Picture 7 8pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: If you're sixteen in New Labour Britain, you've lost the right to smoke, but they want to give you the vote

5.45pm WATCH: US Attorney General Eric Holder announces that five Guantanamo Bay detainees will be sent to New York to be put on trial in a civil federal court for conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks

4.45pm Seats and Candidates: Two safe seats feature among the latest six to be seeking a candidate

4.30pm Seats and Candidates: Craig Piper stands down as PPC for Caerphilly

1.45pm Seats and Candidates updateDavid Mundell, Annabel Goldie and defeated Conservative candidate Ruth Davidson reflect on the Glasgow North East result

1.15pm WATCH: Alastair Campbell analyses the press's increasing "character assassination" of Gordon Brown

Alan Sugar11.30am Parliament: Lord Sugar's disparaging remarks about small businessmen dominate question time in the Commons

ToryDiary: Tories attack "insultingly" high BBC salaries

Seats and Candidates: Labour easily beat the SNP at the Glasgow North East by-election as the Tories attain third place

Grant Shapps MP on Platform: How the innovative Conservative house-swap scheme would give social tenants nationwide mobility

Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh in Local Government rebuts the latest Labour slur against Hammersmith and Fulham Council: Reducing the need for hostel accomodation should be welcomed

Also in Local Government: Yesterday's council by-election results

JP Floru on CentreRight: The lady who accuses the EU of Soviet-style practices should be EU President

WATCH: The BBC's Iain Watson reports on the result of the Glasgow North East by-election

Chris Grayling dismisses Gordon Brown's speech on immigration

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRT "Prime Minister Gordon Brown has acknowledged public fears about the costs of immigration and its impact on jobs and wages… In his first speech on the issue for nearly two years, Mr Brown pointed to the cultural and economic benefits of immigration. But he accepted there were "significant variations" in how it affected different parts of the country. People living in towns with lots of new arrivals would worry about falling wages, fewer jobs and the supply of housing, he said… Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "When Gordon Brown stands up, after 12 years in office, and says 'I care now about immigration', I think that will have a pretty hollow ring." – Press Association

"Does Gordon Brown really think anyone is going to take his speech on immigration seriously? This Government deliberately took the lid off immigration for party political purposes and then tried to cover up what it had done. It then presided over a huge jump in the number of foreign workers in the UK. Now Mr Brown is trying to persuade you that he's the person to sort things out. All we'll get from him is more dithering and more broken promises." – Chris Grayling writing in The Sun

> WATCH: Britain needs an annual cap on immigration from outside the EU, says Chris Grayling

Five Tories win gongs at the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards

"Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke was "newcomer of the year" – the award won last year by his opposite number in the government, Lord Mandelson. Shadow community cohesion minister Baroness Warsi won peer of the year, and was praised for her performance on BBC One's Question Time, when the BNP leader Nick Griffin was a guest. A readers' award went to Conservative MP Douglas Carswell, who started the campaign that led to Michael Martin's resignation as Speaker. He tweeted later that he was "thrilled" to be given the award. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan won speech of the year for his European Parliament attack on Gordon Brown, which became a worldwide YouTube hit… The most intriguing acceptance speech was given by Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, who won backbencher of the year for his work on the Treasury Select Committee." – BBC

> Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson explained the judging panel's decisions on his blog yesterday 

Michael Gove praises smaller schools…

GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE "Some 15,000 children in England are taught in primary schools of 800 pupils or more, government figures show, a rise from 9,266 in 1997. Data obtained by the Tories also shows there are 500 schools with more than 500 pupils and 250 with 600. Tory education spokesman Michael Gove said schools with fewer children were more popular and had fewer problems… Mr Gove said: "There is no ideal size for a primary school but we know that parents generally prefer smaller schools where the head knows the name of every child. Schools with fewer pupils tend to have fewer problems with discipline as it is easier for the teachers to create an ordered environment." – BBC

…as struggling independent schools reportedly "fear" Tory plans for state-funded academies

"Independent schools fear that David Cameron’s plans to allow parents and charities to open state-funded academies will take business from them as they struggle to cope with the impact of the recession. Struggling prep schools and small low-fee primary schools are believed to be most at risk of losing out to competition from the type of “free schools” envisaged by the Conservatives." – The Times

Andrew Lansley repeats call for school swine flu vaccination programme

LANSLEY ANDREW NW "The number of new swine flu cases in the past week fell by nearly a quarter to 64,000 in England, figures show. But experts warned against assuming the pandemic had peaked, saying it could be a "half-term effect" – flu rates tend to be higher when schools are open… Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said the latest figures illustrated the importance of vaccinating children. "This is further evidence that we need to begin planning a school and college-based vaccination programme immediately." – BBC

Tories keen on Sants for BoE deputy governor

"The Conservatives are attempting to recruit Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, to become a deputy governor of the Bank of England should they win the next election and press ahead with plans to merge regulators. Mr Sants, who has been hostile to the merger plan, is now understood to be drawn to the idea that he could have a profound influence on the creation of the new financial regulator." – FT

Sir Jeremy Bagge insists he will move deselection motion in South West Norfolk next Monday

