Picture 3 9pm WATCH: William Hague declares Gordon Brown's inability to voice an opinion about the release of the Lockerbie bomber as a "failure of leadership"

6.15pm Iain Murray on CentreRight: MoD cancels embedding of acclaimed US reporter with our troops in Afghanistan

5.45pm ToryDiary: A second instalment of extracts from the Grazia interview with David Cameron

5.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight on racial profiling by US customs

Picture 54.45pm WATCH: Gordon Brown finally gives a reaction to the release of al-Megrahi

3.30pm Dr Paul Charlson on CentreRight: Balanced and evidence-based debate will lead to sensible NHS reform

2.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Right wing words

2.15pm Obama sets up new unit to interrogate high value terrorist detainees

12.30pm WATCH: Ed Miliband seeks your backing for a new deal on climate change at December's UN conference in Copenhagen

11.45pm ToryDiary: Chris Grayling lambasts Labour for failing
Britain's poorest communities and outlines the Conservative approach to
reversing social breakdown

Ivan Cameron and familyToryDiary: David Cameron tells Grazia magazine about the "immense void" left by Ivan and also discusses his teenage drinking

Kakha Kukava on Platform: Georgia has long valued democracy – a concept sadly unfamiliar to our President, Mikheil Saakashvili

Seats and Candidates: Conservative candidates with experience in business

Local Government:

International: Popular Merkel rules out tax rises to close Germany's budget deficit

LISTEN: John Redwood describes the proposed increase in the UK's contribution to the EU as "money we can't afford being very badly spent"

WATCH: Barack Obama heads to Martha's Vineyard for his first holiday since taking office

Chris Grayling head shoulders tie Chris Grayling's summer offensive continues with a condemnation of Labour for allowing a drug and gun culture to flourish

"A collapse of 'civilised life' has allowed a brutal drug and gun crime culture like that of the U.S. TV show The Wire to flourish on the streets of Britain, the Tories will warn today. Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling will blame Labour for standing by while 'urban war' breaks out in parts of the country. Carrying weapons is becoming the norm, violence is 'routine' and families are terrorised by gangs, he will say." – Daily Mail

"Mr Grayling, who is in day-to-day charge of the Conservative Party this week, will say in a speech: “The Wire used to be just a work of fiction for British viewers. But under this Government, in many parts of British cities, The Wire has become a part of real life in this country too.” He pointed to figures showing that gun crime is up by more than half and fatal stabbings are the highest level on record." – The Times

"The comments are also part of an attempt by senior Conservatives such as George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, to portray their party as being more progressive than Labour on social policy – an effort that has been derided by Lord Mandelson, the business secretary. Mr Grayling argues that the brunt of drug-related and violent crime is falling on the poorest communities in the country… Mr Grayling will argue that the key to making life better for the most deprived is supporting the family and insisting on “community work for the long-term unemployed and removing benefits from those who will not participate in the journey back to work”. – FT

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

New poll provides more evidence that the Conservatives won the August health battle

"Labour's hopes of a summer fightback powered by economic recovery and the NHS row are dashed by a new Guardian/ICM poll showing that the Conservatives have gained ground on key policy areas and are now the overwhelming public choice to form the next government… Labour has lost the August battle on health, with more voters thinking the Conservatives would improve the NHS than think the party would make it worse." – The Guardian

There is further analysis of the poll elsewhere in the Guardian

> Last night's ToryDiary: Tory lead 16% in new ICM poll as voters agree healthcare would be better under a Conservative Government

FOX-LIAM-C&N Conservatives continue to attack Gordon Brown's "cowardly" silence on the release of the Lockerbie bomber…

"Gordon Brown is willing to give us his opinion on the death of Michael Jackson, he gave us his opinion on the racism row in Big Brother, he has taken time out to give us his views on England's victorious cricket team, but a deafening silence on the release of a mass murderer – a decision which is likely to impact on Britain's reputation for justice and our relations with the United States, our most important partner. I think it's inexplicable. In fact, I think it's cowardly." – Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox quoted in The Guardian

