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8.30pm Iain Murray on CentreRight highlights the case of a family who perished in a fire after police told neighbours not to attempt to rescue them on the grounds of "health and safety"

7.30pm Local Government: Basildon Council scraps weekend parking charges

6.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Don't dress like a banker over the next few days

George Osborne Commons
5.30pm ToryDiary: George Osborne demands Lord Myners' resignation unless he can prove he didn't lie to Parliament

4.30pm ParliamentJohn Bowis says patients will be able to seek healthcare across the EU

4.30pm Iain Murray on CentreRight welcomes tomorrow's pro-capitalism counter-demonstration in ther City of London

4pm ToryDiary: Liberal Democrats are stirring up "hatred" towards Israel

3.30pm ParliamentWill the UK have to deploy troops to Pakistan?

2pm WATCH:

12.30pm ToryDiary: Submit your questions for the candidates standing to be chairman of the National Conservative Convention

Caroline Flint MP11.45am Parliament: Europe Minister Caroline Flint admits she has not read the Lisbon Treaty

11.30am Mark Field MP on CentreRight: "At the very heart of the problem over allowances and expenses is the fact that repeatedly parliament has failed to bite the bullet and increase MPs’ salaries. Thereby a green light has been given to the culture of racking up the expenses and allowances system as a way of playing catch up."

11am Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: It's official – Conservative politicians are better dressed than their Labour counterparts (according to GQ magazine)

10.45am Charlie Elphicke on CentreRight: "If you are a benefits cheat, why should you feel any shame when the employment minister acts as he does? If you are a peddler of filth or a fraudster, why should you feel any shame when the Home Secretary, who is meant to uphold the criminal law, acts as she does?"

ToryDiary: 87% of Conservatives members would like Dan Hannan to have prime speaking slot at Party Conference

DeborahThomas470 Deborah Thomas on Platform: Let us say proudly, “Yes, we will be a do nothing party, if the only alternative is to make things worse”

Seats and Candidates: Edwin Northover selected for Leyton and Wanstead

Local Government:

WATCH: The BBC's Iain Watson on last night's arrest at the Commons of a man who, like him, had attended a reception hosted by Eric Pickles

CAMERON SERIOUS David Cameron takes pay freeze as Opposition leader as MPs get 2.3% rise

"MPs are set to provoke public anger by taking a £1,500 pay rise from tomorrow at a time when many workers are facing pay cuts… David Cameron said that he and the handful of other senior opposition figures who receive a salary above the basic backbencher's pay would not take a pay rise. Sources also said the Tories believed that the ministerial pay freeze should continue for another year and that Mr Cameron would implement one if in government." – The Times

Publication of MPs' expenses prompts fresh calls for a review

"MPs claimed an average of almost £145,000 each in taxpayer-funded allowances last year – a rise of more than £8,000, new figures disclosed yesterday… Gordon Brown last night called for an independent inquiry into MPs' perks to quickly draw up plans for an alternative system. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, also agreed that the £24,000-a-year allowance needed urgent change. Mr Cameron said that the ACA was the "deeper problem" with expenses and called for "a quick review, right now — sort it out and come up with an answer." – Daily Telegraph

Labour MP claims expenses receipts are "on sale for £300,000"BBC

"In one sense, it is rank hypocrisy that any journalist should bash poor Jacqui Smith for inadvertently claiming her husband's porn films on expenses. As anyone with any experience of Her Majesty's Press can testify, the expenses claim is the genre where the reporter is expected to exercise whatever creative gifts he or she may possess." – Boris Johnson writing in the Daily Telegraph

"Although some have sought to make this a story about "Labour sleaze" few Conservatives have tried to do so. They know they are in line for an onslaught too. One of the reasons David Cameron has not made a breakthrough on the scale of Tony Blair in the mid-1990s is his party too is infected by the broader disillusionment." – Steve Richards in The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Jacqui Smith case highlights the need for an urgent review into MPs' expenses

George Osborne on Nationwide's takeover of Dunfermline

"A promise to guarantee the jobs of about 300 branch staff at Dunfermline Building Society was key to swinging a sweetheart deal for Nationwide Building Society to take on the viable parts of the business, The Times has learnt… opposition parties blamed the Financial Services Authority for failing to monitor Dunfermline's lending appropriately. George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, said: “Management must take primary responsibility for taking a safe building society and turning it into a high-risk property speculator — but why did the FSA allow them to do it?” – The Times

People oppose Gordon Brown's emphasis on global solutions to the economic crisis

"The public overwhelmingly wants Gordon Brown to turn his attention to the British economy rather than seek a global solution to the recession, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent… ComRes puts the Conservatives 12 points ahead of Labour, down from 16 last month. The Tories are on 40 per cent (down four points on last month), Labour 28 per cent (no change), Liberal Democrats 18 per cent (up one point) and other parties 14 per cent (up three)" – The Independent

> Last night's ToryDiary: New ComRes poll puts Tory lead at 12%

CLARK GREG 2 Greg Clark questions plan to sell off UK Atomic Energy Authority’s unit

"A sell-off of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s commercial nuclear clean-up business was announced by the government on Monday, prompting Conservative accusations of a “fire sale”. The privatisation of some or all of UKAEA Limited is expected to raise about £50m ($71m) for the government, and represents one of the final sales from Britain’s state-owned nuclear industry. On Monday night, the Tories questioned whether selling the business in the “fire sale environment” of the financial crisis would reap the maximum return for the taxpayer. “Britain needs to be building up its nuclear capabilities,” said Greg Clark, the shadow energy secretary." – FT

Tory MP's fury as mother dies of superbug

"A senior Conservative MP demanded an inquiry yesterday into 'shocking' failures of care after his elderly mother died of the hospital superbug C. diff. Nigel Evans spoke out following his 86-year- old mother Betty's agonising death from the infection, which kills thousands of patients every year. He demanded to know why she hadn't been tested for clostridium difficile sooner and criticised doctors for the off-hand way in which they told the family she had died." – Daily Mail

Andrew Lansley pledges to protect nurse whistleblowers

"The Conservatives have promised to introduce clauses into the contracts of nurses and other NHS staff allowing them to ‘whistleblow’ anonymously and with guaranteed protection from any disciplinary action. Unveiling plans to fight what the Conservatives call the ‘closed culture’ in the health service, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley pledged last week to introduce a number of measures to help NHS staff and patients expose failings within services, if his party won the next election." – Nursing Times

CPS paper: BBC should only make programmes the market wouldn't provide

"The BBC comes under fire today in a new report on public service broadcasting which accuses the corporation of being a "me-too broadcaster with a serial record of imitation". The paper by the Centre for Policy Studies said the BBC's remit should be reduced over time to include only those programmes and services which the market would not provide." – The Independent

Scottish RC Bishop praises Tories to the heavens

"One of Scotland's Catholic bishops has given his support to the Conservative Party for the next general election. Joe Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell, has written a letter to David Cameron, praising the Tory leader for his stance on family values." – Scotsman

Police use CS spray to halt Commons fight

"Police used CS spray to break up a scuffle in the Houses of Parliament last night, arresting a man who was a guest at a drinks reception hosted by Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles." – Independent

UK troops begin Iraqi withdrawalBBC

Canadian judge upholds ban on George GallowayGuardian

Sarkozy threat to walk out of G20 summitTimes

Five million people now on DNA databaseDaily Telegraph

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20 comments for: Tuesday 31st March 2009

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