4.15pm Policy Exchange's Ben Caldecott on CentreRight: What would Churchill have done about the environmental challenges we face?
3.45pm Iain Murray on CentreRight is distressed that Boris Johnson "has once again fallen for the hype of green jobs"
2.15pm Local Government:
- Westminster Council forced to waste millions on new CCTV cameras
- Haringey Council spins out of control
2pm WATCH Two videos relating to the Home Secretary's current difficulties:
- Should David Cameron order a temporary 5% cut in MPs' pay? Should the Tories spell out their tax plans? Would you like Dan Hannan to be your MP?
- Don Porter reflects on his time as the most senior volunteer in the Conservative Party after a total of nine years on the Board
Julia Manning on CentreRight proposes that MPs should introduce a voluntary code on pay and allowances, including an immediate pay cut
"David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has said that the restoration of family values and a new commitment to economic and social responsibility are key to repairing "broken Britain". He promised that a Tory government would "lead by example," by paying off public debt and curbing spending while supporting parents, teachers and doctors to take the right decisions. And he delivered a hard-hitting attack on irresponsible benefits cheats and bankers, saying that the culture of relying on others and thinking only of oneself "must end". – Daily Telegraph
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Government can't ignore family break up, says Cameron
Tories could win "up to ten" Welsh seats
"The party believes it has a good chance of winning as many as 10 Welsh seats, and is keen to talk up any success here to counter any suggestion they are an “English” party… The Conservatives already hold Clwyd West, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Monmouth, and are targeting seats with small Labour majorities including Cardiff North, the Vale of Glamorgan and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. They are also hoping for wins in new seat Aberconwy, and in ostensibly safer Labour seats such as Clwyd South, Gower and Bridgend." – Western Mail
Conservatives raise questions over Jacqui Smith's future
"The husband of Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, made a shame-faced public apology to his wife yesterday – but not to the taxpayer – for claiming the cost of watching two pornographic films on parliamentary expenses… Philip Davies, a Tory MP, said: "It is surely not legitimate to use Commons second-home allowances to buy blue movies. If this is true, I cannot see how she can survive." – The Independent
"Mr Cameron said that whilst the current issue around Jacqui Smith's expenses isn't a resigning issue, she still has questions to answer over her use of the second home allowance. He also accused the Prime Minister of offering "a very confused message" about the response to the global economic crisis, saying it should be focused on getting trade going. He said of the revelations about Jacqui Smith’s use of expenses, “it’s obviously deeply embarrassing for the Home secretary and the government.” Asked whether the Home secretary should resign he said, “I don’t think this individual thing is the issue. I think she has got some questions to answer over the second home issue.” – David Cameron's appearance on GMTV recorded by PoliticsHome
Expelled (ex-)Tory donor Stuart Wheeler says party line on Europe is not firm enough
"A Conservative party donor expelled after he gave £100,000 to UKIP has accused Tory leader David Cameron of not being firm enough on Europe. Stuart Wheeler said if he was elected Mr Cameron should pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty." – BBC
"Yes We Cam"
"David Cameron’s credentials as Britain’s PM-in-waiting will get a mega boost this week — as Barack Obama takes time out during his historic London visit for talks with the Tory leader. Jubilant Conservatives will hail it as proof the US President thinks they are on course to win the next election. Meanwhile the meeting is poised to leave Gordon Brown livid." – The Sun
"Overcrowding will worsen on several of Britain's busiest rail lines because the Government has quietly cancelled plans for more than 300 additional carriages… Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary, said: “Three consecutive transport secretaries have promised these extra carriages, and now it turns out to be a con. With passengers struggling with sub-cattle-class overcrowding and sky-high fares, the least they can ask is for Labour to live up to its claims on extra carriages.” – The Times
…as decline in tube use threatens its revamp
"London Underground carried 1 million fewer passengers in January, as City job cuts threaten to widen a multibillion pound funding gap in the tube network. The decline in journeys brought warnings of financial problems for the London mayor, Boris Johnson." – The Guardian
Boris's green economy could create thousands of jobs
"Up to 15,000 jobs could be created each year in London by 2025 as a result of Boris Johnson's plans to cut energy and tackle climate change, says a report. The report, by Ernst & Young, bases its figures on the mayor's plans to make buildings more energy-efficient and building waste and recycling plants." – BBC
Patrick Mercer welcomes "smart ID cards" for veterans
"Four million former servicemen and women are to be given veterans' cards to ensure they get priority treatment for NHS healthcare and housing, and discounts for services such as transport… The Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, former commanding officer with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, said: "It is about bloody time. At last, a reasonable, sensible minister [Kevan Jones] who listens to ideas from across the political spectrum." – The Independent
Philip Johnston highlights Ray Mallon's Centre for Social Justice report on policing
"The study, carried out by a team chaired by Ray Mallon, the former Middlesbrough police commander nicknamed Robocop, found that one question kept popping up: "What do we want the police to do?" The report correctly concludes that before there is any more talk about structural reform, this basic question needs to be answered." – Daily Telegraph
Bruce Anderson: Cameron was "shrewd" on 45p
"David Cameron has refused to reject Labour's plans for a 45 pence top rate. He is not going to fall into a black hole trap. Messrs Brown and Darling would like to spend half the election campaign pitching into the Tories for a couple of billions in tax cuts, thus distracting attention from the vast budget deficits and the soaring national debt. Mr Cameron has upset some Tories. But it was a shrewd move" – Bruce Anderson in The Independent
Czech PM Mirek Topolánek: A fiscal stimulus would not be prudent for EU countries – The Times
Husband and wife Labour MPs build up £250,000 nest egg on taxpayer – Daily Telegraph
Zac Goldsmith answers Independent readers' questions – Independent
Nationwide rakes over Dunfermline Building Society – BBC
Berlusconi seeks more power after party merger – The Times
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