10.30pm LeftWatch: Former General Secretary of the Labour Party makes sensational attacks on Gordon Brown

9.45pm ToryDiary: Tories promise scholarships for the children of military dead

Screen shot 2010-01-09 at 20.58.399pm WATCH: Conservative MP David Davies ('the Tory Tornado') wins another charity boxing match

6.15pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: This week seven Islamists refused to follow court procedure by standing up when the judge entered court…

5.45pm ToryDiary: Conservatives 10% ahead in ICM/ Sunday Telegraph poll

5pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: "If we say: "The terrorists have no compunction about murdering our people, so we should have no compunction about torturing them" the terrorists win a battle.  If we say: "We know that most of the terrorists come from particular races and are Muslim, so all such people should be sbject to additional checks to get on planes or attend football matches or enter the Houses of Parliament", the terrorists win a battle…"

10.45am Parliament: Tories under Cameron less likely to vote against principle of Labour legislation

10am Seats and candidates: ConHome launches fundraising campaign to defeat Liberal Democrat MPs

GRAYLING CHRIS NW ToryDiary: Chris Grayling moves to fix the weakest link in Britain's borders

Syed Kamall MEP on Platform: A belief in reducing taxes and trusting people to make responsible choices goes to the heart of Progressive Conservatism

Local government: Councils face severe shortage of salt as extreme weather continues and New Fenland leader chosen

LeftWatch: The vast majority want higher taxation of the rich, says Toynbee in rebuke to Mandelson


Today's top story: Darling and Mandelson win internal Labour battle on cuts

Screen shot 2010-01-09 at 07.53.53 "Alistair Darling has warned that Britain faces its toughest spending cuts for 20 years if Labour continues in office. The Chancellor, indicating a dramatic shift in his party’s election strategy, tells The Times today that severe spending restraints are “non-negotiable” if he is to bring down the £178 billion budget deficit. The remarks suggest a big victory for Mr Darling and Lord Mandelson." – The Times

David Cameron ready to take on the unions

"The Conservative leader said that, if he became prime minister, he would be “very happy” to strengthen laws to stop unions staging walkouts over his plan to freeze wages for at least a year as part of efforts to get to grips with the public deficit. He warned union leaders that they faced “a very determined, robust, sensible, reasonable group of people”." – Telegraph

> Recent ToryDiary: Unions have £25m war chest to "unleash hell" on Tory government

Trident replacement and Navy's aircraft carrier project are vulnerable under Tory government

Screen shot 2010-01-09 at 08.08.54 "If a future Conservative government is in Afghanistan for the long term, Mr Osborne will have to find other savings from the defence budget. The Navy’s proposed £5 billion aircraft carrier project is, as a result, in play. Mr Osborne will not say whether he would scrap it, but he offers little enthusiasm for the project. Likewise, the future of the Trident nuclear capability is under discussion. The Conservatives would not abandon Britain’s nuclear capability, but there is a discussion over whether the cruise system could replace Trident. It would limit Britain’s nuclear flexibility, but save billions of pounds." – Report in Times that emerges from interview with William Hague and George Osborne during their visit to Afghanistan

Daily Mail wants more courage and coherence from David Cameron

"Under [David Cameron], the Tories have developed plenty of policies, from fashionable environmentalism to greater rights for householders to protect themselves against violent burglars. But without a Big Idea to bind their programme together, they will look more like a team of middle-managers, reacting to each day's headlines, than a potential government guided by firm principles… It won't be nearly enough for Mr Cameron to appear on posters, air-brushed and tie-less, promoting the need for change. He must have the courage to give voters coherent and convincing reasons why he is the man to lead the country." – Daily Mail leader

Tories would give heads more power to fire weak teachersGuardian

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Tories "would give heads more power to fire weak teachers"

Anti-Hilton campaign attributed to old-school Conservatives who feel they are being marginalised by Cameron and his inner circleGuardian

"What Hilton has managed to do brilliantly is take traditional Conservative values and place them in a modern setting. What is less clear is whether he will flourish in government if the Conservatives win. If he does, the Cameron government will be more experimental than most voters have realised so far." – Steve Richards in The Independent

David Cameron answers questions from Welsh votersWestern Mail

John Bercow has accused "nasty, cowardly and chauvinistic" Tory MPs of criticising his wife in order to undermine himIndependent

> Yesterday on Parliament: Speaker Bercow defends his wife's right to her own opinions – and backs the campaign to Save General Election Night

Geoff Hoon could face a vote of no confidence from his constituencyBBC


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