6.15pm Local Government: The senior Labour councillor too embarrassed to admit his party affiliation

5.30pm ToryDiary: Boris Johnson shows the way on spending cuts

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5.30pm WATCH: Daniel Hannan MEP accuses Gordon Brown of sounding "like a Brezhnev-era apparatchik giving the party line"

4pm Parliament: Michael Howard highlights National Audit Office warning on banking – from 2004

3.45pm Parliament: Dominic Grieve attacks Government on constitutional reform

3.30pm ToryDiary: George Osborne declares Mervyn King's opposition to a further fiscal stimulus as a "defining moment"

3pm WATCH Two videos on the new counter-terrorism strategy:

2.45pm Local Government: What is your council doing to promote Business Rates discounts?

1.15pm Robert Halfon on CentreRight: A duty of care

12.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron says the Conservatives would bring "law and order" to the financial markets

10.15am Parliament: Why shouldn't the Government hold DNA samples?

9.30am ToryDiary: An open reply to Daniel Finkelstein on 45p

Pickles grpahic

DSC05159 ToryDiary: "I want to be forgotten as party chairman… The really successful party chairmen are the ones you don't really remember": Eric Pickles talks to ConservativeHome two months into his new role

Syed Kamall MEP on Platform: The G20 must reject protectionism and tear down barriers to free trade

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government:


WATCH: Review into MPs' expenses confirmed

Ken Clarke black background Ken Clarke back in line on inheritance tax cut policy

"David Cameron promised yesterday that he would cut inheritance tax in his first five-year term if he becomes prime minister despite the "black hole" in the public finances. The Tory leader brushed aside the doubts expressed by Kenneth Clarke, the shadow Business Secretary, who downgraded the proposal to abolish death duties on estates worth than less than £1m to an "aspiration" and suggested it might not be affordable. Later Mr Clarke was forced into line, and said the reduction remained official Tory policy. Mr Cameron decided it would be a breach of faith with the voters to abandon the flagship promise his party made in 2007. "A promise is a promise," he told aides yesterday, adding that he was determined to end the "tax on aspiration". – The Independent

"Philip Hammond, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that the policy will be put in place in the first term of a Cameron government. But when asked if that could mean it taking four to five years to implement, he said: "Well, it could be." – Daily Telegraph

"Gordon Brown yesterday seized on Tory plans to take all but millionaires out of inheritance tax, mocking the party for making "the many come to the aid of the few", and signalling an attack likely to be central to the Labour party's general election fight." – The Guardian

> Sunday evening's ToryDiary: Official line is that the inheritance tax cut will be delivered in first parliament of Tory government

Steve Richards: Clarke wasn't mistaken – just honest

"Kenneth Clarke is a misunderstood political figure. "Good old Ken … he's not very hot on the policy detail" seems to be the general view. And, of course, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Mr Clarke enters a broadcasting studio without checking on the latest facts and figures or indeed his party's own policies. He enjoys the art of political interviews and is one of the better artists; the idea of preparing for such events is anathema to him." – Steve Richards in The Independent

The Daily Mail questions whether David Cameron will be able to afford to recognise couples who stay together

"The flagship Tory promise to end the tax credit penalty paid by couples with children has been thrown into doubt by the recession, it emerged yesterday. Under Labour's tax and benefits system parents who split up can end up better off than those who stay together. David Cameron has pledged to help the estimated 1.8million families who lose out by staying together  -  with the £3billion cost of the scheme being met with savings from the welfare budget. That budget, however, is now rocketing as greater demands are put on it by the deepening recession." – Daily Mail

Why tax cuts can help revive the economy

"We should remember the lesson that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher taught when they inherited two economies in the doldrums. Cutting tax rates not only puts more money in people's pockets, helping the economy, but increases the tax take, as the rich don't bother to dodge the taxman. That's why President Obama's stimulus package included £194billion of tax cuts. Shouldn't Britain follow this lead – with bold tax cuts – and help pay for them by slicing billions off public sector budgets?" – Daily Mail editorial

OSBORNE GEORGE PORTRAIT Osborne questions Lord Myners's position

“Each day brings more revelations about Paul Myners’ alleged involvement in offshore tax avoidance and his failure to stop Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension. It is difficult to see how Gordon Brown can, on the one hand, claim he is cracking down on offshore tax havens, and at the same time keep as a Treasury minister someone who appears to be involved in them.” – The Times

