osborne tells The Sun

Tory MPs raise questions about BBC's failure to report Dan Hannan's speech which became a YouTube hitTelegraph

HANNAN DAN "The episode serves to show how utterly and irretrievably the internet has changed politics. In 24 hours, 380,000 people had watched a video before a word appeared on the BBC or in any newspaper. The Daily Telegraph was the first. The days when political journalists got to decide what was news are over. Ten or even five years ago, a dozen lobby correspondents would dictate the next day's headlines. Now, millions of bloggers and commentators come to an aggregate view." – Dan Hannan writing in The Telegraph

> WATCH: Jon Snow interviews Daniel Hannan MEP and Derek Draper on tonight's Channel Four News

Liam Fox: NATO must do more in Afghanistan

Writing for The Telegraph Liam Fox says that a greater commitment from NATO and better equipment for our troops must be part of any increased commitment to Afghanistan

Britain is preparing to send an extra 1,700 soldiers to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan – Telegraph

Ann Widdecombe: Labour throw more money at failed policies on sex education

WIDDECOMBE ANN NEW "'We've never had such a high rate of teenage pregnancy and we also have never had so much sex education and talking about freely available contraception.'" – Ann Widdecombe quoted in The Daily Mail

"Despite spending £280million over ten years on a campaign to stop teenagers getting pregnant, the figures are now the highest in a decade. Labour’s response, as per usual, is let’s chuck another £20million into a failed policy and let’s make it easier for girls to get contraception, including a text to get the morning-after pill." – Jon Gaunt in The Sun

The Economist highlights weaknesses in Tory schools policy

"It is unclear, though, that Sweden’s supply-side revolution can be replicated without letting private firms run state-funded schools, as that country does. (The Tories have decided that allowing schools to make profits from taxpayers would be a bad headline too far.) With public finances likely to be tight for years to come, this decision may constrain new capacity, since non-profit schools cannot finance start-up costs by borrowing against future income. Most ominously, both Mr Gove and the Tories’ leader, David Cameron, are fond of party-pleasing prescriptions, including policies for which proof of effectiveness is non-existent (school uniforms) or limited (insisting on synthetic phonics for teaching reading)… They may not yet understand what it means to give schools true independence." – Economist

Article-1164724-04184F65000005DC-92_468x468Families pay £720 more in council tax as bills rise 105% since Labour came to powerDaily Mail

> Click on the graphic on the right to enlarge > > >

Council tax rising three times as fast in the countryside as in towns – Telegraph

> Yesterday's Local government: Conservative Councils charge lower Council Tax than Labour and Lib Dems

Gordon Brown in talks to end ban on Catholics joining royal familyGuardian

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11 comments for: Friday 27th March 2009

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