11.15pm ToryDiary: Tory lead constant at 18% in new YouGov Poll

9.45pm Seats and Candidates: Lib Dem parliamentary candidate defects to the Conservatives

6pm ToryDiary exclusive: Being Mayor is "almost certainly my last big job in British politics"

5.30pm ToryDiary: Jeremy Middleton elected chairman of the National Conservative Convention

130597-main_Full4.45pm ToryDiary: Hague throws rhetorical kitchen sink at the "decomposing political muckheap" that is Labour's frontbench

3.30pm ToryDiary: Freeing schools, restoring discipline and teaching by ability: a brief guide to Conservative education policy

3pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Should the Conservatives help the Damian Green whistleblower to get a new job?

2.30pm ToryDiary: Lansley promises to secure spending on healthcare as part of a ten point SAVE OUR NHS plan

CAMERON + FLAG11.30am ToryDiary: David Cameron reaffirms his desire to have MPs from Northern Ireland in a Conservative Government

10am Dr Crippen on CentreRight: Cutting the NHS health care budget – it can be done


Jack Perschke on Platform: The next Conservative Government must delegate power and trust people to do the right thing

Local Government:


CAMERON LOOKING LEFT David Cameron to pledge that a Tory Government will deliver "more for less"…

"David Cameron will tomorrow promise a revolution in the way that central government operates if he becomes Prime Minister, so that the state delivers "more for less" in Britain's "age of austerity". Addressing his party's spring conference in Cheltenham, the Tory leader will call for a "change of culture" so that the public sector takes its share of the burden, in order to bring down the record borrowing figures revealed in this week's Budget." – The Independent

…and put an end to politicians' "snouts in the trough" practices

"David Cameron will pledge to 'change the culture of government' and end the 'snouts in the trough' practices that have dragged Parliament into disrepute. The Tory leader will promise voters to do away with the publicity-seeking and greed that has gripped ministers and MPs under Labour. In a speech designed to set the tone he hopes to strike in power, Mr Cameron will tell the Tory spring conference in Cheltenham tomorrow that ministers must work to save taxpayers' money, rather than dreaming up new schemes to spend it." – Daily Mail

…as he expresses his desire to scrap 50p tax

"David Cameron yesterday said he wants to scrap Labour’s 50p supertax on the rich — but it will take time. Chancellor Alistair Darling unveiled the new tax on everyone who earns over £150,000 in the Budget. Tory leader Mr Cameron said he wanted to tackle other taxes first. He added: “We don’t like the 50p, but it’s got to get in the queue of taxes we want to get rid of.” – The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron agrees public has a right to know Tory spending plans… but is the party waiting on the IMF to order austerity?

OSBORNE speaking George Osborne: The Budget has unravelled quicker than any in living memory

"Just two days ago, the chancellor said his figures for this quarter would be similar to the last quarter – in fact they are worse. This is worrying as it means the recession will be deeper and people will suffer more. This budget has unravelled quicker then any in living memory as we discover a secret tax bombshell, hidden spending cuts and fantasy forecasts on which the government's whole plan for recovery is based." – George Osborne quoted in The Guardian

The Tories face a dilemma over what to say about how to deal with the public debt…

"Mr Cameron and George Osborne, shadow chancellor, believe the Tories lost the last three elections because they were successfully depicted by Labour as “hatchet-faced” cutters of public services. Their preferred model is the 1979 election manifesto of Margaret Thatcher, which gave a sense of the general approach of a Tory administration but little hint of the painful monetarism and privatisations that followed." – FT

…but Matthew Parris has a suggestion

"To the question “What are you going to cut?”, Mr Cameron's implicit answer should be: “You tell me. No, really: you tell me. We Conservatives have the steel to do this, and you know we must. Now let's talk openly, without scaremongering or posturing, about how and what and when." – Matthew Parris writing in The Times

