Latest news at 10pm:
- ToryDiary: New YouGov poll for The Sun gives Tories a lead of 14%
- Seats and Candidates update: Anne McIntosh MP faces SURVIVES deselection vote tonight in Thirsk and Malton
3pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: So who should host a general election leaders' debate?
- Daniel Hamilton notes a startling admission from a European Commissioner: "No real debate about the Lisbon Treaty could happen. This was a deliberate decision"
- Brian Connell proposes some ground rules for Today interviews: How to solve a problem like ten past eight
"Gordon Brown has been dragged to the heart of the Lockerbie row after a minister admitted telling Libya that the British government did not want the bomber to die in jail. Official documents revealed that a British minister was warned on a trip to Tripoli earlier this year that there would be ‘catastrophic’ consequences if Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was not released… David Cameron accused Mr Brown, who has repeatedly refused to express any opinion on the bomber’s release despite an international furore, of ‘double dealing’ – telling the U.S. he wanted Megrahi to die in prison, but assuring the Libyans he wanted him released to die with his family. The Tory leader demanded an independent inquiry headed by a former judge into the choreography of the decision to send Megrahi home to a hero’s welcome in Libya." – Daily Mail
"People up and down the country – including Sun readers – always knew there was something fishy about the decision to release al-Megrahi. To begin with, there was the bizarre excuse that he should be freed on "compassionate grounds". Really? This man was found guilty of killing 270 people and showed no remorse. Next, there was Gordon Brown's stunning silence on the issue… And now, the British Government, and indeed the Prime Minister, stand accused of double-dealing." – David Cameron writing in The Sun
Tories will take action over "unfair" soldiers' taxes
"The Tories have promised to review the level of income tax which military personnel are charged while risking their lives on active service. A spokesman said that David Cameron, the party leader, was determined to either increase the bonus which troops are currently entitled to while serving on the front line or replace it with a tax cut." – Daily Telegraph
"The junior ranks of the armed forces should get an immediate £6,000 pay rise to help boost morale, the Lib Dems say." – BBC
"The government has been criticised for wasting taxpayers' money after launching a job advert for what has been dubbed a 'deputy Twittercrat'. The job, advertised by the Cabinet Office, the Deputy Director, Digital Communication, pays £75,000 a year, with potential bonuses and pension benefits. But the Conservatives have criticised the job, with Francis Maude, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, arguing it is a waste of taxpayers' money. "You would have thought one Twitter tsar was enough for Gordon Brown," he said." – Daily Telegraph
Conservatives question the likely effectiveness of new Government scheme to help young people into work
"The government is pledging a further 85,000 "opportunities" to help get young people into work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown will make the announcement at a Backing Young Britain summit in Birmingham. A Conservative spokesman said they hoped that Labour's plans would make a real difference to young people but that ensuring the programmes were good quality was key. "The worry is that we're moving back to the old new deal days where young people are moved off benefits onto 'training' and 'work experience' to keep youth unemployment figures down, but the programmes did very little to actually help young people into work or gain any meaningful qualification." – BBC
Gordon Brown "to tax you even more"
"Gordon Brown last night signalled a fresh round of punishing new tax rises on middle-income families to pay for the Government’s crippling debt crisis… On his official first day back at work after his month-long summer break, he issued a stark warning of “hard choices and difficult choices” ahead… Tory frontbencher Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Gordon Brown has presided over a fiscal disaster of unprecedented proportions – yet still does not appear to grasp the urgent need to control public spending.” – Daily Express
"Ken Clarke has returned to the shadow cabinet at the age of 68. Vince Cable (66) has had a good financial war. Gordon Brown has even brought back Peter Mandelson (56). We need, however, to go much further. The continuing undercurrent of ageism will deter many able people from entering politics… Gladstone sat in his first cabinet as a minister at the age of 33; he presided over his last as prime minister at the age of 84. If 19th-century politics could make the most of both the young and the old Gladstone, we should be similarly broad-minded." – Andrew Tyrie MP writing in The Guardian
Simon Heffer: Scottish independence can't come soon enough
"Apparently, Mr Cameron and his advisers are still putting together the detail about what to do with Scotland. Far be it from me to offer them advice, but I would like to suggest a couple of considerations. First, a semi-detached part of the United Kingdom that Labour has progressively driven towards independence since 1997 wishes not to be ruled by Westminster but is happy to take (at least) £22 billion in subsidy each year. How fair is that on the English taxpayer?" – Simon Heffer writing in the Daily Telegraph
Christopher Booker: Green zealots and muddled ministers are leading Britain to blackouts
"Once again we are being warned that within a few years this country could be facing its worst wave of power blackouts since those far-off days more than three decades ago — and that even the Government itself now admits these might be inevitable. For seven years it has been glaringly obvious to energy experts that Britain will soon be facing a colossal energy gap, as the ageing power stations which currently supply 40 percent of our electricity are forced to close down." – Christopher Booker writing in the Daily Mail
Boris to Urge EU to Relax Plan for Hedge Fund Scrutiny
"Boris Johnson will today urge the European Parliament to modify proposals to tighten scrutiny of hedge funds and buyout firms, calling the steps “narrowly protectionist.” – Bloomberg
Lancashire Tories tear up previous Labour budget – Lancashire Telegraph
Yesterday world leaders marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II
"Poland has been holding a day of commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. Leaders from 20 countries laid candles during a ceremony near Gdansk… The ceremony marked the exact time on 1 September 1939 when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire at point-blank range on the fort. At the same time, the German Wehrmacht invaded Poland from east, west and south. The attacks triggered Britain and France's declaration of war against Germany two days later." – BBC
Shadow Europe Minister Mark Francois, attending the commemoration, gave his reflection:
“As my father fought in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, I feel privileged to attend the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the War on behalf of Her Majesty’s Opposition. It is fitting today to remember the millions of people on all sides who perished in that terrible conflict, especially those who fought to defend liberty and decency. We should never take our freedom for granted.”
"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has become a ‘cover-boy’ for a major glossy fashion magazine to celebrate this year’s 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week. The Mayor makes his debut on the cover of a limited edition special issue, by Elle, the world’s biggest-selling fashion magazine, with the support of City Hall and Transport for London. He has been photographed, surrounded by the lyrics from The Clash’s ‘London Calling’, a shot which echoes Elle’s best-selling cover of 2008, which featured Sienna Miller. He has also written the ‘editor’s letter’, inside the issue, an honour only previously accorded two other blondes, the editor-in-chief, Lorraine Candy, and the Italian superstar designer, Donatella Versace." – Daily Telegraph
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