10pm Parliament: Monmouth MP David Davies does not share the civil libertarian credentials of his near-namesake

5.45pm Today's General Election Brief: How much is the Iraq Inquiry hurting Labour?

Picture 45.30pm Parliament: Chris Grayling lays into the Government for storing the DNA of innocent people on its national database

4.30pm WATCH: Geoff Hoon tells the Chilcot Inquiry that going to war with Iraq was not a foregone conclusion

4.15pm ToryDiary: Michael Gove's moral mission to restart social mobility

3.15pm LeftWatch: Lib Dem councillor compares Conservative parliamentary candidate to "Nazi stormtrooper" Updated at 10.30pm with Chris Philp's call for an apology to the wider Jewish community

2pm ToryDiary: Targeting alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour, supporting people who "do the right thing" and reducing police paperwork all feature in the crime chapter of the draft manifesto

Picture 161pm WATCH: David Cameron wants your questions on education policy for an online Cameron Direct event on Friday

12.30pm Local Government: Calderdale Council to cut Council Tax by 1% and Haringey Labour councillor defects to Lib Dems

12.15pm AmericaInTheWorld: The catastrophe in Haiti is a classic illustration of anti-Americanism in seven easy steps

11.15am Neil O'Brien on CentreRight: Child poverty targets are diverting policymakers from the causes to the symptoms of poverty

10.45am Robert McIlveen on CentreRight: Changing the climate change debate

GOODMAN PAUL FACEPaul Goodman on ToryDiary: The corruption of voting under Labour is a national scandal: an incoming Conservative government must act quickly to stamp out electoral fraud

LeftWatch: "Labour's computer blunders cost £26 billion"

Daniel Hannan MEP on Platform: David Cameron has gone further than any previous Tory leader in proposing a shift in power from Whitehall to town halls

Seats and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Alistair Cooke

Local Government

Parliament: John Bercow calls for "national leadership" to Save General Election Night

Robert Halfon on CentreRight: I'm supposed to be a Thatcherite but I feel a Bennite when it comes to Cadbury's

International: Obama's unpopular agenda may cost Democrats one of their safest seats

WATCH: Fox News reports that the Massachusetts Senate race is "too close to call"

Tories call time on 24-hour drinking and cheap alcohol…

"Tories will today pledge to end Labour’s ill-fated 24-hour licensing experiment and crack down on Britain’s binge-drinking culture. Powers for police and local authorities to curb late-night drinking will be introduced if the Tories win the General Election this year. And new taxes will be slapped on lager, alcopops and high-strength cider in an attempt to halt drink-fuelled violence. A draft version of the Tory election manifesto’s section on alcohol, released today, says 24-hour boozing has been a failure." – Daily Express

Chris Grayling head "It's time we took back control of our town and city centres on a Friday and Saturday night, and turned them back into places where people can have a good night out without the fear of being caught up in a culture of binge drinking and anti-social behaviour. We need to scrap the Government's late night licensing regime, give local people back powers over the number of licensed premises in their areas, and introduce charges for late night licences to pay for better policing. We can't go on with the binge drinking culture that has built up under Labour.” Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling MP quoted in the Daily Telegraph

…as Labour announces its own blitz on irresponsible drinking

"Under a new mandatory Home Office code, 'all you can drink for £10' offers will be outlawed, along with a raft of other drinking games and promotions. Pubs will be forced to offer small glasses of wine and free tap water  -  but controversial 'happy hours' have once again survived a Government ban. The fact that both Labour and the Tories are unveiling their attempts to tackle 'binge Britain' on the same day signals that the issue will be a key election battleground." – Daily Mail

Tory education plans unveiled yesterday are given wide coverage

GOVE MICHAEL NW "The Conservatives want to emulate Finland’s education system with a “brazenly elitist” approach to close the gap between rich and poor, Michael Gove, the Shadow Education Secretary, said." – The Times

"Michael Gove moved to blunt class war attacks by the Labour party by pledging that a Tory government would be guided by a "moral purpose" to give more opportunities to the less well-off." – The Guardian

Tories plan literacy league tables for six year olds – BBC

"Fifteen months ago Mr Cameron told his party conference that the return of a Conservative government would mean a "declaration of war against… the educational establishment." On the basis of yesterday's manifesto proposals, the Tory leader is ready to let battle commence." – Telegraph editorial

"The idea of allowing greater sums of money to follow students from poor backgrounds around the system is another welcome indication of the Tories' seriousness about improving the opportunities for the most disadvantaged children." – Independent editorial

