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Midnight Seat and Candidates: Gavin Williamson selected for South Staffordshire

11.30pm ToryDiary: Tory lead 8% in latest Ipsos-Mori poll

 6.30pm WATCH Three more clips of Tony Blair's evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry:

6.15pm Seats and Candidates: Jacqui Smith admits that Tory hopeful Karen Lumley will probably beat her in Redditch

5.45pm Andrew Haldenby on CentreRight reports on a meeting that concluded that government
spending should certainly rise in times of economic slowdown – but only through the “automatic stabilisers”

Picture 95.30pm WATCH: George Osborne says he has found quite a lot of support at Davos for President Obama's ideas about regulating the banking industry

5pm ToryDiary update: UUP leader Sir Reg Empey reaffirms his party's alliance with the Conservatives

4pm ToryDiary: Conservative lead remains 16% in latest Angus Reid poll

3.45pm ToryDiary update: Owen Paterson says that he has been reassured by Sir Reg Empey about the UUP/DUP talks revealed by the BBC

2.30pm Local Government: Tory-run East Staffordshire Council to freeze council tax

2.15pm ToryDiary: Owen Paterson demands to see UUP leader over secret UUP/DUP "unity talks" convened by the Orange Order

1.45pm Local government: Doncaster cuts Council Tax by 3% – after a challenging month for the Mayor

1pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: First Tory MP to successfully appeal against Sir Thomas Legg's expense demands speaks out

12.30pm Tim Montgomerie in Seats and Candidates: Why I'm backing John Glen for Salisbury

12.15pm WATCH Three clips from Tony Blair's evidence this morning to the Chilcot Inquiry:

11.30am LeftWatch: An attempt is made to bury the very bad news that is a surge in NHS waiting times

10.30am Local Government: Two council by-election results from yesterday

10.15am Local Government: Liberal Democrat councillor in Harlow defects to the Conservatives

ToryDiary: How the Conservatives will "embed behavioural thinking throughout government"

LeftWatch: Labour's headline-grabbing eco-homes tax incentive has benefitted just 24 people

Fiona Hodgson Fiona Hodgson on Platform: We must help the women of Afghanistan attain the equality promised for them in their constitution

Seat and Candidates: Final six for Suffolk Coastal

Parliament: Theresa Villiers accuses the Government of lagging behind other countries on airline passenger security

Local Government: Tory-controlled Somerset freezes council tax

CentreRight:

WATCH: An innovative way of promoting economic theory…

Picture 7
The Hayek vs. Keynes rap anthem -  Fear the Boom and Bust

Cameron wants early deficit cut, despite economy fears

David Cameron miked blue background "David Cameron indicated yesterday that – if elected – he would press ahead with plans to start cutting Britain's £178bn fiscal deficit this year even if the economy dips back into recession… Cameron issued his warning at the World Economic Forum in Davos when he was asked on Channel 4 News whether he would cut the deficit even if there is a severe contraction in the economy." – The Guardian

"David Cameron will strike a patriotic note in his address to the world economic forum in Davos today, promising he will “take on the role of flag waver for British business” if the Conservatives are elected. In front of an audience expected to include former US president Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Cameron will extol Britain’s “proud history” as a nation of traders and entrepreneurs." – City AM

Britain must 'rehabilitate economic reputation', says Cameron – Daily Telegraph

"Even if the official statistical picture for the last three months of 2009 does brighten, the prospects for the first quarter of 2010 are unprepossessing. For one thing, the recent cold snap may have hindered production. For another, there may be payback for a boost to consumer spending late last year." – The Economist

> Last night's ToryDiary: David Cameron commits a Conservative Government to start making cuts later this year – even if the economy contracts again

George Osborne: We have no plans to break up universal banks

"In an interview at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Mr. Osborne said he didn't advocate a return to the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking. "I fully understand that modern universal banks need to offer their customers investment-banking services," he said." – Wall Street Journal

Liam Fox blasts Labour economic mismanagement for leaving black hole in defence budget

Liam Fox Daily Politics "The collapse in the value of the pound has left a £1.3 billion black hole in Britain’s defence budget, MPs have been warned… Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said the scale of the losses could have serious consequences for Britain’s armed forces. The £325million a year loss would pay the salary of more than 20,000 Army privates. Dr Fox said: ‘Gordon Brown's economic incompetence is claiming victim after victim, whether it is small businesses, our aid budget, or in this case the MoD. There is hardly an aspect of our national life that has not been damaged by Labour's appalling mismanagement’." – Daily Mail

