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8pm WATCH: Frank Cook, the MP for Stockton North, today apologised for claiming £5 on expenses for a church donation

Picture 21.15pm WATCH: Brown says electoral reform is under consideration

11am WATCH: During eleven minute interview with Sky, David Cameron says "recalling" MPs between elections is an idea worth studying

11am ToryDiary: David Cameron's use of allowances was entirely appropriate

ToryDiary: Grassroots divided on non-members standing for Conservative Party at next election

Seats and candidates: CCHQ must tell wannabe MPs that their chances are slim

Victoria Borwick on Platform: All public sector employees should have to disclose details of their pay, allowances and pensions

Local government: Mark Wallace says those elected on Thursday should deliver radical change NOW – and not wait for a General Election

Labour falls below Lib Dems in new pollSunday Telegraph | Yesterday's ToryDiary

News of the World and Mail on Sunday target David Cameron's mortgage claims

Picture 15 "David Cameron was dragged personally into the expenses row last night after it was revealed that he paid off a loan on his London home shortly after taking out a £350,000 taxpayer-funded mortgage on his constituency house… There is no suggestion that he broke any rules. But mortgage experts say that if he had kept the loan on his London home and borrowed £75,000 less on the Oxfordshire property, taxpayers could have been saved more than £22,000 between 2002 and 2007." – Mail on Sunday | News of the World

David Mundell's £3,000 camera expenses

"Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell has claimed more than £3,000 on MPs' expenses for cameras, photographers and photo-editing computer software to take hundreds of pictures of himself." – Sunday Telegraph

Andrew MacKay and other disgraced step-down MPs in line for pension bonanza

"MacKay, 59, the former parliamentary aide to David Cameron, will be able to draw his index-linked £40,000-a-year pension five years before his 65th birthday without reducing its value. He also has the option of taking a chunk of his pension as a tax-free lump sum of more than £200,000." – Sunday Times

Liberal Democrats challenge David Cameron on Lord Ashcroft's tax status Observer

Picture 13Labour MP claimed for £5 donation made at Battle of Britain memorial service

"Frank
Cook, a Labour backbencher, sought reimbursement on his office expenses
after the memorial service in his constituency town of
Stockton-on-Tees. It was rejected by the parliamentary fees office." – Sunday Telegraph

Listen to Frank Cook MP answer accusations about the donation – BBC

Mail on Sunday: Backbenchers are getting tossed away but frontbenchers survive

"The great Westminster expenses purge has been strangely inconsistent. Found to be flipping their properties or charging for luxuries, expendable backbenchers and unwanted old has-beens have been tossed off the back of the sledge to be torn to pieces by media and public alike. But there seems to be a quiet agreement that frontbenchers receive easier treatment. Cabinet members who have plainly overstepped the line of what is acceptable, such as Alistair Darling – who had the nerve to charge taxpayers for advice on how to fill in his tax return – remain in their posts. So does the Shadow Cabinet's Michael Gove, who would be hard put to survive were his property manoeuvres, furniture purchases and costly taste in hotels subjected to the coldly furious scrutiny directed at Andrew MacKay and his wife, Julie Kirkbride." – Mail on Sunday leader

> Yesterday's ToryDiary recorded big falls in the grassroots ratings of misclaiming shadow cabinet members

Cameron is in "tetchy" mood

"I'm told he's in a tetchy mood and talking more radically in private than in public. I think I know why. Cam senses an opportunity here, not just to win the election, but to reshape British politics. The nation is in flux – as it was with Attlee in 1945 and Thatcher in 1979. What will Cam do with this opportunity? His current agenda is NOT inspirational. That's why there's no hunger for a Tory government, as there once was for Blair. And I suspect THIS is what's eating Cam. He knows he could be riding the wave of public anger, but he isn't. He has acted decisively, almost brutally, over expenses – but is still some way from being seen as a purifying force. Do I think Cam has it in him to form a radical agenda that can transform Britain? Absolutely. But there's too many policies left over from his early hoodie-hugging days, where his motto was "softly softly catchee Gordie". Now it's more a case of "boldly, bravely, savee country". And his mission, now, will be to adapt to these changed times." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

Patten, Garel-Jones and Brittan are Tory "self-harmers"

PATTEN Chris "Right on cue, the self-harming elements of the Tory party have emerged to re-open its old divisions on Europe. Lords Patten and Brittan have insisted that the decision to leave the EPP is "a mistake" and will "reduce the Conservatives' influence in the European parliament". But what, exactly, have been the fruits of that influence so far? The answer is that there have been none. The EPP Conservatives have been utterly unable to dent the federalist consensus, or even to cause any diminution in its determination to find a way to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, even though that treaty has been rejected by the only electorate that has been given the chance to vote on it." – The Sunday Telegraph leader

Christopher Booker praises Ann Winterton's understanding of defence issues

15604 "She has become the House's best-briefed expert on defence issues, running rings round the ill-informed Tory front bench defence team, as Des Browne (that under-rated former defence secretary) acknowledged. In particular, she has been tireless in exposing the Ministry of Defence's disastrous misjudgments over vehicles given to the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the obsession of senior military commanders with expensive projects designed for imaginary wars in the future, at the expense of properly equipping our troops for the counter-insurgency wars which they are actually having to fight." – Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph

Labour set to lose all four of its last County Councils

"David Cameron’s Tories need to gain at least 250 seats in this week’s council contests to provide clear evidence that they are on course to win the next general election. Labour, by contrast, could lose half of the nearly 500 seats and all four councils it is defending." – Sunday Times

Cabinet must resign en masse and replace Brown with Alan Johnson – Michael Portillo in The Sunday Times

JOHNSON-ALAN-PINK-TIE Johnson attacks Cameron and Clegg as the "self-righteous brothers" in The Observer: "I am amazed about what an easy ride Cameron and Clegg have had over this whole issue."

Brown ready to sack Darling and appoint Balls as ChancellorSunday Times

> ConHome notes Brown's other survival ploy: A PR deal with the LibDems

Labour peer admits fiddling expenses to boost incomeThe Sunday Times

Janet Daley: British politics needs a choice

"So long as you cannot get a cigarette paper between the main parties on the critical social and economic issues of the day, there will be no "new politics" – in fact, there will be no democratic politics at all. There will just be public relations." – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

Stuart Wheeler offers £100k bet to Cameron on Euro referendumMail on Sunday

BNP candidates have bombarded internet sites with vile racist messagesNews of the World

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29 comments for: Sunday 31st May 2009

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