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9pm ToryDiary update: BPIX poll puts Tory lead at 11%

Picture 318.45pm WATCH: Tony Blair says that even if it had been known that Saddam did not have WMDs, it would still have been right to invade Iraq

7.45pm ToryDiary update: Tory lead down to 9% in new YouGov poll

7.30pm ToryDiary: Tory lead soars to 17% again in new ComRes poll

3.30pm Seats and Candidates update: Jo Johnson pays tribute to his rivals at last night's Orpington selection

3.15pm Seats and Candidates: Nick Hillman selected for Cambridge

11.15am WATCH:  The BBC reports that the increase in the state pension will not be as generous as first thought

Green-image10.45am Melanchthon on CentreRight considers the three forms of climate action scepticism

10.30am ToryDiary: In the years to come, Climate change could be as divisive for Conservatives as Europe

ToryDiary: Why is the Tory party having an outbreak of the jitters?

Kwasi Kwarteng on Platform: After a pantomime Pre-Budget Report, serious steps are needed to cuts taxes and spending

Seats and Candidates: Mike Weatherley in Hove is boosted by the defection of his UKIP opponent to the Conservatives

Local Government: Edinburgh Council embraces privatisation

Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight agrees with Tony Blair that regime change was right in Iraq: Saddam Hussein, himself, was the weapon of mass destruction

Melanchthon on CentreRight considers the conclusions of a new report on inequality and mental health: "If the problem is that you envy, then it is your fault…. In contrast, if the key point is that having things to envy is unhealthy, then it is the inequality, the difference, that is the origin of the unhealthiness.  And if there is fault, it is the fault of us, those who allow the inequality."

WATCH: Tony Blair discusses how his faith has given him strength when making unpopular decisions in politics

George Osborne underlines aspiration to abolish NI increase

OSBORNE GEORGE PORTRAIT "George Osborne today pitches for the votes of middle Britain with his clearest hint that the Conservatives will campaign at the general election on a promise to stop Labour’s planned 1 per cent rise in national insurance. In an interview with The Times, the Shadow Chancellor said that his first priority if the Tories were elected would be to avoid the tax increase announced by Alistair Darling, which is due to come into effect in April 2011." – The Times

Click here for the paper's interview with the Shadow Chancellor

PBR will force council tax rises and fewer bin collections Daily Telegraph

Labour has declared war on ordinary votersTelegraph editorial

Cameron and Gove stand by claims about Islamic extremists funding schools

"The Conservatives are standing by David Cameron's controversial allegation that a school was linked to Islamic extremism, despite the claim being dismissed by authorities. Investigations by Haringey Council found no evidence of "inappropriate influence" at the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation school, in Tottenham, north London… But the Tories did not back down on the allegations. Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove said later:  "The woman who set up the foundation that runs this school was a member of Hizb ut Tahrir at the time and is married to their chief media representative." – Press Association

> Last month's ToryDiary: David Cameron tackles Brown over Government funding of Islamic extremists at PMQs

Tories more trusted than Labour to run the economy

"More voters would trust the Conservatives to run the UK economy than Labour, a poll showed yesterday in a snub to the government's latest economic plan." – The Scotsman

> Yesterday's ToryDiary

MPs behaving better over expense claims, says Speaker…

John Bercow interview "Commons Speaker John Bercow claimed MPs had started to behave better over their expenses, saying many of the revelations of wrongdoing published on Thursday preceded parliament's decision to publish the expenses." – The Guardian

…as the papers uncover a variety of new claims

"Alan Duncan, the frontbench Tory MP, charged the taxpayer thousands of pounds a year towards the cost of an orangery he built at his constituency home… The Commons authorities approved the claims at the time and they have not been queried by Sir Thomas Legg, who is conducting a review of members’ expenses. Last night Mr Duncan said the claims “couldn’t be cleaner or simpler”. – The Times

"Mark Hendrick, the Labour MP for Preston who admitted “estimating” his mortgage interest bill, claimed more than £7,000 for the relaying of his lawn and reconstruction of his garden, including the installation of “Indian stone paving”. – Daily Telegraph

"Sir Michael Lord, a Deputy Commons Speaker, claimed the cost of cutting his daffodils and three different types of fertiliser for his lawn on his second home expenses." – Daily Telegraph

"The MPs expenses scandal plumbed new depths last night when it emerged a Tory politician claimed for a charity parcel donation for troops. John Baron, MP for Billericay in Essex, said the £18.21 claim for a food parcel was an “admin error”.- Daily Express

Mayor's brother in Commons bid

Jo Johnson The younger brother of London mayor Boris Johnson has been selected as a Tory general election candidate. The Conservativehome website reported that Jo Johnson had been chosen as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Orpington, Kent." – Press Association

> Last night in Seats and Candidates: Boris's younger brother Jo Johnson selected for Orpington after six ballots (including a tie)

Amanda Platell: David Cameron and the politics of appeasement

"At a charity gathering this week, David Cameron said his party was determined to support marriage – but was in no way critical of single mothers. Sorry, but he can't have it both ways." – Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail

Blair ‘would have gone to war without Iraqi WMD’

BLAIR head looking left "Tony Blair would still have led the country to war in Iraq even if he had known that it had no weapons of mass destruction. The former Prime Minister has confessed that he would have had to use different arguments to justify toppling Saddam Hussein. But he says in an interview to be broadcast tomorrow morning that he would still have taken steps to remove the Iraqi dictator from power." – The Times

UKIP peer calls Jewish climate campaigner 'Hitler Youth'

"Viscount Monckton… has branded a Jewish member of a sustainable development organisation a 'Hitler Youth' in an angry exchange at a fringe Copenhagen event. The peer, an ardent climate change sceptic, called Ben Wessel a "Hitler Youth" several times despite the young American telling him that his grandparents had fled Nazi Germany." – Daily Telegraph

Government planning to announce defence cutsThe Times

Archbishop of Canterbury: Labour treats religious believers as "oddities"Daily Telegraph

Surprise, surprise, Polly Toynbee calls for higher taxesThe Guardian

And finally… David Cameron gets broody

Picture 28 "David Cameron said a nine-hour-old baby he met during a tour of a maternity unit in Yorkshire made him "want another one" himself. Mr Cameron met little Freddie and his mother Kathryn Blanchard during a visit to Calderdale Royal Hospital, in Halifax. He appeared overjoyed to see the tiny baby, who was born just before 3am today. "It makes me want another one," he told Ms Blanchard, who looked pleased to see the Leader of the Opposition just hours after she gave birth." – Yorkshire Post

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