8pm Melanchthon on CentreRight expands on his proposal that the exorbitant cost of weddings should be investigated

6pm ToryDiary: YouGov daily tracker poll shows Labour back to square one and trailing the Tories by 14% at the end of its conference

5pm WATCH: David Miliband attacks the Conservatives as "schoolboys" in his speech to Labour conference

4.15pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight notes the unusual preparations Manchester is making for the Conservative Party Conference


3pm ToryDiary: William Hague accuses David Miliband of insulting the Latvian Government Updated at 6.30pm with statement from the Director of Conservative Friends of Israel

1.30pm WATCH: Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth tells Labour Conference: "The war in Afghanistan is our war and we are there to ensure our national security"

1pm Seats and Candidates: Another minister opts to quit a marginal seat
rather than face the electorate's verdict as Barbara Follett announces
her intention to retire as Labour MP for Stevenage

12.30pm Local Government: Abandoning aspiration: The Labour Conference Local Government debate

11.15am Daniel Kawczynski MP on CentreRight: More must be done to help British businesses export their goods into foreign markets

9.45am WATCH: Gordon Brown storms out of interview with Adam Boulton on Sky News


ToryDiary: Cameron's two pathways to the dismantling of the centralised, powerful state

Shane Frith on Platform: It is time to expose the real harm done in the developing world by the Western environmental lobby

Four selections last night in Seats and Candidates:

Local Government: A Party Conference guide for councillors

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Keeping extremism out of the classroom

WATCH: Angry union boss Tony Woodley rips The Sun in half

David Cameron hints at early dumping of the 50p tax rate…


‘I am a Lawsonian,’ he says. ‘But I believe fiscal responsibility must come first. We have this enormous problem with the deficit, we must deal with that and prove that we are fair in dealing with it.’ The fairness point, I suspect, explains it. The 50p tax helps to sell the cuts to the general public by suggesting that the rich are feeling the pain too. Little Tory thought seems to have gone into asking whether it will raise money — its purpose is political. I tell him this could cost him billions. ‘If you’re right — that it raises no revenue, even in the short term — then clearly it would be painless and advantageous to get rid of it at an early stage.’ – Fraser Nelson interviews David Cameron in The Spectator

…attacks Andrew Marr's questioning of Brown about his health…

"David Cameron took the unusual step of rallying to Gordon Brown's defence today as he described the BBC's decision to grill the prime minister on his health as inappropriate… In an interview with LBC radio host Nick Ferrari, Cameron disagreed with the BBC's insistence that asking the prime minister whether he was on medication was a "legitimate" line of questioning… Cameron said: "I watched it and I must say, I didn't think it was appropriate. Look, I think journalists should feel free to ask any question they like and I think politicians should feel free to say, 'Look, do you know what, I'm not going to answer that one'." – The Guardian

…and restates his position on the Lisbon Treaty

"In an LBC radio interview, the Tory leader said that if the treaty is ratified, “new circumstances” will apply, suggesting a new Tory policy will be needed. "If this treaty is still alive, if it is still being discussed and debated anywhere in Europe, then we will give you that referendum, we will name the date during the election campaign, we'll hold that referendum straight away and I will lead the campaign for a No," he said. "Now, if those circumstances change, if the Germans ratify, if the Poles ratify, if the Czechs ratify, if the Irish vote Yes to the treaty, then a new set of circumstances [apply], and I will address those at the time." – Daily Telegraph

The Tories welcome The Sun's support…

The Sun logo

"David Cameron last night promised not to take Sun readers for granted as he won the backing of Britain's biggest newspaper. The Conservative leader spoke of his "delight" after we ditched our support for Labour after 12 years. He insisted he would put our army of readers and their concerns at the top of his agenda if he becomes PM. Mr Cameron, seen carrying yesterday's Sun alongside Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague, said: "I'm delighted about it. I am delighted that The Sun has backed us. We won't take your support for granted and will work hard between now and the election to show Sun readers that their paper has made the right choice." – The Sun

"Our website and text service was swamped by readers backing our decision to dump PM Gordon Brown and support David Cameron's Conservatives instead. " – The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The dead parrot Tories are resurrected in The Sun

> WATCH: David Cameron welcomes endorsement of The Sun

…as others analyse how it came about…

"Cameron's master stroke, in June 2007, was to hire [Andy] Coulson five months after he had lost his job as editor of the Murdoch-owned News of the World when it emerged that the paper had been bugging royal telephones. It was a controversial appointment that opened Cameron to political attack and is costing the Tory party a hefty salary – reputedly £200,000 a year. But it produced dividends, because it meant that the Tory leader had at his side someone he trusted absolutely, who was also trusted inside the social world of the Murdoch clan." – The Independent

"Just over a year ago, David Cameron had a mild case of nerves when he welcomed Rupert Murdoch to dinner at his Kensington home. The Tory leader knew the meal with the veteran media mogul, who once let it be known that he regarded him as something of a lightweight, would mark a pivotal moment in securing his most important endorsement ahead of the general election." – The Guardian

