4.15pm Jill Kirby on CentreRight argues that Michael Martin's successor "must first and foremost believe in the institutional significance of the office of Speaker and the sovereignty of parliament."
4pm Seats and candidates: Constituent of Douglas Hogg MP Graham Smith notes that not all local Tory members were happy with the Association Chairman's attempts to rush others into supporting the embattled MP.
12.45pm Seats and candidates: Douglas Hogg standing down at next General Election +++ Anthony Steen could be next (UPDATED AT 3.15PM WITH STATEMENT FROM DOUGLAS HOGG)
12.30pm Matt Sinclair on CentreRight: "It is good news that Michael Martin is going to resign. His credibility was destroyed when he tried, in vain, to use taxpayers' money to prevent taxpayers' discovering the details of MPs' expenses claims."
- What needs to be done to increase the quality of MPs?
- Changing one man in a funny black costume for another is not main issue, says Cameron
Local government: Wirral Labour councillor defects to the Conservatives and Nick Seaton warns of "Superheads" with snouts in the trough
Tories 11% ahead in ICM/Guardian poll – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary
The Sun welcomes David Cameron's call for a snap election
"David Cameron’s backing of The Sun’s demand for a snap election was a breath of fresh air out of Westminster’s stinking Augean stables. He knows it will be tough for him and his party. He even gave advice to local Tory associations on how to dump their MP if they suspect they are bent. This could spell an end to the political careers of some of his closest friends and allies. It is a massive gamble for the Tory leader. But he knows that outraged voters MUST be given the chance to rid parliament of MPs who have sullied themselves and their constituencies." – Sun Says
David Cameron says Speaker's future must be debated if enough MPs sign Douglas Carswell's motion
"If the motion put down for no confidence in the Speaker attracts a large number of signatures then it has to be debated and one way or the other this issue has to be decided, but let's not pretend that replacing one speaker for another is going to solve the problem of the expenses system." – the Conservative leader quoted in The Independent
"Michael Martin was doomed as Speaker last night as all the political parties and their leaders concluded that he had lost the authority to stay in office. Ministers hoped desperately that the Speaker would “get the message” and quit after an unprecedented show of anger and disrespect from MPs in the Commons. He appeared determined to cling on but the question was no longer whether he would go but when." – Times
The Commons Speaker will convene an urgent meeting of party leaders later to discuss reforming MPs' expenses – BBC
Max Hasting's take in the Daily Mail: "it seems mistaken to allow our attention to be transfixed by Michael Martin. This is not because he does not merit contempt, but because the wider issues are so much graver. Britain is facing its worst economic crisis of modern times. The Exchequer will be bare for a decade to come. Never has the need been greater for a strong government, pursuing policies that ought to be unpopular, because if they are responsible, they will hurt. Instead, we see Gordon Brown's exhausted and enfeebled administration scrabbling to cling to office by throwing bones to the jackals."
Anthony Steen under fire for spending £88,000 on his Devon mansion
"Tory MP Anthony Steen last night said he "set his own rules" in deciding to claim almost £88,000 in taxpayers' money for work on his million-pound Devon mansion. The Totnes MP told the Western Morning News that no-one in the Commons "knew what the rules were" so he took the decision to claim for maintenance and gardening work and not mortgage costs. Mr Steen ran up a bill of thousands of pounds on work which included guarding shrubs from rabbits, inspecting trees, redecorating, moving boulders, fencing off fields, overhauling a private sewage system and sowing grass seed." – Yesterday's Western Morning News
The Telegraph has a pictoral presentation of country Tory MPs' expense claims
UKIP hits back at Cameron's "nutters" attack
"Mr Cameron launched a scathing attack on Ukip, saying that a third of its 12 MEPs had “disappeared, some to prison [for expenses abuses], some to the furthest reaches of rightwing lunacy”. He also cited the description of Ukip by one of its former MEPs, Robert Kilroy-Silk, as a “bunch of nutters”. Nigel Farage, Ukip leader, hit back by calling the “nutters” epithet a bad start for a prospective prime minister: “Fifty-five per cent of the country think we ought to leave the EU and a seasoned politician would probably hesitate before insinuating that over half of the country he hopes to lead is insane.”" – FT
> Yesterday's ToryDiary noted Cameron's attack on UKIP
"Research commissioned by the British Chambers of Commerce suggests that deregulatory drives by both the European Commission and the government are having an effect." – FT
Jeremy Hunt explains vote against increase in BBC licence fee
"It seems completely wrong that the BBC is getting an inflation rise when there is no inflation. The BBC's income was traditionally on a par with the income for the commercial sector but now that advertising is suffering it is getting on to double what the commercially funded sector is getting. We as a party support the licence fee and the five-year settlements but we think that this year, when there are 2.2 million people unemployed, the BBC should waive its increase." – Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP quoted in The Guardian
Christopher Galley, the mole in Damian Green case, says: ‘Tories dumped me’ – Times
Labour activists press for deselection of errant Labour MPs – Guardian
Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown claimed £18,800 in unreceipted expenses for food consumed over four years at his second home in his constituency – Guardian
"The public anger is not just about expenses. There has been a cultural shift away from organisations towards individuals." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times
Lord Mandelson has warned against rushing into regulation of the internet – FT
CCTV does NOT cut crime significantly – The Sun
"The row over MPs' expenses has inspired the new Poet Laureate to get straight down to work. Carol Ann Duffy, appointed this month to replace Andrew Motion, told pupils at a Manchester school today that she had already started work on a poem about recent national events. To laughter and applause, the Glasgow-born poet declaimed: “What did we do with the trust of your vote? Hired a flunky to flush out the moat.” – Times
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