HagueSquare William Hague to lambast Gordon Brown over Lisbon Treaty

"William Hague is to accuse Gordon Brown of "debasing the coinage of politics" by not holding a referendum on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty. The shadow foreign secretary will say Labour has squandered voters' trust by not giving them a say on EU reforms. He will use a speech ahead of European elections to argue this is a betrayal of Labour's manifesto promise of a referendum on the failed constitution." – BBC

Francis Maude attacks Government's £4 billion management consultancy bill

"All the management consultants in the world cannot put this broken Labour Government back together. At
a time when Whitehall needs to tighten its belt because of the nation's
ruined public finances, Labour ministers are burning £4billion of
taxpayers' money on consultants to tell them what to do. This is another sign of a government that has completely lost its way." – Shadow Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude quoted in the Daily Mail

Lawrence Robertson is less than happy at Brown's proposals on MPs' allowances

"A senior Tory MP has attacked Gordon Brown's plans to overhaul expenses because he does not want to become 'poorer'. Shadow Northern Ireland minister Laurence Robertson, who has claimed nearly £1million in expenses since 2001, insisted that MPs should be properly compensated for working long hours away from home… The former businessman stressed that he did 'not intend to become personally poorer' at this stage of his career."- Daily Mail

Damian Green condemns Government over Gurkha decision…

“Gurkha veterans accused the Government of betrayal yesterday after the Home Office issued new rules that would allow only a small number of the former soldiers to settle in Britain…. "The Government is trying to evade the effects of a very clear court judgment,” Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, said. “This is an insult to the Gurkhas.” – The Times

> Yesterday's ToryDiary

…as his Home Office mole is sacked

"A civil servant arrested for leaking Home Office documents to Conservative MP Damian Green has been dismissed. Christopher Galley, who had signed the Official Secrets Act, was sacked from the Immigration Nationality Directorate for gross professional misconduct. Mr Galley and Mr Green were told last week they would not be charged, after a five-month inquiry." – BBC

The Independent profiles some of the rising stars who have been selected as Conservative candidatesThe Independent

Is the vice girl claiming Tory clients a fantasist?Daily Mail

Boris Johnson messy hair Boris Johnson: The Tory John the Baptist?

"Meet the Tory John the Baptist. If you happen to be in Cheltenham this evening and see a man in a leathern girdle and sandals leading a group of ecstatic Conservatives, say hello to Boris Johnson, who today presents himself as a mop-haired pathfinder showing his flock the way to the promised land of power. The London Mayor will be the star turn at the Tory spring conference where, after a Budget week that has overturned political assumptions and revived old ideologies, he will deploy a right wing message of lower costs and fierce opposition to higher taxes." – Benedict Brogan interviews Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph

> Last night's ToryDiary: Boris "despises" Cameron says The Times

Charles Moore: As we approach the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's government, we must remember the lessons she taught

"In the course of her time as prime minister, she more than halved the top rate of income tax, and cut the standard rate by a quarter. She was perfectly capable of putting up taxes out of immediate necessity (in 1979, she all but doubled VAT), but always the direction was clear… In all three elections from 1997, Labour promised not to raise the top (or the standard) rate. It was because of Mrs Thatcher's success that this was so." – Charles Moore writing in the Daily Telegraph

Giles Coren: Me, I've always been a Labour man. Until now.

"I did Any Questions on Radio 4 last week. I bombed pretty badly because I don't know anything about anything, but I had a lovely three-hour car ride back to London with the Tory party chairman, Eric Pickles. We turn out to have a shared love of westerns, except that Pickles has real depth of knowledge as well. And a bit of northern soul, too. A big, decent, modest sort of a man, with real hinterland. Whereas Caroline Flint, the Labour minister on the panel, seemed little more than a malfunctioning fembot." – Giles Coren writing in The Times

George Osborne among the mourners at Clement Freud's funeralDaily Telegraph

Channel 4 Dispatches on Boris prompted over 100 complaints Broadcast Now

Tony Blair reportedly believes 50p tax to be a "terrible mistake"Daily Telegraph

Blairite ex-spin doctor Lance Price writes: "Will the last person to leave Gordon Brown's Britain turn out the lights?"Daily Telegraph

Iceland to hold parliamentary electionBBC


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