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11.30pm Seats and candidates: The unacceptable treatment of Liz Truss

9.45pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: The future cost to Britain of Labour's flirtation with shari'a finance

8.45pm WATCH: How William Hague in 2008 imagined the scene of "President Blair" visiting Downing Street – is it quite so funny now?

Picture 167pm Parliament: For MPs, Christmas – quite literally – will come earlier than ever this year

5.45pm WATCH: Jeremy Hunt tells Andrew Neil about his plans to reform the BBC

4.30pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight: Petition President Klaus to stand firm

4pm Seats and candidates: Liz Truss has ConservativeHome's full support

3.45pm Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: Republican Hara-Kiri

3pm WATCH: David Cameron explains why he doesn't want to see Tony Blair as EU President

1pm ToryDiary: David Cameron reiterates Tory opposition to Tony Blair becoming EU President

ChangesTactics12.30pm Seats and candidates: David Cameron changes tactics on All Women Shortlists

12.15pm Latest on CentreRight:

ToryDiary: The Conservatives are on the march in Wales where Labour are "in deep trouble"

Sarah Macken on Platform: At a time when we may need more Reservists, Labour's misunderstanding of the role of the Territorial Army is alarming

Stanley Johnson in Seats and Candidates: If All-Women shortlists are on the agenda, then why not All-Over-60s shortlists too?

IslamicExtremism
Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens in Local Government: Boris fails to tackle Islamic extremism

Also in Local Government: Nick Seaton: In defence of the teacher taken to court for hauling a disruptive pupil out of a lesson

Alex Deane on CentreRight: You are no longer trusted to run your own credit card

LISTEN: Gordon Brown's latest podcast on the state of the economy

Voters agree with David Cameron that the State is too big

David Cameron at podium
"Two-thirds of voters back David Cameron’s call for the size of the
state to be slimmed down, a ComRes survey for The Independent discloses
today… Sixty-seven per cent said they agreed with the Tory leader
that “the Government has grown too big and needs a major overhaul to
make it smaller”. Just 28 per cent disagreed, with his call for a
smaller state supported across the social spectrum. Andrew Hawkins, the
chief executive of ComRes, said: “The Conservatives are on to a winner
with this campaign line.” – The Independent

> Last night's ToryDiary: ComRes for The Independent puts Tory poll lead at 13%

Whitehall mandarins face sacking threat under Conservative plans

"Whitehall
mandarins face an unprecedented threat of sacking under Tory plans to
end the "job for life" culture of the civil service. The Conservatives
are drawing up plans that would allow ministers to dismiss permanent
secretaries, the senior officials who run Whitehall departments. No
permanent secretary has been formally dismissed for more than 70 years.
Francis Maude, the shadow Cabinet Office minister overseeing the
Tories’ preparations for power, wants to end the “job for life” culture
at the top of the civil service and make officials directly accountable
for the performance of their departments." – Daily Telegraph

Eleanor Laing survives deselection attempt

Eleanor Laing
"Eleanor Laing, the shadow justice minister who paid back £25,000 in
expenses, has survived an attempt to have her deselected as a Tory
candidate at the next election… "I'm absolutely delighted," said Ms
Laing. "I'm very much looking forward to going forward to the general
election… It was a very difficult meeting… I've been scrutinised. I
have been questioned and I have answered all the questions and my
critics accept that." – Daily Telegraph

> Last night in Seats and Candidates: Eleanor Laing MP wins confidence vote of Epping Forest Conservatives

Liam Fox: Government TA proposals are "a shambles"

"Defence
chiefs last night went into retreat on controversial moves to halt TA
training. They had intended to ban all drill for vital reservists to
claw back £20million. But the Ministry of Defence has now decided that
training can continue – though for only one night a month… Shadow
defence secretary Liam Fox accused the Government of plotting to strip
the TA's core budget of £43million. He said: "These proposals are a
shambles. They must be reversed. For many the TA is a habit. Break the
habit, break the TA." – The Sun

> Yesterday in Parliament: Liam Fox challenges Government over its position on the Territorial Army

George Osborne's warning on bankers' bonuses gets a mixed press

George Osborne on Marr 2
"Bankers reacted angrily to a Conservative party pledge to ban
end-of-year cash bonuses announced as part of the party's attempts to
stimulate lending. In a speech at Canary Wharf earlier today the shadow
chancellor, George Osborne, expanded on heavily trailed plans to force
the regulators to ban high street banks from giving big cash payments
as rewards, seen by many as incentives to risk-taking and wrongful
remuneration during a downturn." – The Guardian

“It
would be much better for [Mr Osborne] to be wiser, in terms of finding
the right approach, rather than adapting a more headline grabbing one,”
said Miles Templeman, director-general of the Institute of Directors…
The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that “not for the
first time this year, the City feels that politics is unfairly shaping
pay and remuneration policy”. George Magnus, the senior economic
adviser to UBS, questioned the direct link between the cash used by the
banks for bonus payments and their levels of lending. “If it was as
simple as that, they’ve got enough cash already to have expanded their
loans,” he told the BBC." – FT

