4.45pm WATCH: Cameron and Brown clash over Afghanistan in last PMQs before recess

12.30pm ToryDiary: Helicopters for Afghanistan dominates last PMQs before recess

11.45 Jill Kirby on CentreRight: Help the dying – or build a Next Stage Review?

9.30am Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: Kamiński's credo

ToryDiary: Chris Grayling promises a “21st-century clip around the ear” for the "Nokia generation"

Shakespeare470 Stephan Shakespeare on Platform: Cameron must not be like Boris

HannanQuote Dan Hannan MEP on Platform: We can be very proud of our new leader in the European Parliament

Seats and candidates:


Local government: Adoption failure rate is only 2%

WATCH: The BNP get a cold welcome to the European Parliament

Tory MEP Edward McMillan-Scott expelled after poll rebellion

"A senior Tory MEP was expelled from the party on Tuesday night after winning election to the post of European Parliament vice-president against the Conservatives' official candidate." – Telegraph

> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary: Michal Kaminski MEP elected leader of European Conservatives and Reformists

Quentin Letts: George Osborne is stuck in oppositional mode

Osborne George Addressing IDCC "The problem with his performance was that it was predictable. Its tone, scornful, sardonic, rushed, was unremittingly negative… He is stuck in oppositional mode. He is so consistently, vigorously rude about the Treasury that it has become slightly tiresome. As David Cameron once said, maybe he needs to let in the sunshine. Mr Osborne’s crossness is in contrast to the controlled demeanour of the Chancellor. Mr Darling is like one of those airline pilots who manages to keep his voice level, even while disaster is unfolding all around the cockpit." – Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail

"Osborne said that lending in the economy was lower than expected because half of the government’s financial assistance schemes were not working." – ePolitix

Theresa May: Unemployment to cost taxpayers £11bn paTelegraph

Ken Clarke speech will accuse Brown of a "lack of candour" on public spendingBBC

Mandelson concedes that Britain faces ten years of spending squeeze

"Of course, there will be pressures on spending until 2011 and constraints for the next decade," the business secretary told a Westminster lunch. But he argued that a Labour government would protect frontline services, such as police and hospitals, while a Cameron administration's "mixture of indifference and dogma" would erode the public sector. "That is going to be absolutely the fulcrum of the coming election battleground." – FT

Only Lord West is left as a 'G.O.A.T.' after Lord Darzi quits as health ministerBBC

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley MP commented: "This was surely coming for a long time. Ara Darzi's laudable focus on quality was increasingly at odds with the Brownite fixation with targets and command and control".

Elderly face £20,000 bill in plan to defuse population timebomb

"Elderly people could be compelled to pay up to £20,000 to insure themselves against the cost of being cared for at the end of their lives. The proposals are designed to replace a system that the government describes as unjust with one that is "fair, simple and affordable for everyone"." – Guardian

Alan Johnson: I won't cap immigrationDaily Mail

Max Hastings leans towards abolishing Trident

"Exponents of maintaining Trident and a successor rely overwhelmingly upon traditional arguments about the deterrent as a statement of Britain’s place in the world, its claims upon a seat at the top table. It would be foolish to dismiss this argument, not least because it may well prevail. But it begs the insistent question: can Britain afford such a gesture in our newly straitened circumstances, and at the expense of other, much more utilisable, elements of national security?" – Max Hastings in the FT

And finally…

Photograph of Cameron playing football with youngsters in Kennington – The Sun


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