9.15pm WATCH: Harriet Harman closes Labour's Conference

8.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron beats Ed Miliband by 47% to 20% as preferred PM

6pm WATCH: David Cameron talks about brotherly love after Miliband contest

4.30pm Local government: DCLG publish spending over £500 for '08-'09

ROBINSON NICK BIG BEN3pm ToryDiary: Paxman, Robinson, Maitlais, Naughtie and 28 other BBC journalists warn the NUJ about striking during next week's Conservative Conference

2.30pm Seats and Candidates: Two new candidates adopted to contest Holyrood seats

1.15pm Two new posts on ToryDiary:

1pm James Norman on CentreRight: Upgrading our Armed Forces

12.30pm WATCH: Harriet Harman explains that her Iraq comment to David Miliband was "a little aside"

BOLES-COLOUR ToryDiary: Nicholas Boles MP proposes that non-EU migrants pay a surety deposit, that some EU migrants should be told to leave Britain, and that no immigrants should be eligible for social housing until five years after arrival

Julie Iles on Platform: Why Britain needs a rehabilitation revolution

Local Government:

Two new posts in Seats and Candidates:

LeftWatch: The ten vulnerabilities of Red Ed

WATCH: Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet headache

Whitehall mole hunt over Fox letter leak

FOX LIAM SMILING "The Defence Secretary Liam Fox is among those to be interviewed by police after an investigation was launched into how a letter he wrote to the Prime Minister, warning of the effect budget cuts would have on national security, was leaked to a newspaper… following its publication yesterday, the Ministry of Defence Police were called in to investigate the leak. About 30 MoD officers searched the departmental headquarters on Whitehall, seizing paperwork and examining computers." – The Independent

"The Daily Telegraph understands that senior military commanders are privately pleased at the Defence Secretary's letter to the Prime Minister warning against cuts in the Forces. Dr Fox has also received public support from senior military figures for his letter… The show of support for Dr Fox forced Downing Street to insist it backed the Defence Secretary, despite the private anger the minister's intervention caused among the Prime Minister's allies." – Daily Telegraph

"Fox is worried because influential voices in Whitehall are questioning plans to build two large aircraft carriers for the navy and Cameron is listening to them.Dumping the carrier project – which with expensive US Joint Strike Fighters flying from them could cost £15bn – would help solve the MoD's immediate problems, officials said today. If the carriers do go ahead, the navy will have to abandon plans for new frigates and sell off other ships including amphibious vessels, according to defence officials. Add savings from scrapping RAF Tornado and Harrier jets and Fox would be well on his way." – Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian

"Sir Richard Dannatt, who advised Mr Cameron on defence before the election, said the cuts risked undermining Britain's status on the world stage and could damage morale…Reacting to the publication of the letter today, Sir Richard said the Army could not be cut while engaged in such a difficult operation as Afghanistan, adding that dropping plans for two new £6billion aircraft carriers could leave Britain's vital sea lanes under-defended, but suggested that the RAF might have to lose some of its fighter jets." – Daily Telegraph

"The possibility of a "shared" UK-French nuclear deterrent is set to be on the agenda of a summit between David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in London this autumn. A politically explosive proposal for joint Franco-British nuclear-submarine patrols – an idea sunk without trace in the recent past – has been brought back to the surface by the draconian defence cuts in both countries." – The Independent

"I expect the defence department and the Treasury to reach an agreement nearer the deadline, probably with the steadying hand of the prime minister helping…It may be that the early runs have been too tough on defence. This letter and meetings that follow may result in more money being found. My guess is there will be a happy ending for all the main protagonists. It would be a bad mistake for the Treasury to push Fox over the edge, and a bad mistake for Fox to refuse to make sensible economies in a department that has its own inefficiencies." – John Redwood, The Guardian

