12.15pm: Mark Field MP on CentreRight pays tribute to the progress that Boris Johnson is making in his management of the Metropolitan Police: "In South Westminster, officers are being ordered out of their cars and told to walk past crime hotspots such as Victoria Station each time they make their way back to base. Important minutiae such as the disciplining of officers for failing to uphold standards of uniform and gum chewing on patrol are being enforced. Similarly low level crime and disorder are being focused on – ticketing unruly cyclists; dealing innovatively on estates with the owners of disruptive and dangerous dogs; banning consumption of alcohol on public transport."
- A very good week for compassionate conservatism
- The Economist predicts 'the Tory divisions to come'
- Ken Clarke on mobile phones, jogging and Ted Heath
Dr Patrick Nolan on Platform: Reducing family breakdown requires fairer incentives within families
- We still have empty seats on this Sunday's coach to Norwich North
- Four ex-MEPs and five other parliamentarians hope to become Tory MPs
- James Arbuthnot MP repeatedly asks Gordon Brown if the Chief of the Defence Staff asked for 2,000 more troops
- Andy McNab, former SAS soldier and author of "Bravo Two Zero", speaks alongside Liam Fox at the Conservative Party's Combat Stress Summit
Today's top story: Labour ministers plan reputation trashing of Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt
"Relations between the Chief of the General Staff and the Government hit a new low after senior Labour sources warned the general will be “fair game” for political attacks when he leaves his post at the end of August. Sir Richard has publicly called for more troops and helicopters in Afghanistan, piling pressure on Gordon Brown over his support for the Armed Forces." – Telegraph
"Not that the prospect of a Tory victory at the next election holds out much hope for a significant reallocation of resources towards defence. Behind the scenes, Mr Cameron and his aides are briefing opinion-formers to expect the worst. More money will be found for the Army, but only at the expense of the RAF and Navy. Writing in the Financial Times, Malcolm Rifkind, a former Conservative defence secretary, stated boldly: "The defence budget of over £34 billion [sic] is simply too big to be exempt from cuts." – Jeff Randall in The Telegraph
George Osborne intensifies attack on "dishonest" Brown
"Last night, George Osborne launched a full-blown attack on the Prime Minister, saying: "Gordon Brown's dishonesty is becoming an embarrassment for the whole government. His claim that cuts can be avoided is now openly challenged by the Cabinet Secretary and the Chancellor. "He dismisses newspaper reports the civil service are contemplating 20% cuts but those reports come straight from the mouth of Gus O'Donnell." – The Herald | BBC report on Mr Brown's latest spending remarks
Quoted in The Telegraph Mr Osborne reaffirms his approach to financial regulation: "The next Conservative government will abolish the tripartite system… We will put the Bank of England in charge of the prudential supervision of our banks, our building societies and our other significant financial institutions. For we have learnt from this crisis the old truth: that you cannot separate central banking from the supervision of the financial system."
David Cameron attacks the spineless Labour MPs who deserted Gary McKinnon
"David Cameron and Nick Clegg last night attacked hypocritical MPs who pledged support for Gary McKinnon's fight against extradition to the U.S. before reneging in a key Commons vote. It came as the Asperger's sufferer's family and charities lashed out at former minister Denis MacShane for suggesting he was faking his condition." – Daily Mail
Tory chairman tells party to get ready for autumn election – Guardian
Half of next generation of Tory MPs comfortable with Scottish independence
"A poll showing almost half the Tory candidates thought most likely to become the next generation of Conservative MPs, are "not uncomfortable" with the idea of an independent Scotland was hailed by the SNP last night as a boost for the nationalist cause and an embarrassment for the Tories in Scotland. The snapshot conducted by the Conservativehome.com website asked questions on a variety of subjects of 144 election candidates in what it regarded as the 220 most winnable seats for the Westminster opposition party across the UK." – The Herald
> The full survey results were published here two weeks ago.
Barnett formula should be scrapped as Scotland's needs were not as great as other parts of the UK says Lords Committee – BBC
No more News of the World phone-tapping trials, says Director of Public Prosecutions – Daily Mail
Technology should not be excuse to erode our precious freedoms – Damian Green MP in The Independent
Seven-in-ten voters don't want Tories to repeal hunting ban – The Mirror
Nick Clegg claims that Britain's political duopoly is over
"The duopoly that dominated British politics in the 20th century is dying on its feet. In the 1951 General Election, only 2 per cent of voters chose a party other than Labour or the Conservatives. At the local elections last month, that figure had risen to nearly 40 per cent. The glue that held the duopoly together has disintegrated. Class divides have shifted. Geography no longer maps allegiance. Ideological differences once so important feel immaterial in the post-Cold War world. And because of globalisation and technology – not least the internet – identity has become more fluid and more complex." – The Liberal Democrat leader quoted in The Independent
Gordon Brown's guests at Chequers last year included Jimmy Carr, Bruce Forsyth, Sir Fred Goodwin and John Motson – The Guardian
"Gordon Brown’s globetrotting last year cost twice as much as Tony Blair in his final year" – The Times
And, reports The Telegraph, The number of spin doctors and political advisers Gordon Brown employs in Downing Street at taxpayers' expense has risen again.
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