9pm WATCH: BBC profile of Nick Griffin
5.15pm Two CentreRight updates:
- Dr Patrick Nolan proposes an end of middle class welfare
- Matt Sinclair explains why he's stopped reading The Economist
4pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: Keir Starmer, the Conservatives and the Human Rights Act
10.15am WATCH: David Cameron talks about his 50th "Cameron Direct" event
Seats and candidates: CCHQ has trashed principle after principle in its manipulation of candidate selection
On CentreRight: Sally McNamara urges Hillary Clinton not to lecture the Conservatives on Lisbon
Yesterday David Cameron became the first leader of his party to meet a Sinn Féin leader since 1921 – Times
Tories accuse David Miliband of attempting to sabotage Tory relationship-building with Obama administration – Daily Mail
William Hague emphasises Tony Blair's pro-Americanism in bid to
persuade EU Ambassadors that the former PM should not be President of
Europe – Times
Supporters of Tony Blair's EU Presidency bid want decision before Iraq inquiry upsets European leaders – Daily Mail
Tories attack Director of Public Prosecutions for 'political' defence of Human Rights Act – BBC
Will the Tories do away with the Human Rights Act? – Analysis by the Legal Editor of The Times
Amanda Platell: Hasn't David Cameron learnt ANYTHING from the Blair Babes catastrophe?
"Female-only shortlists are about image, not substance. And they stink. Such meretricious stunts should have no place in a Conservative party. All the more so when Labour's own experiment with female shortlists proved to be so disastrous. Has Cameron learned nothing from the catastrophe that was Blair's Babes – the female intake of the 1997 election?" – Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail
"Oh please, David no. It was all going so well: the Conservative Party is back on track, almost certain to win the next election, with those at its helm displaying some realisation of what a mess this country is in – and then they go and start talking about introducing women-only shortlists. This is a terrible idea. To anyone who really believes that this form of positive discrimination can help women up the ladder in politics I have two words for you: Jacqui Smith." – Virginia Blackburn in The Express
"This newspaper has been tough on the Conservatives because the party has not been hospitable to women candidates. It is only fair to acknowledge that all-women shortlists, despite the objections to them, are a serious attempt to address the problem." – Times leader
Reform think tank urges Tories to end middle class welfare
"George Osborne, the Conservative shadow chancellor, was wrong to pledge to keep child benefit, winter fuel allowances and free TV licences, and an incoming government should take the axe to “middle-class welfare”, a free-market think-tank said on Wednesday. Middle-class welfare – which includes the portions of child benefit, tax credits, state pensions, maternity pay, student loans and a clutch of other benefits that go to the better-off – costs the taxpayer £31bn a year, Reform claims. That is the equivalent of 8p on the basic rate of income tax, it says." – FT
If national spending is to go down, the middle classes must stop accepting benefits they don’t need – Andrew Haldenby of Reform in The Times
BBC is right to allow BNP on Question Time, says Mark Thompson – Guardian
Nick Griffin: Obama is a "racist bigot"
The BNP leader gives an interview to The Times: "If [Griffin] had mixed-race grandchildren, he would love them but still be unhappy for “the same reason that African people, West Indian people and Asian people are proud of their traditions and identity”. Skin colour, he adds, is a marker of identity and the merging of disparate ethnic groups into “a sort of Americanised melting pot” threatens to be “catastrophic”. How does he feel about President Obama? “He is an Afrocentric racist bigot.” He thinks American blacks should have been resettled in Africa “because the two peoples living side by side would cause problems forever”."
Customers will desert banks if they pay large bonuses to their executives, Lord Myners, the City minister, has warned – Telegraph
Obama's bank pay curbs may condemn bailed-out institutions to terminal decline – Allister Heath in City AM
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