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10.15pm Seats and Candidates: Candidates selected for Rotherham and Wentworth & Dearne

10pm Seats and Candidates: Candidates slected for Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn and Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

8.30pm Martin Parsons on CentreRight: Terrorism risk posed by tankers off the East Anglian coast

Picture 248pm WATCH: David Cameron talks to GMTV about stopping the sexualisation of children, talking about his family in interviews  and the latest opinion polls

5.30pm ToryDiary: Tory lead up to 14% in new Angus Reid poll

5.15pm ToryDiary update: Eric Pickles tweets to suggest that Sir Nicholas Winterton spend "a protracted period in the Standard Class quiet carriage"

5pm LeftWatch: Gordon Brown "opens" a school… ten months after it opened (again)

3.15pm Seats and Candidates: Labour MP Bruce George to vacate his Walsall South seat at the election

2pm LeftWatch: Gordon Brown will unveil four election themes this weekend (but don't expect him to call the election)

1.15pm LeftWatch: The Labour Government breaks another record for economic mismanagement

11.30am ToryDiary: Rail passengers in standard class are "a
totally different type of people" moans Tory backbencher who wants the
taxpayer to fund his first class travel
Updated at at 11.45pm with CCHQ condemnation of Sir Nicholas Winterton's "out of touch" views

CameronInRadioInterview11.15am ToryDiary: David Cameron turned down opportunity to be interviewed by Piers Morgan

10am Matthew Sinclair on CentreRight unveils a new video exposing DEFRA Climate Change Propaganda produced by the TaxPayers' Alliance

ToryDiary:

LeftWatch: Cabinet accused of using publicly-funded ministerial visits for Labour campaign events

Hugo de Burgh on Platform: Controls on international students should discriminate – and it is in our interests to be very positive towards the Chinese

Local Government:

JP Floru on CentreRight: Discretionary tax law is now a fact in the UK

WATCH: One year on, Barack Obama claims his economic stimulus plan to have been a success

James Forsyth: To win the election, the Tories must learn to fight dirty

Picture 18 "At times it can seem that Labour is fighting rough, donning knuckledusters and splashing the vitriol, while David Cameron is fighting according to Queensberry Rules and being repeatedly punched below the belt. The Tories do, though, seem to have toughened up in the last fortnight. Their attacks on Brown’s ‘death tax’ have been delivered with impressive force. Even so, there remains an aggression mismatch." – James Forsyth in The Spectator

Bruce Anderson: Cameron will transform Britain, if the Tories can win the political game

"Mr Cameron himself should not indulge in negative campaigning; it is beneath the dignity of a party leader. But he ought to find others to do it for him, especially those who can land low blows with elegance and wit. This would have a further advantage. Although there is no panic in Tory HQ, rumours spread in anxious times. A more effective campaign would dispel the anxiety, and the rumours. " – Bruce Anderson in the Daily Telegraph

Andrew Mitchell: Aid doesn’t just save lives – it’s good for us too

"Our pledge on aid spending is based on a sober but optimistic assessment of the potential for carefully targeted aid to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people in the years ahead. And helping to build a safer, more prosperous world is not just a moral imperative, but also firmly in Britain’s national interest. In a globalised world, effective aid is not a zero-sum game." – Shadow international development secretary Andrew Mitchell writing in The Times

Does "Motorway Man" hold the key to a Tory victory?

Picture 21 "We've had the C2s, Essex Man, Worcester Woman and Mondeo Man; now meet Motorway Man. He and his family are about to decide the fate of the nation. Tory researchers have identified him, and the marketing company Experian apparently came up with the catchy name. We will be hearing a great deal more about him as we near polling day. He lives in the concentration of marginal constituencies along, and bounded by, the M1 and the M6, a psephological golden triangle." – Sean O'Grady in The Independent

Nick Herbert: Conservatives have come a long way on homosexual rights

"Nick Herbert, the Tory front bencher, has said that: ‘For the modern Conservative Party, embracing gay equality is neither a temporary phenomenon, nor an agenda which can be reversed.’ His words follow the recent apology by David Cameron over Section 28, the controversial law, passed by the Conservative government in 1988, which banned local councils from promoting homosexuality." – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The Left does not own the gay vote, says Nick Herbert

