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Melanchthon on CentreRight: We should not trade bad constitutional changes for short-term partisan advantage

11pm LeftWatch: How could a Lib-Lab coalition be negotiated when a leadership election is in the offing?

9.15pm WATCH: Adam Boulton and Alastair Campbell come to blows live on Sky News

8pm ToryDiary: Tory MPs give Cameron AV plan a muted reception – but there's no revolt

7.45pm Neil O'Brien on CentreRight: Could a “rainbow coalition” cope with our massive debt crisis?

William Hague serious square7.30pm ToryDiary update: William Hague says the Lib Dems have a choice between an unstable coaltion with Labour, headed by an unelected Prime Minister; or a strong coalition with the Conservatives headed by David Cameron

7.15pm ToryDiary update: Conservatives offer a referendum on Alternative Vote to the Lib Dems

7pm WATCH: Nick Clegg says that Gordon Brown's resignation could help talks between the Liberal Democrats and Labour

6.45pm LeftWatch update: Full text of Gordon Brown's statement

6.30pm LeftWatch: A Lab-Lib coalition is the last thing the country voted for

5.45pm WATCH: Gordon Brown's statement from Downing Street in full

Picture 30
5.15pm BREAKING NEWS LeftWatch: Gordon Brown to resign as Labour leader

4pm ToryDiary update: David Laws speaks afer meeting of Lib Dem MPs; Tory Party Board to met at 7pm aftre parliamentary party

3.45pm ToryDiary: A 1922 Committee Chairman should be elected as soon as possible

3pm ToryDiary update: Shadow Cabinet has met, but ConHome source suggests no finalised deal is on the table

2.15pm ToryDiary: Team Cameron wanted a coalition but a minority government remains most likely

Picture 262pm Nigel Jones on Platform: Seventy years ago ago Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of a coalition government. Is David Cameron a new Churchill?

1.30pm WATCH: William Hague says the negotiating teams are working "really well together"

1pm Tom Greeves on CentreRight: "Margaret
Thatcher got it. Edward Heath came unstuck when he forgot it. The task
at the last election was to show that all Conservative candidates got
it and to reach out to everyone else who got it and who would get it if
the message were simple and clear…
The Conservative Party fell short because it sent a confused and confusing message to the public."

12.30pm ToryDiary update: Latest on the Conservative/Liberal Democrat talks

10.45am Alex Deane on CentreRight: The BBC in the new Parliament 

Picture 2510.15am ToryDiary: William Hague "optimistic" about making progress in today's talks with the Lib Dems

ToryDiary: We are currently witnessing the best advert against changing the electoral system

Robert Leitch on Platform: There is trouble ahead for the Union

LeftWatch: More Labour MPs tell Gordon Brown that the writing is on the wall

Mark Wallace on Local Government: No excuses on Council transparency

Anthony Browne on CentreRight: Why aren't Conservatives demonstrating on Whitehall to demand that Brown relinquish power?

WATCH: EU agrees emergency Eurozone fund

Coalition talks to reconvene at 10am this morning…

Picture 15 "The Lib Dems and Tories are due to resume power-sharing talks today amid fears that the pound and Footsie will take another hammering over the political stalemate… In an attempt to calm jittery financial markets, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and and Tory leader David Cameron joined forces yesterday to put the economy and the reduction of Britain's record £163bn deficit at the heart of their negotiations. Last night, the pair held their second face-to-face talks in the space of 24 hours, meeting behind closed doors in Parliament. It followed a marathon session, lasting more than six-and-a-half hours, between the Conservative and Lib Dem negotiating teams." – Sky News

…as Nick Clegg sets a deadline for their conclusion

"Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has given himself until the end of today to decide whether to let David Cameron form a government, or instead risk a deal with Labour that might be seen as illegitimate by the public and jeopardise the success of a yes vote in a referendum on electoral reform." – The Guardian

Benedict Brogan: The full extent of David Cameron's audacity is beginning to emerge