Greg Hands demands official investigation into Employment Minister Tony McNulty's use of parliamentary housing allowances

"Tony McNulty, the employment minister, came under further pressure last night over his claim for £60,000 in expenses for a constituency home where his parents live, when a Tory MP made an official complaint accusing him of breaking Commons rules. Greg Hands, the Tory MP for Hammersmith and Fulham, lodged a complaint with John Lyon, the parliamentary standards commissioner, saying McNulty was in breach of the rules since he did not appear to have stayed overnight regularly in the property in his Harrow constituency. The Labour MP, who has lived in Hammersmith since 2001, stopped claiming "second home" expenses for the Harrow home in January and said at the weekend that he had "always felt some discomfort in claiming the money". – The Guardian

Second minister attacked over second home allowance

"A Labour minister has been criticised for using taxpayer allowances to fund a second house in London when her family home is eight miles from Westminster. Dawn Butler, a junior whip, claimed almost her entire £23,000 allowance to help to pay for a second home in her constituency in northwest London. Opposition MPs demanded to know why she needed the taxpayer to help to buy another property when she could stay overnight in her family home in East London." – The Times

Gordon Brown calls for full review of MPs' pay and allowances

"Prime Minister Gordon Brown has written to the chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life calling for a full review of MPs' pay and allowances. This must look at "outside interests" including second jobs, he added." – BBC

Jonathan Aitken In praise of… Jonathan Aitken

"Fourteen years after Jonathan Aitken first denounced "the cancer of bitter and twisted journalism", then issued a series of libel writs against this paper, and finally fought a battle that ended in perjury and prison, no one should doubt that the former Tory cabinet minister is sorry for what he did. The seven months that he spent in jail could have left him a bitter man. Instead he has used his experience to expose a failing system." – Guardian editorial

> Sunday's ToryDiary: Jonathan Aitken proposes that rehabilitation should be the centrepiece of the prison system in new CSJ report

Boris Johnson suggests that G20 anti-capitalist protesters would be well advised to back his call for free trade

"In a spirit of compassion, let me give the G20 protesters the slogan they need. Here is a demand they could make that would transform the lives and hopes of millions of the poorest people on earth. It is a global stimulus package that doesn't involve borrowing untold trillions from future generations. It is something the world's leaders have been trying and failing to do for the past nine years, and if I were the man with the megaphone my cry would be: "What do we want? The completion of the Doha Round of world trade talks! When do we want it? Now!" – Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph

Jacqui Smith warns Tories that abolishing ID cards will only cost £40m

"Scrapping plans for a national identity card scheme would cost £40 million, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said yesterday. In an attack on the Conservatives, who have pledged to abolish the scheme, Ms Smith said doing so would "not free up a large fund of money to spend on other priorities"… Outside the Commons, Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, accused Ms Smith of "poison pill" tactics to increase costs for a future Conservative administration. He said: "The government is deliberately making it as expensive as possible for a future government to scrap ID cards." – The Scotsman

Deflation to return to UK after nearly 50 years

"Deflation will officially return to Britain today after an absence of nearly 50 years, when government data is expected to show that the retail prices index – the country's broadest measure of inflation – has turned negative. After the indicator barely scraped over zero to 0.1% in January, another month of tumbling interest rates, collapsing house prices, and lower gas and electricity charges is expected by economists and City experts to have pushed February's figure to about -0.8%." – The Guardian

Gordon Brown will address the European Parliament in Strasbourg todayBBC

Details of new anti-terror strategy to be publishedBBC

HAGUE-SMILING And finally… William Hague backs campaign to give  Wensleydale cheese special protection

"Wensleydale cheese made in Yorkshire could finally receive special protection within months. The Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes is hoping to get approval from the European Union before the end of the year to stop impersonators using its name… The creamery's managing director, David Hartley, welcomed the progress at an event to promote the cheese at Claridge's in London yesterday, backed by Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague, MP for Richmond and a keen fan of the product… Mr Hague said only 16 products from this country – including Cornish clotted cream and Shetland lamb – have the protected status. "It would be a great achievement if real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese could join them," he added. "Once you've tasted real Yorkshire Wensleydale there's a distinctive quality no substitute can match." – Yorkshire Post


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