William Hague raises questions about Dubai murder of Hamas leader…

William Hague serious square "The shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, says the Israeli
government has "more questions" to answer about the apparent use of
false British passports by a team of assassins who killed a leading
Hamas commander in Dubai. Mr Hague said that he wanted to know
when the government had been informed that British passports might have
been linked to the killing and what it then decided to do about the
matter." – BBC (includes interview with Mr Hague on this morning's Today programme)

…and demands an increased Naval presence around the Falkland Islands

“Argentina must be left in no doubt once again by the British Government that the islands will remain British territory for as long as the islanders wish it. Sovereignty over the islands is therefore not up for negotiation. Increased British naval presence in the area would leave no doubt as to this position.” – William hague quoted in the Daily Express

> Dan Hamilton on CentreRight yesterday: The Falkland Islands, Oil and International Law

Theresa May express concern at 13-year jobless high

Theresa May Big Ben "Britain's dole queue is at its longest in Labour's 13-year reign, bleak figures revealed yesterday. Those on Jobseeker's Allowance rose 23,500 last month to a record 1.64million. And long-term unemployment is also at a high under Labour. Those jobless for more than a year rose 37,000 to 663,000 in the three months to December. Last night, shadow work and pensions secretary Theresa May called the rises "very concerning". And she added: "We still have a long way to go to undo the damage done by Labour's recession." – The Sun

> Video from yesterday: Theresa
May expresses concern about the increase in the number of long-term
unemployed people and those claiming Job Seeker's Allowance

David Cameron reveals his love of darts

"Mr Cameron was outed as a darts fan by a Channel 4 drama documentary last year. But he revealed the true extent of his passion in an interview with men's magazine ShortList, whose readers are the 30- something 'urban' chaps he needs to win over to take power. The Tory leader revealed that he met world champions Eric Bristow, John Lowe and Keith Deller two years ago in his Oxfordshire constituency." – Daily Mail

Martin McGuinness talks about relations with a future Conservative Government

Picture 20 "I've met with Owen Paterson [the Conservative shadow Northern Ireland secretary] and David Cameron, and they made it clear that they are prepared to stand faithfully by the agreements that have been made. And that essentially means the Good Friday Agreements the St Andrews agreements and the Hillsborough agreement. So I'm taking them at their word. Being involved constructively in the north of Ireland is a steep learning curve, particularly for the Tories." – Martin McGuinness interviewed in the New Statesman

Former TV anchorman set to stand for Tory/UUP alliance in Iris Robinson's seatDaily Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Owen Paterson rubbishes suggestions that he has plans to change the institutions at Stormont as "idiotic" and "complete nonsense"

Retiring Tory MP Sir Nicholas Winterton blasts new rule that says MPs must travel in economy class

"Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Winterton has come out fighting over the expenses row, complaining that MPs are no longer allowed to travel first-class. The Conservative MP, seemingly oblivious to the public's anger over the issue, said he was ' infuriated' that politicians had to travel with ordinary members of the public. In an extraordinary interview with Total Politics magazine, Sir Nicholas, 71, spoke of his outrage that he has to 'stand when there are no seats'." – Daily Mail

David Cameron accuses Labour of 'waiting for Equitable Life victims to die'

"David Cameron has accused Labour ministers of waiting for Equitable Life victims to die in order to avoid paying them proper compensation. The Tory leader attacked Labour's "sick" approach to Equitable Life as policyholders in the collapsed company grow increasingly angry about delays in compensation payments promised by ministers." – Daily Telegraph

Stephen Glover: Give me Tory dinosaurs any day over rude upstarts who seem to hate their own party – Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail

Labour press Cameron over plans to repeal hunting banBBC

Parties row over Tory plan for elderly care insuranceThe Guardian

Academics claim Tory schools plans will not workIndependent

A third of students do not know Gordon Brown is Labour leaderBBC

And finally… Did aliens visit Michael Howard?!?

HOWARD-MICHAEL "When Ann Widdecombe declared that there was "something of the night" about Michael Howard she could have had little idea that there had already been an official investigation into whether he had had some unusual ­nocturnal visitors – aliens. But the opening of the latest batch of Britain's own "X-files" today reveals that the RAF in March 1997 did mount an inquiry into reports from six members of the public, including two firefighters, of a large, triangular "humming" object in the sky above his Folkestone home during his last months as home secretary." – The Guardian

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62 comments for: Thursday 18th February 2010

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