Picture 1 7.45pm WATCH Eric Pickles and David Miliband clash on the BBC Politics Show over Labour smears about Tory European allies

7pm Natalie Evans on CentreRIght: We're all fiscal conservatives now?

2pm ToryDiary update: Details of the party's Work Programme are unveiled

1.30pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: Lessons on from Pakistan on how to encourage marriage

12.30pm WATCH Three clips from this morning's Andrew Marr Show:

10am ToryDiary: Cameron faces tough questioning from Andrew Marr on Lisbon, that Bullingdon photograph and his personal wealth

ToryDiary: The Murdochs are "furious" at Labour's attacks on The Sun

Plans to close up to 200 failing schools are added to our Rolling record of policy announcements from the Manchester Party Conference

FivePolicies Grassroots manifesto: Civil liberties, teaching of British history, freezing the BBC licence fee, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and energy security top Tory members' list of policy hopes

Platform articles today:

Local government: How ebay reduces the Council Tax

Signs of the Tory ascendancy…

  • Tories 12% ahead in two opinion polls – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary
  • 2,000 journalists are accredited for #cpc09 (Hat tip to the Independent on Sunday).
  • 100 business leaders have joined a £50,000pa club that includes dinner with David Cameron (The Sunday Times).
  • "By choosing yesterday to announce that Gordon Brown will take
    part in leaders' television debates, Labour was clearly hoping to do a
    spoiler on the Tory conference build-up. Yet that was also a further
    sign of Number 10's desperation about the government's unpopularity. No
    previous prime minister has conceded to a debate because no previous
    prime minister has wanted to give equality of status to his opponents.
    Mr Brown has agreed to head-to-head combat with the other leaders only
    because he has nothing left to lose." (Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer).

David Cameron promises "massive change" – In an article for The Sunday Telegraph | BBC

The Mail on Sunday trails Chris Grayling's 'Mug-a-Hoodie' manifesto

Grayling470 "Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling is to introduce new laws to tackle violent crime – and he will ditch Labour’s policy of releasing prisoners because there are not enough cells. Instead, the Tories will build 5,000 additional prison places, taking the capacity of the nation’s jails to 100,000 for the first time in history. The Conservative proposals include:

  • New laws to jail people who attack policemen.
  • ‘Grounding orders’ to punish young thugs who terrorise housing estates.
  • Sacking police chiefs who refuse to tackle families from hell.
  • Cutting parole for badly behaved prisoners."

All in the Mail on Sunday.


Boris Johnson suggests there should be a post-ratification-of-Lisbon vote

Johnson Boris Pointing "Boris Johnson has insisted that British voters are entitled to a referendum on the European Union treaty, even if it has already been ratified by the time the Tories win power. In an intervention that will anger David Cameron and risks plunging the Conservatives into another row over Europe, the London mayor said the public deserves to have a say on the constitution." – The Sunday Times

Ireland's support for Lisbon could divide the Conservatives and force David Cameron to hold a referendum on the treaty – after the rest of Europe has approved it – Observer | The Sunday Express

> ConHome yesterday found that only 16% of Tory members are happy to accept a ratified Lisbon Treaty

Tory economic policy under fire

If the Tories had been in power the public finances wouldn't have been much healthier – David Smith in The Sunday Times

The Conservatives' position on the economy over the past two years has almost beggared belief – William Keegan in The Observer

Is the environment on the backburner?

CLARK GREG NEW "Last week, in an interview with The Sun to mark the newspaper's defection to the Tories, Cameron laid out 10 key pledges – none of which included the environment or climate change. In a separate interview with The Spectator, Cameron listed "the deficit, Afghanistan, the broken society and mending the mess of our politics" as his priorities…" That's how the Independent on Sunday sets up an interview with Greg Clark MP who has the job of saying the Tories remain green.

Will you keep British troops in Afghanistan for the next five years if necessary to win the war? Will you hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has been ratified by all 27 countries? Do you aim to reduce the 50p top rate of income tax during the next Parliament? The Independent on Sunday gets vague answers to its questions.

Conservatives will be party for the poor, says Eric Pickles

"Eric Pickles, the party chairman, said the theme would run "almost through the conference's DNA". He told the Observer: "You will judge us on how we treat the most vulnerable, those in poor schools, in sink schools; those on housing estates that have been largely forgotten by Labour. I was brought up on a council estate and I get increasingly angry with this lot trotting out what they are going to do – they have been there for 12 years and the poor have got poorer on those estates." – Observer

> David Cameron signals intent to tackle the "jobs crisis" by "Getting Britain Working"

DUNCAN-SMITH-+-YELLOW And why has The Sunday Times
written this: "Duncan Smith, it seems, will be involved in a future
Tory government, chairing a cabinet committee on welfare reform"? New
to ConHome but buried in a leading article.

John Rentoul attempts to say Cameron is sending conflicting messages to The Sun and Independent

"In Friday's Sun, he cemented the newspaper's support by using it to announce his 10 "key pledges". His other purpose was to answer the 49 per cent of people that say, in our ComRes poll today, that they "don't really know what David Cameron stands for". The Sun pledges contain nothing new, yet they do, paradoxically, give an idea of what Cameron stands for: a low-tax, benefit-cutting, nationalist populism. For Sun readers, Dave stands for the values of Sun readers. Yet when he talks to The Independent on Sunday, he couldn't care more about the environment, or civil liberties, and he's a "liberal conservative not a neo-conservative" in foreign policy." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

[It would appear that Mr Rentoul has never heard of "the politics of and"].

Cameron's biographer James Hanning paints a portrait of the Tory leader

"Cameron, for all the polish, is a political nerd. He is fascinated by the business of politics, how it is done, why people rise, why they fall. Like Blair, Cameron has a big tent of many voices. A certain guileful lack of clarity can be an advantage. It helps sustain interest, so you only tell people things in dribs and drabs. Sometimes, as with the Lisbon debate, a little obscurity can keep the show on the road until a solution presents itself. But play that game too long and you look evasive. The NHS, we are told, is safe, as is the foreign aid budget. But does he support Trident as it currently exists? Would he oppose electoral reform with the last breath in his body? How will he increase tax? Will he raise taxes on flying? Will he cut or means-test child benefit? Will he make the BBC charge for its website? With up to eight months to go until the election? Now that would be telling." – Independent on Sunday


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