11pm ToryDiary: A new Tory soundbite is born


8pm Seats and candidates: Anthony Steen MP apologises for World at One interview

HALFON-robert7.45pm Robert Halfon on CentreRight: Did you know that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the BBC?

5.15pm ToryDiary: Tories 12% ahead in Populus poll

5pm ToryDiary: Live blog of tonight’s BBC1 Question Time from 9pm

5pm Seats and candidates: The earlier post has been updated with tree more Tory candidates setting out their responses to expenses-gate

3.45pm ToryDiary: Ann Widdecombe will stand for the Speakership

3.30pm WATCH: Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced all
Gurkha veterans who served in the British Army before 1997 will be able
to settle in the UK

OutOfTouch 1.30pm Seats and candidates: Anthony Steen blames Freedom of Information Act and “jealous” local constituents for his resignation

1.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron wants end to ‘double jobbing’ MPs/ MEPs/ MSPs etc

12.30pm ToryDiary: Where is the debt reduction plan?

12.30pm Helen Thomas of Policy Exchange on CentreRight: “Getting the spending cut debate out into the open is now vital to maintain international confidence in the UK. The UK economy cannot recover on a wing and a prayer.”

LibertasVUKIP 11.30am WATCH:

11.15am ToryDiary: Boris says Richard Barnbrook should disinvite Nick Griffin or lose his Buckingham Palace garden party invitation

10.15am CentreRight updates:

  • Charlie Elphicke: “All in all, the worst recession in 60 years, the deepest political crisis for maybe 100 years . . . both at once. This is a very interesting time to be alive! We might find ourselves bouncing our grandchildren on our knees in years to come saying “Did I tell you about 2009…”
  • Simon Chapman: The way that candidates campaign will show whether they are fit to be the Speaker

ToryDiary: MacKay must go if Tories are serious about cleaning up Parliament

AShortGuide John Strafford on Platform: A short guide to deselecting your MP

Seats and candidates:

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT Parliament: Liberal Democrats and Labour unite to defeat Jeremy Hunt’s bid for one year freeze in BBC licence fee


More Tories feature in The Telegraph’s expenses saga

Bill Wiggins blames poor administration for his mortgage claims – BBC | Yesterday evening’s ToryDiary

Sir Peter Viggers claimed for £1,600 floating duck island – Telegraph

“The Conservative MP Sir Paul Beresford used his second home allowance to pay for a West London property that includes his dental surgery. The Fees Office agreed to reimburse Sir Paul, who works three days a week as a dentist, up to three quarters of the running costs.” – Times

James Purnell and Geoff Hoon avoided tax on home sales – Telegraph

Hazel Blears dares Brown to sack her – Express

The Telegraph has also been listing those MPs who have made light claims of the taxpayer

  • BENYON RICHARD “Richard Benyon, the Conservative MP for Newbury, claimed nothing
    at all for his second home in London last year, and his total expenses
    claim was in the 20 lowest claims of any MP. Mr Benyon, the son of the
    Berkshire landowner Sir William Benyon, is one of parliament’s
    wealthier MPs, but millionaires including Michael Ancram and Douglas
    Hogg have still seen fit to claim thousands back from the taxpayer.”
  • “Tim Boswell, the Conservative MP for Daventry, claims around a quarter
    of the permissible amount for his second home, charging only for
    mortgage interest on his London flat.”
  • “James Brokenshire, the shadow home affairs minister, is eligible
    for a second home in his Hornchurch constituency but has only claimed
    £368, on hotels, since being elected in 2005.”
  • “Rob Wilson, the Conservative MP for Reading East, chooses to
    commute to London every day from his constituency home around 40 miles
    from Westminster, rather than claiming for a second home in the
    capital. He claims for the cost of his rail season ticket from the
    Berkshire town but has shunned the opportunity of having a flat in the
    capital paid for by the taxpayer.”

Jury Team set to back Esther Rantzen and other anti-sleaze MP candidatesTimes

Picture 3 Writing for The Times, Esther Ratnzen hopes a new generation of independents will enter the Commons at the next General Election.

