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6.45pm Local Government: Which companies might want to sponsor a town? 

Picture 95.15pm WATCH: The BBC's Carolyn Quinn looks back on the life of ex-Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith, who died today

3.45pm ToryDiary: I shall be sleeping with a Cabinet minister this weekend and some farm animals

1.45pm WATCH: Liam Fox says that sharing UK aircraft carriers with France is "utterly unrealistic" after meeting his French counterpart in Paris

12.15pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday

11.45am LeftWatch: Gordon Brown's first parliamentary act since the general election will be to vote against something he claimed he favoured

Picture 611.15am ToryDiary: As David and Samantha Cameron introduce baby Florence to the press, they thank the public for all their good wishes

10.45am Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Not the Today Programme's finest hour (or three)

10.00am Local government: Boris leads the way on hydrogen cars

ToryDiary: How blue is the Coalition? Part Four – Foreign Affairs

Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard MP on Platform: Right-wingers have plenty to cheer in the Coalition programme – so they should not scupper next week's Referendum Bill

Local Government:

Melanchthon on CentreRight: Britain's withdrawal form the world stage is not inevitable – and would in any case be a renunciation of our duty to mankind and to history

International: November's midterms look increasingly bleak for the US Democrats

Zac Goldsmith on Channel 4 NewsZac Goldsmith MP shares his favourite anecdote from the campaign trail as he answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010: A policeman removed a roll-up cigarette directly from my mouth, and replaced it with one of his own less-suspicious looking pre-fabs, saying "we don’t want any unhelpful pictures, do we?!"

WATCH: Australia's Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard secures the support of one Independent MP, but the three "country independents" could still deliver a Liberal government under Tony Abbott

William Hague:  Who could blame Chris Myers for quitting?

William Hague square serious "Exasperated William Hague sympathised yesterday with his aide's decision to resign amid claims they had a gay relationship… Chris Myers, 25, quit after claiming pressure heaped on his family by the allegations was unbearable. The Foreign Secretary said Mr Myers was "someone who is rather fed up of the political world" – adding pointedly: "And who can blame him?" – The Sun

"William Hague insisted that he would not be diverted from his work at the Foreign Office as senior MPs questioned his handling of the furore over his private life… David Cameron gave Mr Hague, his deputy in all but name, “100 per cent” backing… Mr Hague’s aides dismissed suggestions that he may quit before the next election as “absurd”. – The Times (£)

"William Hague's judgment has been questioned publicly by senior Conservative figures following his admission that he shared a hotel room with a young male adviser. John Redwood and Lord Tebbit, former Conservative Cabinet ministers, both said Mr Hague’s conduct and subsequent statement about his marriage had raised doubts about the Foreign Secretary." – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's coverage on ConHome:

Labour MPs and their media allies continue to ask questions about Andy Coulson and the News of the World phone-tapping scandal

Andy Coulson looking at camera "The prime minister's media adviser, Andy Coulson, has denied a report in the New York Times which claimed he freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques when he was editing the paper and "actively encouraged" a named reporter to engage in illegal interception of voicemail messages. Coulson has always denied knowing of any illegal activity by his journalists… The former Labour minister Tom Watson today called on the government to set up an inquiry into the relationship between Scotland Yard and Rupert Murdoch's News Group, which publishes the News of the World." – The Guardian

"A former Labour minister is one of at least 10 MPs who suspect they were targeted by reporters at the News of the World looking to hack into their telephone messages. Chris Bryant, the former Europe minister, said he believed he was one of the targets and is among several public figures pressing for a judicial review into the Metropolitan Police’s decision not to continue its investigation into the affair which occurred in 2005 and 2006." – FT (£)

"The story told by Andy Coulson after The News of the World phone-hacking scandal broke was always a strange one. The man who is now constantly at David Cameron's side, directing his media strategy, was then an ambitious, hard-driving interventionist editor who expected his staff to produce results. Yet, he apparently had no curiosity at all about how they did it.." – Andy McSmith in The Independent

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: New York Times reopens tabloid hacking claims allegedly involving Downing Street Communications Director

BBC chief talks to No 10 about selling the cuts

BBC logo "The director-general of the BBC has been accused of risking the corporation’s editorial independence after it emerged that he attended a private Downing Street meeting to discuss coverage of Government spending cuts. Mark Thompson met with one of Mr Cameron’s most senior aides to discuss offering senior Government figures prominent exposure on BBC channels in the coming weeks." – Daily Telegraph

