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10pm ToryDiary: The Conservatives now have a strong lead over Labour on almost all key policy areas

9.15pm ToryDiary: Ken Clarke says postal workers thinking of striking are behaving almost as if they had a "death wish"

8pm Latest on CentreRight:

SaveElectionNight graphic6pm ToryDiary: Voters agree – 'Save General Election Night"

5.30pm Latest on CentreRight:

2.30pm Jim McConalogue on CentreRight: Ireland's lost powers over arranged marriages, social security benefits and a 30% corporation tax

2pm Melanchthon on CentreRight replies to comments to his previous post on defence spending

12.30pm AmericaInTheWorld: Obama abandons Bush's plan to protect Europe with missile defence system

11.30am ToryDiary: Lib Dems shift focus to target Labour seats… again

11.15am Seats and Candidates: Member of Wycombe Conservatives management committee resigns for posting unauthorised statement on their website

LookIntoTheCameraToryDiary:
What do the Tories need to say about cuts?

Bethell470 James Bethell on Platform: The Centre-Right must take on the BNP – and not let the Left off the hook for its role in Britain's neo-fascist revival

Antonia Cox in Local Government: Fighting for leaseholders in Islington

Overnight posts on CentreRight:

Star Chamber: Abandon plans to increase the compulsory school-leaving age to 18

WATCH:

LISTEN: John Whittingdale MP says there is a fundamental conflict between the two roles of the BBC Trust

David Cameron press conf Sept 2009 Tories accuse Gordon Brown of lying to Parliament on cuts…

"Gordon Brown was accused last night of misleading the Commons after leaked Treasury papers disclosed unpublished government plans to cut spending by £36billion a year by 2014. David Cameron said that while Mr Brown was accusing the Conservatives of planning cuts of 10 per cent, and insisting that he did not want to do the same, his own officials were telling him that spending might have to be reduced by 9.3 per cent in five years. The papers suggest that the Treasury privately took a far more pessimistic view about long-term unemployment and the cost of servicing the national debt than did independent commentators at the time of the Budget." – The Times

…but Cameron "risks Treasury leak backfiring"

David Cameron came under fire over the Conservatives’ planned spending cuts after his leak of Treasury documents risked backfiring on Wednesday… Mr Cameron reiterated his commitment to ring-fence the health and overseas aid budgets from spending cuts – a pledge that neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats have matched. Yet this promise increases the spending cuts needed elsewhere to tackle the public sector deficit. The Treasury’s projected 8.6 per cent cumulative real-terms cut in departmental budgets in the three years to 2013-14, revealed in the leaked documents, would rise to 14 per cent if health and aid were ring-fenced, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies." – FT

> Yesterday's ToryDiary posts

Canada and Sweden "inspire Tory cutters"

"Canada and Sweden are emerging as the templates for Tory thinking as the Conservatives draw up plans to rebalance the public finances. Canada’s response to its mid-1990s public spending crisis is shaping Conservative thinking when they look at how they will cope with the record deficit they will inherit if Labour’s loses power… Sweden is cited by Mr Osborne as another template for how to respond to a fiscal crisis without harming public services." – Daily Telegraph

Benedict Brogan Benedict Brogan: Cameron must not be deterred from giving us the bitter medicine

"Mr Cameron proposes a long-term project of restraint and reform, but
will face resistance, not just from the machine in the centre, or from
the demoralised manager of a Leeds benefits office baulking at making a
10 per cent headcount reduction, but from top to bottom, an accretion
of human resistance, born of short attention spans, lack of
imagination, special pleading, and the siren calls of an economic
recovery… With the right leadership they can be persuaded to support
a national endeavour to spend less and run things better. But it will
require candour from government." – Benedict Brogan writing in the Daily Telegraph

Further speculation about putative Tory defence cuts

"Defence
projects worth £30billion face the chop under a Tory government, George
Osborne sensationally let slip yesterday. The Shadow Chancellor said
two Royal Navy supercarriers, transport planes and Typhoon fighter jets
could be scrapped." – The Sun

George Osborne accused of ‘posturing’ on defence cuts  – The Times

Tories could axe thousands of Scots shipbuilding jobsDaily Record

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT Jeremy Hunt to attack government's "shambolic" media policy

