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9.15pm ToryDiary: Ipsos-Mori put Tory poll lead down to 6%

8.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: The Chief Reporter of The Times (otherwise known as Ally's cat)

Herbert-Nick-speaking7.15pm Nick Herbert MP has spent the day in Cumbria witnessing the clean-up operation after the floods and has set out his observations for Conservative Home: "Now is not a time for recrimination, but to thank the emergency services for the superb job they are doing and to commit to working constructively with the Government to ensure that essential measures to improve flood defence reach the Statute Book"

4pm Bob Seely on CentreRight: The Left are lying about history – again

2.15pm Seats and candidates: Dominic Raab selected for Esher and Walton

2.15pm WATCH: Gordon Brown visits flood victims and those who have been overseeing the rescue operation in Cumbria

1.15pm WATCH: WebCameron's exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of David Cameron preparing for the Commons debate on the Queen's Speech last week

12.45pm Jonathan Isaby in Parliament: On the 20th anniversary of the cameras arriving, an untelevised of House of Commons is now unthinkable

FOXToryDiary: Liam Fox wants to pull British forces out of Germany as part of a Tory defence "revolution"

Also on ToryDiary: William Hague accuses Brown over deal with France on EU jobs which will sell out the City of London

Brooks Newmark MP on Platform: The Government must re-introduce cervical screening for twenty-year-olds in England

Seats and Candidates: John Maples declares re-opening of candidates list a "success"

Local Government:

WATCH: The Spectator's Fraser Nelson reviews the political week

David Curry defends his expenses claims…

David Curry "The Conservative MP who quit as chairman of Parliament's anti-sleaze committee after allegations that he misused expenses has described the claims against him as fiction "akin to Harry Potter". David Curry, who stood down as head of the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee after just a month in charge, said that his use of allowances was "completely above board" after allegations that he claimed £30,000 on a home that his wife had banned him from using. The MP for Skipton and Ripon, who has served as a minister in past Tory Governments, said that he was actually very good value for money as "the second cheapest MP in Yorkshire". – The Independent

"Asked about her husband's problems at the family home in Saffron Walden, Essex, stony-faced Anne said: "It's his problem, I have nothing to say." – The Sun

…as the Telegraph attacks him on another front

"The Tory forced to stand down from the Commons standards committee refused to provide official assurances that he was not using his position as an MP to secure lucrative private work, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. David Curry, a former agriculture minister, was appointed chairman of Dairy UK, an industry lobbying body, in May 2005. The following year, he was contacted by Alda Barry, who oversees the Register of Members’ Interests, and asked to sign a declaration that the directorship was within the rules. However, Mr Curry declined, saying that he would not have accepted the post if there was any suggestion of impropriety." – Daily Telegraph

> ConHome's post on David Curry

David Cameron pays tribute to the heroic policeman killed in the Cumbrian floods

"PC Bill Barker has died a true hero. We should all pay tribute to his bravery. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time. These are absolutely dreadful floods and I feel incredibly sorry for the many people who have been flooded out of their homes and who will be desperately worried about what the future holds." Mr Cameron also paid tribute to the emergency services – saying their work had been "magnificent". – The Sun

> Yesterday's video: David Cameron praises the emergency services dealing with the Cumbrian floods

Michael Gove denies Labour claims that new schools could teach creationism

GOVE MICHAEL NW "Conservative plans to grant schools freedom from central control risk bringing the creationist doctrines of a “Religious Right” into the classroom, the Government warned last night… Yesterday Ed Balls told The Times that Conservative policies to remove “prescriptions” under the National Curriculum and create hundreds of new independently controlled state schools posed “a real threat to the integrity of science teaching”. He added: “Creationist dogma, whether home grown or from the extreme Religious Right in America, has no place in our science classrooms.” Michael Gove, the Shadow Education Secretary, said: “No school which receives state money could teach creationism as if it was science.” He indicated that this would be enforced through funding agreements rather than the National Curriculum." – Tom Baldwin in The Times

> Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Beware of The Times' Tom Baldwin

Chris Grayling sceptical about new Government crackdown on teenage yobs

"New police powers aimed at tackling violent teenage gangs were denounced as inadequate last night. Ministers announced moves to include children as young as 14 in a crackdown on intimidating gatherings of yobs. The civil injunctions known as Gangbos – a form of Asbo for gang members – will impose restrictions by stopping youths from meeting up, wearing gang colours, gathering in a particular area or having a violent dog… The Tories warned the proposals would do nothing to halt the spiral of violent offending under Labour. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “For the past 12 years the Government has produced new law after new law to tackle our crime and disorder problems, and in many areas things have got worse rather than better. Why on earth would ministers think that anyone will believe that their latest ideas will make a difference?” – Daily Express

Further coverage of Sir Hugh Orde's criticism of Tory plans for elected police commissioners

"Conservative plans to bring in locally elected police commissioners could spark resignations by chief constables round the country, according to the man in charge of the lobbying group representing senior officers. Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said he would not be surprised if commanders did “not want to be part of a system where they can be told how to deliver policing”. – FT

> JP Floru on CentreRight yesterday: "If police chief constables are unhappy about Conservative plans for locally-elected police commissioners, I wish them good luck and goodbye."

