10.30pm WATCH: Tony Blair's ex-Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell, denies to the Chilcot Inquiry that a US-UK pact for invading Iraq was agreed in 2002

ElectionBrief7pm Today's General Election Brief: Ed Balls' anti-marriage message is killing Brown's relationship with Paul Dacre

6pm LeftWatch: Less than half of Labour supporters believe their party is likely to fulfill its manifesto pledges if re-elected

5.30pm Local Government: Should councils be able to regulate pedlars?

5pm Clark Vasey on CentreRight: Liam Fox is the best hope for our armed forces

4.15pm WATCH: Gordon Brown says he wants to see "a huge wave of social mobility"

3.30pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Am I really "wacky" to suggest that inheritance tax is a tax on aspiration?

12.45pm ThinkTankCentral: CSJ recommends £600m transferable tax allowance for married couples with very young children

Picture 1112.15pm WATCH: David Cameron explains what he he would do to elevate the status of teaching

11am ToryDiary update: Schools chapter of draft manifesto published and available to download as David Cameron says he wants to make teaching a "noble profession" again

11am LISTEN: Tim Montgomerie discusses a survey of the next generation of Tory MPs with Radio 4 Westminster Hour's Norman Smith

10.30am Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight: Climate change policy can undo fiscal policy

10am LeftWatch: Tory frontbencher Greg Hands demands explanation from Gordon Brown over his failure to declare secret fund in Register of Interests

Traditional TeacherToryDiary: David Cameron promises a "brazenly elitist" approach to teacher recruitment

Alistair Thompson on Platform: Next time the country faces a big freeze, battalions of unemployed people should be called upon to clear the streets of snow

Seats and Candidates Diary of a PPC: The future of Dungeness nuclear power station, remembering WWI veterans and judging the local sloe gin all feature in a busy week for Damian Collins in Folkestone and Hythe

Local Government:

Parliament: Sir George Young successfully presses Harriet Harman to support the campaign to Save General Election Night

WATCH: Ex-Labour General Secretary Peter Watt talks to Andrew Marr about his devastating memoirs

Tories defend plans to give tax breaks for marriage

"The Tories fended off attacks on their plans to give married couples a tax break as political parties engaged in angry clashes over family policy… Mr Cameron renewed his commitment to the policy, saying he wanted to send out a message that "If you take responsibility, you'll be rewarded"… As family policy took centre stage in pre general-election skirmishes, Mr Cameron said supporting marriage was an important part of his plans to tackle Britain's "broken society". – Press Association

DUNCAN SMITH DECEMBER 07 "Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, whose Centre for Social Justice think-tank has developed proposals for a transferable income tax allowance, demanded at least a minimum measure to be introduced “as a matter of urgency”. He pointed out giving the tax break to married couples with children aged under three would only cost £600m compared to £3.2bn for all married couples." – The Herald

Cameron wants sexual consent on the curriculum

"All children will get lessons on how to say “no” to sex under reforms proposed yesterday by David Cameron to mend Britain’s “broken society.” He said school curriculums should include teaching about sexual consent – with an emphasis on “empowering” youngsters to refuse. He also pledged to crack down on “drunken” and violent fathers, as the three main parties battled over the best way to support families." – Daily Express

Tackling climate change not a priority for Tory candidates

"The new generation of Conservative MPs due to take power after the election does not share David Cameron’s professed commitment to tackling climate change, a survey being published this week suggests. “Reducing Britain’s carbon footprint” was rated as the lowest priority, out of 19 policies, by 144 Conservative candidates responding to the survey of the 240 most winnable Tory target seats… The results of the survey by the Conservativehome website, to be unveiled at a conference on the Tory manifesto on Wednesday, suggest a gap might be opening up between the leadership and rank-and-file MPs and activists on the issue." – FT

Fresh doubts cast over global warming theories – Daily Express

> Last night in Seats and Candidates: Cutting the deficit is the top priority of Tory candidates (reducing Britain's carbon footprint is the lowest priority)

Boris Johnson sets an Olympic goal for London to be Britain’s first plastic bag-free city

Johnson Boris Pointing "London could become Britain’s first plastic-bag-free city in time for the Olympics in 2012, under plans published today by Boris Johnson to reduce litter and landfill waste. Shoppers will be given greater incentives to bring their own reusable bags, and supermarkets may be encouraged to charge for single-use bags issued at the checkout." – The Times