"The
Conservatives will today launch a scathing attack on the government's
handling of media policy, describing the U-turn on product placement
and the plan to share the BBC licence fee as "nothing short of a
complete and utter shambles". In a speech to the Royal Television's
Society's Cambridge Convention later today, shadow culture secretary
Jeremy Hunt is expected to go further than before in attacking the
government's performance on media policy, accusing it of lacking
leadership or stability. "The government's approach to the media sector
has been nothing short of a complete and utter shambles. It is hard to
find a sector that has suffered from so much dithering, so many U-turns
and such a relentless conveyor belt of reviews and consultations that
have ultimately led nowhere," Hunt will tell RTS Cambridge delegates."
The Guardian

Ben Bradshaw: BBC expansion has reached its reasonable limit Daily Telegraph

Lansley: Burnham's announcement on GPs is "too little, too late"

"Patients will be given the right to choose their GPs under government reforms allowing people in deprived areas to sign up with surgeries in more affluent areas. In a move that will be nervously received by doctors, the health secretary Andy Burnham will announce tomorrow that fixed "practice boundaries" are to be abolished within the next year… Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, criticised the government for taking so long to come round to the idea of abolishing boundaries. "This is too little, too late from a Labour government which is lamely following where the Conservatives lead," he said. "The only party that can deliver the real change that our NHS needs is the Conservatives, which is why we need to have a general election now, not in nine months." – The Guardian

Tories want curb on pub opening hours

Speaking at the Wine and Spirit Trade Association conference, shadow health minister Mike Penning said he believed 24-hour drinking laws were "fundamentally flawed". He said: "I passionately believe we are committed to repealing 24-hour legislation. We will not support the advertising ban (on alcohol), we do not support minimum pricing and we do not support the 24-hour laws." – Morning Advertiser

Iain Duncan Smith speaking Stephen Glover: Iain Duncan Smith is a heroic figure

"In a Tory Party that sometimes seems slick, shallow, opportunistic and (dare one say it?) even unprincipled, Iain Duncan Smith stands out almost as a figure from another age, not wishing to profit personally from politics, and eschewing easy answers. He was not a great Tory leader, and he may lack the fluency and easy soundbites of the present incumbent. The truth is, though, that he is contributing far more to his party and his country than he ever did when he held high office." – Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail

Michael White: Cautious voters may cut back Cameron's election margin

"Labour's slender hope lies in the conviction that voters outside the M25 will rumble Cameron and his sidekick, George Osborne, as slick, well-fed metropolitans. Such hope echoes Labour belief in 1979 that Margaret Thatcher, widely feared by voters, would make some gaffe that destroyed her. It never remotely happened. Thatcher and her manifesto were cautious. Even so she won a middling majority of just 43 seats: the landslide came in 1983. But 1979 was a sea-change election of the kind Britain rarely sees and has not done since. Nor will 2010 be such an occasion." – Michael White in The Guardian

The Attorney General employed an illegal immigrant as housekeeper

"The minister in charge of prosecuting criminals has been employing an illegal immigrant. For the past six months Attorney General Baroness Scotland has paid Loloahi Tapui, 27, from Tonga, to look after her large family home in West London. using the National Insurance number issued to her as a student. Last night Lady Scotland denied knowing of her illegal status and fired her immediately." – Daily Mail

"The shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: "There is a real 'one rule for them, one rule for us' attitude at the heart of this Government and it is a disgrace." – The Independent

The Queen Mother was a fan of Margaret Thatcher

"Mrs Thatcher was one of the Queen Mother's "favourite politicians", says a new biography, out today… The Queen Mother was shocked to learn that her daughter proposed to open the centuries-old order to women who were not members of the Royal Family. But she withdrew her objection when she learnt that the first non-royal female member was to be Margaret Thatcher." – The Independent

Peter Hain: Labour are now the underdogs, but the fightback in Wales has started Guardian letter

Threat of national postal strike growsThe Times

Ed Milband woos unions with blistering attack on ToriesThe Herald

Margaret Thatcher 1987 election And finally… Harriet Harman fails to name Margaret Thatcher in list of the most powerful women in political history

"The Women In Power fact sheet – produced by the Government Equalities Office run by Miss Harman – had been designed as a reference point for schools. Starting in 1907 with 'First woman councillor elected', it ends in 2008 celebrating '90 years since women over 30 secured the vote'. But although the document finds ample space to name several prominent Labour women, including some of Miss Harman's friends, there is no mention of Baroness Thatcher's historic defeat of Edward Heath in 1975 to become the first female head of a British political party. Nor is there any mention of her three consecutive general election wins to become the country's longest-serving prime minister of the last century. And although the Iron Lady's first general election victory is mentioned, she is not named. The leaflet merely says: '1979: UK's first woman prime minister'." – Daily Mail

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