6.45pm Latest on CentreRight:
- Daniel Hamilton on the wasteful, pointless charade that is the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific / European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly
- Ridley Grove is worried about the threat of the BNP
Rupert Matthews on Platform: Examining our opponents' European policies – the Liberal Democrats
Gordon Brown last night said Pakistan had to do more to tackle terrorism after it emerged that 11 of the 12 suspects seized in raids by police were on student visas from that country… Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said the government must "urgently step up" background checks on students coming to Britain from countries linked to terror. He said: "The government admits that student visas are a major loophole in our border controls. Given these latest revelations, we need to urgently step up monitoring of applications from parts of the world where we face terror issues." – The Scotsman
Al-Qaeda was planning "Easter spectacular" in Manchester – Daily Telegraph
Jacqui Smith and Boris Johnson in spat over Quick resignation
"Boris Johnson has been accused of pre-empting the police by announcing the resignation of counter-terrorism chief Bob Quick. Mr Johnson's office says he was within his rights as chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority to make the announcement in a BBC radio interview. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith had wanted it to be handled by the police. Sources say she is "irritated" by Mr Johnson's intervention – but his office insists there is no row." – BBC
Andrew Lansley raps what The Sun terms the "National Hut Service"
"Thousands of NHS patients are being treated in Portakabins because there is no cash to fix old hospital buildings. Makeshift wards have been set up in car parks and ops carried out in mobile huts… Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Too many patients are treated in substandard conditions. Portakabins do not offer the dignity and service standards they deserve.” – The Sun
"The Tories are no example for the US Republicans"
"Many Conservatives here fear Mr. Cameron will become prime minister, only to be quickly exposed as a poll-driven "heir to Blair" who treads water a few years and then loses. What every American should understand is that this is not a test of "modern conservatism." It's a test only of whether an opposition that voices no coherent ideology can succeed when the ruling party stumbles." – Kimberley Strassel writing in the Wall Street Journal
Ex-Standards in Public Life committee chairman questions Sinn Fein allowances
“It seems to me very difficult to claim allowances to support your work as a Member of Parliament if you are not fulfilling the basic requirements of that job, ie attending Westminster to represent your constituents.” – Sir Alistair Graham quoted in the Belfast Telegraph
> Wednesday's ToryDiary
"With his country's finances in an even bigger mess than the UK's, Ireland's finance minister, Brian Lenihan, announced to the Dail further cuts in TDs' (Irish MPs') pay and pensions. He said: 'Before we ask anyone else to give, we in this House and in this government must examine our own costs. Those of us in politics have been entrusted with a great privilege by the people. We must lead by example.' Sounds good to me." – Jeff Randall writing in the Daily Telegraph
The Tories should remember how they revived our docks
"Twenty years ago this week, Norman Fowler stood up in the House of Commons and announced that the Thatcher government would repeal a piece of anachronistic employment legislation called the Dock Labour Scheme (DLS)… The abolition of the Dock Labour Scheme has wider significance: it symbolises the effect that one relatively small act of deregulation can have on the economy. Thousands of new jobs were created, new businesses sprang up, and shipping lines became far more willing to use British ports. If we are going to get out of this recession, it is crucial that we look at taking that model further." – Iain Dale wrirting in the Daily Telegraph
Harriet Harman voices concern about BNP threat at European election – Independent
Number of parliamentary questions asked last year increased by one third – ePolitix.com
Tony Blair: I think about Iraq war every day – Guardian
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