12.30pm Andrew Mitchell MP on CentreRight: Reporting back on my meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame
- David Cameron's team is not so much The West Wing as an episode of Friends
- Shoestring manifesto (2): Ideas for enhancing British democracy
- Steve Tierney: Will UKIP win more council seats?
- Oxford City Council launches "sponsor a pothole" scheme
- Nick Seaton: Stop blaming the independent sector for state educational failure
Matt Sinclair on CentreRight highlights his new TaxPayers' Alliance report: The 50p rate will mean fewer entrepreneurs and fewer jobs
Lord Tebbit leads calls for spending cuts to avoid tax rises
"David Cameron is under pressure from the Tory Right to pledge bigger public sector cuts to avoid future tax hikes… Former party chairman Lord Tebbit said: 'It would be wiser to concentrate on reducing expenditure – there is plenty of scope for that. It is unusual for people to vote for tax increases for themselves. 'The question isn't what will attract half a dozen Labour and LibDem voters, but what will get back the millions of missing Tories'." – Daily Mail
"In his latest bid to impress the Guardianistas of his Notting Hill hinterland, David Cameron seems to have lost sight of the fact that the Conservative Party can only win the next election if it stands and fights for Middle England." – Dominic Sandbrook in the Daily Mail
Steve Richards: Will Cameron be tempted to cut with too much severity?
"So far David Cameron has won the pivotal battle over "tax and spend", a significant achievement as this is the policy area which decides general elections. Framing the debate as one between honesty and dishonesty, he has pointed to the obvious need for spending cuts and acquires fresh credibility for his candour. In comparison, Gordon Brown is placed on the defensive by his crude attempt to portray the choice as one between Tory cuts and Labour growth. But while Cameron has outmanoeuvred Brown in these early skirmishes, he has yet to win the war over tax and spend." – Steve Richards writing in The Independent
MPs ignore public anger and "give themselves £9,000 expenses deal by stealth"
"The Daily Telegraph can disclose that MPs have devised a new scheme allowing them to claim a £25-a-night “subsistence” allowance when staying away from their designated main home… The allowance, which is almost double the previous £4,800-a-year limit for unreceipted claims, is paid on top of expenses for mortgage interest, rent, council tax and utility bills. It has been approved without any public announcement or debate in Parliament as MPs leave for their summer holidays." – Daily Telegraph
A Tory Government would review the Equality and Human Rights Commission
"Trevor Phillips is fighting for his future as head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) after a spate of resignations and criticism of his management style. The Tories are also threatening to overhaul the watchdog if they win the next election… Tory sources said they supported the principles of the ECHR, but believed it had been unwieldy. They said its structure would be reviewed by an incoming Tory administration." – The Independent
Geoffrey Wheatcroft: "They'll win. Yet something is wrong with these Tories"
"Person for person, the opposition front bench is now unquestionably stronger in intellectual ability than the cabinet, even if that's not saying much, and Cameron has run rings round Gordon Brown… With all his political talent, Cameron is a smartyboots surrounded by a cabal of shady charlatans and shifty chancers" – Geoffrey Wheatcroft in The Guardian
David Aaronovitch: A clutch of shiny new Tory candidates is appealing straight to the centre but plenty of the old school are waiting in the wings
"David Cameron has done a proper, and, at times, courageous, job of recasting the image of his party. Someone like me, a centre- leftist with (he hopes) an occasionally open mind, can find things to like in the new Conservatism… BUT. For every Letwin and Willetts, I discern four or five Tory triumphalists, who seem to believe, simply, that the period of Labour usurpation is soon to be over, and that it is time for their right wings to bask in the sun." – David Aaronovitch in The Times
Matthew Engel: Britain’s ‘new politics’ is nothing of the sort
"In Britain the concept of “new politics” is particularly associated with the notion of an end to inter-party bickering. We heard it, momentarily, when the Labour leader John Smith died in 1994; we heard it again when Mr Cameron became opposition leader in 2005. It lasted for his first session of prime minister’s questions which, as I recall, was gloriously silky in its malevolence." – Matthew Engel writing in the FT
Glasgow North East to be without an MP "for a record time"
"The constituency of former House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin will be left without an MP for a record length of time, Nationalists have claimed." – The Scotsman
> Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Why not hold by-elections a set time after the vacancy occurs?
MoD appealing over compensation awarded to soldiers – The Independent
Government publishes guide to using Twitter for civil servants – Guardian
Suggestions of "trashy novels" David Cameron might like to read on holiday – Guardian
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