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10pm Details of the Damian McBride emails are beginning to emerge. See Sunday Times and Coffee House for starters. There will be full coverage here in the morning.

8.15pm Daniel Hamilton on CentreRight: Draper = Desperate

8pm WATCH: Derek Draper interviewed on Sky News over the emails he exchanged with Damian McBride

7.15pm ToryDiary: Chris Grayling says that Gordon Brown has questions to answer over McBride as the News of the World prepares to publish McBride's emails 

5.15pm ToryDiary: Damian McBride has resigned Updated with full text of his resignation letter

4.30pm WATCH: Labour MP Emily Thornberry pops up on Sky News to firefight the allegations of Downing Street plans to smear the Conservatives

Garnier on Sky News2pm WATCH: Shadow justice minister Edward Garnier interviewed outside Ashwell Prison, where a major disturbance has taken place today

11.15am Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: "Red Rag" was registered the very day Derek Draper convened the meeting to launch Labour's "cyber war"

10am WATCH: ToryBear's take on the alleged Derek Draper/Damian McBride Tory smear operation

ToryDiary:

Brandon Lewis on Platform: We need to take action now to defend our shoreline from coastal erosion

Parliament: A message from Oliver Cromwell directed at the sleazy politicians of today

WATCH: Concerns raised over inadequate security checks on foreign students coming to Britain

HAGUE-SMILING William Hague suggests the public may yet force Brown to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

"Gordon
Brown could be forced to call a referendum on the new European
"constitution" if faced with a large protest vote in the forthcoming
European elections, the Conservatives believe… Mr Hague and David
Cameron are planning to make the failure of the Government to call a
referendum a key campaigning point in the run-up to June's European
elections… "It's not too late to stop the Lisbon Treaty," Mr Hague
said… "It's possible to make Gordon Brown change his mind. If you
remember in 2004, in the run-up to the European elections that is when
Tony Blair did his famous u-turn on the referendum." – Daily Telegraph

Theresa May: Labour's back-to-work plans are in tatters

"Up
to 60,000 unemployed people will have no access over the summer to
training or support schemes to find a job, according to the
Conservatives. Theresa May, the shadow work and pensions secretary,
claimed that the government's back-to-work plans lay in tatters at a
time of rising unemployment. The documents show that existing schemes
will end on 29 June, leaving a gap of just over three months until the
Flexible New Deal is introduced across half the country on 5 October."
The Guardian

Tory MPs attack £250 bonus for CPS staff who went to made it to work in the snow

"At
a cost of £56,000 to the taxpayer, Crown Prosecution staff were
rewarded for making it into the office on February 2 when London and
the South East were paralysed by the Big Freeze… The Tory MP for
Monmouth, David Davies, said last night: 'I managed to get to work from
my house in South Wales to Westminster that day – and I didn't get, or
expect, anything extra'." – Daily Mail

NEVILLE-JONES PAULINE NW Neville-Jones calls for meeting with Islamic extremist to be banned

"Muslim
cleric Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki has been banned from the United States
after he was accused of using taped lectures to encourage terrorist
attacks. But the preacher of hate has been given the go-ahead to speak
to an audience of hundreds at the three-day event in east London which
is being held at a taxpayer-funded venue starting today… Shadow
Security Minister Pauline Neville-Jones called for the meeting to be
banned. She called al-Awlaki “one of the most prominent
English-language supporters of violent jihad." – Daily Express

Listen to shadow home secretary Chris Grayling echo Baroness Neville-Jones' concerns on the Today Programme

Paul Goodman rails at inflation-busting pay hikes for staff at equality quango

"Staff
at a human rights quango have seen their salaries soar 25 per cent in
two years, it emerged last night. Average pay at Labour’s super-quango
the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is £9,000 higher than it was
in its previous form… Shadow communities minister Paul Goodman said:
“This is shocking. Labour’s quangos are failing to use taxpayers’ money
efficiently. “How can you bring three separate organisations together
and yet have a higher wage bill than before?” – The Sun

The Independent profiles Daniel Hannan MEP

"His
background is unusual. He was born in Lima in 1971. His father was an
Anglo-Peruvian farmer, and his mother worked for the Foreign Office…
A libertarian, he nonetheless has a mix of views that might spoil his
reputation on the American right. For instance, he backed Obama in the
election. He opposed the Iraq war and supported gay rights long before
it was Tory party policy. He is, also close to being a genuine
do-nothing Tory – the taunt Gordon Brown has thrown at Cameron." – Andy
McSmith in The Independent

Andrew Gimson: Has Boris Johnson left the buffoon behind?

"In
his first year as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has established
himself as a far more formidable politician than his critics expected.
There have been occasional hiccups, but not the blunders and buffoonery
which were so eagerly predicted. Instead of shooting himself in the
foot, Mr Johnson has advanced with characteristic energy along the
awkward path from celebrity to statesman." – Andrew Gimson in the Daily Telegraph

Tomos Livingstone: "Top Tories need to show some of that ruthless discipline of New Labour"

"It’s
when Mr Cameron steps back from centre stage that the party’s problems
begin. Take this week, when the Camerons have been on an Easter
holiday. George Osborne suggested that a Tory administration could
unpick the three-year pay deals already agreed with the public sector –
only for Conservative HQ to admit later that’s not exactly what he
meant." – so says Tomos Livingstone, political editor of the Western Mail

Andrew Grice: "Our MPs are honourable. Honest."

"Here's
some shock news: the vast majority of our MPs are not corrupt, or
lining their pockets at the taxpayers' expense. I suspect they are a
much more honest and honourable bunch than many of their foreign
counterparts, including members of the European Parliament." – Andrew
Grice in The Independent

PARRIS MATTHEW Matthew Parris: Previous Tory failure to criticise the police has created a terrible mess

"I
blame the postwar Conservative Party. Successive Tory governments have
traumatised the rest of politics by attacking criticism of the police
as all but seditious. Those scars go deep in the Labour Party. Margaret
Thatcher then threw a fortune at police pay without securing the
reforms that this could have brought. When Kenneth Clarke looked
inclined to take on the police, his party bit his head off." – Matthew
Parris in The Times

Germaine Greer on Margaret Thatcher…

"She
was the grocer's daughter with a stong moral conscience who ruled with
an iron fist – or so the story goes. In fact, she was a millionaire's
wife, who lacked scruples and did what her male colleagues told her" –
Germaine Greer in The Guardian

…as figures from the arts world give a far from positive verdict on ThatcherismGuardian

Mandelson and Darling row over £2,000 payouts towards new carsThe Times

NUT expected to back boycott of Sats testsDaily Telegraph

Number of illegal immigrants caught on ferries rocketsDaily Express

Cherie Blair's stepmother selected to stand for ParliamentDaily Mail

Asian summit abandoned after protesters storm Thai venueBBC

Picture 5 And finally… Kirstie Allsopp volunteers her services as parliamentary expenses commissioner

“How
could MPs have spent so much on their second houses? They have just
been throwing taxpayers’ money away,” she says, referring to the
details released recently of MPs’ expenses. “I don’t begrudge them some
help. But they’re so profligate: Jacqui Smith’s barbecue and patio set
was outrageous at £200"… Allsopp wants the “John Lewis list” of
products that MPs can claim for to be replaced by cheaper items and
believes that claims should be scrutinised independently. “There should
be an expenses commissioner, someone who looks at contentious expenses
and says, ‘No sorry, you are pushing your luck’. I wouldn’t mind doing
it. I wouldn’t have patio heaters, you should eat inside if it is
cold.” – The Times

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27 comments for: Saturday 11th April 2009

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