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7pm Ben Rogers on CentreRight: Stop the preachers of hate

5.30pm ToryDiary: Chris Grayling backs an extension of "Sarah's Law"

4.30pm WATCH: David Davis – and Tony Benn – speak at last week's launch of Big Brother Watch

2.45pm Ruth Lea on CentreRight: Three cheers for technical Academies

Picture 41pm WATCH: Kwasi Kwarteng's winning pitch to the voters of Spelthorne at last Friday's Open Primary

12.30pm Seats and Candidates: The 46 Labour and Lib Dem MPs in Tory target seats who will avoid the electorate's verdict at the general election

11.30am WATCH: Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth lets slip that the election is scheduled for May 6th

Ken Clarke black backgroundToryDiary: Ken Clarke warns George Osborne against making "great cuts with calamitous consequences"

LeftWatch: "Avowed atheist David Miliband sends son to Church of England school"

Philip Booth on Platform: The Conservatives must give their proposed Swedish-style "free schools" a lot more freedom

Seat and Candidates: Esther McVey's Labour MP opponent throws in the towel

Local Government: Birmingham Council plans to raise £6 million advertising revenue over 10 years


WATCH: Gerry Adams calls for urgent talks on devolving policing and justice powers in Northern Ireland

Different polls tell different stories this morning

"David Cameron is set to sweep Gordon Brown aside and secure at least a 38-seat majority in the General Election, a shock poll reveals today. The ICM poll carried out for the News of the World shows the Conservatives have managed to secure a thumping 8.5 per cent swing in key marginal seats across the country." – News of the World

Fraser Nelson "The unfair Westminster voting system means the Tories could win five million more votes, but still barely control parliament. The poll shows that, in the all-important marginal seats, Tory supporters outnumber Labour supporters three to two. But it doesn’t matter how much the Tory vote goes up in seats that the Tories don’t actually take. Result? Cameron looks set to pull off the biggest pro-Tory swing since 1935 — yet may still barely have enough MPs to pass laws." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

"The Tories are now on 38 per cent – nine ahead of Labour’s unchanged rating of 29 per cent, with the Lib Dems flatlining on 19 per cent. If repeated at the General Election, the figures in our Sunday Mirror/ComRes survey would mean a hung Parliament, with the Tories five seats short of what they need to get in to Downing Street." – Sunday Mirror

> Last night's ToryDiary: Tories 9% ahead in new ComRes poll and heading for majority of 38 in ICM/ News of the World marginals survey

> Paul Goodman recently wrote on ConHome that fairer seat size must be a Conservative priority

Michael Gove steps up pressure for full publication of Edlington torture case report

GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE "The lessons of the Edlington torture case will never be learnt unless the Serious Case Review (SCR) is published, the Conservatives have claimed. They stepped up pressure on Children's Secretary Ed Balls to accept the need for "openness" and reveal the results." – BBC

"We urgently need to reform and improve child protection in this country. Every year, new cases of scarcely imaginable horror hammer at the nation's conscience. Governments pledge that lessons must be learnt, but the documents that contain those lessons are kept under lock and key, censored by the establishment." – Michael Gove quoted in The Observer

"Ed Balls, the Children's Secretary, pointed out that the brothers jailed indefinitely for the torture and abuse of two boys were the sons of married parents – undermining the Tory leader's case that bolstering the institution of marriage was essential to mending the problems in society." – Independent on Sunday

"It is probably asking too much of an opposition leader that he refrain from riding waves of moral outrage. But Mr Cameron should be careful how he describes the country he wants to govern. He needs to be more precise about where the fractures lie and how Conservative remedies will mend them." – Observer editorial

Tory plan to reveal pupil truancy rates

"Schools will be required to tell parents their truancy rates, the
number of applications they receive, and their success in winning
university places, under plans being considered by the Conservatives.
The scheme would be part of plans to increase the information given to
parents to help them choose which state school their children should
attend if the Tories win the next election." – Sunday Times

Alan Duncan says it is "repulsively simplistic" to say that "prison works"