"Sir Jeremy, a friend of the Royal Family and owner of an estate near Downham Market, said he would propose that Miss [Elizabeth] Truss is deselected, after the local party’s chairman decided to back her. Sir Jeremy said: “I am sure Miss Truss is a very able woman. But at the Monday meeting I shall be moving, on a point of principle, that we do not endorse her. “I do not know how much support I will get, because people can be weak in this sort of situation. But I am not standing for it.” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday in Seats and Candidates: David Cameron fails to persuade leading critic of Liz Truss to call off deselection attempt

Bagehot: Alex Salmond's unionist opponents should call his bluff and back an independence referendum

SALMOND-ALEX "While the Scots may not like the Tories much, they are (still) not too keen on independence either. The proportion saying they want it is stuck at roughly a third. Even that may be an overstatement: actual votes for a rupture might fall short of bravura responses to pollsters. Enough may want Mr Salmond to be first minister of a devolved Scotland for him to keep the job after the Scottish elections of 2011; few want him to be prime minister of an independent one… There is a good reason why Scotland’s other politicians fear Mr Salmond: he is more charismatic and cleverer than them. He is clever enough to realise his chances of getting his referendum are slim and of winning it slimmer; he may well be content to see his adversaries vote it down, furnishing just the sort of grievance that he thrives on. They should call the conjuror’s bluff." – Bagehot writing in The Economist

> ToryDiary from August: Lord Forsyth urges Cameron to hold referendum on Scottish independence at earliest opportunity

Steve Richards: Size should not be everything in Cameron's vision of a modern state

Steve Richards "To the surprise of some of his aides, Cameron's party conference speech was criticised in some quarters for its onslaught against the state. I was surprised that they were surprised in the sense that it was an attack on the state. But equally, the bewilderment of his previous sympathetic critics was not justified. This had been his theme for four years. In his lecture this week Cameron went out of his way to make a more rounded case without veering away from his main argument. In his opening paragraph he made clear: "A simplistic retrenchment of the state which assumes that better alternatives to state action will just spring to life unbidden is wrong." I am told that his senior adviser, Steve Hilton, made sure this point was reiterated three times in the opening few minutes, emphasising that the state had a role. Yet Cameron's hostility to the state was still at the heart of the speech." – Steve Richards writing in The Independent

Lisa Harker: Cameron is halfway there on society

"David Cameron is on to something. Labour's brave efforts to reduce poverty had one missing ingredient: recognition of the loss of solidarity in our society. This lack of "pulling together", while not necessarily a cause of poverty itself, makes it harder to reduce inequality and poverty on the scale Labour once hoped. Had Labour embraced this agenda and combined it with its attempts at income redistribution, the progress on reducing poverty over the last decade might well have had some long-term traction. But Cameron is wrong to assume that this decline in social solidarity has been encouraged by the actions of the state." – IPPR Co-Director Lisa Harker writing in The Guardian

> Jonty Oliff-Cooper last night on CentreRight: Five big ideas to achieve the Big Society

> Tuesday's ToryDiary: David Cameron explains how he wants to "use the state to remake society"

TV bosses act over election debates deadlock

"Broadcasters have proposed three American-style televised debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg at the next general election in a move likely to break the deadlock over leaders’ debates. BBC, ITV and BSkyB bosses will meet representatives from Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in the next two weeks in an attempt to reach a formal agreement on how Britain’s first-ever leaders’ election debates would be staged." – The Independent

The Mirror continues to pursue David Cameron for being photographed at the Garden of Remembrance

David Cameron poppy "Furious veterans slammed David Cameron yesterday for his "shameful" photo shoot at the Garden of Remembrance… He looked furious when our reporters called him to account at his London home and scurried to his car blurting out: "Good Morning." Hours later he was flustered when challenged by the Mirror at a hotel. His spokesman said: "He attended the Remembrance Service with the permission of the organisers and – as is usual – provided photographs to all the agencies." – The Mirror

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: How low can the tabloids go?

David Cameron holds talks with former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar

"Ex Spanish Prime Minister and now President of the right-wing think tank, FAES, José María Aznar, has been in London for a meeting with the Conservative party leader, David Cameron. A statement issued by FAES said the meeting had been held in the British Parliament and was ‘cordial’ and lasted for more than an hour, and several international themes and the recession were discussed. He also met with other top Tories such as George Osborne and William Hague." –

Gordon Brown seeks 5,000 allied troops for AfghanistanDaily Telegraph

Radical Commons reforms to be published later this monthThe Times

Speaker's wife to contest council seat for LabourThe Guardian

Tony Blair to face Iraq War grillingDaily Mail

And finally… Labour to portray Cameron and Osborne as X Factor's John and Edward

Picture 5 "David Cameron and shadow chancellor George Osborne are to be portrayed as the Jedward of British politics. A Labour advert will show the gruesome twosome sporting hairstyles similar to those of the X Factor twins, John and Edward. But the party's tagline warns: "You won't be laughing if they win." A senior Labour source said the Tory duo had obvious similarities with the twins. He said: "They are both hilarious to watch, they are both all spin and no substance. But the joke will end if Cameron and Osborne win." – Daily Mirror


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

43 comments for: Friday 13th November 2009

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.