“Phillip Oppenheim, former Conservative MP and Treasury Minister who has indicated that he will stand as a Jury Team candidate at the next General Election if MPs who have cheated on expenses are not de-selected.” – JuryTeam

BBC1 moves Question Time to 9pm to capitalise on MPs’ expenses sagaGuardian

The Guardian: Don’t vote for Conservative MEPs

…concludes The Guardian after review likely allies for the Tories in the European Parliament: “The Czech Civic Democrats – the party founded by the climate change sceptic, President Václav Klaus – is the one prospective partner that the Tories are being open about at this stage. Another is likely to be Poland’s Law and Justice party, a homophobic and reactionary rabble headed up by the Kaczynski twins, who not long ago floated the reintroduction of capital punishment. Hard-line nationalists from the Baltic states could also be part of the gang.”

Dame Neville-Jones sets out vision for co-operation with Muslim communities in fighting terrorism

NEVILLE-JONES PAULINE NW “I would suggest that the aim should be to reach a situation in which people come of their own accord to the authorities – to the police, local councils, schools – with any concerns about those in their neighbourhoods. In this situation there would be less need for informants. Why is this point important? Changes in behaviour and in attitudes can be subtle and gradual, and communities and families are best placed to notice early on any behaviour that is out of the ordinary… To get to this point, great attention will need to be paid over the coming years to integrate counter-terrorism work into an effective system of community policing. It also follows from all this that counter-terrorism programmes and tactics must be assessed against their likely effect on community relations.” – Pauline Neville-Jones in The Independent

George Osborne signs Sun petition for immediate General ElectionThe Sun

Brown’s PMQs gaffe

“Gordon Brown made an extraordinary gaffe in the Commons yesterday, conceding that if he called a general election, the Tories would win.” – Daily Mail

The Herald notes how the Speaker got his revenge on Nick Clegg.

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary on PMQs

Michael Martin snubs Labour appeals for him to stay as MP until General ElectionTimes

The race to succeed Michael Martin

BERCOW-JOHN Labour MPs are backing John Bercow for Speaker – Mirror

“Labour MPs apparently like the idea of Mr Bercow because he is widely hated by his Tory colleagues. So we could be looking at another tribal figure, a repetition of the Martin experiment. What a great idea!” – Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail

Frank Field MP sets out his case in The Telegraph: “I am spending the next 10 days or so developing the details of a programme which lays the basis for transforming the contract between voters and Parliament, and the House of Commons and the Government. I shall be happy to support anybody who is more likely than me to drive through such a programme of reform. I will make an announcement on whether I am a candidate after we return from the Parliamentary holidays at the beginning of June.”

Jacqui Smith set to announce Government climbdown on GurkhasBBC

The BNP’s Buckingham Palace invite

“Boris Johnson has called on the London Assembly to withdraw a British National Party member’s invite to a Buckingham Palace garden party as he accused the far right party of trying to turn it into a “political stunt”.” – Telegraph

> Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight yesterday: The Queen should shut the Palace gates in Nick Griffin’s face

Stuart Wheeler: Why I’m voting for UKIP

WHEELER STUART“I was at the Tory conference when David Cameron made the ghastly statement that the Conservatives were not going to continue ‘banging on about Europe’. There are two reasons why they should bang on about Europe. The first, the more likely to appeal to the Tory leadership, is that the voters mind a great deal about the EU. Contrary to what seems to be received wisdom among Tories, voters are far from bored by this subject. The polls make this clear. YouGov recently asked the voters which of ten things they would most like to see done. What would you have expected them to say? Reduce taxes? Deal with climate change? Scrap ID cards? No, top came reducing immigration, and second, reducing the powers of the EU and increasing the powers of Britain’s parliament — an astonishing poll result from pollsters who have a particularly good record of getting things right.” – Spectator

Head of CBI accuses Brown of “economic vandalism” Independent


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