"Mr Cameron should be warned that on this – as on his pledge to sack incompetents – he'll face fierce opposition from the egalitarian teachers' unions, which have done as much as the Government to undermine the respect in which teaching was once held. His fine words will be worthless if they're not matched by a ruthless determination to face the unions down." – Daily Mail editorial

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron promises a "brazenly elitist" approach to teacher recruitment

> WATCH: David Cameron explains what he he would do to elevate the status of teaching

Britain must find the room for class

"All mainstream parties have incentives to chase the votes of middle-income swing seats. So there is little national discourse about the wealth, educational opportunities, family support or social networks that allow the middle class – who live in the target constituencies – to defend entrenched positions. Instead, the parties dress up middle-class giveaways – such as income tax cuts or tax breaks for marriage – as measures to alleviate poverty." – FT editorial

Class war is so last week for new Gordon Brown – Rachel Sylvester in The Times

Class war is meaningless when all politicians belong to an elite – Dominic Lawson writing in The Independent

Grant Shapps: Why the housing shortage is responsible for a fertility crisis

SHAPPS GRANT-1 "The charity Shelter has released a fascinating piece of research this week that reveals that higher housing costs are forcing couples to delay starting a family. Britain's acute housing shortage means that the average age of a first-time buyer without financial help from family or friends is now 37 years old, up from 33 in 2005 and just 29 in 1997. And this postponement of settling down is having a knock-on effect in delaying the point at which women, on average, are trying to start a family." – Shadow Housing minister Grant Shapps MP in the Guardian

Married couples set to get Tory tax breaks only if they have children

"David Cameron has been given “permission” to scale back his proposals for a marriage tax break from Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the original policy. The marriage tax allowance — one of the first promises made by the Conservative leader, and which was reaffirmed before Christmas — is now likely only to apply to married couples with children. Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, hinted that the party might be forced to scale back its marriage plans so that it is “affordable initially”. – The Times

"His problem is insoluble… However much people see marriage as the best way to bring up children, it would take lottery-sized sums to keep warring couples together. Now backtracking, Cameron says even a small sum sends the right moral signal." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

> Yesterday on ThinkTankCentral: CSJ recommends £600m transferable tax allowance for married couples with very young children

More coverage of ConservativeHome's survey of candidates' priorities

"The next generation of Conservative MPs do not share David Cameron's enthusiasm for making climate change a priority for a Conservative government, according to a survey to be published tomorrow. The poll of 141 Tory candidates in winnable seats found that "reducing Britain's carbon footprint" was rated the lowest of 19 possible priorities for a Cameron government." – The Independent

Cameron faces green rebellion from future Tory MPs – Daily Express

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

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

High-flying Tory candidates attend green "re-education" course

"Ten Conservative election candidates were sent on a green “re-education” day by Steve Hilton, the Tories’ head of strategy… The scientific event last week in Whitehall, organised by a think-tank called Green Alliance, featured eminent speakers such as Sir Brian Hoskins, a climate-change expert from Imperial College London, and David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change… One Tory insider told the Financial Times that the 10 prospective candidates sent on Thursday’s course had been picked because they were “high fliers – the cream of the crop”. – FT

> Damian Collins was one of those attending the event and wrote about it in his Diary of PPC published yesterday

Bob Neill signals Tory intention to scrap unitary councils in Norfolk and Suffolk 

NEILL BOB "Conservative high command has given its strongest commitment yet that a David Cameron-led government would torpedo any council overhaul in Norfolk and Suffolk, raising the prospect that the millions spent so far would simply be poured down the drain. Shadow local government minister Bob Neill said the Tories would give a manifesto commitment to overturn any plans to replace the current set-up of seven districts and the county council with a unitary structure – even if the government went with plans to elect a new unitary authority in May." – Eastern Daily Press

"Nurses lack career structure", say ConservativesNursing Times

Gordon Brown's "secret fund" in the spotlight

"Gordon Brown used a private “stash” of party funds in his campaign to oust Tony Blair as prime minister, it has been claimed. He was threatened with a ­Parliamentary sleaze inquiry yesterday after claims emerged about the “fund with no name”. – Daily Express

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

George Osborne to discover result of Standards Inquiry todayBBC

Geoff Hoon to face questions a Chilcot Inquiry todayNottingham Evening Post


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66 comments for: Tuesday 19th January 2010

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