10.15pm ToryDiary: Conservatives 11% ahead in ComRes/ Independent survey

7.15pm ToryDiary: Who can revive the IEA… and how?

5.30pm Parliament: David Cameron taunts Gordon Brown about his "relaunch without a price-tag"

Margaret Thatcher arrives home5pm WATCH: Baroness Thatcher arrives home from hospital in good spirits

4.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: The Queen costs us each a mere 69p a year – and she wants all MPs to know it

2.30pm ToryDiary: Any questions for you?

1.30pm WATCH: David Cameron accuses Gordon Brown and the Government of "a huge amount of deceit" over its public spending claims at his monthly press conference

Picture 111.45am ToryDiary: David Cameron questions Burkha-wearing
teachers and offers Opposition time for the Royal Mail Bill at his
monthly press conference

11.15am Seats and Candidates: 4,000 people have applied to be Tory candidates since the list was re-opened


Picture 210.30am ToryDiary Breaking News: Shadow Cabinet to give up all outside interests by the end of December Updated at 12.45pm with full list of Shadow Cabinet outside interests

9.30am Local Government: Social housing rule change proposed to thwart BNP

ToryDiary: Should the Conservative Party be apologising for the policies of the 1980s if it is to make electoral advances in the North of England?

Andrew Mitchell MP on Platform: Brown’s belated Iraq inquiry must probe reconstruction failures

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government: Brighton comes under fire from Peter Whittle

WATCH: David Miliband calls on the Iranian authorities to release the members of staff from the British Embassy in Tehran who have been arrested

Lord Mandelson Lord Mandelson claims the Conservatives are "the soft option on public sector reform"

Lord Mandelson is engaged in serious business. Today he joins Gordon Brown in launching Building Britain’s Future, billed as Labour’s programme for the rest of this parliament and a fourth term…. Lord Mandelson claims the Tories would spend less and – especially on the NHS – shy away from reform for fear of frightening voters or public-sector unions. “They seem to have entered a Faustian pact with public-sector producer interests,” he says. “They will repeal many of the benchmarks, tests and accountability introduced by us. David Cameron offers the soft option on public sector reform.” – FT

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Philip Hammond states that "protecting frontline public services" is the key when reviewing government spending

Other stories previewing the document being published today by the Government…

  • Brown aims for core vote with pledge to house local people first – Times
  • Patients to be promised six new rights to NHS treatment – Telegraph

…about which the Telegraph is unconvinced

"The country deserves better than this. Such empty posturing sells the electorate short. Labour can churn out all the eye-catching initiatives it wants but the reality is that stasis grips Whitehall and will only end when voters have had their say in a general election." – Telegraph editorial

Jackie Ashley asks: Just who are these New Tories?

"If the Conservatives get a big majority, life will certainly feel different: many current MPs will have gone and a new Commons will have arrived… those who have looked say the biggest "change" factor is the nature of the new Tories who will come in. They are, on the whole, much more right-wing than Cameron. They would be the most anti-European Commons in modern times. Many are libertarian and want the state hacked back." – Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

> At tomorrow's ConservativeHome conference, Inside David Cameron's Conservatives, Jonathan Isaby will be presenting some research assessing the likely members of the next intake of Conservative MPs

Welsh flag Welsh Tory Assembly Member calls for Welsh Parliament in federal British state

"The United Kingdom is in danger of disintegration and should embrace a federal structure of government and create individual parliaments in each nation, Conservative AM David Melding declares in a major book published today. He envisages a new constitutional settlement which could cut the number of MPs at Westminster to 300 and officially recognise the sovereignty over domestic issues of the parliaments of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland." – Western Mail

Speaker Bercow was "in pay" of Tory donor

"Barely a week after Bercow duly won his bid to succeed Michael Martin, some Labour MPs are bitterly regretting their decision to back the maverick former Right-winger. This stems from the revelation that the feline Bercow was paid £40,000 to be an adviser to the Priory Group, a company specialising in mental health which runs a number of schools for children with special needs. For yesterday it emerged that one of the company's major shareholders is none other than Lord Ashcroft, the multi-millionaire who is almost single-handedly bankrolling the Tories' next election campaign." – Daily Mail

