6.30pm Melanchthon on CentreRight on what we've come to: "This chap felt he ought to apologise to me for touching my son whilst preventing him from running into the road and possibly being knocked down by a car. …"
- Virginian couple gatecrash White House dinner and get photo taken with the Vice President
- Islam is guilty of "gender apartheid" says new UKIP leader
Lord Pearson is interviewed in The Times: “It is very worrying that a large and growing sector of our society is set against our way of life and laws, our treatment of women and our religion.” Islamism is, in his view, a bigger threat than the European Union. “Its problem is that it is a religious, political and legal system all rolled into one, the penalty of leaving it is death, and it is on a roll all over the planet.”
Lord Pearson plays the Islam card to win leadership of UKIP – Independent
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Lord Pearson is new UKIP leader
"The power to oversee the City of London was yesterday given to a Frenchman known for his dislike of the free market and love of a strong EU." – Daily Mail
This week's opinion polls have worried markets that had come to expect a Tory government – FT
Philip Hammond promises focus on public sector waste
"The Conservatives promised the jittery financial markets today that they would urgently restore discipline to Britain's national debt and protect frontline public services by tackling what they claim is lax productivity and Labour's "catastrophic" waste. Philip Hammond, the shadow chief secretary, said "high-performing public sector businesses" such as the Passport Agency would be allowed to bid for work from other government departments where its proven IT skills were essential." – Guardian
Ken Clarke: Scotland's Parliament could get new powers from Tories in first year of office
"One of the leading members of David Cameron's front-bench team has said he sees no reason why proposals to increase the Scottish Parliament's powers should not be brought forward in the first year of any Conservative government. Former chancellor Ken Clarke's comments to a gathering of business people and academics in Edinburgh yesterday appeared to calm fears that a new Tory government would put the reforms of devolution into the long grass." – Scotsman
Town halls benefit as Labour announces £3.2bn increase in funding – Times
Lord Mandelson has pushed our public life into a culture of chicanery, political lies and the circumvention of parliamentary democracy – Charles Moore in The Telegraph
Is interest in the Iraq inquiry already dwindling?
"The queues of day one and the protesters in carnival masks were long gone. The inquiry room was chilly, as though they had switched the heating off a bit early for the weekend, and barely a third full." – Mary Dejevsky in The Independent
The leaked climate change emails point to dangerous "groupthink" among scientists – Christopher Caldwell in the FT
Uganda proposes death penalty for HIV positive gays – Times
And finally… Will Boris wear the new London kilt?
"London mayor Boris Johnson certainly has the stature to carry off wearing a kilt. And hopes are high that he could be one of the first to don a new tartan being specifically designed for London and Londoners. A competition to design the tartan will be officially launched on Monday, St Andrew's Day, by the Scottish Tartans Authority and Kings Place, an arts venue in the capital." – Scotsman
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