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9.30pm WATCH: Nick Clegg struggles to give straight answers on Lib Dem immigration policy

6.45pm Seats and Candidates: Simon Baynes selected for Dwyfor Meirionnydd

5.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron demands investigations into Stephen Byers and the ex-ministers offering to lobby their former colleagues for cash

5pm ToryDiary: 1980s-themed nightclub paying homage to Margaret Thatcher to open in Chelsea

4.15pm LeftWatch: Nick Clegg on the ropes over his immigration policy

1.30pm ToryDiary: What will be the impact of the internet on the general election?

Picture 312.45pm WATCH: Philip Hammond talks to Andrew Marr about the Conservatives' proposed bank levy and the prospects for the economy in advance of the Budget 

Noon WATCH: David Miliband says he is "appalled" by the allegations of ex-Cabinet ministers being open to taking cash for influence uncovered by the Sunday Times

10.15am ToryDiary: George Osborne warns voters against being fooled by Labour's "five great deceptions" about the economy

David Cameron apologisesToryDiary: David Cameron promises to restore discretion to teachers, policemen and other professionals simply wanting to get on with their jobs

Ben Pickering on Platform: In seeking to retain the special relationship with the US, we should be prepared to emulate the Prime Mnister in Love Actually who stood up to the President

Seats and Candidates: Campaign videos from two third-time candidates poised to enter Parliament after more than a decade of hard work

LeftWatch: Labour demands another £8 million from three unions to run its election campaign

Local Government: Forgotten army of school governors are the right people to bring back rigour

WATCH: Highlights of yesterday's speech by Alex Salmond to the SNP Spring Conference

Darling set to announce new tax on banks… but Tories will get even tougher

"Treasury sources said last night that Mr Darling was ‘leaning towards’ a general levy on banks if international agreement could be reached. But Tory leader David Cameron raised the stakes by declaring for the first time that a Conservative Government would act to claw back billions of pounds from the financial sector even if other countries refused to support this." – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: David Cameron says a bank levy would be "fair and necessary" if not universally popular

> WATCH: David Cameron announces plans for a bank levy

Michael Gove trumpets idea of prep school-type education for all in his reform plans

Michael Gove 2010 "In the private sector they keep children at prep schools until the age of 13 before they move on to secondary… If it is right in the private sector, why wouldn’t it be right in the state sector? I know that parents across the country value and cherish middle schools. If people want to set up middle or prep schools to meet this demand we will let them do that.” – Michael Gove quoted in the Sunday Express

Tories would "delay cuts in Scotland for a year"

"George Osborne yesterday said that he would allow the swingeing cuts planned by an incoming Conservative government to be delayed for a year in Scotland. The Scottish Government's £30 billion budget for 2010/11 will be excluded from the round of cuts that the Conservatives will impose on the rest of the UK if they win the election. This week the shadow chancellor is expected to identify areas where draconian savings will be made in the emergency budget that a Conservative government has pledged within 50 days of coming to power." – Scotland on Sunday

Ex-Cabinet ministers in new cash for influence scandal

"A former Labour cabinet minister has boasted about how he used his government contacts to change policies in favour of businesses. Stephen Byers, former trade and transport secretary, was secretly recorded offering himself “like a sort of cab for hire” for up £5,000 a day. He also suggested bringing Tony Blair to meet clients. He was among several politicians recorded by an undercover reporter posing as a company executive looking to hire MPs for lobbying work." – Sunday Times

"The Government will find it particularly galling that the Conservatives were not fooled by the operation. Tory
MP Julie Kirkbride agreed to visit the company’s offices, but withdrew
after becoming suspicious that the lobbyist did not seem genuine. She
alerted the Conservative whips, who warned MPs not to accept any
invitations by the company." – Mail on Sunday

> Last night's LeftWatch: Ex-Cabinet ministers embroiled in new cash for influence scandal

Today's polls show Tory lead at six and seven pointsNews of the World | Last night's ToryDiary

Liam Fox attacks £2 billion tank deal

FOX LIAM NEW "The Government was accused of acting like a "bankrupt shopaholic" by the Conservatives last night after reports that it had awarded a £2bn armoured vehicle contract to a US company just weeks before a general election… "It is inappropriate for the Labour party to start making pledges they may not keep," said Dr Liam Fox, shadow defence secretary. "They are behaving like a bankrupt shopaholic having one last binge on their way to jail." – Sunday Telegraph

Liam Fox signals backing for £5bn Clyde navy ships – Scotland on Sunday

> Friday's ToryDiary: Liam Fox attacks Labour's record on defence funding as he promises that a Conservative Government would want to see British defence and security companies flourishing

