8.15pm Iain Murray on CentreRight: Are we about to crucify Africa on a Cross of Green?

5.30pm WATCH:

4.30pm Seats and Candidates: Chris Walker stands down as candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

3.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Meet the Lib Dem candidate who says her
11-year-old daughter would run her party for a tenner and a bag of
sweets – and do a better job than those currently in charge

2.30pm Seats and candidates: Book your place NOW on the ConHome coach trip to the Norwich by-election

FIELD MARK1.30pm Mark Field MP on CentreRight: "Too few of my parliamentary colleagues have woken up to the enormity of
the debt crisis that follows hot on the heels from the economic
downturn. Yet the seriousness of what will follow cannot be long
denied": Farewell to a wasted decade

12.15pm Local Government: Three by-election results from yesterday

Noon ToryDiary: ComRes find that David Cameron is more trusted than Gordon Brown to be honest about spending cuts

11.15am Elizabeth Truss on CentreRight: The "Use of Maths" A-level
is a hollowed out version of the real Mathematics A-level

ToryDiary: Does the Telegraph have the right recipe on MPs' pay and allowances to restore public confidence?

Picture 6 David Cameron on Platform replies to Tim Montgomerie's open letter on patriotism and says that he is proud to be British

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government:

Harry Phibbs on CentreRight notes WIlliam Hague's warning that it will require a "Herculean effort" to win the election


Picture 4 David Cameron gives strong backing to Andy Coulson over phone hacking allegations

"Andy Coulson survived an initial onslaught over allegations of illegal phone hacking but stonewalled questions about how much he knew while he was Editor of the News of the World. David Cameron gave his director of communications strong backing yesterday despite intense political pressure over allegations of widespread criminal activity by journalists during Mr Coulson’s editorship." – The Times

"David Cameron and George Osborne threw a protective arm around Andy Coulson today as the Tory high command insisted that their communications director would not be forced to stand down. Amid unease among some backbenchers at the party's determination to stand by Coulson, Cameron, the Tory leader and Osborne, shadow chancellor, praised Coulson for "upright" conduct in his work for the party." – Guardian

"There was palpable Tory relief at the Metropolitan Police decision on Thursday not to start a fresh investigation. “This blows a massive hole in the story,” a party insider insisted. The reprieve may prove only temporary. The head of the culture, media and sport select committee, which on Thursday reopened its inquiry into phone hacking, said there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr Coulson would be called to give evidence, along with senior News Group executives. Even if the pressure on Mr Coulson eases, there remain unanswered questions over how the affair will affect Mr Cameron’s relations with the Murdoch empire, including the Sun newspaper – a crucial potential media ally for the opposition party." – FT

"Mr Coulson is more than a "press secretary". He is the man in the office next to David Cameron's, and one of the brains behind the whole Cameron operation, who has guarded his boss's reputation as fiercely as he is now being guarded. Mr Coulson is the one who reminds Mr Cameron not to forget the staples of Tory politics – crime and tax, and good relations with the mass-circulation Conservative newspapers." – Andy McSmith writing in The Independent

"Some Conservative MPs who feel they were dealt with unfairly over the expenses saga will be watching what happens with interest. Cameron dismissed their pleas that they acted within the rules, insisting that was not good enough. Some feel that the Tory leader acted to protect his close political friends but targeted others. This is a view that will probably be reinforced as he stresses without any qualification his support for Coulson, who might or might not have acted within the rules but is now linked, as they were, to a damaging story." – Steve Richards writing in The Independent

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRT Chris Grayling accuses Labour over failure to reduce knife crime

"The number of criminals convicted for carrying a knife has increased
by more than half in ten years, it has been revealed… Shadow home
secretary Chris Grayling – who uncovered the figures through
Parliamentary questions – said they were "awful" for the Government. He
said: "Knife crime blights our society. The figures are awful for the
Government as they show yet again how Labour Ministers have failed to
get knives off our streets." – Press Association

MPs' second incomes kept under wraps

"Key details of MPs' outside earnings remained a secret last night, despite new rules designed to boost transparency in Westminster coming into force… No new details about the outside work currently carried out by the shadow Cabinet emerged, despite Andrew Mitchell, William Hague, Oliver Letwin, Ken Clarke and David Willetts all earning significant sums outside Westminster." – The Independent

Former Tory Home Secretary successfully defeats the Government in the Lords over incitement laws

"Labour has been defeated in the Lords over the issue of free speech and laws against inciting homophobic hatred. Ministers sought to remove a clause which permitted free speech to be used as a legitimate defence in such cases. But an amendment preserving the clause, tabled by Tory peer Lord Waddington among others, was agreed by 53 votes." – BBC

Tory MP "gagged" after motion in support of Asperger's sufferer is banned

"House of Commons officials have been accused of 'gagging' MPs who want to speak in support of autistic Gary McKinnon. They banned a motion yesterday that urged the Government to halt the extradition of the Asperger's sufferer to the U.S, where he faces 60 years in jail for hacking into Nasa and Pentagon computers… Tory justice spokesman David Burrowes, who put forward the EDM which was later banned by the Table Office, said: 'Alan Johnson is trying to hide behind sub judice, but it is important the House is allowed to fully convey its concerns about the need to deliver justice for Gary. It should not just be left to the judges'." – Daily Mail

Picture 5 David Cameron "could be a direct descendant of Moses"

"David Cameron could be a direct descendant of Moses, a Jewish scholar
has suggested. Political commentators have long known that the
Conservative Party leader’s paternal great-great-grandfather was a
Jewish immigrant who became a successful businessman. But Yaakov Wise,
a research fellow at the University of Manchester Centre for Jewish
Studies, has traced the politician’s ancestry back to Elijah Levita, an
eminent 16th-century Jewish scholar." – The Times

Labour candidate in Norwich North is a former Tory member

"Labour's Norwich North by-election candidate was last night forced to defend his political past – after it emerged he was a member of the Conservatives while at university. Documents seen by the EDP list Chris Ostrowski, the University of East Anglia graduate chosen to replace Ian Gibson, as one of four candidates selected to represent the Tories in a 2001 National Union of Students election." – Eastern Daily Press

> How to sign up to ConHome's coach trip to Norwich North on 19th July

Ken Clarke sceptical over MG Rover report publication claims

"Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke has said he is “very sceptical” about the governments claim they could not yet publish the results of the crucial report on the collapse of MG Rover. And he attacked the Government’s approach to supporting Midlands manufacturers, saying the piecemeal plans to support businesses could end up ruining the industry." – Birmingham Post

Kirby-Jill Jill Kirby: As government activism has increased, so public confidence has fallen

"Over the past 10 years, layers of government have multiplied, more regulatory bodies have been put in place, thousands of new laws have been passed and greater powers of surveillance have been accorded to the State. Yet as government activism has increased, so public confidence has fallen." – Jill Kirby writing in The Independent

Defence Committee: Get tough with Russia

"Russian bombers flying close to British airspace are raising tensions between London and Moscow and risking collisions with civilian aircraft, MPs have warned. The Commons Defence Committee urged the Government to take a more robust approach with Moscow over its decision to launch secret flights “without informing the proper authorities”. – The Times

Gordon Brown meets Colonel Gaddafi Sky News


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