9.30pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Derek Draper has used the S-word; will the Prime Minister follow suit?

8pm ToryDiary: Pressure builds on Brown to apologise for the McBride affair – and just what did Tom Watson know about it?

Noon Latest on CentreRight:

ToryDiary: Damian McBride's emails are symptomatic of this Labour administration's history of character assassination

Anthony Scholefield on Platform: Why the Great Depression did not return after WWII and the resulting lessons for today's policy makers

Mark Wallace in Local Government: Windsor and Maidenhead Council has delivered on its promise of transparency – others must now follow suit

WATCH: Tories demand apology from Gordon Brown over smear emails

Damian McBride resigns "Vile and vicious": Details of Damian McBride and Derek Draper's email exchange aimed at smearing senior Conservatives are published

"The shocking extent of planned smears against the Tories which led to the resignation of Gordon Brown's most trusted aide last night are revealed today by the News of the World… We can disclose that the unfounded smears included a story that Conservative leader David Cameron has an
embarrassing medical condition… McBride and Draper also planned to plant a story about the fragile mental
state of George Osborne's wife Frances in the wake of the Yachtgate row over
claims Mr Osborne sought a £50,000 party donation from a Russian billionaire
while on holiday. There were absolutely no grounds for such a claim." – News of the World

"The scurrilous suggestions and lurid language in the e-mail triggered panic in Downing Street yesterday but one person was clearly impressed. “Absolutely totally brilliant Damian,” fired back Draper 20 minutes after receiving McBride’s message in January. “I’ll think about timing and sort out the technology this week so we can go as soon as possible.” If the smear campaign being hatched by McBride had gone ahead, it would have set the scene for one of the dirtiest general election campaigns in recent history." – Sunday Times

Chris Grayling demands an apology and explanation from Gordon Brown…

"The detail of these emails that are now emerging is shocking and completely unacceptable. These are blatant lies cooked up in Downing Street by one of the Prime Minister's key advisers. Mr Brown hasn't even had the decency to apologise. His statement was unacceptable. This is an exceptionally serious matter and he needs to explain immediately what happened and how such defamatory comments came to be issued from Downing street." – Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling quoted by the Press Association

DORRIES NADINE …as does Nadine Dorries, who threatens legal action against McBride

"A Tory MP featured in the ‘smear’ emails sent by Damian McBride welcomed his resignation last night – but warned she may still sue him for defamation… 'To say I’m livid is an understatement. Damian McBride has slandered me in these emails and I am currently consulting lawyers. I also want a personal apology from the Prime Minister, who must have known that these sorts of dirty tricks were going on'." – Mail on Sunday

Questions raised about the involvement of Cabinet Office minister, Tom Watson

"Tom Watson, the Cabinet Office minister, was also facing questions after it emerged that McBride referred in one of the emails to Watson "looking at other stories for Labour List", Draper's website on leftwing policy. However, Downing Street sources insisted Watson had been discussing an entirely separate announcement about Labour party staffing, which could be posted on the authorised site, rather than being involved in the gossip project nicknamed Red Rag." – Observer

Matthew d'Ancona: The McBride scandal shows just how out of touch Labour is

"The voters have really, truly, definitely, had enough of Labour. And a few smears directed at the Conservatives aren't going to change that, however vicious or salacious. In the end, that kind of campaigning only signals to everyone how bare the cupboard actually is. He who smears, fears." – Matthew d'Anona writing in the Sunday Telegraph

"Juvenile or not, the buck stops with Brown"

"Downing Street tried to limit the damage caused by the emails smearing leading Tories by dismissing them as ‘juvenile’. It is a tactic that the perpetrator Damian McBride – a man steeped in New Labour’s toxic culture of spin – probably suggested himself before he was forced to resign. But it won’t work. Gordon Brown stands starkly implicated by this affair… The Prime Minister has a track record for licensing political thuggery, dating back to the days when he used Charlie Whelan as a battering ram against his Blairite enemies." – Mail on Sunday editorial

"When he accepted the Labour leadership and the premiership of this country two years ago, Gordon Brown promised “a different kind of politics”, one that was more open and honest. He would be guided, he said, by the “moral compass” that had been provided by years of listening to his father’s sermons… The prime minister, having promised a new era, is knee deep in the worst aspects of new Labour spin." – Sunday Times editorial

GUIDO McBride's resignation is a "victory for the blogosphere"