Government may introduce e-voting for troops

"The government is considering introducing electronic voting for British forces abroad amid concerns that thousands of soldiers will be left without a vote at the forthcoming general election. Any new system, however, will not come into effect until after this year’s poll when weaknesses in the postal voting system threaten to disenfranchise many of the 9,000 troops serving in Afghanistan." – Sunday Times

> Richard Benyon MP on Platform on Friday: British servicemen overseas must not be disenfranchised at the general election

Philip Hammond accuses Brown of making bogus claims about state aid to business during the recession

"The prime minister has repeatedly claimed that 300,000 firms have taken advantage of an initiative allowing them to stagger tax payments… However, the business minister Pat McFadden has revealed that the true number of companies receiving help with cash flow under all government schemes is actually 168,000… Philip Hammond, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “In the week when Gordon Brown was caught peddling false information about his funding of our troops on the front line, this is another example of his cynical manipulation of figures to cover up his mismanagement of the economy.” – Sunday Times

City trader gives Tories £250,000

"A City trader who made millions during the credit crunch has given £250,000 to the Conservatives in the hope of getting rid of the “morons” who presided over the economic collapse. As well as wanting to eject Gordon Brown from Downing Street, James Tyler advocates radical reform of the City." – Sunday Times

Fraser Nelson: The insane BA strike is Charlie Whelan's gift to the Tory campaign

Fraser Nelson "In case David Cameron has been wondering, there IS a God. And his name is Charlie Whelan. This shifty-looking union bully has come from the heavens to rescue the floundering Tory campaign. His gift: The insane strike by British Airways cabin crew – organised by his union, Unite." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

Norman Tebbit: I thought we'd swept away all this nonsenseSunday Telegraph

Labour MPs set to join Budget Day strike by civil servants

"The row over Gordon Brown's links to the unions escalated last night after it was revealed that Labour MPs are to take part in a Commons strike on Budget Day to support industrial action by civil servants. Acting on the orders of one of Britain's biggest unions, Labour MPs will refuse to cross a picket line at Westminster on Wednesday, while some will shut down their Commons offices to show their solidarity with the strikers." – Mail on Sunday

Treasury calls in Vince Cable for talks in implications of a hung parliament The Observer

Tony Blair to play "key general election role" for Labour 

Tony Blair 2010 "Mr Blair is not expected to go "out on the stump" during the election campaign but he is expected to make at least one major speech and give at least one
interview in the run up to polling day in which he will attack Mr Cameron – although the precise details are still being worked out. A friend said: "Tony knows what it means to change a party and he will say that the Conservatives have not changed. He will say that David Cameron might have done a superficial PR job but there is no real change. The policies are the same." – Sunday Telegraph

Tony Blair raking it in speaking about how to make lots of moneyIndependent on Sunday

Mandelson claims this election will be for Labour as 1992 was for the Tories

"I remember '92," he reminisces. "I was standing for the first time myself in Hartlepool. People were disenchanted with the Conservatives but I'm afraid they didn't look at us with great enthusiasm either. We hadn't remade ourselves as a party, we hadn't brought about the changes in our party that the public demanded. It is very similar with the Conservatives now." – Lord Mandelson quoted in Scotland on Sunday

I’m not as fortunate as Samantha Cameron, says Miriam Clegg

"The designer gloves are off in the battle of the political leaders’ wives. Miriam Clegg, the wife of Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has taken a swipe at Samantha Cameron for enjoying the “luxury” of being able to abandon her job for the election campaign." – Sunday Telegraph

GlamCam: Samantha the supermodel

"Taken a year or two after the couple’s 1996 wedding, and before David Cameron became an MP, recently unearthed images reveal a more coquettish side to the baronet’s daughter, better known for her ‘high street chic’ style." – Mail on Sunday

Conservatives helped by expenses scandal in fight to take back former seatsIndependent on Sunday

Tories say it is fiction that ethnic minorities were airbrushed out of campaign leafletsObserver

Toby Helm identifies his top ten political blogs Observer

And finally… MPs "too lazy" to press lift buttons

"How do Britain's lazy MPs get to the top? Employ an official Parliamentary lift attendant! Incredibly, our pampered politicians are looking for a hired flunky to actually push the buttons for them in the House of Commons elevator. And the fact they'll pay £17,277 a year, plus perks, out of taxpayers' money to do it last night sparked an almighty row." – News of the World

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47 comments for: Sunday 21st March 2010

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