4.15pm International: Does immigration explain the European Right's electoral success?

Picture 133pm WATCH: Close-to-tears, Hazel Blears apologises for the damage she has inflicted on Gordon Brown

2.30pm CentreRight updates:

11am ToryDiary: 63% of voters say Tory line on increasing NHS spending is wrong

ToryDiary: 44% of voters want Cameron to lead the country and just 22% want Brown

Adam Afriyie MP on Platform: Gordon Brown's sudden abolition of the Department for Innovation was a snub to students, a blow for taxpayers and all about the survival of his weakened Government

On Local government Harry Phibbs sends a 'Memo to Boris': "Diversity Officers (especially those recruited by Ken Livingstone) do not promote integration. They promote multicultarlism. Division. Racial separatism. Grievance exploitation."

Martin Parsons on CentreRight: A future Conservative government should replace Labour's promotion of 'diversity' with Conservative 'equality for all'

The public spending debate

Picture 12Westminster insiders expect the Tories to cut more deeply than Labour – PoliticsHome

"In an intensification of the battle over spending, the Tories released figures which showed 12 departments, dubbed the "dirty dozen", that will see their spending cut by billions of pounds in real terms during the final year of the current spending period in 2010-11. The MoD will see a real terms cuts of £2.9bn while the communities department will see its spending cut by £2.8bn. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said: "Why can't the prime minister just be honest with people and admit to the cuts which are in his own budget? Then we can have a grown-up discussion about how to solve Labour's debt crisis while protecting frontline services." – Guardian

The Guardian attempts to summarise Conservative spending policy: "Two specific commitments for the post-2011 period: real-terms increase in health spending and meeting the UN target on overseas aid. The Tories have said they would spend less than Labour in the final two years of the current spending period. They are declining to say whether they will match the overall figures from 2011. Cameron is calling for greater honesty because this time Labour will campaign with pledges to cut spending in real terms."

Labour has admitted that it cannot commit to increased funding for the National Health Service after 2011 – Telegraph

"Once the rising cost of interest payments on the nation's debts is taken into account, along with social security costs and other spending over which the Treasury has little short-term control, the "departmental expenditure limits" that cover central government spending on public services and administration will have to drop by 2.3 per cent a year in real terms, or around 7 per cent by the third year." – Robert Chote of the Institute for Fiscal Studies in The Telegraph

"The terrible irony is that Mr Brown's planned cuts are far too small to put the public finances on a sound footing. Trying to conceal them is not macho, but madness." – Camilla Cavendish in The Times

George Osborne last night angrily denied “flipping” homes to milk his Commons expensesThe Sun

Steve Richards: Mr Cameron has too many priorities

 "Cameron has told one audience he is in politics above all to improve the NHS. Another audience was told he is in politics to cut taxes. At a fringe meeting in 2006 he declared that tackling global warming was his overriding priority. Which is it and how will he go about ensuring he achieves his apparently flexible priorities? Again I am not sure." – Steve Richards in The Independent

Tories and Labour differ on early years care

"Interestingly, the sliver of cigarette paper that separates the parties only wrinkles in the case of the availability of parents of very young children to work. Research by Iain Duncan Smith and the Centre for Social Justice has repeatedly emphasised the importance of early years care and state support for committed (married) couples. How the Tories square this with the inconvenient existence of single parents remains to be seen." – Libby Brooks in The Guardian 

New Gitmo prisoners row

HagueSquare"Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been urged to explain why Bermuda accepted the Chinese Muslim Uighurs without consulting the Foreign Office… William Hague demanded an explanation from Mr Miliband and said the Government appeared to have "lost grip of running the country"." – Sky News

In an interview with the Financial Times the Chancellor is cautious about data suggesting recoveryFT

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is considering a complaint over Communities Minister Shahid Malik MPBBC

Caroline Flint says she resigned from her ministerial job because Gordon Brown questioned her loyaltyBBC

> Listen to Ms Flint's nine minute Radio 4 interview

Brown is Mandelson's pet

"Lord Mandelson could easily have destroyed his erstwhile foe. Yet to a refined palate, the one-off rush of bringing down an old adversary might seem a crass and unsatisfying triumph. How much more gratifying to hold his fate in your hands every day—and he knowing you own it? It is a turn of events that, before he became prime minister, Mr Brown cannot have anticipated in his worst, wildest dreams." – The Economist's Bagehot

BNP could be forced to abandon its all-white membership policy

"The British National party’s “whites-only” membership policy would be made illegal under new equality legislation being pushed through parliament, Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader and equality minister, said on Thursday." – FT


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