"He is offering to trade reform of the voting system for a two-year deal with Nick Clegg that would deliver economic and social change and, in particular, the painful cuts needed to reduce the deficit. Suddenly, it is the Conservatives who are the radicals. Insiders say his priority is to agree a formal deal, possibly even a coalition, with Mr Clegg that would secure Lib Dem agreement for Tory proposals to reform the education and welfare systems and, in particular, for immediate spending cuts. In exchange he would agree to hold a referendum on the proposals for voting reform developed by a new commission of inquiry that would conclude during this Parliament. " – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's coverage of the talks:

David Cameron seeks to reassure Tory MPs

"David Cameron today continues a personal drive to reassure his MPs about the decision to hold power-sharing talks with the Lib Dems. He will address the 1922 Committee of Tory backbench MPs at Westminster following his “open house” invitation in his Parliamentary office yesterday for MPs to join him for tea and a chat. Many MPs were not in London and there was grumbling among those who got the message too late. A steady trickle of visitors held one-to-one talks or chatted in groups. " – Daily Express

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: What David Cameron will tell the Parliamentary Party

Tory Right demands post for Duncan Smith as compensation for Lib Dem dealThe Times

Cameron risks grassroots revolt over Lib Dem pact

"David Cameron faces a momentous challenge to hold his troops together if he negotiates a deal with Nick Clegg, Tories from all wings of the party warned last night. Opposition has been growing to suggestions that Mr Cameron could give ground on electoral reform in order to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The discontent has been exacerbated by discontent among some MPs over the style of the election campaign, which saw the party fail to make the historic breakthrough forecast by the polls just six months ago." – The Independent

Leaders want a deal; their followers may not – William Rees-Mogg in The Times

Graham Brady urges Cameron to go it alone

BRADY GRAHAM "David Cameron has been urged to go it alone and lead a minority government by one of his senior backbench MPs. Graham Brady, who is tipped to be the new chairman of the powerful Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, insisted there was little enthusiasm among his colleagues for a full-blown coalition deal with the LibDems… Graham Brady told the BBC's Politics Show: 'My inclination is more towards seeking to operate as a minority government bringing in the support of others where it exists and where there is a consensus that can created'." – Daily Mail

"Despite his pivotal kingmaker role, Clegg is actually in a weak position. David Cameron should hold his nerve and take the risk of the Tories governing alone without an overall majority." – Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail

Paul Goodman: The options facing David Cameron

"David Cameron has three options other than plumping for opposition,
which he does not (and should not) want to do. The first is No
Surrender: go it alone, and form a government without the Liberal
Democrats. The second is Unilateral Disarmament: offer proportional
representation and in effect merge the two parties. The third is
Principled Negotiation: be imaginative, be generous but don’t leap into
a deal that would split your party." – Paul Goodman in The Times

Clegg is warned over PR 'cave-in'

"Nick Clegg may be dumped as Lib Dem leader if he gives in on the party's demand for voting system change, it emerged last night. A referendum on proportional representation is the biggest sticking point in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition talks. The Tories, who firmly oppose PR because it weakens government, have so far offered only a full Commons inquiry on Westminster reform. But thousands of grass-roots party members – and a host of senior MPs – have told Mr Clegg that must be his red line." – The Sun

"Senior Liberal Democrat figures have told The Times that the party will endorse a tie-up with the Conservatives only if David Cameron cedes the right as prime minister to determine the date of the next election. They also want the next election to be fought using the alternative vote system, where the electorate numbers their candidates in order of preference. “This is the minimum that they must deliver,” said one." – The Times

Julian Glover: The onus is on Lib Dems. Do this Tory deal, or be consigned to irrelevance

"The onus is on Liberal Democrats. Politics is about the pursuit of power. They are close to it. They must take it. A prissy standoffishness would consign them to irrelevance and confirm the very fact that they hoped this election would prove wrong: Britain still cannot escape its old political tribes." – Julian Glover in The Guardian

