3.30pm WATCH A CLASSIC MOMENT IN UK POLITICAL HISTORY: Brown admits he was wrong about something
Also on PlayPolitical: David Cameron says Labour is 'wholly owned by the Unite union' during PMQs clash with Brown
3pm Harry Phibbs on CentreRight: Most Unite members oppose donations to the Labour Party
10.45am Alex Massey on CentreRight: 'What must be done to create a flourishing system of truly independent state schools'
Philip Dunne MP on Platform: Now is the last chance for ex-pats to register to vote for change
Local government: Inquiry needed to find out the truth about Glasgow Council, argues Cllr David Meikle
Conservatives 5% ahead in latest YouGov/Sun poll – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary
"The Conservatives have failed to establish a lead in the north of England or Scotland among the unskilled working classes or among the under-25s. In contrast, Labour’s 1997 landslide was underpinned by support from all age groups, all geographic regions bar the south-east, and all demographic groups apart from the richest." – FT
The decline in sterling’s trade-weighted value matches the slide in the Tory lead over Labour – City AM
Ken Clarke declines to specify the Tories' target for deficit reduction – FT
U-turn from Labour as it admits taxes may go up – Telegraph and from the Daily Mail: "A rise in VAT is looming after the general election following a Labour U-turn yesterday over its claim that no new tax rises will be necessary to tackle the record black hole in Britain's finances."
George Osborne: This is the election of our generation
"“We need to up the energy levels,” he says. “This is the election of our generation. This is an election that is going to determine the direction that Britain takes for the next generation.” From economic decline to social decay, “there couldn’t be bigger issues at stake”. He thumps the table. “We need more fire in our belly – the Conservative leadership, the Conservative Party, the whole Conservative family needs to take the fight to Labour, to understand that we’ve got weeks to go in an election which will determine the future and the fate of this country over the next generation. I am up for that, David is up for that, he is working every hour God sends, I am too, and so too is the Shadow Cabinet.” – George Osborne interviewed in The Telegraph
Eric Pickles wants to re-open all party talks on funding of politics as part of plan to reduce union influence
"Meanwhile the Tories said they would reopen talks on party funding, in what is likely to be seen as a threat to stem the flow of union money to Labour. "We do favour a limit on donations, not just on trade unions but on everybody, and that would go a significant way in ensuring that the political scene is more even-handed," said Eric Pickles, party chairman." – FT
Mandelson forces re-opening of seat shortlist in protest at union infiltration – Times
"If you follow [Unite's] campaigns in local selections it often squeezes out hapless Blairites. But just as often it squeezes out leftists too. It favours the more traditional union men it can rely on to toe the line when toeing the line is required. And it is doing this on behalf of the leadership, not as a rebellion against it." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times
The Sun Says: "Thirteen Cabinet members are in hock to Unite because they take its money towards election expenses. They include Gordon Brown, Ed Balls, Alan Johnson, Bob Ainsworth, Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander, who runs Labour's election campaign. In all, 169 Labour MPs and candidates belong to Unite. Of that total, 148 accept Unite cash. The Prime Minister himself is taking money from a union intent on DESTROYING British Airways and WRECKING the holidays of hard-working families."
> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Michael Gove lists the ways in which Labour has rewarded its union paymasters
The FT believes "Euro-pragmatism" is winning in the Conservative Party
"The closer they come to power, Mr Cameron, George Osborne, his shadow chancellor, and William Hague, shadow foreign secretary, have all strained to emphasise Euro-pragmatism over Euroscepticism, while not alienating their ever more Euro-alienated rank and file. Even Liam Fox, the Tory defence spokesman and equal to Mr Hague in his antipathy towards Europe, has spoken warmly of closer defence co-operation with France." – FT
Liam Fox's appeal for return of £22,476 in expenses is rejected – BBC
Tories admit Caroline Dinenage billboard picture was airbrushed – Portsmouth.co.uk
Cameron, like Blair, is unwisely ruling with a small clique – Matthew Norman in The Independent
Will this election be dominated by the online pundits? – Jon Harris investigates for The Guardian
Dog insurance plan dropped after one week by Labour – Reuters
> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Alan Johnson humiliated by u-turn on dog tax
Benefit claimants owe an "immense" £1.85bn in overpayments but the government is recovering less than £300m a year, MPs say – BBC
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