"The move will prompt claims that the broadcaster is trying to curry favour with an increasingly hostile Coalition Government to preserve its generous licence fee funding… The Daily Mail understands Mr Thompson was hauled into Downing Street for showdown talks with David Cameron's strategy chief Steve Hilton amid increasing  Government displeasure over the BBC's coverage of the forthcoming spending review." – Daily Mail

"The BBC has denied the director general compromised its independence by visiting Downing Street to discuss coverage of spending cuts." – BBC

Matthew Elliott warns rebels against trying to delay AV referendum

Matthew Elliott 2 "The leader of the campaign against the alternative vote system for electing MPs has warned his parliamentary allies to withdraw their threat to trigger a rebellion over a proposed referendum on electoral reform. Matthew Elliott, who is heading the fledgling “No to AV” campaign, told the Financial Times that he disagreed with imminent attempts by up to 50 like-minded Conservative MPs to delay the referendum from its planned date in May." – FT (£)

"Tory rebels are set to hold talks with Labour on Monday to thrash out a deal to overturn Nick Clegg's plans to hold a referendum on changing the voting system on the same day as the Holyrood election. Mr Clegg wants to hold the referendum introducing the alternative vote system (AV) on 5 May next year… One discontented Tory of up to 70 back-bench rebels said: "We have decided that the committee stage and third reading are the points to force to changes. We want to approach this constructively." – The Scotsman

Welfare reforms limited by upfront cost

"Lessons from across the Atlantic show the kind of welfare reforms Britain wants to implement may not succeed at getting people off benefits and into work without a level of upfront spending it cannot afford." – Reuters

Britain and France will not share aircraft carriers, officials say

"British and French officials engaged in high-level defence talks have denied reports the two countries are considering sharing aircraft carriers, but are paving the way for unprecedented military co-operation, according to sources on both sides of the Channel." – The Guardian

Tony Blair paves way for a possible return to UK politics…

Tony Blair 2010 "Tony Blair yesterday paved the way for his possible return to UK politics with typical style. The former Prime Minister said he was a “public service guy” and would be willing to take up another post. His comments will fuel speculation he could perform a Peter Mandelson-style comeback if Labour returns to power." – Daily Mirror

…as he praises the "very smart" George Bush

"George Bush was straightforward and direct. And very smart. One of the most ludicrous caricatures of George is that he was a dumb idiot who stumbled into the presidency. No one stumbles into that job, and the history of American presidential campaigns is littered with political corpses of those who were supposed to be brilliant but who nonetheless failed because brilliance is not enough." – Adapted excerpt from the Blair memoirs in Time magazine

Tony Blair’s rather odd memoirs contain important truths for his successors – Bagehot in The Economist

Jeff Randall: Tony Blair has rewritten history – without modesty or shameDaily Telegraph

Gordon Brown announces new charitable ventures

TV Debate Gordon Brown "A day after Tony Blair described his successor as devoid of human instinct and emotional intelligence, Gordon Brown announced that he is to join the boards of two global campaigns for universal child education and internet access for the poor. Mr Brown issued a statement yesterday stating that he and his wife, Sarah, are to set up a private office in London, funded by his speaking engagements." – The Times (£)

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: What Gordon Brown did next…

David Miliband warns Labour against turning left The Sun

Coalition cuts amount to 'war on equality' says Ken Livingstone

"London mayoral hopeful Ken Livingstone has accused the government of declaring "a war on equality" as he published a report showing that women in London are paying twice as much as men for the government's cuts in public spending." -  The Guardian

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Ken Livingstone plans to brand the Government's cuts as "Boris's cuts"

Theresa May has deserted women in hunt for cuts, claims Alan JohnsonThe Independent

Why cutting is good for you – Alex Brummer in the Daily Mail

"I gave too much away": David Blunkett's startling admission on UK-U.S. extradition treatyDaily Mail

Scottish government to tackle alcohol abuse with price hikeThe Guardian

UKIP conference begins as party seeks new leader

"Members of the UK Independence Party are set to gather for their autumn conference in Torquay, with the search for a new leader top of the agenda… Jeffrey Titford was chosen at a meeting on Thursday to run the party until a permanent replacement is elected." – BBC

And finally… The Mirror has analysed the index to the Blair memoirs

Picture 4 "From the Pope to David Beckham, Margaret Thatcher to George Bush, nobody interests Tony Blair more than Tony Blair. In the index of his memoirs, A Journey, there are no fewer than 465 references to himself. Gordon Brown is second with 119 and Saddam Hussein comes in higher even than former US President George Bush, with 74 references. Interestingly TV's Piers Morgan who referred to Mr Blair 22 times in his 2005 memoir, The Insider, is not referred to once in A Journey." – Daily Mirror

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