10pm WATCH: Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron hold first joint press conference

7pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: Britain should agree to a new EU Treaty, and use it as an opportunity to renegotiate

3.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron completes positive but uneventful visits to Paris and Berlin

3.15pm Local government: New rules planned on Council newspapers

2.30pm Grant Shapps MP on Platform: Home Information Packs are history

11.15am Local government: LGA propose £4.5 billion annual savings

10.15am Dan Hamilton on CentreRight: Europe's shame – The treatment of Roma refugees in Kosovo

GoodmanObservationsToryDiary: Seven thoughts on the final list of Conservative ministers

1922 On Platform:

Graham Brady MP: Why I am standing for the chairmanship of the 1922 Committee

Richard Ottaway MP: Why I am standing for the chairmanship of the 1922 Committee

Local government: Why is the transparency threshold £500 for Councils but £25,000 for central Government?

Seats and candidates: Coalition plans for all postal primaries risk giving MORE power to party HQs

6a00d83451b31c69e20133ededdcfa970b-500wi-1 Recommendation 7 of ConservativeHome's General Election Review examines the extent to which the Conservatives should chase Scottish, public sector and ethnic minority voters

WATCH: Alongside President Sarkozy, David Cameron says Britain is better off outside the Euro

Cameron insists Britain DOES HAVE a Conservative Prime Minister

"In an article for the Daily Mail, his first for any newspaper as Premier, Mr Cameron writes: 'Yes, you have a coalition government – but you still have a Conservative Prime Minister. My Conservative beliefs will not change.' He insists key Tory plans to start cutting the deficit immediately, smash the state monopoly in education, overhaul the welfare system and make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe remain intact."

Get ready for 'middle class tax rises' to pay to take low earners out of income tax

Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 07.05.01 From The Daily Telegraph:

  • "The document confirmed that it would push ahead with plans to increase sharply capital gains tax on the sale of second homes, shares and buy-to-let properties. The plans, which could see the tax more than double from 18 per cent to 40 or even 50 per cent, will be set out in detail in next month's Budget.
  • Tory plans to offer more generous tax breaks for inheritance tax, first-time buyers and home owners have been watered down or abandoned.
  • The coalition agreement also pledged to increase the proportion of tax raised from green levies. Conservative plans to cut fuel duty when oil prices are high have been abandoned, leading to fears that motorists will be targeted. More money is expected to be raised by changing the way flights are taxed, which could add more than £300 to the cost of a long-haul family holiday."

"Key Tory policies have been abandoned or watered down to finance the adoption of Nick Clegg's flagship policy to raise to £10,000 the starting point at which tax is paid. The coalition document makes clear that raising personal income tax allowances is now a top priority. The Government will announce 'a substantial increase in the personal allowance from April 2011' in its first Budget next month." – Daily Mail

"A Tory plan to raise the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 for first-time buyers had also been put on the back burner." – Express

The Coalition Agreement contains "potentially sweeping reforms to the structure of the NHS"FT

An end to national pay bargaining?

"The new government intends to attack national pay bargaining. It wants to “reform the existing rigid national pay and conditions rules…” for schools. If anything, the coalition’s ambition should be greater. National pay bargaining is a problem well beyond education." – FT leader

The Sun describes the Coalition Agreement as "remarkably encouraging".

Where will LibConnery end up?

"The possibility that a new political party – the ‘Liberal Conservatives’ – will emerge from the stunning events of the last two weeks should not be ruled out." – Peter Oborne in The Daily Mail

"I cannot work out yet whether Clegg, who ran rings round Cameron in the TV studio, did the same in the divvy-up negotiations (it certainly looks like it) or whether the Etonian has some Machiavellian scheme to indulge the Lib Dems into self-destruction (their rank and file are deserting in droves) before dispensing with them." – Frederick Forsyth in The Express

Jeremy Hunt deletes Tweets that criticised Nick CleggTelegraph

Cameron defends changes to 1922 committee

"Speaking at yesterday morning's press conference, Mr Cameron said it was important for the Tory party to speak with one voice given that there would be "difficult times ahead". "It's much better to have one organisation where….we're all in this together," he said.' – FT

"David Cameron's decision to bounce the 1922 Committee into voting to change the rules – using the 70 or so ministers to swing yesterday's ballot in his favour – ensures that the Committee is no longer the voice of MPs but is, instead, the leadership's vehicle to lecture and hector the backbenchers. It will ensure that, instead of a formal focus for grievances being channelled in an orderly fashion, as a safety valve, there will now, instead, be more plotting and scheming in dining clubs." – Michael Brown in The Independent

Tories give Gary McKinnon a late reprieveDaily Mail

Theresa May: I'm now in favour of gay adoption

Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 07.16.12 The Home Secretary is quoted on the BBC: "On gay adoption I have changed my mind… because I have been persuaded that when you are looking at the future for a child, I think it's better for a child who is perhaps in an institutional environment, if they have an opportunity of being in a stable, family environment – be that a heterosexual couple or a gay couple – then I think it's more important that that child is in that stable and loving environment and I have genuinely changed my mind on that."

Cameron doesn't understand the rural poor – Clive Aslet in The Times

Cameron and Hague should set up in business now as the architects of a new and more realistic Europe – Simon Jenkins in The Guardian

Parliament's new expenses watchdog is facing a backlash from some MPs and their staff, amid claims new rules could force them to lay people off BBC

Many Liberal Democrat researchers will lose jobs because of move into governmentTimes


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