8pm Robin Simcox on CentreRight: The Conservatives may need to rethink their policy on Hizb ut-Tahrir

6.15pm WATCH: Alistair Darling defends the Bank of England's secret loans to RBS and HBOS  

David Mundell5.45pm Parliament: David Mundell broadly welcomes proposals for
devolution of further powers to Scotland – but insists an incoming
Conservative Government would publish its own White Paper on the matter

4.30pm WATCH: Speaking in the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan asks: When did anyone vote for a European police force?

3.15pm Paul Goodman MP on CentreRight: If Civil Partnerships aren’t gay marriage, why should a heterosexual couple be denied one?

2pm WATCH: Sky News' Joey Jones reviews the exchanges at PMQs in which David Cameron alleges that the Government has funded schools with links to extremist Islamic organisations

1pm ToryDiary: The shadow cabinet league table for November

Picture 1312.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron tackles Brown over Government funding of Islamic extremists at PMQs Updated later with additional detail about the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation

11.45am Seats and Candidates: Candidates selected for the two Barnsley constituencies

11.15am Mark Wallace on CentreRight unpicks the inconsistencies in Ipsos-MORI's new poll on public spending

10am Alex Deane on CentreRight: Tools we can do without – a response to the authoritarian argument from The Times

ToryDiary: A number of the shadow cabinet have done well for themselves. And your point is…? Jonathan Isaby on the Daily Mirror's latest desperate attack on the Tory frontbench

Chris Neal on Platform: If you want to “hug a hoodie” you need to befriend a banker

Cllr Liam Maxwell in Local Government: The next stage of Windsor and Maidenhead's transparency agenda

Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Celebrating 75 year of Party Political Broadcasts

WATCH: Ken Clarke talks to Sky News' Jeff Randall about the car industry, taxation and his desire to debate with Lord Mandelson – on television, not in the Commons chamber

Ending 24-hour drinking and annual cap on immigrants will be top priorities for the Tories

Chris Grayling head "Ending Labour's controversial licensing laws and imposing a cap on immigration will be top priorities for an incoming Tory government, the Conservatives will announce today. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling will unveil a list of five policies that will form the basis of the Tories early period in charge of the Home Office. He will say the number one priority is to make Britain's streets safer by tackling binge drinking. This will include radical reforms to 24-hour drink laws introduced by Labour in November 2005." – Daily Mail

Conservatives believe Brown will go to the country in March

"Senior conservatives believe that Gordon Brown may call a general election next March to head off the prospect of bad economic statistics scuppering his claim that he had guided Britain safely out of recession. The economy is expected to start to grow in the final three months of this year, with the official figures due to be released in January. But if that growth is not maintained when figures for the first quarter of 2010 are issued in April, that would deal a devastating blow to the Prime Minister. "There is a real possibility that, after one quarter of growth, Britain slips backwards," said one Tory frontbencher. "If that happened, there would be fears about a double-dip recession. It would blow Brown's credentials as the man who steered us through the storm out of the water." – The Independent

George Osborne waves carrots not sticks in pitch for green mantle…

George Osborne blue background "Being the greenest party is unlikely to be a decisive factor in next year’s general election but that did not stop the Conservatives yesterday making a pitch for the mantle. George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, made a series of environmental commitments that had two things in common: they will not cost the taxpayer a penny to implement, nor will they force individuals to change their behaviour. The theme of his speech was that carrots were better than sticks when it comes to getting people to embrace a low-carbon lifestyle." – The Times

…as Tories admit there is no new cash for green ISA

"George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, has not yet committed any new funding to his proposed tax-advantaged green individual savings accounts, Conservative officials told the Financial Times. Mr Osborne on Tuesday reiterated his 2008 commitment to a green individual savings account, saying that a Conservative government would introduce green individual savings accounts and “make them a priority for any increase in Isa tax-free limits”. The lack of new money behind a swathe of environmental initiatives set out by the shadow chancellor led to Labour accusations of a “greenwash”. But the Tories insisted this week’s series of six speeches by shadow cabinet ministers on the environment was more than political positioning." – FT

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: 'We are still green' insist Tories in four speeches push

Ken Clarke dubs aid for companies 'piecemeal'

Ken Clarke "Ken Clarke has criticised the government's "piecemeal" bundle of initiatives launched to help business during the downturn as data showed a fall in bank lending to companies in the third quarter of the year. The shadow business secretary said the annual fall in business lending had been the largest since records began. "The government's reaction to the worst of the credit crunch was slow, piecemeal and inadequate," he told the FT. But analysis by this newspaper has shown that while a couple of the nine targeted business support schemes launched in the past year have struggled, others have had a relatively positive impact." – FT

