9pm Local Government: Tories accuse Labour of "fiddling" local government grants as new figures show less money going to rural Conservative areas

SaveElectionNight graphic6.45pm Local Government: The previously intransigent Newcastle-upon-Tyne Council accepts it must run a count on General Election Night

4.45pm WATCH: Lord Mandelson argues that Barclays' President Bob Diamond's salary is unacceptable

3.15pm Latest on CentreRight:

2.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Would Jesus vote Labour?

1.30pm LeftWatch: Leaked email shows the Government seeking to cut the number of immigration officials

12.45pm ToryDiary: How to join the voluntary party's national tour of battleground seats

Picture 8Noon WATCH: Highlights of this morning's Adam Boulton interview with David Cameron

11.15am ToryDiary: David Cameron says that the leaders' debates are a risk and he would be inhuman not to be nervous about them


Mats Persson on Platform: The costs of EU regulation and the related challenges that will face a Conservative government 

LeftWatch: Mandelson "takes full control of Labour's election team"

Seats and Candidates: Tory attack ad in Hammersmith targets Labour MP Andrew Slaughter

Local Government: A Magna Carta for localism – Better care

WATCH: Teaching unions at loggerheads over Sats

Today's polls point to Tory victory

Picture 6 "Today’s YouGov poll gives the Conservatives their biggest lead since early January. Five weeks ago, amid reports of infighting in the Tory camp, the party’s lead had drifted down to just two points, putting Labour on course to become the largest party, just short of an overall majority. A week ago the Tory lead was still only five points, placing it in hung parliament territory. Today’s poll puts the Conservatives on 39%, Labour on 29% and the Liberal Democrats on 20%. If these results are repeated in a general election and the Tories perform disproportionately better in marginal seats, Cameron would secure a working majority of 20." – Sunday Times

"The [Angus  Reid] poll of 1,991 adults put the Tories on 38 per cent of the vote, a commanding 11 points ahead of Labour on 27 per cent, and the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent." – Sunday Express

> Last night's ToryDiary posts:

Chris Grayling secretly recorded suggesting B&B owners should be free to turn guests away from their homes

Chris Grayling 2010 square "In a recording of the meeting of the Centre for Policy Studies, obtained by the Observer, Grayling makes clear he has always believed that those who run B&Bs should be free to turn away guests. "I think we need to allow people to have their own consciences," he said. "I personally always took the view that, if you look at the case of should a Christian hotel owner have the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel, I took the view that if it's a question of somebody who's doing a B&B in their own home, that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn't come into their own home." He draws a distinction, however, with hotels, which he says should admit gay couples." – The Observer

Mr Grayling has since issued the following statement:

"Any suggestion that I am against gay rights is wholly wrong – it is a matter of record that I voted for civil partnerships. I also voted in favour of the legislation that prohibited bed and breakfast owners from discriminating against gay people. However, this is a difficult area and on Wednesday I made comments which reflected my view that we must be sensitive to the genuinely held principles of faith groups in this country. But the law is now clear on this issue, I am happy with it and would not wish to see it changed."

David Cameron: My fears of "doing a Kinnock"

"David Cameron has admitted he is terrified he could wake up on May 7 to learn that he has become Britain's 'new Neil Kinnock' – the man who blew a seemingly certain Election victory at the last minute. But even if his worst nightmare comes true and Gordon Brown leads Labour to a fourth triumph, he plans to defy his Tory critics and continue as party leader. Mr Cameron confesses to his Election fears in The Mail on Sunday's Live magazine today. And in a wide-ranging interview he also speaks of his fears that the baby his wife Samantha is expecting may be affected by the same disability suffered by their first child, Ivan, who died last year, aged six." – Mail on Sunday

William Hague: A Tory Government would end British participation in the EU’s scheme for a European Public Prosecutor

William Hague serious square "As it stood, the scheme would allow the prosecutor to issue European arrest warrants to force British citizens to face prosecution in another member state, without asking the permission of either the Government or the Director of Public Prosecutions. "Other countries could go ahead with that if they wished but [if we were in government] the European Public Prosecutor would not have jurisdiction in Britain," said Mr Hague. He also said that any further moves by the EU under the Lisbon treaty to end national vetoes over key areas of policy would trigger referendums in Britain if the Tories were in power." – Sunday Telegraph

Elsewhere in the Sunday Telegraph interview, Mr Hague characterises British people under Mr Brown’s leadership as being "lions led by donkeys"

Labour scores own goal as 'flattered' Cameron takes just four hours to hijack poster campaign

"A Labour attempt to ridicule David Cameron as an Eighties TV detective backfired spectacularly yesterday, after the Tories turned it into a vote-winner for their leader. The Conservatives were so delighted by Labour posters portraying Mr Cameron as Gene Hunt, from the BBC's Ashes To Ashes, that they immediately hijacked the image for their own campaign. Labour's poster accused Mr Cameron of wanting to return Britain to the Thatcher era. But just four hours after it was unveiled by Cabinet Minister brothers David and Ed Miliband, the Tories had produced their own version, adapting Hunt's catchphrase to say: 'Fire up the Quattro. It's time for change'." – Mail on Sunday