"It is a clear victory for the blogosphere over the political establishment. Mr McBride's emails found their way to Paul Staines, who blogs under the pseudonym Guido Fawkes. The spin doctor was then effortlessly unspun. The lesson is clear. The command-and-control approach to information, mastered by New Labour, looks outdated in the digital age." – Observer editorial

Iain Dale on Derek Draper and political bloggingSunday Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary posts:

Cameron will cut the cost of politics by axeing 60 MPs

"David Cameron is drawing up proposals to reduce the number of MPs at Westminster by between 60 and 65, amid intense public anger over the abuse of parliamentary expenses. The Tory leader’s plan, which is expected to be a manifesto pledge, would involve an overhaul of constituency boundaries and require the scrapping of a long-standing rule that constituencies should not cross county borders." – Sunday Times

Lord Baker argues the case for reducing the number of MPsSunday Telegraph

CARSWELL DOUGLAS Douglas Carswell questions the Speaker's globe-trotting

"The Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, was embroiled in a fresh row over his lavish lifestyle yesterday, as it emerged that he had spent nearly a week on a taxpayer-funded trip to the United Arab Emirates…Douglas Carswell, a Tory MP, said: “I have nothing against Michael Martin personally, but I think he should have spent the recess trying to clean up Westminster, not racking up an ever higher bill for the taxpayer. Westminster stinks, and part of the rot is MPs and their expenses, and if you had a Speaker who was up to the job of being Speaker, he would have called time on this nonsense.” – Independent on Sunday

Tory MPs raise questions after riot at Ashwell Prison

"Edward Garnier, Conservative MP for nearby Harborough, said the
Government needed to address the issue of overcrowding in prisons. "Owing
to prison overcrowding it appears that Category B prisoners are being
pushed down to the C estate and people on the C estate are being pushed
out on to the D estate," he said. Alan Duncan, the local MP and
shadow leader of the House of Commons, called for an inquiry, saying:
"Questions must be asked about what sort of prisoners are now being
regarded as Category C and how this happened. There must be an inquiry
and a full investigation." – Sunday Telegraph

Thatcher "appalled" by Brown's spending spree

"Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is “appalled” by Gordon Brown’s handling of the economy, according to one of her closest allies. Lord Lamont revealed that Baroness Thatcher believes Britain is in economic crisis because the Labour leader has spent beyond the country’s means." – Sunday Express

Once you get started, you can find places to cut back the public sector everywhere – Richard Woods in the Sunday Times

Pensions Secretary attacks Tory support for marriage

"A new political battle over tax breaks for marriage has broken out with a Labour cabinet minister accusing the Conservatives of wanting to penalise children whose parents “have not walked down the aisle”. James Purnell, the work and pensions secretary, has criticised Tory plans to give tax incentives to married couples and those in civil partnerships and pledged to help struggling single parents instead. He claims that Conservative policy would result in children from broken families being “abandoned to poverty." – Sunday Times

Alan Watkins: There's nothing Gordon Brown can do now that the wind is blowing in the Conservatives' favour

"Mr Cameron has put his toe in the water but has yet to engage with any great force with the current of public opinion. The standard explanation is that Mr Cameron has had troubles of his own in his party, with the affair of Mr Derek Conway and his relations, and perhaps others, and that he does not want to add to his worries. The simpler explanation is that Mr Cameron does not have to do anything. The tide is against Mr Brown, just as it was against the Conservative government 12 years ago." – Alan Watkins in the Independent on Sunday

PORTILLO Michael Portillo compares Brown's impending downfall with that of John Major's Government

"As the Conservatives approached electoral disaster in 1997, I noticed that our erstwhile supporters were alienated less by our big failure – being forced out of the European exchange-rate mechanism – and more by a generalised feeling that life had become unfair. The government was somehow rewarding the undeserving while neglecting the self-reliant and law-abiding. I have the same feeling today. Unemployment and negative equity do the government no favours, but the malaise affecting Labour’s popularity is more complex. There is a broad perception that Britain is full of rogues who get away with it at the expense of the righteous." – Michael Portillo writing in the Sunday Times

65 MPs claim expenses for second home while renting out third propertySunday Telegraph

Scots Tories want joined-up approach to stop violent offenders from abroad coming to ScotlandBBC

Labour activists revolt over all-women shortlists Scotland on Sunday

Labour minister says US foreign policy on Pakistan is damaging BritainObserver


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