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10.30pm ToryDiary: The fundamental flaw in Matthew Parris' argument

8.30pm ToryDiary: Conservatives 9% ahead in ICM/ Sunday Telegraph poll

7.45pm Seats and candidates: CCHQ tell candidates to clear policy blogs before publication

TCPhoto5.45pm Seats and Candidates: Therese Coffey selected for Suffolk Coastal

5.45pm WATCH: Cameron urges emergency legislation this week to reduce power of whips

5pm Seats and candidates: Sajid Javid selected for Bromsgrove

Noon CentreRight:

  • Melanchthon: Mr Cameron and his astonishing attack on the Church of England over its attitudes to homosexuality
  • Roger Helmer MEP: Al Gore and his followers are losing the climate change debate
  • Matt Sinclair: Our energy security is undermined, not strengthened, by climate change policies

11.30am LeftWatch: Jon Cruddas and the Labour leadership race

10.45am Parliament: Anthony Steen successfully takes his Anti-Slavery Day Bill through the Commons

Don'tMention

ToryDiary: If Conservatives don't campaign (responsibly) on immigration, others will do so in an irresponsible and dangerous way

Pam Giddy on Platform: Conservatives should play a full role in the public debate on democratic renewal

Seats and Candidates: Two plum seats selecting this afternoon

Also in Seats and Candidates late last night we reported the selection of Nusrat Ghani for Birmingham Ladywood

Local Government: Lancashire freezes council tax

WATCH: Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch voices his opposition to full body scanners at airports in a BBC Breakfast interview

Three Labour MPs and one Tory peer face criminal charges over expenses claims

Picture 1 "Former environment minister Elliot Morley and David Chaytor MP will face criminal charges in connection with the expenses scandal. Both have already been banned from standing in the next general election, alongside Jim Devine, due to a decision taken by Labour’s NEC following the initial controversy over their financial claims. The fourth defendant in the case will be Lord Hanningfield [pictured], who yesterday stood down as Tory business spokesperson in the Lords and as leader of Essex County Council less than an hour after the charges were broadcast live on television." – The Herald

"Chauffeur records which are thought to show Lord Hanningfield was being driven home to Essex when he was claiming for overnight accommodation in London are thought to be at the heart of false accounting charges against the Conservative peer." – Daily Telegraph

"In a joint statement, the three MPs announced that they would fight the charges by claiming parliamentary privilege over their expense claims." – The Times

The charges against the four in full – The Independent

> Yesterday in Parliament: Three MPs and one peer charged with false accounting under the Theft Act

David Cameron hails Northern Ireland deal

"After months of mutual recrimination and more than 120 hours of negotiations over the past fortnight an agreement by Sinn Féin and the DUP has saved the Province’s power-sharing institutions from collapse… David Cameron, said: “We welcome the fact that an agreement has been reached between the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin and we support the determination of the British and Irish Governments in helping to bring this about. We hope this leads to the completion of devolution and the re-establishment of political stability in Northern Ireland.” – The Times

"David Cameron has cause to be even happier. If, as seems likely, he wins the general election he would have faced having the early months of a Conservative administration dominated by efforts to resolve another Northern Ireland crisis." – David Sharrock's analysis in The Times

Dominic Grieve rules out a separate Northern Ireland Bill of Rights

GRIEVE DOMINIC NW "Addressing the Northern Ireland Bar in Belfast last night, shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve, one of the most senior members of David Cameron's front bench, said that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) went "a long way outside its remit" in what it proposed for a Bill of Rights. Speaking to the gathering of senior legal figures, the QC said that the Conservatives instead believed there should be a UK Bill of Rights, with a Northern Ireland section, to replace the Labour Government's Human Rights Act." – Belfast News Letter

David Cameron speaks of UK's "special relationship" with India

"Terming the Indo-UK ties a "special relationship," Britain's Opposition leader David Cameron today underlined that deepening the bilateral ties is one of his top foreign policy priorities. Cameron, expected to lead Conservative Party to power in the next elections, asserted that improving relations with India is one of his top priorities and he is very excited about the prospects and opportunities of bilateral cooperation in a sustainable manner." – Press Trust of India

Matthew Parris: I’d rather Cameron was patient than brave

PARRIS MATTHEW "Better, I conclude, to give the electorate an honest sense of your essential slant on politics, while leaving the beef to be worked up, and talked through, from the more secure position of incumbency… Discretion can be the better part of valour. If (like me) you are sure that David Cameron does not lack valour, and if you’re confident his heart and head are in a good Tory place, then give him that discretion." – Matthew Parris in The Times

Max Hastings: Safety comes first for the Conservatives

"The
Tory leader seems a man of remarkable gifts, who may confound the
doubters and prove an outstanding prime minister. Tactically, his
caution about policy commitments is unheroic, but merits sympathy…
Many of us will forgive Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne their indisputable
opacity today, provided that they possess a clear private vision, and
pursue this with courage if they achieve power." – Max Hastings in the FT

Andrew Grice: For the first time, the Tories are worried – and with good reason

"The Conservative Party is having a wobble. Not about Mr Cameron's leadership. Not really about policy. It is wobbling because it is not used to a united Labour Party turning its guns on the enemy instead of itself – or, more likely, its leader." – Andrew Grice in The Independent

Which party will have 'AAA' policies for the economy?

George Osborne on Marr 2 "Last week, the Tories vowed to defend Britain’s AAA-credit rating to ensure macroeconomic stability. In doing so, Osborne offered a signal of intent to the gilt-markets about the all-important cuts. But his desire to skip the vote-losing specific cuts wasn’t lost either – and the net result has left both the markets and the electorate still unsure about the party’s policies." – Daily Telegraph

"Jitters" in Cameron camp as economy threatens to derail Tory bandwagonThe Guardian

Tories propose pension flexibility

"Wealthy investors will have more control over their retirement funds if the Conservatives win this year’s election, under new proposals that will allow pensions to remain invested in the stock market for longer. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said this week that a Tory government would scrap the rule requiring investors to buy an annuity when they reach the age of 75." – FT

The "Tory Twitter police" want to vet candidates' online utterances

"David Cameron has ordered his party's candidates to submit their online utterances for vetting… In the e-mail to Tory candidates, they were told 'electronic publications such as websites, blogs and Twitter have to be approved before they are posted'. A Conservative spokesman last night insisted the instruction aimed to ensure that candidates expressed party policy correctly." – Daily Mail

More on John Bercow's attack on the Government's attempt to scupper Commons reform

"Speaking at the Oxford Union, Bercow urged MPs to back all the reforms to parliament advanced by the elected select committee chaired by Labour backbencher Tony Wright… The government is backing the bulk of the proposals designed to give MPs a greater say in the running of parliament, but is opposing what Bercow in his speech described as the most radical measure, "a completely new house business committee established to supervise the whole of parliament's timetable". – The Guardian

The Queen marks 58 years since acceding to the throne

The Queen "The Queen is marking the anniversary of her accession to the throne at Sandringham. She became monarch 58 years ago on the death of her father King George VI… Royal gun salutes are fired around the country on Accession Day. A 41-gun salute will be performed by the King's Troop Artillery in London's Hyde Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company." – Press Association

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Eric Pickles welcomes the Queen to CCHQ

Iain Duncan Smith think-tank looks at tax breaks for granny flatsThe Times

CCHQ Chief Exec in consortium which won government contract in MacedoniaDaily Telegraph

Tory Treasurer angers investors over shares sell-off Daily Mail

Tories announce mayoral candidate for WatfordWatford Observer

Royle Family actor may stand for Socialist Labour PartyThe Guardian

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50 comments for: Saturday 6th February 2010

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