Lansley welcomes swine flu jabs for under-fives

Lansley-Big-Ben "Healthy children aged between six months and five years old will be vaccinated against swine flu from next month, the Department of Health has confirmed… Andrew Lansley, the Conservative health spokesman who has urged the government to vaccinate healthy children, said: "This is in line with emerging evidence that they are one of the groups with the highest rates of hospitalisation, which is putting a real strain on the NHS." – The Guardian

An elected Mayor will elevate Birmingham's status, says David Cameron

"David Cameron has insisted he would let the people of Birmingham decide who leads the city if the Conservatives win the next general election. During a visit to the BPM Media offices at Fort Dunlop, home of the Birmingham Post, Mr Cameron said that an elected Mayor would put the city “up there alongside Beijing and Shanghai”. But he insisted that backing a campaign for an elected leader would not be embarrassing for the Tories, despite Birmingham City Council Leader Mike Whitby vehemently opposing the idea." – Birmingham Post

Gosport hustings attracts 500 voters

"Five hundred people packed into a hall last night to hear four Tory hopefuls go head-to-head in their bid to become Gosport's MP. Thorngate Halls in Bury Road was packed with people standing at the back for the two-and-a-half-hour meeting. The four candidates are competing to become the prospective Conservative candidate for Sir Peter Viggers' seat when he stands down at the general election. It's only the second time in the country that constituents are picking the party's candidate in a postal vote." – Portsmouth News

> Seats and Candidates: Final four for Gosport

The Electoral Commission rules that the Lib Dems can keep a convicted fraudster's £2.5million…

"The Liberal Democrats have been told they can keep a donation of £2.4 million from a convicted fraudster. The Electoral Commission ruled the party had taken the money in good faith from a third party, 5th Avenue Partners. This was the trading name of a company owned by the Lib Dems' biggest donor to date, Scots-born Michael Brown. Brown was convicted of fraud at Southwark Crown Court in London last year, after he was accused of stealing £30m from clients. The court found him guilty in his absence, after he skipped bail." – The Scotsman

…as the inquiry into Lord Ashcroft's donations to the Tories could drag on for some months

"The Electoral Commission has refused to say whether it will complete a probe into £5m of donations to the Tory party before the next general election… The probe, which was launched in January following six months of preliminary investigations, is looking at whether Bearwood is "carrying on business in the UK" – a legal requirement for donors to British political parties." – BBC

Daniel Hannan bemoans a great EU stitch-up that demeans democracy

HANNAN DAN "I've often wondered why Guardian readers don't get more agitated
about Euro-elitism. The proudest boast of the British left, down the
ages, was that it took power away from a remote caste and dispersed it
more widely. This was the creed that inspired the Levellers, the
Chartists, the Suffragettes; the motive that lay behind religious
toleration, the extension of the franchise, universal education,
appointments by competitive examination, equality for gay people. Yet,
when it comes to the EU, a surprising number of people who, in any
other context, would consider themselves progressives, line up behind
the most anti-democratic project in the western world. Van Rompuy and
Ashton are precisely the kind of unelected office-holders that an
earlier generation of radicals would have railed against." – Daniel Hannan MEP writing in The Guardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: How the Right and British Eurosceptics have responded to the new EU appointments

Tory councillor quits party over accusations of "racist" emails

"A former Tory Parliamentary candidate was suspended by the party last night after complaining that people bidding to become an MP did not have ‘normal’ English names. Councillor Peter Hobbins is accused of sending racist emails to colleagues attacking the list of prospective Parliamentary candidates for the Orpington seat in Kent. It is the latest selection row to hit the party following the revolt of activists in Norfolk against a Conservative candidate who had an affair." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday in Seats and Candidates: Orpington councillor resigns from party over content of leaked emails

Culture Secretary accuses Cameron of a deal with The Sun to dictate policy FT

Norfolk Tory Sir Jeremy Bagge says he will still vote ConservativeDaily Mail

Politics is a nice little earner – if you're a ToryThe Independent

Boris "blocked" Lord Rogers public space planBBC

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28 comments for: Saturday 21st November 2009

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