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10.30pm ToryDiary: New Ipsos-Mori poll puts Labour in third place behind the Lib Dems

10pm Seats and Candidates update: Edmonton Conservatives select Andrew Charalambous as their parliamentary candidate

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9.45pm WATCH: "If I can come back, we can come back" – Lord Mandelson's message to the Labour Party Conference

9pm Seats and Candidates: The final six names emerge for Macclesfield

8.30pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: Encourage marriage by reducing the cost of weddings

7.30pm Seats and Candidates: Edmonton Conservatives are selecting their parliamentary candidate tonight

5.30pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight has spotted The Sun's ad van touring Brighton with a message for the Government

4pm WATCH: Alistair Darling claims the Conservative Party failed the tests of judgement posed by the economic crisis

3.45pm ToryDiary exclusive: Tories set to launch groundbreaking campaigning website

3pm ToryDiary update: Chris Grayling demands that the inquiry into Baroness Scotland be re-opened

1.15pm WATCH: Is this Labour's last ever party conference in Government?

Tim Loughton

12.30pm CentreRight update: Shadow Children's minister Tim Loughton agrees with Jonathan Isaby that banning friends from babysitting each other's children "defies common sense"

12.15pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: The DNA database: a part of you, forever in the Government’s hands

11.45pm CentreRight updates:

11.15am WATCH: Lord Mandelson says that controlling bankers' bonuses will sustain, not sabotage, wealth creation

10.45am Local Government: Gordon Brown's fightback falls flat in Brent as Labour councillor defects to the Conservatives

10.30am ToryDiary: A very big day in UK opinion polling… the arrival of daily polling

10.15am Mark Field MP on CentreRight: Alternative Investment Directive – the impact on hedge funds

FOX GESTICULATING

ToryDiary: Liam Fox accuses the Government of failing in its three main responsibilities in Afghanistan

Bob Seely on Platform: Is Patriotism going to be the next big political idea?

Seats and Candidates:

Local Government:

Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: Some thoughts on the German elections

Fifty Things about David Cameron's Conservatives: 3 – David Cameron is rebuilding the Tory Big Tent

Star Chamber: Abolish the £30 allowance for 16 to 19 year-olds in full time education

WATCH:

Tory outrage at demands from Scottish airport police for passports from English visitors

Chris Grayling head shoulders tie

"Passengers travelling on flights from England to Scotland are being forced to show passports to police. The situation came to light when Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling was shocked to be asked for identification under anti-terror laws by airport officers. And last night he demanded an explanation from Scotland’s top police chief and said he was worried that people travelling on domestic flights now face checks akin to border controls. The Tory MP has written to Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House asking why his officers are routinely stopping airline passengers using powers normally used to combat terrorists." – Daily Mail

David Ruffley exposes alarming rate of police station closure

"Police stations are closing at the rate of one a month, despite the Government’s rhetoric for improving neighbourhood policing, The Daily Telegraph can disclose… David Ruffley, the shadow policing minister who obtained the latest information, said: "Police stations, a visible police presence in any community, continue to close. While some forces argue that police stations are less necessary because of new technology, the fact remains that the police presence on our streets has decreased under Labour. Beat officers spend less than one hour in five on patrol." – Daily Telegraph

Conservatives plan to use more lottery cash to save historic buildings

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT

"Neglected churches and crumbling castles would receive millions of pounds of extra funding if the Conservatives win power at the next election, a Shadow minister has suggested. Endangered historic buildings such as cathedrals and abbeys in need of urgent repair would benefit from additional funding from the National Lottery under a Tory plan to allocate more cash to traditional projects and the preservation of the nation’s heritage. Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said that up to £40 million would be found by cutting bureaucracy and allowing the lottery to operate independently. Buildings most likely to benefit are those managed by organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust." – The Times

New poll suggests Labour could prevent Tory victory if Brown is ditched

"Support for the Conservative Party is so flimsy that Labour could head off a general election defeat by ousting Gordon Brown, according to a survey for The Independent. ComRes found that Labour would do better under all eight alternative leaders, whose support it tested with the public, than under Mr Brown. Under David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, or Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, Labour would be the largest party in a hung parliament, raising hopes that it might cling on to power for a fourth term." – The Independent

"The leadership of the Government has lost the right to be listened to… Gordon Brown will lead the Labour Party to defeat. It might be a serious defeat from which the party will take a long time to recover. If it retains the will to be competitive — which is doubtful — it has to summon some courage and find a more appealing face." – Times editorial

> Last night's ToryDiary: Conservatives at 38% and Labour and LibDems both on 23%