…and the recriminations begin

"Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, told News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, on the phone on Tuesday night: "You will be regarded as a bunch of chumps, we will not lose sleep over this." Earlier reports said Mandelson had used an expletive beginning with C, but Brooks is said to have rung the business secretary to confirm he called her a "chump". – The Guardian

Gordon Brown is now a leader at war with those who report him – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

> WATCH: Lord Mandelson claims he said "chumps" not "c**ts" during telephone call with News International chief Rebekah Wade

Irwin Stelzer: Pious generalities won't do. Osborne has to get specific


"The Tory party conference will provide George Osborne with an opportunity to be specific about his party's plans – it's no good to say he won't know the magnitude of the problem until he sees the books. The shadow chancellor doesn't have to see the books to know that the problem an incoming government will face won't be solved by a few pence saved here, a bit of a tax rise there. He cannot, of course, predict the rate at which the economy will be growing in the spring, if indeed it is. But if he can present a budget one month after the general election, as he says he will, he must know now which programmes are candidates for cuts, and he should know the magnitude of any cuts he plans so he can tell voters before the election." – Irwin Stelzer writing in The Guardian

Bruce Anderson: Is David Cameron tough enough to be a Tory revolutionary?

"An incoming government will be faced by some of the greatest challenges in peacetime history, especially as David Cameron intends to add to them by addressing the broken society and the environment. So is he tough enough? He has many of the sinews of toughness: a clear and incisive brain, physical stamina, an easy habit of command; he does not find it hard to give orders. He is happy in his own skin and fortunate in his wife… Mr Cameron is not yet a statesman, but if he wants to be a successful prime minister, he will have to become one. These are not times which admit the luxury of a mediocre premiership." – Bruce Anderson writing in The Spectator

Tories begin planning for rapid education shake-up after election

"The Conservative party has begun drafting its first education bill, planning to fast-track academies, scale down the national curriculum and dismantle the system of setting national pay deals for teachers. In a mark of the party's election confidence, Michael Gove, the shadow education minister, has employed a team of lawyers to scrutinise bills currently in parliament and draw up a new one laying the foundations for a reform programme, even before the general election is called." – The Guardian

Tories consider splitting Ed Balls' Department for Children, Schools and FamiliesChildren and Young People Now

Andrew Lansley questions Andy Burnham's unfunded initiatives


"Charges for parking while visiting family and friends who are in hospital will be scrapped within three years, Andy Burnham the Health Secretary has said… Andrew Lansley, Shadow Health Secretary, said: “In these difficult economic times it is incredible that Andy Burnham thinks he can announce millions of pounds worth of new initiatives without any detail as to how they will be paid for or implemented.The numbers he has come up with seem to have been plucked out of thin air." – Daily Telegraph

Harman resorts to class war smears on Osborne with jibes about fox-hunting

"Harriet Harman faced accusations of resorting to smears yesterday as she launched a bizarre 'class war' attack on the Tories. Labour's deputy leader suggested the Conservatives' idea of 'diversity' was fox-hunting, opening sleazy lap-dancing parlours and making women serve drinks in private members' clubs. She also risked criticism for using 'dirty tricks' by making a thinly-veiled reference to embarrassing photographs of Shadow Chancellor George Osborne with a prostitute." – Daily Mail

> Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight yesterday: Harriet Harman launches heated attack on The Sun for abandoning Labour and plays nasty against George Osborne

Mandelson: Brown will engage in TV debates

"Gordon Brown is willing to take part in televised debates with other party leaders, Labour's high command finally admitted today, saying it would open talks with rival parties and broadcast organisations on how they should be conducted. The disclosure that Labour will start talks was made by Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, after Brown said in interviews he had taken a decision, but refused to say what his view was. The debates would be the first such event in a British election." – The Guardian

> Tuesday's ToryDiary: Gordon Brown is still dithering over whether to debate David Cameron on TV during the election campaign

Report on Damian Green leak inquiry to be "as redacted as MP’s expenses"The Times

Samantha Cameron will not be introducing David Cameron at Tory conferenceDaily Mail

Boris proposes £30 million of Olympic cutsBBC

And finally… Labour accuses BBC of bias over Boris's appearance in tonight's EastEnders

Boris and Barbara Windsor Eastenders

"The BBC is facing fresh accusations of bias for allowing Boris Johnson to make a guest appearance on EastEnders despite rejecting advances from his predecessor as Mayor of London. The Times has learnt that Ken Livingstone approached the BBC to highlight a recycling campaign on the soap, but was refused on the ground that it was too political. The corporation appears to have had a change of mind, and Mr Johnson will become the first elected politician to appear on the soap when he wanders into the “Queen Vic” pub. In the episode, to be aired this evening, the Conservative Mayor plays himself and crosses paths with Peggy Mitchell, the pub landlady." – The Times


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