David Cameron as Gene Hunt? Labour must be living life on Mars – Matthew d'Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday's LeftWatch on the posters

> ConservativeHome's T-shirt shop is now open! Click here to buy a T-Shirt featuring one of yesterday's poster designs

Tories to end curbs in NHS cancer drugs

"Cancer patients will no longer be denied groundbreaking drugs on the National Health Service if they are too expensive, according to a flagship Tory election pledge. The Conservatives will set up an annual £200m fund to pay for treatments banned by the government’s drug approval agency, on cost grounds, but which are widely available in Europe." – Sunday Times

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Conservatives announce plan to use NHS national insurance savings to fund cancer drugs

> WATCH: David Cameron pledges that he would ensure that thousands of cancer sufferers in England get access to drugs they are currently refused

Michael Gove challenges teachers to start their own schools

Picture 5 "A teachers' union has been challenged to open its own school – in a debate with the Conservatives about their "free school" policy. The Tories want parents and other organisations to have state funds to set up their own schools. Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove issued the call in a speech to the NASUWT teachers' union conference." – BBC

Independent on Sunday launches voter registration campaign

"A toxic mix of the expenses and lobbying scandals, plus the recession still casting a shadow over the country, has deepened voter apathy. Today, in response, The Independent on Sunday launches One of the Above, a campaign to encourage people to exercise their right to vote – a right that people in the UK once died for." – Independent on Sunday

Sir John Major accuses Brown of deception and economic incompetence

John Major 2010 "The Prime Minister consistently argues that Britain’s deficit has
been the result of a global financial storm that started in America,
and that spending grew because he did not want to ‘do nothing’ during
the recession. This is sophistry beyond the point of deception. A huge
structural deficit – or government overspending that is with us year on
year – has been built up by Gordon Brown since he stopped following the
Conservative Government’s spending plans in 2001. As soon as he began
to take his own decisions, the decline towards today’s economic train
wreck began. Gordon Brown alone built this deficit. He alone is
responsible for it. The British people will pay for it." – Sir John
Major writing in the Mail on Sunday

Liam Fox attacks "cynical" MoD pre-election spending spree

"Labour as launched a “cynical” ­pre-election defence spending bonanza worth billions of pounds despite a ­gaping hole in Whitehall finances. Furious Tories last night demanded a change in the rules to prevent any future Government placing large defence contracts within six months of a General Election… Shadow Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “Labour refuse to produce a defence budget beyond the current year, yet are happy to run up bills for many years ahead. The whole exercise is a cynical deception." – Sunday Express

Parents of teenage yobs could face jail under Tories

"Parents of teenage tearaways could face prison if they fail to control their children under plans being considered by the Tories. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling is looking at proposals to punish parents of out-of-control youngsters if they fail to enforce parenting orders and community punishments as part of the Conservatives’ push to tackle anti-social behaviour." – Sunday Express

Greg Hands demands inquiry into links between Tony Blair's charitable and political activities

Picture 7 "The Charity Commission is being asked to investigate whether Mr Blair has used email addresses from databases submitted via his charity websites to canvass voters. Mr Blair last night denied any impropriety and insisted all his political and charitable activities were being kept completely separate. The concerns have been raised by the Conservative's Treasury spokesman Greg Hands, who had previously been receiving regular emails about Mr Blair's charities only to find that last week he suddenly received two emails imploring him to vote Labour." – Sunday Telegraph

75% think Labour have failed on immigrationSunday Express

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Voters slam Labour's record on immigration

Janet Daley: The New Labour project was always destined to failSunday Telegraph

Dominic Grieve backs call for new inquiry into death of Dr David KellyMail on Sunday

"Too dangerous" for chain gangs to pick up litterSunday Express

Spin doctors in the TwittersphereThe Observer

An A-Z of the 2010 General ElectionThe Observer

Disgraced and retiring MPs get £153 million in payoffsSunday Times

Derek Conway in line for £1 million profit on taxpayer-funded flat Mail on Sunday

Labour minister calls for ban on zoosSunday Express

UKIP in secret donor rowSunday Times

David Cameron's Easter message

David Cameron 2010 open neck serious "I am delighted to send my very warmest wishes to people here and around the world as they come together to celebrate Easter. The life of Jesus Christ and his teachings continue to speak and inspire every generation. He taught us the importance of compassion, helping others, loving our neighbours and caring for the vulnerable. These are exactly the values we need in our society today. This Easter, as we share the festival with our family and friends, we can all be reminded of the great contribution Christianity has made to our country, shaping our sense of humanity and generosity. No matter what faiths we follow, we can all draw strength from Christ’s message of hope, of a new beginning and a promise of a new dawn. I would like to send my best wishes to you and your families at this time."


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