5.45pm WATCH: David Cameron backs "excellent" Liz Truss
- Boris blasts Brown's "economically illiterate"
50p tax band as he gears up to paint himself as a very independent
Mayor of London
- The future of Euroscepticism
- South West Norfolk won't be the last of its kind if CCHQ carries on interfering
- A year after his selection, Rahoul Bhansali gives an insight into his campaign to regain Streatham for the Conservatives
- Mike Penning MP recommends that alcoholic drinks carry calorie content warnings (and giving up drinking Guinness)
- David Lidington MP addresses the challenge of nuclear proliferation
AmericaInTheWorld: Obama under pressure to attend climate change talks in Copenhagen
The Queen's Speech is full of populist measures
"Gordon Brown will fire the starting gun this week for a general election campaign that could run for six months. He will outline a programme of populist measures in the Queen’s Speech and challenge David Cameron to support them. The Prime Minister is to emphasise his determination to carry on governing with a political programme designed to exploit Labour’s differences with the Conservatives on health, education and the economy. He will use Wednesday’s speech to reveal plans to provide free care at home for about 350,000 of the neediest people and to tear up “risky” bankers’ contracts." – Times
Nick Clegg: Cancel the Queen's Speech and "clean up politics once and for all" – Independent
"Chancellor Alistair Darling said the Financial Services Authority would be given tough new powers to veto bankers’ contracts if they included bonuses that could lead to excessive risk-taking and endanger the stability of the banking system. But the Treasury last night admitted that there would be no absolute cap on the scale of bonuses. And the measures will do nothing to stop the payment of this year’s £6billion City bonuses in the coming weeks." – Daily Mail
Tories plan massive deregulation of media industry
"Cross-media ownership rules, which prevent local groups owning more than one newspaper or radio station, will be abolished. The changes are also designed to create more competition for the BBC nationally and in the regions, where newspapers and television companies are battling for survival. Ofcom, the media regulator, will be stripped of policy-making functions and limited to making judgments in areas such as “decency, impartiality and taste”. The Tories say the changes will be on the same scale as the Big Bang deregulation of the City in 1986 that helped expand financial services and create tens of thousands of jobs." – Telegraph
'Tory unrest grows over Cameron’s ‘dictatorial’ role in picking candidates'
"A senior figure in Tory high command, however, conceded yesterday that the fight over Ms Truss was just one of more than half a dozen where the party had been “cack-handed” over recent selections." – Times
"It's gone beyond adultery, this row. Damning the locals as sexual puritans – one (woman) columnist hilariously depicted them waving crucifixes and clutching rosaries, which isn't quite where the C of E is at in Norfolk – is to miss the point. It's a standoff between the centre and the locality, between people who would like their MP to be one of them and centralisers who want the parliamentary party to look more like the people around David Cameron." – Melanie McDonagh in The Telegraph
Tim Montgomerie in The Independent: "Trust the people is a great Conservative belief. If Team Cameron trusted the membership in selection they wouldn't always get the candidate they wanted but it would be a good sign that they were serious about their commitment to localism."
Tories urge dropping of Blair for Europe post – FT
"For the EU as a whole, the appointment of a politician as ambitious and limelight-hungry as Mr Blair as the first, defining occupant of a role the Lisbon treaty leaves messily unclear would skew the distribution of power between the EU’s institutions and the member states." – William Hague writing in the FT
Dominic Grieve highlights overnight releases by prison system struggling with overcrowding – Times
Pro-Israel lobby group bankrolling Tories, film claims – Guardian
Conservatives would fund nature protection through the sale of conservation credits to developers – Guardian
Tory leader David Cameron 'does God' but says he will not seek guidance like former Prime Minster Tony Blair – Daily Mail
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: "Christian voters will support the Conservative Party in very large numbers at the next election."
Melanie Phillips: I'm sorry, Gordon, but if you must apologise, what about the things that ARE your fault? – Daily Mail
Cash-strapped Labour ‘gives up’ on 60 vulnerable seats – Times
Nick Griffin to challenge Margaret Hodge at General Election – Times
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