"The
Federation of Small Businesses said it welcomed the proposals to
“ring-fence money for small businesses and hard-pressed families that
would otherwise have been handed out in bonuses for bank staff.” – Daily Telegraph

"Mr
Osborne's proposed interference in the free market may sit
uncomfortably with true Conservatism, but these banks – which would not
exist if billions in taxpayers' money had not been pumped into their
coffers – are no longer part of that free market. We applaud Mr
Osborne's courage in making himself unpopular with the City in order to
tackle this scandal." – Daily Mail editorial

"There
was no need to appease the bonus-bashing mob and inflame anti-City
sentiment further. Mr Osborne would have won fewer headlines for such
an announcement, but he would have been advocating the sort of policy
that separates a chancellor-in-waiting from a shadow chancellor." – FT editorial

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Osborne warns banks that they'll lose state aid if they keep paying big cash bonuses

Alan Duncan accuses Government of publishing misleading re-offending statistics

DUNCAN ALAN NEW
"Ministers were last night accused of creating "total confusion" to
hide the number of lags freed to re-offend. New statistics show a
"snapshot" of the number of violent and sexual offenders under
supervision on March 31 instead of totals for the year. Critics say
this makes it impossible to compare with previous years how many are
freed into the community… Shadow Justice Minister Alan Duncan accused
the Government of a "shameful attempt" to mislead the public over the
scale of re-offending. He said Labour had also failed to publish data
on lower level offenders." – The Sun

Heseltine predicts Tory retreat on European policy

"David
Cameron would be forced into a swift and humiliating retreat on Europe
if he wins power, according to one of the elder statesmen from the last
Conservative Government. Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime
Minister, predicts that Mr Cameron will have to rejoin the European
People’s Party (EPP) soon after the election. He is understood to have
warned the party leadership at a private meeting last week that its
currently Eurosceptic stance would be deeply damaging to Britain’s
foreign policy interests. He suggested that the Conservative leader
would inevitably have to “reach an accommodation” with the EPP — even
though that would be extremely difficult to achieve without losing face
and enraging party activists." – The Times

Chris Grayling questions Government motivations on immigration policy

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRT
"The rate at which foreigners are swelling the population has increased
by 50 per cent since a secret Government immigration policy document
was written.  Critics said it was clear evidence that ministers had
implemented the controversial Cabinet Office report.  This allegedly
claimed mass immigration would make Britain more multicultural and
allow Labour to portray the Tories as racists. Speaking in the Commons
yesterday, Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said it would be
'utterly disgraceful' for ministers to base immigration policy on party
politics. He asked Immigration Minister Phil Woolas: 'Can I invite you
to put the record straight  -  what was the motivation behind the very
rapid increase in immigration under this Government?'. Incredibly, Mr
Woolas did not appear to know which report Mr Grayling was referring
to." – Daily Mail

Tebbit joins revolt against All-Women Shortlists

“I
think it’s a daft idea. We need to choose people entirely on their
merits, whether they are brown, white, yellow, male or female… It
will breed resentment because it just ain’t fair. Imagine the reaction
if a party started saying that women shouldn’t become MPs?” – Lord
Tebbit quoted in The Times

The Guardian reports Rory Stewart's selection for Penrith and The Border

"He's
braved Indonesia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and found time to teach
both Prince William and Harry, but Rory Stewart's next challenge is
almost certain to be navigating the backbenches of the House of
Commons. On Sunday night, the former foreign office civil servant,
writer, academic and tutor to royalty beat five other candidates to win
selection to the safe Conservative seat of Penrith and the Border. He
is now standing to become the MP for the constituency currently
represented by David Maclean, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis
and who is standing down on health grounds." – The Guardian

> Sunday's Seats and Candidates post: Rory Stewart adopted for Penrith and the Border

Bercow consults leaders on how MPs could question Mandelson and Adonis…

Speaker Bercow
"Speaker John Bercow has written to party leaders to discuss calls for
peers who serve as cabinet ministers to appear in the Commons. The
move, which could see senior figures such as Lord Mandelson directly
questioned by MPs, was being "actively" discussed, a spokesman told the
BBC. It was hoped that a "solution" could be reached soon, he added." –
BBC

> Recently in Parliament: MPs may soon get the opportunity to question Lord Mandelson and other ministers from the Upper House

…as the Speaker's unofficial biographer promises to lift the lid on his life

"BBC
news producer Bobby Friedman is currently interviewing friends and
acquaintances of Bercow, for the unauthorised work, which he plans to
release in time for the next general election. "What I want to look at
is how someone can be so hated," Friedman tells us. "I've always
followed his career. It's very obvious that so many within his party
don't like him. How did someone with virtually no party support get in?
I want to know why people hate him. The reasons are more complex than
people make out." – The Independent

Czech court to consider Lisbon reformsDaily Telegraph

Downing Street dismisses reports of push for "President Blair"BBC

Gun crime doubles in a decadeDaily Telegraph

ID card plan "needs 28 million people to sign up to cover costs"The Scotsman

Employers under pressure to give all staff anti-paedophile checksDaily Telegraph

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