Picture 1 9.15pm Parliament update: Frontbencher David Jones joins John Redwood in seeking a recall of Parliament to question ministers about relations with Libya

7pm ToryDiary: Tory lead 16% in new ICM poll as voters agree healthcare would be better under a Conservative Government

5.30pm WATCH: Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill tells the Scottish Parliament why he released the Lockerbie bomber

4.45pm Lord Bates on CentreRight: The ‘forgotten’ war against drug producers we must win

3.45pm Latest on Local Government:

GoldieLockerbieStatement 3.30pm Parliament: Annabel Goldie says Scotland's position on the
world stage would have been better served by releasing the Lockerbie
bomber to a secure house, hospice or hospital

2pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Is it not unfair that an American online campaign is seeking to boycott Scotland and the United Kingdom?

12.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Don't judge an article by the headline…

12.30pm David T Breaker on CentreRight: Cameron is right on NHS spending

John Redwood 2 11.30am Parliament: John Redwood demands a recall of Parliament to debate relations with Libya, the economy, the NHS, Afghanistan…

ToryDiary: Conservatives to launch aggressive raid on
Labour's core support as the Government stands accused of creating "a
country of two nations"

Ali Miraj on Platform: Creating new grammar schools, abolishing the 50% student target and performance-related pay for teachers: all part of a plan to reform the education system

Seats and Candidates Diary of a PPC: Alex Story runs a half marathon and spends the rest of the week continuing to pound the streets of Wakefield in his campaign to be the town's first Conservative MP since the 1930s

Local Government: Glasgow councillors paid £400,000 for sitting on "arms length" boards

WATCH: Iain Duncan Smith is challenged by Polly Toynbee over his proposals to promote marriage

FOX LIAM NEW Tories slam Gordon Brown over his failure to state his position on the release of the Lockerbie bomber

"This is a disgraceful situation. It flies in the face of natural justice. Most people will think it is nonsensical and would expect Gordon Brown as Prime Minister of the UK to say something about it. But as ever, when the going gets tough, Gordon Brown goes to ground. He makes all sorts of statements about celebrity, about sporting events, but when we face a major issue about the United Kingdom's prestige about how we are perceived overseas about a major question of justice, Gordon Brown is silent." – Liam Fox quoted in The Independent

"Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism sub-committee, said there was a risk of “long term damage to our intelligence relationship” with the US. He said unless Mr Brown made his stance clear, “there is a real danger of payback time from the U.S. on several fronts”. – Conservative MP Patrick Mercer quoted in the Daily Telegraph

Alex Salmond's SNP administration fights for survival as Scottish Parliament is recalled – The Times

> Saturday's ToryDiary: William Hague issues a list of questions for Labour over release of Lockerbie bomber

Tory MPs revolt over Cameron's NHS plans

"David Cameron faces a revolt by his own MPs over his flagship policy to raise National Health Service spending by a level above inflation each year. Two-thirds of Tory backbenchers oppose his plan to exempt healthcare from any spending cuts that an incoming Conservative Government would make to tackle the "black hole" in the public finances. Mr Cameron could come under pressure to rethink his strategy if he becomes prime minister, a poll by ComRes suggests." – The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Lansley wants to make the NHS so good that nobody wants private medical insurance

GIBB NICK Tories allege phasing out of "core" GCSEs…

"The Conservatives today accuse the government of sidelining academic education, presenting figures showing a fall in the proportion of students getting five GCSEs including the "core" subjects of English, maths, science and a language since 2001. Fewer than one in four students leave schools with at least a C in those GCSE subjects, down from more than 30% in 2001, the figures, obtained in parliament, show… Nick Gibb, the shadow schools minister, said phasing out of core subjects was a terrible indictment of the government. "The environment children face upon leaving educationhas never been so competitive, which makes it even more important to reverse this trend." – The Guardian

…as there are more accusations about the dumbing down of GCSEs

"Pupils taking this year's GCSE science exams were awarded marks for simply being able to name an illegal drug. And those taking languages were allowed to take a cue card to prompt them in their oral tests… The Conservative schools spokesman Michael Gove said: 'Since the last curriculum changed, experts have warned that science GCSE is no longer as rigorous as it should be. We have seen questions that are not a proper test of scientific reasoning crop up in exam paper after exam paper. It's important we keep up with other nations that are pulling ahead in maths and science and making sure that our students sit exams that properly stretch and test them'." – Daily Mail

