9pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: "The way our society is going, before the end of the century – perhaps well before the end – we will be an Islamic state…"

David-maclean_1404598c 12.30pm Seats and candidates: 13th plum Tory seat becomes vacant with retirement announcement from Penrith's David Maclean

ToryDiary: The next Conservative government must rebuild our armed forces

Adrian Blair on Platform: This Armed Forces Day we must commit to delivering adequate medical and psychiatric support for our veterans

Local government:

ObamaCameron Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Barack Obama shows that moderation of style is more politically potent than moderation in policy

Cameron concedes Tories were wrong to oppose devolutionScotsman

"In adversity, the Tories suspect they have stumbled over a core theme – honesty." – Andrew Grice in The Independent

Matthew Parris urges Dacid Cameron to "nail the blatant untruth on spending cuts, however dull it sounds." "There is no more urgent issue facing the country," he writes in his Times column.

On Radio 4's Any Questions last night Hillary Benn admitted that Labour will have to cut – BBC

Peter Oborne attacks Cameron for protecting shadow cabinet from expenses-gate

OBORNE "Michael Gove might be one of the more notorious milkers of the expenses system.  But he is also an admirable and original politician who is a huge asset to the Shadow Cabinet. Cameron probably feels that he can't do without such a brilliant man.  Much the same applies to Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, who has been so toughminded and forensic in opposition.  David Cameron rightly calculates that his frontbench team would be hopelessly weakened without these two hugely talented individuals.  By contrast, Sir Peter Viggers and Sir Anthony Steen are a couple of nonentities. Yet their expense cheating was arguably on a much smaller scale than Cameron's close allies Ed Vaizey and Michael Gove, who have been protected.  The truth is that Cameron has meted out justice not according to the scale of the offence, but according to how useful the culprit is to him politically." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

"Can the Tories and the North ever go together?"

Anne McElvoy previews her Radio 4 series on the Conservatives' Northern challenge – The Independent

David Cameron was in Norwich again yesterday, campaigning in the crucial by-election – Eastern Daily Press

> Yesterday's Seats and candidates: First by-election polls puts Tories on 34% and Labour on 30%

The Conservatives' Latvian allies aren't Nazis, they are "sweeties"The Times

Speaker John Bercow supported 'assisted repatriation' of immigrants in 1981Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: "Something of a relief" to leave Tory benches says John Bercow

Labour ready to abandon Tony Blair's public service targets

"Labour will next week offer people a new range of rights to health, social care, education and policing as it decisively abandons the target culture for public services championed by Tony Blair. The "power shift" – part of a relaunch of Gordon Brown's premiership – will include entitlements to personal tuition in schools, minimum GP waiting times and access to police working in their neighbourhoods." – Guardian

"Gordon Brown is to stake Labour’s survival on a swift return to economic growth and giving people more power over their public services, including the police, he tells The Times today."

Brown wants £60bn climate change fund

BROWN PUZZLED "Holidaymakers face higher air fares as part of a crusade to save the planet launched by Gordon Brown. Passengers may end up footing part of a £60billion-a-year climate change fund to help the world's poorest countries go green.  The cash – more than half the UK's annual NHS budget – would pay for technologies to cut carbon emissions.  Mr Brown said the pot, to be set up by 2020, would help keep annual temperature rises to below 2°C." – The Sun

Expenses-gate is undermining British diplomacy

"Accounts of MPs billing the taxpayer for duck houses and moat cleaning have been lapped up around the world and have posed a problem for British diplomats who have previously been vocal in criticising corruption. Mark Malloch-Brown, the foreign office minister, deleted sections of a speech he gave in Mozambique this month, fearing that his comments on higher standards of governance might be greeted with scorn." – FT


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