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10.30pm CentreRight:

7.30pm ToryDiary: Five observations on the Tories' approach to cutting the deficit

5pm Dale Bassett on CentreRight notes how the cuts have begun with universities

2.30pm WATCH:

2.15pm ToryDiary: George Osborne sets out eight benchmarks for economic growth

86pcToryDiary: Brown's hung parliament strategy enters final phase

Also on ToryDiary: Tory members support return of IDS and David Davis

Charles Walker MP on Platform: Radical surgery is required to rebalance our democracy – and we should start by removing the Executive from Parliament

Local government: How Boris could cut the Council Tax precept by 10%

Seats and candidates: A stock take of selection outcomes in Tory-held seats

82% want David Cameron to be clearer about what he would do on the economyIndependent

> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary: Conservative lead down to 7%

Tories recruit one of the climate change industry's leading champions as adviser

Green-image "Lord Stern's 2006 report for the Treasury on the economics of climate change was a key factor in the development of the Government's approach to global warming and he is frequently cited by the Prime Minister as an authority on the need for action. But the economist – ennobled by Mr Brown as a non-party peer in 2007 – will now advise the Tory working group on the creation of a Green Investment Bank to drive the development of climate-friendly technology." – Express

George Osborne will set out eight benchmarks against which success of a Conservative government's economic plans would be judgedBBC

"David Cameron's decision to soften his earlier rhetoric on spending cuts risks blunting the only clear economic message that his party has communicated to voters, pollsters said yesterday." – FT

Tories admit they had so far identified only £1.5bn in spending cuts to be introduced this summer if they win the general election – Guardian

"The Conservatives are facing intense scrutiny for the first time. I am not sure they are ready for it." – Steve Richards in The Independent

Voters aren't ready for a large reduction in the size of the state

"A majority may want to call a halt on tax and spending, but eight out of 10 would like more money for hospitals and seven out of 10 for schools. Square that circle. As for tax cuts, less than one in 10 are keen if the price is less cash for vital services. So Mr Cameron would be mistaken if he believed Britain is ready to embrace the age of austerity he promised last autumn; nor has there been anything that could be called an ideological shift in favour of a smaller state." – FT

Cameron axes loan £50bn guarantee plan

"David Cameron has dropped a proposal for a £50bn loan guarantee scheme as he reshapes the Conservative party’s manifesto to reflect the end of the recession. The Tory leader’s decision to axe the plan, which he first suggested at the height of the credit crunch in November 2008, is an implicit admission that the economy is recovering." – FT

It’s time to halt quantitative easing – Allister Heath on City AM

Treasury minister admits that top earners are dodging 50p tax rateTimes

Lansley.ashx Andrew Lansley: A degree should be an aspiration for nurses, rather than an entry requirementNursing Times

"You couldn't make it up. Labour ministers have given bailiffs the go-ahead to collect credit card debts by credit card." – Grant Shapps in The Sun

Rachel Sylvester: The Tories are being taken over by timidity

"There is a nervousness verging on paranoia in the Tory high command, just as there was in the senior ranks of new Labour in the months leading up to its landslide win 13 years ago. A party that has been out of power for more than a decade is terrified that the smallest error could cause a precious victory to slip between its fingers and smash on the House of Commons floor." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times

MPs are to be asked to vote next week on holding a referendum on electoral reformBBC

Martin Kettle: Brown SHOULD stay as Labour leader for a year if Tories win

"A beaten party doesn't need a new leader as much as it needs a new discussion – about what went wrong, about what needs to be done now, about the long term. Rushing to elect a new leader is a distraction – as the Conservatives found out in 1997 and 2001." – Martin Kettle in The Guardian

Rush to Iraq war 'left troops without vital body armour'Independent

Give MPs a £15,000 pay rise, says parliamentary watchdogDaily Mail

Scots turn away from Scottish to British television programmesTelegraph

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79 comments for: Tuesday 2nd February 2010

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