- Charlie Elphicke defends George Osborne against an attack from The Telegraph on corporate taxation
- "You literally can’t find a journalist to say that Brown isn’t lying when he says spending will rise."
ToryDiary: A patriotic plea to David Cameron
James Cleverly on Platform: How we are working to reduce youth offending rates in London
Melanchthon on CentreRight is not prepared to apologise for Section 28: "It's not the job of the state to promote alternative lifestyles, and that is what Section 28 says local authorities must not do (and it is all that Section 28 says they must not do)."
Also on CentreRight a blog from Donata Huggins: David Cameron says that social action projects will help us fix our broken politics
- "I've always told the truth, I've always told the truth" says tetchy Gordon Brown in BBC interview
- John Prescott welcomes 'Nationalised Express'
Labour has been accused of another U-turn after Lord Mandelson said the partial sell-off of Royal Mail will not proceed in the "current circumstances" – BBC
Government defeated on Parliamentary Standards Bill
"By 250 votes to 247, the Commons voted to drop the part of the legislation that would have allowed lawyers to use what MPs had said in Parliament against them in court." – Sky News
The Financial Times' verdict on yesterday's PMQs:
"Game, set and match to the Conservative leader"
"David Cameron and Gordon Brown’s spat over public spending becomes more intense and bitter by the day, and the pair have been at it now for three weeks. But at the end of Wednesday’s prime minister’s question time it looked like game, set and match to the Tory leader as Mr Brown made a series of errors." – FT
"It seems to be obvious to everyone except the Prime Minister that spending has to be reined in." – Anatole Kaletsky in The Times
Osborne defends himself against Mandelson's attacks
"The Business Secretary claimed Mr Osborne had told a "deliberate untruth" by alleging that the Opposition was being denied access to government figures on public spending. He said the allegation had been flatly rejected by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell. "There is a very unattractive pattern of behaviour that is starting to emerge with George Osborne, of innuendo in pursuit of a smear," he said. Mr Osborne stuck to his guns, insisting the Tories had been denied the chance to inspect a database detailing public expenditure in 12,000 key areas. He said they had requested sight of the Combined Online Information System at two meetings but were rejected." – Independent
Telegraph attacks George Osborne's corporate tax policy
"On company taxes, Mr Osborne seems ready to cut corporation tax further, despite burgeoning budget deficits. That shows sound instincts, for it will help the recovery enormously. However, we strongly disagree with the shadow chancellor over his apparent desire to "fund" such cuts by scrapping tax relief on debt interest. For a party trying to restore its reputation in the business community, this is an inexplicable proposal. This form of relief makes an enormous contribution to entrepreneurial activity in this country. Take it away, and the risk-takers and wealth-creators on which the recovery will largely depend will be knocked back." – Telegraph leader
All roads lead to George Osborne's office
"The extent of Mr Osborne’s importance to the Cameroon project was revealed this week in a report by Conservative Intelligence, a new group headed by Tim Montgomerie, founder of the influential conservativehome.com website. A former Tory staffer himself, he spoke to 50 of the party’s key players in order to produce a diagram of where power lies. Mr Osborne’s name was mentioned to him far more often than that of Mr Cameron himself. On an operational basis, all roads do seem to lead to the shadow chancellor’s office." – Fraser Nelson in The Spectator
The Independent predicts victory for the Conservatives in Norwich North
"It is a safe bet that by the end of this month, 27-year-old Chloe Smith will be the new, Conservative MP for Norwich North. She lives in the centre of Norwich, just outside the constituency border, grew up in the town, and went to Swaffham comprehensive school, where she is a school governor. Her parents and grandparents also live locally. One of her grandmothers still works, commissioning and marketing postcards. Her father was a furniture maker, her mother was a state schoolteacher, and one grandfather was a vicar.
" – Independent
Ben Brogan: No politicians are speaking up for Britain's armed forces
"At a time when a new US president is studiously avoiding playing favourites with European leaders, preferring instead to judge them by their actions and their willingness to share the burdens abroad, our politicians are preparing to eviscerate our defence capacity. No wonder that, in Washington, mutterings about Britain's long-term seriousness are getting louder." – Ben Brogan in The Telegraph
Warning of 10-15% reduction in defence budget – FT
Edward Leigh MP warns against perverse incentives for councils to speed planning decisions – BBC
Ed Balls accused of abandoning academy schools – Times
Allister Heath: All the attention yesterday was on trains but we need more investment in our roads
"Road transport accounts for 82 per cent of passenger travel and around 63 per cent of freight traffic. A reliable road network is therefore particularly crucial for our quality of life and our economic competitiveness. Yet the UK has fewer miles of motorway per car than all other major European economies and less than half the EU average." – City AM
The Sun blasts Labour's record on crime
"Our jails are overflowing, knife crime is rampant and people are frightened on the streets. Yob rule is replacing the rule of law. That's Labour's legacy." – The Sun Says
John Denham expresses concern that Labour is focusing on its core vote at the expense of the middle class – Telegraph
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