Tory plan for MPs to sit through August

"A new Conservative government may keep parliament sitting through next August in an attempt to show its determination to implement its manifesto commitments, a source has disclosed. The move would send a message of a symbolic break with the current parliament's self-serving practices, the source said. Parliament last sat through the summer in 1909 to implement Lloyd George's "People's Budget". The idea is being floated by senior members of the shadow cabinet as they look at the implications of an austerity emergency budget within 50 days of taking office after an election expected on 6 May. That timescale suggests an emergency budget by the end of June or the beginning of July." – The Guardian

> Last night's Parliament post: Parliament would sit throughout next summer if the Tories win power

Shadow leaders shy away from David Cameron’s Tory radical

Picture 4 "The Tory leadership has distanced from a new think-tank being launched by David Cameron tomorrow to develop new Conservative policies. Mr Cameron’s aides insisted the Tory leader’s appearance alongside Phillip Blond did not mean that he embraced the former theology lecturer’s agenda. Mr Blond has been hailed as Mr Cameron’s “philosopher king” after his ideas on so-called “red Toryism” were enthusiastically picked up by the Conservative leader and his senior allies. But his harsh critique of unfettered capitalism is causing unease among Shadow Cabinet members – in particular Ken Clarke, the Shadow Business Secretary." – The Times

David Cameron's "philosopher-king" profiledThe Independent

Are Dave and Co ready for the Red Tory? – Edward Heathcoat-Amory in the Daily Mail

Simon Heffer: How the Tories can lead the revival of a battered Britain

"Were the next government to address the fundamentals of taxation, spending, welfare and education, the sound bases from which a recovery is possible would be in place. But there is one philosophical point that must be addressed as well, and that is about the necessity and moral superiority of capitalism. The Tories are in a spectacular mess about this, with rhetoric (again driven by focus groups) that starts to come close to hanging bankers from lamp posts and all sorts of interventions that would simply drive what remains of our greatest foreign currency earner – the financial sector – abroad, at huge cost to us. No one disputes that there needs to be sensible regulation: but any suggestion that capitalists as a genre are all bad or stupid, or require some class punishment, is simply insane." – Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph

Daniel Finkelstein on how a hung Parliament could provoke a constitutional crisis

FINKELSTEIN DANIEL "I still believe that the next election will produce a Conservative majority. A hung Parliament is, however, certainly possible given the ground David Cameron has to make up. And I don’t believe we are mentally or constitutionally prepared for the minority rule that could be with us soon. I worry that with only the tiniest bit of bad luck, it could rock the throne." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

Steve Richards: Bring on a hung parliament – and the drama that goes with it

"In the 1970s the unpredictable nature of many key votes propelled it to the centre of all attention. I remember as a young teenager visiting the Commons' public gallery and witnessing Harold Wilson lose a key vote on industrial policy. It was as gripping as watching any great theatrical drama in the West End or a football match in which the outcome is decided on penalties. I was hooked on politics from that moment on and have always had problems when reading or hearing that the Commons is a pathetic irrelevance. It does not have to be." – Steve Richards in The Independent

'Season's Greetings' from David Cameron as Tories Christmas cards 'pander to politically correct brigade'

Picture 9 "Two years ago he derided politically-correct Christmas cards which do not mention the word Christmas as 'insulting tosh'. But
last night David Cameron was facing a backlash from his own party after
it emerged the Conservative official cards have the message 'Season's
Greetings'. The Christmas cards, which are available on the
party's website, avoid all religious imagery  -  preferring generic
winter scenes and pictures of robins to pictures of Jesus and the Three
Kings. And the word Christmas does not appear on them at all." – Daily Mail

Labour MP calls for income tax to be slashed – Daily Express

Ex-Lib Dem MP named among future board of expenses clean-up panel BBC

School pupils to be taught domestic violence is unacceptableSky News

Zimbabwe set for Commonwealth return by 2011Daily Telegraph

Scottish Parliament may win greater tax powersThe Independent

And finally… David Davis quips: "I'll be in opposition, whoever wins"

DAVIS LOOKING "To Pall Mall, London, for the annual Political Studies Association awards…. The backbencher of the year was David Davis, who resigned his seat and his place in the shadow cabinet in protest against the loss of our civil liberties. (He was sent straight back by the voters of Haltemprice.) As he said beforehand, in his slightly wolfish way, the result of the election won't make much difference to him: "I shall be in opposition, whoever wins." – Simon Hoggart in The Guardian


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