Afghanistan Conference sets five-year exit plan

"A process of reintegration for the Taleban was the centrepiece yesterday of the London conference on Afghanistan, which also set a tentative timeline for a transition of authority to the Afghan Government and a withdrawal of Western troops. A communiqué issued at the end of the conference set a period of five years for Afghan troops to take control of security in the country, but President Karzai said that such a process might take 15 years." – The Times

> Video from yesterday: Liam Fox says that the Afghan Government should talk to the "reconcilable elements" of the Taleban

Tony Blair goes before the Chilcot Inquiry today

Tony Blair pensive mid-interview "Blair has been working hard to prepare himself for his six-hour session, refamiliarising himself with the documents and reading digests of the evidence given by previous witnesses. He knows that even though he has been asked many of the questions likely to be posed today innumerable times, this represents his last chance to justify the war." – The Guardian

The key questions Blair will face – The Independent

"I had no doubts that the war was legal because I have little time for international so-called law. In my view the war was legal because Parliament decided it was… The crime Chilcot should be investigating is not the invasion of Iraq but the total, comprehensive and needless bungling of the rebuilding of that country, and the virtual destruction of the well educated, more or less secular middle and professional classes which has left the way open for the radical extremists Saddam had kept under control." – Norman Tebbit blogging for the Daily Telegraph

Tories accuse Labour of kicking Commons reform plans into long grass

"Commons leader Harriet Harman has urged MPs not to be "suspicious" after claims she is trying to block reforms aimed at beefing up the powers of backbenchers. Ms Harman said she backed the Wright committee's proposals, which include electing committee chairmen and giving MPs a greater say in what they debate… Shadow leader of the House Sir George Young told MPs: "There is now a widespread suspicion that the government has created an approach that is simply designed to fail." – BBC

> Yesterday in Parliament: Sir George Young suggests that Harriet Harman is trying to block Commons reforms by using procedures giving a veto to any individual MP

Teaching about gay equality should be 'embedded' in schooling, says David Cameron

"David Cameron has said that teaching children about equality for gay people and the importance of civil partnerships should be "embedded" in Britain's schooling. In another sign of his departure from the Tory past, Cameron again apologised for supporting section 28 and said that teaching about equality was an important way of combating homophobic bullying." – The Guardian

> Video from yesterday: David Cameron says that Section 28 was a mistake and that children should be taught about homosexual relationships and the value of civil partnerships

Can Sweden teach our schools a lesson?

Richard garner visits Hampton Community College for The Independent

Cadbury should thrive under Kraft, says Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke “What we have to concentrate on now is how to get the best out of the change that has taken place. There comes a point when there is no point in reminiscing about the Quaker foundations of Cadbury, nor even getting too worked up about whether they should have been sold or not.” – Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke quoted in the Birmingham Post

Tory backbencher accuses immigrant of 'importing medieval views' about women

"A Tory MP was plunged into a race row after he accused some ethnic communities of importing 'barbaric and medieval' views about women into Britain. David Davies, a member of the Home Affairs select committee, was accused of a 'crass misunderstanding' of the issues after his comments over a rape by 14-year-old Asian Balal Khan." – Daily Mail

Bromsgrove grassroots Tories angry at association chairman's agreement to CCHQ-imposed candidate shortlist

"Members of Bromsgrove Conservative Association have hit out at the organisation's apparent decision to ask the party's London office to supply a list of six candidates to replace Julie Kirkbride… In a report on the influential Conservative Home website, Jonathan Isaby wrote that sources at Tory headquarters had told him the Bromsgrove Association had 'requested' the selection be done under by-election rules, meaning Central Office supplied the six-name shortlist with no local input… We asked Bromsgrove Conservative Association chairman Alan Dent to confirm or deny this fact, but he declined to comment." – Bromsgrove Standard

Lunchtime deadline looms for Northern Ireland dealBelfast Telegraph

The first two MPs to win expenses appeals identify themselvesBBC

Quangos are a luxury we don't need, and certainly can't afford – Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph

How Labour used the state to punish working families – Patrick O'Flynn in the Daily Express

And finally… David Cameron pips Jeremy Clarkson to first place in best Prime Minister poll

"Sun columnist and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson would make a better Prime Minister than Gordon Brown, say voters. Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and actor Stephen Fry also beat Mr Brown into fifth place. Tory leader David Cameron topped the list. The result is yet another blow for Mr Brown, who is one of the most unpopular PMs in history." – The Sun

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65 comments for: Friday 29th January 2010

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