Boris Johnson acts to boost London's recycle rates – The Guardian

Conservatives say GPs must run out-of-hours care again

"The Conservatives have put themselves on a collision course with GPs by vowing to make doctors take back responsibility for out-of-hours care from NHS trusts and private companies. Andrew Lansley, the Tory shadow health spokesman, has renewed his party’s promise to challenge GPs’ controversial contracts in the wake of an inquest into the death of a pensioner given an overdose by a German locum providing after-hours care." – Daily Telegraph

The dysfunctional Whitehall which a Cameron Government could inherit

"David Cameron could inherit a dysfunctional Whitehall machine unable to deliver his programme if he wins the general election, a damning report into the state of the civil service under Gordon Brown concludes. The analysis by the independent charity Institute for Government says there is a “strategic gap” at the heart of Mr Brown’s administration because of weak central command structures." – FT

Liam Fox wants answers from Hoon on failure to equip our troops

FOX "Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary, will face questions at the Iraq Inquiry about pre-war planning that left some British troops short of vital equipment when the invasion began… According to Liam Fox, the Conservative shadow defence spokesman, Mr Hoon delayed an order for body armour from September 2002 to November 2002."  – Daily Telegraph

Labour opposes a cap on immigration…

"Annual caps on immigration are unnecessary and could exclude people with valuable skills, the Communities Secretary has said… John Denham has said the Government does not support the idea as applicants with something to contribute should get the chance to come to Britain… "We don't think population is going to go to 70 million, so there is a bit of a straw man there," he said." – Sky News

…as does Nick Clegg

"David Cameron wants to enter into a Dutch auction now, entering into implausible caps that can't work, that don't work, that we know round the world doesn't work. It might work in his focus groups but it is not actually going to produce the cohesive Britain that I want to see," he told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show." – BBC

> Saturday's ToryDiary post: Immigration could be the issue that ensures a decisive Conservative victory

David Cameron: No point in tougher deportation if we keep letting unwanted people in

"There's not much point having tougher laws to deport people who are a threat to Britain if at the same time we don't have a proper border police force to stop unwanted people from coming in." – Extract from a speech given by David Cameron last week reproduced in The Independent

An FT editorial praises David Cameron's recognition of the global security environment

"David Cameron, the UK Conservative party leader, has unveiled a national security programme for a future Tory government. It suggests that his party understands the complexities of today’s global threats, but it stops short of saying how to pay for the bill." – FT

Mandelson adds to confusion over 50p tax band

Lord Mandelson "There was confusion over the government’s policy on the 50p tax rate yesterday, after the Treasury appeared to contradict remarks made by Lord Mandelson. When asked about the top rate of tax for workers earning over £150,000, Mandelson said: “I would favour, when financial circumstances permit, for the top rate to come down, just as it has gone up when times were hard"… But a Treasury spokesman yesterday insisted the government intended to keep the tax in force for the entire lifetime of the next parliament, which could last until 2015." – City AM

"Britain is going to hurt for a decade"

"Britain faces a "decade of pain" as the cost of Gordon Brown's spending frenzy stifles an economic recovery, experts predicted yesterday. They said growth this year and next would be far lower than Government forecasts. And they claimed that our mammoth debts mean we face ten years of "painful readjustment" as taxes rise and public spending is slashed." – The Sun

Labour plans to push children from poor backgrounds into lucrative jobsThe Times

Philip Johnston: The Tories have been too timid in standing up for the middle classesDaily Telegraph

Julian Glover: Polls dictate the state of play. And sometimes get it wrong

"Polls are why we think Labour is going to lose this spring. Polls are why there was no election in 2007. Polls are (in part) why Cameron is and stays leader. But before we trust polls, we should ask how they are created and whether they might be misleading. What if the British political class is ­chasing digits without substance?" – The Guardian

The parties are primed for a digital election – Claire Beale in The Independent

Banning of burkas is oppressive, says Respect leader Salma Yaqoob

"Plans to ban Muslim women from covering their faces in public areas are oppressive, the leader of the Respect party said yesterday. Salma Yaqoob’s comments came as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) announced a formal policy that would make the wearing of garments such as the burka or the niqab — both of which conceal most of the face — to be illegal." – The Times

> Saturday's ToryDiary: Conservative MEP and Times attack "un-British" UKIP

An Australian broadcaster's take on observing David Cameron in action

"What's he like? Impressive. Less because of any vavoom or grand passion in his message of a Year for Change; more because he seemed the genuine article: sensible, collected, capable, reasonable. The chap for these turbulent times. And to put it in Australian terms, probably enough ticker for the task at hand." – Ticky Fullerton of ABC News

Peter Robinson has shaken hands with Martin McGuinness for the first timeBBC


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