Further poll analysis points to big Labour names being defeated

"Some of Labour’s best-known MPs, including Margaret Beckett and Jacqui Smith as well as ten ministers, are predicted to lose their seats in the event of a landslide election defeat… The most prominent names to lose their seats in this case would include Ms Smith, a former Home Secretary, who has a 1,948 majority in Redditch, Mrs Beckett, a former Foreign Secretary, which would take a shift of 2,755 votes in Derby South, Barbara Follett, the Stevenage MP, whose lead is 3,451, and Glenda Jackson, the Hampstead MP, whose majority is 1,134." – The Times

Chris Grayling: Baroness Scotland's position is "completely untenable"

"Law chief Baroness Scotland faced fresh pressure last night after her illegal immigrant maid claimed she was hired in ten minutes flat. Loloahi Tapui insisted she did not show her passport when she applied to work for the Attorney General – and was never asked for it… Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling called her position "completely untenable" and added: "It looks pretty clear that the Home Office carried out a rushed and incomplete investigation." – The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Grayling accuses Brown of attempting to "whitewash" Baroness Scotland's employment of illegal housekeeper

Speaker Bercow calls a halt to the hunt for the whistleblower on MPs' expenses

Speaker Bercow

"John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has called off the hunt into the source of the Telegraph’s expenses disclosures, branding it a waste of money… The Speaker said that he was “deeply disturbed” to discover that taxpayers’ money was still being spent on the investigation, despite widespread public anger at MPs over the disclosures, describing the inquiry as a “witch hunt”. – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary post on the matter

The City is increasingly united in seeking a Tory victory

"Any doubt that the Conservative leader may have had about whether he could rely on City votes in the general election next year were swept away at a packed banqueting hall last Tuesday evening, when the Tories played host to a private fundraiser that was all but standing room only. The black-tied bankers attending the dinner, who included Michael Spencer, the founder of Icap, Richard Gnodde, a managing director of Goldman Sachs, and Naguib Kheraj, the chief executive of JPMorgan Cazenove, are accustomed to grabbing business from one another at opposite ends of a trading screen. But the occasion united them in a common cause: to help the Conservatives to seize power for the first time in 13 years — and to replenish the party’s coffers to help them to get there." – The Times

Peter Riddell: Beleaguered Gordon Brown carries echoes of John Major's doomed premiership

"A Prime Minister widely derided in the press as a doomed loser faces his last conference before a general election with his party lagging well behind in the polls. Sounds familiar? Gordon Brown’s predicament has uncanny echoes with Sir John Major’s situation in autumn 1996, ahead of the landslide defeat for the Conservatives in May 1997. History never repeats itself exactly but all prime ministers in trouble have similar experiences. They tend to be accident prone. Foreign trips are particularly hazardous when a press pack scenting blood pursues the PM on matters that he considers irrelevant, such as how much time he spends with a foreign leader (for Bill Clinton in 1996, read Barack Obama now) or over unsubstantiated rumours about his personal health." – Peter Riddell in The Times

> Saturday's CentreRight post from Tim Montgomerie: It's 1996 all over again at the Labour Conference

Downing Street clashes with BBC over Marr's questioning of Brown

MARR andrew

"Downing Street was involved in a heated row with the BBC last night over the corporation’s “astonishing” questioning of Gordon Brown's health. Andrew Marr, the BBC’s main political presenter, shocked the Prime Minister during a live television interview on the opening day of Labour’s annual conference in Brighton by asking whether he took pills to help him “get through". – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: CCHQ ready for Marr to question Cameron's drug history

> WATCH: Gordon Brown denies he is taking prescription pills during Andrew Marr interview

Stephen Glover: Readers will decide if Lord Ashcroft is interfering with websites' editorial lines

"If the billionaire deputy chairman of the Tory party acquired control of two newspapers, I am sure there would be a terrific hullabaloo. Lord Ashcroft's purchase of the two websites, ConservativeHome.com and PoliticsHome.com has attracted relatively little controversy… In the end it will be the readers of ConservativeHome.com and PoliticsHome.com who decide. If they trace the interfering hand of Lord Ashcroft – and if they do not like it – they will simply stop reading them." – Stephen Glover in The Independent

> Last week's ToryDiary: Lord Ashcroft and ConservativeHome

Angela Merkel claims victory in German election

MERKEL ANGELA

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday recorded a resounding triumph in her country's general elections and will be able to leave her coalition partners behind after they suffered their worst parliamentary election result since the Second World War. Mrs Merkel was seeking to end her uneasy four-year-old "grand coalition" with the centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD) of challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier and form a government with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) instead." – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's International blog on the German elections

Boris's EastEnders cameo will be broadcast on ThursdayThe Guardian

Alistair Darling to announce crackdown on City bonusesThe Independent

Jack Straw confirms he will take on Nick Griffin for Labour on Question TimeBBC

Bruce Anderson: We are in desperate need of good and honest governmentThe Independent

Ed Balls blows £3 million doing up his officeThe Sun

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40 comments for: Monday 28th September 2009

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