…as MSPs question the Scottish Justice Secretary

"The diplomatic row led to angry scenes in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh yesterday, recalled for an emergency session. Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was forced repeatedly to attempt to defend his decision to free the bomber… Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie said: “I want to make clear that the decision to release Mr Megrahi was not done in the name of Scotland or in the name of this Parliament or in my name.” – Daily Express

> Yesterday in 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

DAVIS FORMAL Fewer than one crime is solved for every 1,000 CCTV cameras in London

"Fewer than one crime is solved by every 1,000 closed circuit television cameras, the Metropolitan Police, Britain's biggest police force, has admitted… David Davis MP, the former shadow Home Secretary, said the latest report “should provoke a major and long overdue rethink on where the Home Office crime prevention budget is being spent”. He added: “CCTV leads to massive expense and minimum effectiveness. It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little or no improvement in security." – Daily Telegraph

Senior Tory peer calls for ban on MPs employing family members

"MPs should be banned from employing members of the family at public expense, former Conservative Home Secretary Kenneth Baker said last night. The practice is common at Westminster, with more than 200 MPs – including 14 from Wales – employing members of their families as secretaries or researchers… Lord Baker has written to Sir Christopher Kelly, the chairman of the committee on standards in public life and head of a review into the expenses system, to outline his concerns… A ban should be phased in over the course of the next parliament, he argued, with MPs elected for the first time next year prevented from employing family members." – Western Mail

Former Walsall Tory candidate could return for safer seat

"The Conservative candidate who walked away from a West Midlands constituency is still eligible to apply for another seat after the party decided to keep her on its official list of candidates. Thelma Matuk stood down as candidate for Walsall South, claiming she needed to spend more time looking after her business during the recession… But Ms Matuk, who runs a business consultancy, has admitted she hopes to be selected for a new seat after she has spent “four to eight weeks” concentrating on her firm." – Birmingham Post

> Seats and Candidates post from June: Thelma Matuk stands down in Walsall South – but will be looking for another seat in the autumn

Shane Greer: Open primaries would ensure that MPs (rightly) live in fear if the ballot box

"MPs of any stripe and in any seat should have to actively fight for their position and justify to their electorate that they, as an individual, are worthy of their continued support. Otherwise, what incentive is there for an MP to represent their constituents to the best of their ability? …MPs should live in fear of the ballot box; open primaries would ensure that they do. But as much as open primary contests have an important role to play in holding to account MPs from safe seats, they also have a role to play in those constituencies where victory for one party is anything but assured." – Shane Greer writing in the Yorkshire Post

Vicky Ford Vicky Ford MEP describes herself as more of a Winston Churchill than a Margaret Thatcher

"She thinks her political leanings may have emerged during the winter of
discontent in the late 1970s, when she was 10, and lived in London,
experiencing electricity blackouts, eating tea by candlelight and
seeing rubbish pile up on the streets. "You saw it wasn't working," Vicky recalls. "But I am not another
Margaret Thatcher. I am more the Winston Churchill type – getting the
whole country moving together. That's what we need to do again." – Vicky Ford MEP interviewed in the Cambridge Evening News

Boris to voice "grave doubts" on Tube upgrade

"Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, will speak out on Tuesday about his “grave doubts” that the Tube Lines consortium will be able to deliver its upgrade to the Underground’s Jubilee line by the end of the year. " – FT

Conservatives make rail top priority

"Conservatives would start work on a competition to build a new high-speed rail line as one of their first acts in Government if they win the next election, Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers has said. The party would scrap Network Rail’s monopoly over the construction and maintenance of rail infrastructure, and invite bids to build a new service from London to Birmingham from businesses across the private sector." – Birmingham Post

Brown to draw up list of spending cutsIndependent

Rise of the presidential PMFT

BNP facing legal action over membership rulesDaily Telegraph


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