DUNCAN ALAN NEW "David Cameron’s proposed crackdown on law and order was in chaos
last night after a revolt by his outspoken Shadow Prisons Minister Alan
Duncan. In a series of highly controversial remarks, Mr Duncan
reportedly told a prisons conference it is ‘repulsively simplistic’ to
say that prison works; ‘Lock ’em up’ is ‘Key Stage 1 politics’; and
prisoners should be ‘met at the gate’ on release from jail. In
addition, Mr Duncan is said to have privately voiced opposition to a
new plan by Mr Cameron to use prison ships to incarcerate more
criminals." – Mail on Sunday

Prison ship policy shock splits Tories – The Observer

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Prison ships are being considered by the Conservatives as a way of meeting capacity

Liam Fox praises Armed Forces after 250th British soldier is killed in Afghanistan

"It is very clear that the insurgents and terrorists on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border present not only a threat to the security of the region, but also to Western countries, including the UK. We are fortunate to have volunteer Armed Forces willing to defend our national security, even at the cost of their lives." – Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox quoted in the Mail on Sunday

Army block top Tory job for Richard DannattNews of the World

David Davis: I'm all for matrimony, but we must not forget those who are divorced, widowed or abandoned

DAVIS DAVID "I want to see the tax system recognise and reinforce marriage. This is not, for me, an issue of morality. People's moral choices are nothing to do with the state. It is simply an issue of reinforcing what works best for most children in most circumstances… It is clear the Conservatives favour reinforcing marriage. It should be clear that we do not intend to do so in a way that compounds the misfortune of the widow, the divorcee, the abandoned mother." – David Davis MP writing in The Observer

Boris: Banks are vital to London

"Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has issued a fierce defence of financial services in today's Observer, insisting that the capital "needs a banking sector that is big, dynamic and willing to experiment with new products." – The Observer

Brown steals Tory clothing on protecting householders

"Gordon Brown has sent out a clear message to Britain's courts to be fairer and show more "mercy" to householders who confront burglars… The Conservatives have pledged to review the law if they win power, with "grossly disproportionate" force one of the benchmarks they are considering." – Sunday Telegraph

> Tuesday's ToryDiary: Tories launch the crime chapter of the draft manifesto

Ken Clarke pledges Cadbury visit

Ken Clarke “I am prepared to believe Kraft have bought this business in order to develop it and not to damage it,” he added. “I hope to visit Birmingham shortly to receive such assurances as I can that the traditions of the company and the workforce will be preserved by its new owners.” – Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke quoted in the Wolverhampton Express and Star

"Ken Clarke, the shadow secretary for business, accused the government of "neglecting" Britain's manufacturing industry and allowing it to fall into a downward spiral." – The Observer

Gordon Brown's right-hand Whitehall mandarin to be kept on by Tories

"David Cameron would retain Gordon Brown's top civil servant as his right-hand man in Downing Street if the Tories won the general election – as part of plans aimed at ensuring a quick, efficient transition to a Conservative government. The Tory leader, who is desperate to avoid squandering his first term in office, intends to reappoint Sir Gus O'Donnell – the mandarin who has been more closely associated with Brown than any other in Whitehall – as cabinet secretary for his entire first term in office… Cameron is also understood to have reassured his shadow ministers that they will retain their current portfolios in government unless they commit serious blunders between now and the election, expected on 6 May." – The Observer

Annabel Goldie to stop billing taxpayer for first class travelSunday Herald

Foreign Office officials thought Iraq war 'illegal'Independent on Sunday

Iraq war was illegal, top lawyer will tell Chilcot inquiryThe Observer

Labour MP pretended daughter was landlord  in £13,000 expenses scamSunday Times

Party leaders want TV debate audience to be silencedNews of the World

And finally… Government says people heavily in debt can pay off bailiffs with credit cards

SHAPPS GRANT "Bailiffs have been given permission to collect debts by credit card from people who are already struggling with monthly bills… Grant Shapps, the shadow Housing minister, said: “You couldn’t make it up. Labour ministers have actually given the go-ahead for aggressive bailiffs to collect debts by credit cards. This callous approach will give the green light for aggressive bailiffs to demand credit card payments with menace, pushing some of the most vulnerable in our society deeper into debt." – Sunday Telegraph 


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