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9pm Seats and Candidates: The six names in the frame for Bromsgrove – the first to be chosen under the "by-election rules"

4.45pm Sally McNamara on CentreRight: A note to the EU – the Haitian Crisis is not about You

4.30pm Seats and Candidates: Brandon Lewis's Green opponent in Great Yarmouth steps down to support his campaign

Picture 63pm WATCH: Theresa May welcomes the fall in unemployment but says that worrying trends remain in the detailed figures

2pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight is angry about a particularly absurd softball question asked at PMQs

12.45pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: If you (a) drive and (b) live in the North East, then you're being watched

12.30pm ToryDiary: David Cameron asks about child care in Doncaster at PMQs

11.45am CentreRight:

10.45am ToryDiary: David Willetts launches families chapter of the draft manifesto as Labour steal Tory policy on grandparents' access to grandchildren

Cameron and ObamaToryDiary: Cameron and Obama will both need economic growth to be re-elected (and that must be their laser-like focus)

Tony Lodge on Platform: Why we risk getting High Speed Rail so wrong

Seats and Candidates: Some other priorities of the next generation of Conservative MPs

Cllr Stephen Baines in Local Government: How we are cutting the Council Tax in Calderdale

Parliament: Conservatives move unsuccessful amendment to make any future transfer of power to Europe subject to a referendum

Ben Rogers on CentreRight recounts an incident which illustrates our broken society 

WATCH: Senator-Elect Scott Brown thanks the people of Massachusetts for their support and promises to serve them well

Gordon Brown blamed by Geoff Hoon and Liam Fox for failing to equip our troops

FOX LIAM NEW "Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary at the time of the Iraq war, told the Chilcot inquiry that the Ministry of Defence had "asked for significantly more money than we eventually received" from the Treasury in July 2002, less than a year before the invasion… Liam Fox, the shadow Defence Secretary, said Mr Hoon's evidence had shown a "collective failure" of New Labour's management of the armed forces. "It is increasingly clear that the preparations to provide our troops with the necessary kit were hampered not only by political interference by Tony Blair, but also by the financial handicap applied by Gordon Brown as chancellor," he said." – The Independent

Tories promise good citizens who take on thugs won't be arrested…

"Have-a-go heroes will be protected from prosecution and even arrest under a Tory manifesto commitment to create a 21st century citizen's arrest. The party wants to end Britain's drift towards becoming a 'walk-on-by' society by guaranteeing that those who tackle muggers, thieves and other criminals will not be thrown in jail." – Daily Mail

…and declare war on binge-drinking Britain

"David Cameron wants to rip up the 24-hour alcohol law and raise tax on strong booze such as alcopops and super-lager. The proposals come as Labour announces its own blitz on binge-drinking, making “all you can drink for £10” deals illegal and banning other booze promotions… Tory Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “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 anti-social behaviour." – Daily Star

"The blizzard of announcements from politicians will do little to mend our booze culture. What is needed is a profound change of attitudes, reinforced by tougher policing, to make public drunkenness once more a source of shame, not of swaggering pride. " – Daily Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday's 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

Ken Clarke gives his take on the Kraft takeover of Cadbury

Ken Clarke "Ultimately this is a matter for Cadbury's shareholders. Cadbury is an important company with history of providing employment and growth. It is essential management will maintain this tradition and recognise the capabilities and commitment of its workforce." – Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke quoted in The Guardian

British interventionism shows an acute case of national amnesia – Wall Street Journal

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

William Hague courts Russians on Moscow mission

"William Hague is in Moscow today as he bids to win over a Russian government deeply concerned by the Conservatives' foreign policy agenda. The shadow foreign secretary will meet with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in a bid to persuade him that, if the Tories win the coming general election, the Foreign Office will diminish rather than intensify existing tensions in UK-Russian relations." – Politics.co.uk

Surge in inflation raises questions about how to deal with the deficit

HAMMOND-PHILIP-BIG-BEN "A resounding “don’t panic” warning was sounded over mortgage rates last night following a record 1 per cent surge in inflation… The Tories said the soaring inflation rate raised fresh questions about the Government’s colossal debt crisis. Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond said: “These inflation figures emphasise the difficulty of the task facing the Bank of England in balancing the short-term dangers of inflation on the one hand and deflationary pressures on the other, and highlight the importance of ensuring the Bank has the independence to get on with its job." – Daily Express