"Desperate" Brown tries to woo Clegg

"Gordon Brown mounted a secret last-ditch attempt to cling to power last night as the Tories and Lib Dems edged closer to a deal that will see David Cameron enter Downing Street… Though the Lib Dem leader had promised to talk to the Tories first about a power-sharing agreement, details emerged of a clandestine meeting between him and Mr Brown in the Foreign Office. The rendezvous took place just a few hundred yards from the 'official' talks between the Tory team and their Lib Dem counterparts. Labour sources said Mr Brown was mounting a desperate eleventh hour bid to 'throw a spanner in the works' and sabotage the Tory-Lib Dem talks." – Daily Mail

Nigel Lawson: Only rapid and unpopular government action will prevent a disastrous loss of confidence in our economy

LAWSON NIGEL TODAY "The overriding challenge facing the next government is to make an early and decisive start on reducing, and eventually eliminating, this country's unprecedented and unsustainable fiscal deficit. Any failure to do so would cause serious alarm in the financial markets which provide the funds to finance the deficit, and make the task even harder and more costly than it already is. And the markets are in a distinctly edgy state as it is over the problems of the high deficit members of the eurozone." – Lord Lawson writing in the Daily Telegraph

Tory activists blame 'David Cameron's chums' for failure to win power

"Angry Conservatives are telling the party's leadership that David Cameron must break up his "chums circle" running the party and bring on board veterans who were largely excluded from the election campaign. Amid mounting recriminations over Cameron's failure to secure an overall parliamentary majority, Tory anger is focused on the tight circle that ran the campaign and the relatively inexperienced shadow ministers who sold the Tory message on television. Conservative officials, who will start to be laid off tomorrow, turned on the party's director of strategy, Steve Hilton, in a series of tense encounters on Friday." – The Guardian

Bruce Anderson: Mistakes that cost Mr Cameron dear

"It would be foolish to rush to conclusions about an election in which the results were so varied, but I would make four tentative assumptions. First, that most of the sane bigots did vote Tory. Second, that if David Cameron had not used the language of hope and renewal, he would not have done as well as he did. He had to distance himself from the old politics. Third, that George Osborne was an electoral liability. If William Hague or Ken Clarke had been shadow Chancellor, David Cameron would have been kissing hands on Friday. Fourth, that the great strategic weakness of the Tory campaign was the failure to harmonise change and stability." – Bruce Anderson in The Independent

Boris Johnson: Get Gordon Brown out and deal with the real problems

Boris Johnson messy hair "The whole thing is unbelievable. As I write these words, Gordon Brown is still holed up in Downing Street. He is like some illegal settler in the Sinai desert, lashing himself to the radiator, or like David Brent haunting The Office in that excruciating episode when he refuses to acknowledge that he has been sacked. Isn't there someone – the Queen's Private Secretary, the nice policeman on the door of No 10 – whose job it is to tell him that the game is up?" – Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph

Miliband brothers expected to join battle for Labour leadership

"The prospect of brothers fighting it out for the Labour leadership remained real last night as David Miliband emerged as a certain contender in the battle to succeed Gordon Brown, and Ed Miliband was urged to put himself forward. As Mr Brown held on in Downing Street, fulfilling his constitutional role until negotiations between the parties were complete, all the contenders to take his job maintained a prim radio silence on the leadership question." – The Times

The phantom ministers who still haunt Westminster

"They are the Labour ministers who were kicked out by the voters last week but are still in office. Electors have handed at least 19 their marching orders, but constitutional rules decree the government remains until Gordon Brown resigns and the Queen appoints a new prime minister." – Daily Mail

Angela Merkel's CDU defeated in key state election

MERKEL "Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition was seriously weakened last night after her party suffered a humiliating defeat in a key regional state election which was certain to deprive her government of its crucial working majority in Germany's upper house of parliament. The vote in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine Westphalia was overshadowed by the Greek debt crisis. Support for Ms Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats dropped by a record 10.3 per cent, ousting her party's coalition with the liberal Free Democrats in the state." – The Independent

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