> Last week's ToryDiary: Michael Gove plans "major overhaul" of exams and league tables to tackle the "deterioration of standards"

Justine Greening exposes another Government attack on small business

"Businesses face a £400 million bill because of delays to a flagship scheme meant to help them through the recession, the Tories warned last night. Justine Greening, Tory local government spokesman, said: 'Ministers have had four years to get a suitable scheme in place to help companies before big business rate tax rises in April this year, but instead we a get a last-minute emergency scheme that will come too late for many small businesses'." – Daily Mail

> Friday's ToryDiary: Justine Greening highlights £100m tax bombshell for small businesses

Wollaston Sarah Totnes PPC Sarah Wollaston answers reader's questions about the NHS, abortion and her selection via an open primary

"The NHS is no
mistake, but like any large organisation it can feel cumbersome and
inflexible at times. Ask anyone who works in the NHS and they will be able
to give you suggestions as to how we can make it better. We need to keep
focusing on patients' experiences and ways of easing the bottlenecks in the
delivery of care.
" – Sarah Wollaston answering questions in The Independent

Further coverage of the leaked Gray report into Ministry of Defence failures

"A devastating official report which ministers tried to bury has identified a £35billion hole in the budget for military equipment and 'lethal' failings in government programmes… Tory defence spokesman Liam Fox said: 'It is serial incompetence by the Labour government and the Ministry of Defence to allow our defences to get to this state. There is a catastrophic black hole, so much so that the defence budget is little more than a con-trick at the present time where the Government pretend that they have procured equipment for the future when they have never actually set aside the money to do so'." – Daily Mail

Tim Montgomerie: Cameron needs to explain where the spending axe will fall

"At this year's Conservative Party Conference in Manchester – barely six weeks away – the Tory leadership must begin to overcome its electoral caution and set out more clearly where the axe will fall. The resulting candour might not make much difference to the outcome of the next general election but it could be crucial to the chances of a prime minister Cameron being re-elected." – Tim Montgomerie writing in The Independent

Boris Johnson smiling Boris Johnson: The sheer intellectual power of our children is probably growing

"This is the week when dyspeptic Right-wing columnists and politicians
traditionally denounce these scenes as a sham, when lovely hard-working
teenagers run crying from the room because some miserable old git has
told them that an A-grade these days isn't worth a pitcher of warm
spit… In spite of the catastrophic losses sustained by modern
educational culture – the slow death of physics in state schools, the
inability of children to learn poetry by heart – the evolutionary
evidence suggests that the sheer intellectual power of our children is
probably growing." – Boris Johnson writing in the Daily Telegraph

Bruce Anderson: You can cut waste and save services

"Tightly-run programmes will not only cost less. They will deliver more. In recent years, both the Swedes and the Canadians had to economise their way out of public spending crises. Both did so without savaging front-line services. David Cameron faces a similar problem. Although it will not be easy, it should bring forward the day when public service becomes a tautology rather than an oxymoron." – Bruce Anderson writing in The Independent

George Pitcher: David Cameron had better beware the Righties

"I dare say Dave Cameron and his "progressive Conservatives" covet my
vote at the forthcoming general election. Perhaps I'm Mediapolitan Man,
or Sussex Git, or Baby Boom Bastard, or some other soubriquet that his
focus groups have come up with. But evidently to a breed of invariably
young Right-winger I'm a Leftie if I express a view that isn't entirely
on-message with the neo-con creed. And this presents the Cameroons with
something of a challenge, I suspect." – George Pitcher, religion editor of the Daily Telegraph

Mandarins launch attack on Labour

"Labour has abandoned cabinet government during its time in power and routinely bypassed the civil service to exert greater political control over Whitehall, some of Britain's most senior mandarins have warned. In a damning indictment of the Blair-Brown years, four former cabinet secretaries – who served three prime ministers over 26 years – have warned that the presidential style of both leaders is a threat to Britain's constitutional settlement." – The Guardian

Lord Blaker, 1922-2009Independent obituary


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