"The Tories have been more open than Labour about the need to cut spending, but they still have an unaffordable programme. Government candour would force the Tories
to admit which of their policies are for show, and which are for government." – FT editorial

"Investors will soon start to build in an inflation and bubble risk premium when dealing with the UK, further damaging what’s left of our international credibility. It is time to end quantitative easing and to hike interest rates – there is no time to lose." – Allister Heath in City AM

Mervyn King gives warning over UK public deficit – BBC

Tories call for responsible lending after bankrupt family are offered credit cardDaily Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt: A Tory Government will not be bad for the arts

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRT "Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has attacked the “lazy assumption” that a Conservative government would be bad for the arts, in a speech outlining his priorities for the culture sector if the Tories are elected. Speaking at the State of the Arts Conference, Hunt acknowledged that the last Tory government was not altogether a “good” one for the cultural sector, but pointed to the creation of the National Lottery as a significant achievement of John Major’s tenure." – The Stage

Tory MP tells Home Affairs Select Committee about battle to have DNA deleted

"Greg Hands gave a DNA sample and fingerprints to police in 2007 after 80-year-old Les Ince was found with a 14-inch barbecue skewer in his neck, suffering injuries from which he later died. Police visited Mr Hands at the House of Parliament as part of a sweep of family members, even though, he said he had never visited his uncle's home in Walsall, West Midlands… But despite constant requests to have his DNA removed, Mr Hands continually failed to confirm his profile had been deleted. He was finally told in a written parliamentary answer last summer that his profile was no longer on the database." – Daily Telegraph

> Greg Hands wrote about the issue on CentreRight in 2008

> Yesterday in Parliament: Chris Grayling lays into the Government for storing the DNA of innocent people on its national database

Owen Paterson holds "secret" talks with UUP and DUP

"The Conservative spokesman for Northern Ireland held secret talks with the leadership of the DUP and UUP at the weekend, it was revealed last night… A Tory spokesman said: “Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in England over the weekend, the purpose of which was to help promote greater political stability. Mr Paterson holds many private meetings and we will be making no further comment on the details.” It has been suggested that the talks were aimed at securing unionist support for the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament after the general election." – Belfast Telegraph

Annabel Goldie demands public sector pay freeze in Scotland

Annabel_goldie "Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie is to call for all public sector workers earning more than £18,000 to have their salaries frozen. The Conservative believes that such a move is necessary to save thousands of jobs during difficult economic times. Miss Goldie wants the pay freeze to come into effect in the financial year 2011-12." – The Herald

Jonathan Freedland: For the Tories, the election is all about "time for a change"

"They want this battle to take the classic shape: change versus more of the same. Such a formulation amounts to a referendum on the government – the Tories simply asking voters if they can stomach another five years of Gordon Brown and his clapped-out, divided team ruling the country. The Tories will, admits one party strategist, go through the "usual rigmarole of policy documents" and the rest of it, but it will not be on those that they demand the public make up its mind. Each day, from now till the polling stations close, they will be asking voters whether or not they want to throw Labour out." – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian

How delaying General Election counts until the Friday will negatively impact on the markets

"Trading after this year’s election may be little more than guesswork. That’s because the results, typically available by about 3 a.m., may not land until the next afternoon, sending prices swinging on partial tallies as traders bet on the outcome of what may be the closest election in 18 years." – Bloomberg

> High-profile backing for the Save General Election Night campaign came this week from Commons Speaker John Bercow

Conservative candidate says Lib Dem should apologise to Jewish community for Nazi slur

Chris Philp "Conservative councillor Chris Philp called on the Liberal Democrats to apologise to Camden's Jewish residents after one of their councillors said he r
eminded them of a 'Nazi stormtrooper from Schindler's List'. Although he had initially accepted a personal apology from Liberal Democrat Councillor Nick Russell for the comments made during last night's (Monday's) full council meeting, Chris Philp said his words did not go far enough for the wider offence that may have been caused." – Camden New Journal

> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Lib Dem councillor compares Conservative parliamentary candidate to "Nazi stormtrooper"

Lib Dem candidate resigns over racist emailChannel Four News

Government under fire for dithering over "non-dom" bill The Guardian

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24 comments for: Wednesday 20th January 2010

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