Picture 10 6.15pm WATCH: Lord Goldsmith tells the Chilcot Inquiry what led to him change his view on the legality of the Iraq War in March 2003

6pm LeftWatch: The Liberal Democrat MP with the smallest majority admits that she doesn't have a mind of her own

5.15pm New posts on CentreRight:

5.15pm Closing the deal 10/10: Make 'Cameron the movie'

4.15pm Closing the deal 9/10: Team Cameron need to build better relationships with MPs, journalists and other key friends

Picture 54.15pm WATCH: William Hague slams Labour's economic record and seeks Harriet Harman's support for banking reforms proposed by President Obama

4pm Parliament: Conservative MPs demand that Home Information
Packs be abolished – but the Labour minister defends them, saying
"thousands of jobs" now depend on them

2.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight gives his take on the Tory Crime Manifesto

1.15pm Andrew Haldenby on CentreRight: How to save the saver

12.30pm ToryDiary: Harman and Hague clash at PMQs on Afghanistan and banking regulation

ToryDiary: The recent talks with the UUP and DUP were all about trying to bolster peace and security in Northern Ireland

Tim Loughton 2010 Tim Loughton MP on Platform: Ed Balls' pathetic response to the Edlington torture case is a tragedy

LeftWatch: Labour failed in its mission to narrow the gap between rich and poor as inequality hits a 60-year high

Seat and Candidates Search for 100 Peers: Shami Chakrabarti

Local Government:

WATCH: In an interview with Jeremy Paxman yesterday, Alistair Darling tries to claim credit for bringing the country out of recession

How a double dip recession could emerge a fortnight before the election

"Gordon Brown was last night facing the prospect of going into this year's general election with Britain's economy back in recession. The spectre of such a "double dip" downturn was being discussed as a realistic possibility after official figures showed that Britain's economy was barely in positive territory in the fourth quarter of last year… Ministers are nervous that the initial figures for the first quarter of this year could show the economy slipping back into negative growth due to the withdrawal of the Government's fiscal stimulus programme and the need for household debt to be repaid. They will be published on 23 April, just two weeks before the expected election date of 6 May." – The Independent

George Osborne on Politics Show "Output figures for the last quarter of 2009, released early yesterday, were expected to show a return to growth but the margin of 0.1 per cent was far smaller than predicted… Shadow chancellor George Osborne added: "Let's be clear – this is about as weak growth as you can get." He said the figures had shown up as "nonsense" claims by Prime Minister Gordon Brown that the UK was better prepared than other nations to tackle recession. "We were badly prepared for this recession and we're badly prepared for recovery," he said." – The Herald

"Our recession lasted longer than our main competitors: six quarters, against four. The scale of our collapse – we shrunk by 6 per cent – was much greater than in America (down 3.8 per cent) or France (down 3.5 per cent) but not as bad as Germany (down 6.7 per cent) or Japan (down 8.6 per cent). The UK was the only G7 country to stay in recession in the third quarter of last year and lagged the US, Euro area and Japan in the fourth quarter. We got the least bang for our buck when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money, monetary activism and currency depreciation." – Allister Heath in City AM

If the Conservatives win the election, they will inherit an even sicklier economy than previously anticipated. – David Prosser in The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The British economy is out of recession… and big drum roll… is growing by 0.1%

Ken Clarke and Lord Mandelson debate the economy

Ken Clarke and Lord Mandelson "In a TV first, the former chancellor and current business secretary clashed on a series of issues – from spending to national debt and the prospect of tax hikes – with Jon Snow at one point being forced to "call a truce". In almost comical scenes, the arch-enemies accused each other of "irrelevance" and "nonsense" as Mandelson insisted that, at root, they were in agreement." – Channel Four News

> Yesterday's ToryDiary

Tories propose to encourage running businesses from council homes

"David Cameron wants to remove tenancy agreement restrictions that prohibit the inhabitants of the four million homes run by registered social landlords or councils from setting up an office. In the past most landlords were reluctant to condone businesses in council homes because these often involved noisy or disruptive practices such as car maintenance, wholesale trading using big vans, or rag and bone work. In some cases tenants were involved in black market dealings. However, Grant Shapps, the Shadow Housing Minister, said that most council tenants now wanted to use phones or the internet to carry out their business." – The Times

David Cameron: teach children to treat gay people equally

"Schools should teach children that homosexuality is normal and civil partnerships have as much value as marriage, David Cameron has said. The Conservative leader said that equal treatment for homosexual people should be “embedded” in teaching." – Daily Telegraph

John Redwood: don't jail burglars and car thieves

John Redwood 2 "John Redwood, a former Cabinet minister, said that non-violent thieves and fraudsters should be made to pay compensation and fines instead of spending time in prison. Mr Redwood, an influential figure on the Tory right, said the policy would help the government cut its spending on prisons, and do more to help the victims of theft." – Daily Telegraph

The days of the "shy Tory" are over

"The public's reaction against Labour's record of tax and spend, together with the impact that the party has had in changing people's views on the value of equality, has created a Britain that looks to be ready for a Conservative government once more – so long as it is prepared to recognise how Britain has changed socially since the party was last in power. For the first time in 20 years, it is even the case that more people are prepared to declare they are "a Conservative" than acknowledge being a Labour supporter. The days of the "shy Tory" seem to be over." – John Curtice in the Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Britain moves to the Right (and NOT away from the poor)

> On CentreRight yesterday, Mark Wallace concluded that the new Social Attitudes Survey showed Britain becoming broadly libertarian

Conservative prospects in Wales analysed

Welsh flag "The coming general election promises considerable political change for Wales… Should David Cameron become Prime Minister, his contingent of MPs from Wales will be the largest for some years, but will also be the most inexperienced." – Western Mail

Tories must talk about the next generation – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

Gordon Brown to miss PMQs today for Northern Ireland talksSky News

Mandelson says Blair will campaign at the electionReuters

Lord Goldsmith appears before the Chilcot Inquiry todayThe Guardian

Science tsar: Impact of global warming has been exaggeratedThe Times

Voters "prefer attractive politicians"Daily Telegraph

And finally… The Sun has obtained embarrassing footage of Boris on the dance floor

Picture 2 "It's a night-mayor on the dance floor — and Boris is definitely killing the groove! This hilarious video shows London Mayor Boris Johnson showing off his two-step at the London City Hall Christmas bash. The clip — taken by a partygoer on a mobile phone — shows the gaffe-prone Mayor grooving on a 70s style disco dance floor with a colleague. Boris's moves, made to the disco hit Boogie Nights, clearly made the right impression with the ladies though — attracting a bevy of female co-workers to the stage." – The Sun


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