10pm ToryDiary: Tories 13% ahead in post-Question Time poll

Picture 79.45pm WATCH: BNP leader Nick Griffin says his party is
making a formal complaint to the BBC over the way in which Question
Time had been "twisted"

9.30pm David T Breaker on CentreRight reflects on last night's Question Time: "I guess the lesson from this is that some people are just crazy"

4.15pm Local Government: Labour leader of Sandwell Council resigns after theft charge.

4pm Latest on CentreRight:

12.30pm Robert Halfon on CentreRight: Licence-fee payers should have had a say in deciding whether Nick Griffin should have been on Question Time

11.30am ToryDiary: British economy has shrunk by 5.9%

11am Seats and Candidates: Nominations open for Beckenham and Stretford & Urmston

ToryDiary: Tory backbenchers and the grassroots deserve better from the leadership

BethellQuote James Bethell on Platform: It is not enough to attack the BNP. More people are employed attacking the BNP than by the BNP itself, but the BNP continues to grow

John Maples MP on Seats and candidates: We had hoped to avoid all women shortlists but the last eight selections have been of men

Parliament: Douglas Carswell MP attacks "monumentally useless" Commons that has lost powers to activist judges and quangoes

Councillor_Mike_Freer_board_2008 On the local government pages:


"The BBC gave Griffin the oxygen of publicity. He choked." – Tom Sutcliffe in The Independent

Tim Montgomerie's verdict: "Forgeting the theatre of tonight the BNP will persist so long as the parties aren't strong enough on immigration, patriotism and social justice. The BNP can't be defeated in sixty minutes but tonight showed that Griffin can be beaten in the end."

Melanchthon's verdict: "It was a significant error on the part of the BBC to devote so much of the programme to the BNP. Just because the BNP had to be on didn't mean there had to be a whole show devoted to questions about the BNP.  He was entitled to be on, and the rest of us were entitled to hear his views on bankers bonuses, on MP expenses, on Gordon Brown's biscuit problems, on whether the banks should be broken up, and so on.  He was either on there as part of the normal process or he wasn't.  If he was only there as part of the normal process, as the BBC insisted, then it should have been a normal show."

Tories will put ministers back in charge of major planning decisions

"The Tories would abolish a new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) set up by Labour to streamline the system after long-standing complaints from industry that decisions took several years. Now some business leaders are worried that the Tory proposals will create delays as ministers agonise over sensitive applications." – Independent

The Young Conservatives

HANCOCK MATT "The office of George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, generates many of the Tories’ best ideas, and some less good ones. Mr Osborne himself is 38, stunningly young for a would-be chancellor. But he seems venerable beside his advisers. His fecund brains trust comprises Rohan Silva (28) and Rupert Harrison (30). Matthew Hancock, his chief of staff, has just turned 31 [pictured]. It isn’t only the Osborne nursery. News footage of Mr Cameron on the night before his conference speech showed the leader conversing with his wife, Mr Osborne, William Hague (the shadow foreign secretary)—and Ameet Gill. Mr Gill is Mr Cameron’s main speechwriter. He is 27. The head of the party’s policy unit is 33." – The Economist's Bagehot

Samantha Cameron’s M&S polka-dot dress… hand-made by Alison MansellTimes

Gordon Brown calls on Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union to "get round the table" to bring an end to industrial actionBBC

English councils will be required to publish chief executives' salaries by the end of 2009BBC

Foreign Secretary David Miliband accuses public of climate change apathyTimes

MPs investigate Lockerbie bomber's releaseSky

Allister Heath: A reminder of financial services' importance to the UK economy

"Financial services alone account for 7% of UK GDP, with half of this made up of banking. In 2008, which of course was a much better year for the industry than this year, the financial sector’s net exports hit £50.5bn. Bank earnings made up 62% of the total; prior to the recession, banking export earnings were worth £30bn-£40bn a year, paying for a lot of imported manufactured goods. We must put in place policies to avoid another boom, bubble and bust cycle; but over time we need strong, independent banks that can continue to prop up the UK economy in this way.  Financial services paid £12.4bn in corporation tax – 27% of the total – and £18.7bn in employees’ pay as you earn taxes – 15% the total – in the year prior to the recession. A last statistic: volumes of new lending to small businesses are holding up, with over £5bn of new loans provided so far this year, while the stock of lending has grown over 4% in the last year. It is obviously a myth that all small firms are seeing all their funding slashed (though of course overdraft rates have shot up and banks often fail to distinguish between good firms and risky ones)." – Allister Heath in City AM

Ageism within the NHS and social care is set to be made illegalGuardian

And finally…

72,000 people signed petition calling for Brown to resign – Telegraph


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