Margaret Thatcher to be discharged from hospital today

"The former Prime Minister has been given the all clear by doctors at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Lady Thatcher had a heavy fall at her London home more than two weeks ago and fractured her upper shoulder. After the break failed to heal as well as doctors had hoped, she underwent an operation to put in a pin into the shoulder." – Daily Telegraph

Tory MPs express concerns at extent of sharia courts in Britain

"At least 85 Islamic sharia courts are operating in Britain, a study claimed yesterday. The astonishing figure is 17 times higher than previously accepted.. Patrick Mercer, Tory MP for Newark and chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism sub committee, said: 'We have an established law of the land and a judiciary. Anything that operates otside that system must be viewed with great caution'… Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: 'Everyone should be deeply concerned about the extent of these courts. They do entrench division in society, and do nothing to entrench integration or community cohesion'." – Daily Mail

Clarke MarkConservative candidate Mark Clarke successfully calls for review of sex attacker's sentence

"The sentence of a serial sex attacker who preyed on women in south-west London for more than two decades is to be reviewed by the Attorney General. Kirk Reid was jailed for life in June and ordered to serve at least seven-and-a-half years after his conviction for two rapes and 24 sexual assaults… Mark Clarke, the Tory parliamentary candidate for Tooting, was one of several people who complained to the Attorney General that the sentence was too light. He said: "I wrote to the Attorney General because when you look at the sentence, he essentially got three-and-half months for every attack. People get longer in prison for failing to pay their council tax." – BBC

> WATCH Mark Clarke being interviewed about the matter on London Tonight over the weekend

Peter Mackay: What does Dave stand for?

"Cameron's problem isn't Brown, though. It's the perception that we haven't as yet taken him to our hearts. How many times have you heard someone say: 'I don't know what David Cameron stands for'. Yet I can't think of any previous Conservative leader who has laid out his stall more comprehensively – not even Margaret Thatcher, whom I remember being far more careful about specifics prior to becoming Prime Minister. But no one acknowledges this.' – Peter Mackay in the Daily Mail

Boris Johnson: It would be wrong to sneer at the outpouring of public grief at Michael Jackson's death

"By the middle of this week, senior politicians will no doubt be chivvied in front of the camera to confirm that he was the prince of pop, or the people's prancer, and Gordon Brown will probably moonwalk into Prime Minister's questions. Now you or I may not share these emotions. We may not be the kind of people who queue to place flowers at the Neverland ranch, or hurl ourselves sobbing at the foot of his catafalque. We may not feel a sudden gap, a strange hollowness, in our lives. But some people do. Lots of people do." – Boris Johnson writing in the Daily Telegraph

Tory "plot" to axe child and OAP benefits for allDaily Mirror

Ministers accused of spin over delayed Royal Mail sell-off plans – Telegraph

Brown facing new backbench revolt over scrapping 10p taxIndependent

Baroness Vadera tipped to be Britain's next European CommissionerTimes

MPs condemn police tactics at G20 protest Guardian

James Purnell takes up role at DemosGuardian

Ed Balls tieless And finally… Has Ed Balls had a makeover?

"Ed Balls took a leaf from David Cameron's book yesterday, adopting the open-neck casual look as he sought to boost his credentials as a Labour leadership contender. The Schools Secretary went tieless during an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr. With friends saying he has begun an active campaign to succeed the Prime Minister, Mr Balls provoked speculation he has had media training to help him achieve his goal." – Daily Mail

Weekend HighlightsCameron considers joint Downing Street HQ with Osborne

Conservative candidate Chloe Smith finally has a Labour opponent in Norwich North

Jonathan Isaby: Why not hold by-elections a set time after the vacancy occurs?

13th plum Tory seat becomes vacant with retirement announcement from Penrith's David Maclean

Tim Montgomerie: The next Conservative government must rebuild our armed forces

Melanchthon: Do you really want your MPs to work for you as a job?


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.