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Picture 11 7pm WATCH: Damian Green explains Conservative immigration policy to a seminar organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin 

4.30pm ToryDiary: Owen Paterson rubbishes suggestions that he
has plans to change the institutions at Stormont as "idiotic" and
"complete nonsense"

3pm WATCH: Theresa May expresses concern about the increase in the number of long-term unemployed people and those claiming Job Seeker's Allowance

2.30pm Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: The Falkland Islands, Oil and International Law

Burglar 1.45pm Visit MyLabourPoster

HERBERT CLOSE UP12.15pm ToryDiary: The Left does not own the gay vote, says Nick Herbert MP

11.45am WATCH: David Cameron's TED Talk about the forthcoming era where government has less power as people are empowered by technology

11am Nigel Evans MP on CentreRight: It is utter tosh for Labour to suggest that electoral reform is the answer to the questions raised by the MPs' expenses scandal

Picture 6ToryDiary: Sir Richard Branson backs Conservative economic plans

Tariq Ahmad on Platform: The BNP's ideology remains bigoted and divisive and it is the duty of the Conservative Party to counter their activities

LeftWatch: NastyLibDems.org launched to expose Lib Dem dirty tricks

Seats and Candidates: Hamira Khan selected for Glasgow East

Local Government:

WATCH: Boris Johnson emphasises the importance of allowing the private sector to thrive in a visit to Hammersmith with Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey

Eric Pickles wades into row over Labour whip's 'pigs' tweet

Eric Pickles 2010 "The Tory chairman, Eric Pickles, came close to calling a senior Labour MP a liar as a bizarre spat between the parties over an abusive message on Twitter degenerated into acrimony. The row – inevitably branded "Twittergate" at Westminster last night – blew up after David Wright, the MP for Telford, described Conservatives as "scum-sucking pigs" on the micro-blogging website." – The Independent

"Pickles said that, instead of "treating people like fools", Wright should provide a full explanation." – The Guardian

> Tuesday night's LeftWatch post

David Willetts warns against saddling the young with too many debts

"Baby boomers hold so much of Britain’s wealth that a prosperity gap is opening between the generations, with people born after 1970 unlikely to acquire the wealth their parents enjoy, a Conservative shadow cabinet member has warned. David Willetts said in a speech to the London School of Economics on Tuesday: “We are in danger of imposing too many debts on the younger generation.” He added: “The challenge for policymakers is to smooth fairness across generations.” – FT

Theresa May says job centre failings hit back-to-work schemes

Theresa May "Job centres were ill-equipped to support government back-to-work schemes last year in the face of the recession, the Tories have claimed. They say a report written for ministers shows the depth of the "crisis" in the job centre network due, partly, to the number of offices closed in 2008… The Conservatives said 500 job centres had closed since 2002 while an office a week shut in early 2008 at a time when unemployment levels were already rising. "The knock-on effect has been that employees have been left with an unmanageable workload," Theresa May, the shadow work and pensions secretary said." – BBC

Gordon Brown's business council would serve Cameron

"Gordon Brown’s business council has agreed to serve under a future Conservative government, the FT has learned, in a clear new sign of how boardroom sentiment has shifted away from Labour. The “star chamber” of leading chief executives and chairmen, set up by Mr Brown within days of becoming prime minister, was presented at the time by Downing Street as evidence of a new compact between the government and business. The council was to act as Mr Brown’s “sounding board” for business, officials said. But the business council agreed at a meeting last week that it would carry on its advisory role for the next government, assuming it was still wanted." – FT

Tories accuse Welsh Assembly Government of ‘dithering’ over referendum

"The Assembly Government has been accused of dithering over the referendum on law-making powers by taking more than a week to send the necessary formal request to Welsh Secretary Peter Hain. The delay yesterday prompted Tory fears that “shadowy figures” are working to wreck the vote." – Western Mail

Metropolitan Police chief set to pick own team under Tories

Picture 7 "The Met Police Commissioner is set to be able to pick his own senior officers under plans by the Tories to cut the influence of politicians in selecting the leadership of the country's largest force. Chris Grayling, the shadow Home Secretary, and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said the head of Scotland Yard needs greater control over who he has around him and have pledged to review the system if the Tories win power at the next election." – Daily Telegraph

Tories want social workers to quit councils and set up as businesses

"A Conservative government would improve crisis-hit child protection services in Birmingham by allowing social workers to quit their jobs with the city council and set up independent “chambers” in the same way as barristers, Shadow Children’s Secretary Michael Gove has revealed." – Birmingham Post

Nick Herbert reflects on Conservative attitudes to homosexuality

Listen to the shadow environment secretary discuss the issue on this morning's Today programme

Fees office chief loses MP expenses powers

"The man responsible for overseeing parliament's discredited expenses system will be stripped of the job of processing MPs' claims, the Guardian has learned. Andrew Walker, the £130,000-a-year director of resources, will not be among the 30 staff moving to the new Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), but will continue to run the diminished resources department in parliament." – The Guardian

Ipsa chairman says MPs' second home profits 'should be surrendered' – BBC

Exhibitors will outnumber fringes at Tory spring conferenceePolitix.com

Daniel Finkelstein: The Tories will get burnt fighting fire with fire

FINKELSTEIN DANIEL "What voters want to know is the extent to which Conservatives in government would be better that the current lot. They are inclined to think they would be quite an improvement, but they aren’t sure. It is inevitable that this question — the one that isn’t settled in the minds of voters — will occupy attention in the next three months. And a more negative tilt to the Tory campaign won’t change that. But they shouldn’t want to change it. Because the media concentration on the Tories is an opportunity and not a threat." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

Dan Lewis: It's not if, but when we make the cuts we need

"I don't disparage at all the daily efforts of our doctors and teachers, but I just don't believe that all our money is spent wisely in the NHS or in the schools and universities and that we can't achieve more with less. The Conservatives should look again at health and education vouchers and go figure." – Dan lewis in the Yorkshire Post

Dan Lewis also writes in the Wall Street Journal today about the Greek economic crisis

Cameron Should Consider UK Plea to IMF for Aid, says Irwin StelzerBusiness Week

Can anyone explain what the Conservative Party stands for? – Simon Heffer poses the question in the Daily Telegraph

Liam Fox pays visit to Sri Lankan PresidentColombo Page

Low-income families could sell free laptops, warns Tory MPBBC

Harriet Harman's husband shortlisted for safe Labour seatDaily Telegraph

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63 comments for: Wednesday 17th February 2010

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