> Yesterday –

Bankers are left in the cold by Cameron's brains trust

CAMERON-SIGNING "Downing Street appeared to be snubbing the banking industry yesterday as it finalised a 16-strong panel of corporate grandees to advise the Prime Minister on business matters. While manufacturing, construction, utilities, retailing and small businesses are well represented, no one from the banking industry or insurance has appeared on the provisional list. David Cameron’s planned council of business advisers includes many listed company chiefs, including Sir Michael Rake of BT and easyJet, Sam Laidlaw of Centrica, Paul Walsh of Diageo, Justin King of Sainsbury and Dick Olver of BAE Systems." – The Times (£)

Cabinet Office to simplify supply process

"Companies that supply the public sector would deal with central government as a single customer rather than a range of different departments under a streamlined procurement process being considered by Francis Maude. The Cabinet Office minister is expected to discuss the proposals on Thursday with executives from 34 of the state’s biggest contractors. Although the plans are at an early stage, Mr Maude believes that a cross-government approach to procurement may be more efficient than at present, when the process is handled by individual departments." – Financial Times (£)

Ed Miliband sacks Gordon Brown's Chief Whip and is attacked by the Daily Mail…

"Labour chief whip Nick Brown today withdrew from the election to retain his position after being asked to stand aside by new leader Ed Miliband…Brown, a key acolyte of former prime minister Gordon Brown intended to run in the contest, which sits alongside the shadow cabinet elections. But he wrote to Miliband to say he would comply with the request, made at a meeting of the pair earlier today. Miliband's request is the latest move in his bid to "detoxify" Labour and move on from the New Labour era." – The Guardian

"Ed Miliband has become the latest Labour leader to say he does not believe in God. The new party leader followed the example of Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot in declaring his lack of faith. "I don’t believe in God personally but I have great respect for those people who do," he told Radio Five Live. Mr Miliband announced his atheism despite making much of his family’s Jewish origins in his keynote speech at the party conference and citing his parents’ escape from Nazi-occupied Europe to Britain as the reason for his involvement in politics." – Daily Mail

…While the commentators queue up to give their view of Labour's new leader…

Screen shot 2010-09-30 at 08.47.01 "In public, of course, Mr Miliband is presenting himself as the champion of nicer, gentler policies, using his gangly youthfulness to chide those who dismiss him as Red Ed or Forrest Gump. This, he believes, is in tune with the collaborative politics of coalition, and the smarter Tories inside Downing Street know that kind of language has resonance. This is why, as they head for Birmingham, the Conservatives need to think hard." – Ben Brogan, Daily Telegraph

"There is another irony. In ruthlessly highlighting Labour's mistakes, Ed makes possible a realignment of the centre-left, the original objective of Tony Blair and David when he worked for him in the mid-1990s. In a way that has been underestimated, Ed's speech was framed to reach out to the Liberal Democrats. Over the summer I asked an ally of Nick Clegg's who of the candidates he thought the Liberal Democrats might be able to work with. The ally said Ed Miliband." – Steve Richards, The Independent

"My desire was to be able to say that I liked [Ed Miliband's speech], thus joining with all those on the Centre Left who now have to hitch their rickety wagons to Ed’s engine…But the more I looked at it, the more I worried about it…What was remarkable to me were the passages suggesting three very concerning traits in Mr M and his speech-writing staff. The first was an almost perverse desire not to lead. The second was a dangerous ignorance about the world and the immediate past. And the third was a ruthless carelessness about what you might call the “collateral damage” likely to be caused by expedient political positioning." – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)

"Supergeek arrived on the platform and was grilled by Eddie Izzard. It was a light grilling. The law of the nonsensical reverse was invoked.  Ed said some curious things. "Too many Labour party meetings begin with the minutes of the last meeting," he said sternly. What were they supposed to have instead? Minutes of the next meeting?" – Simon Hoggart, The Guardian

"[David Miliband's] departure leaves Labour with a serious problem. After all, more than half the party’s MPs, MEPs and ordinary members preferred David to Ed – and if it hadn’t been for the unions’ money and muscle, he would be leader today. And though the geeky brothers may seem alike, the elder represents a New Labour approach, quite distinct from Ed’s student-union socialism – and more palatable to middle-class voters. With David gone, who on the front bench is to speak up for these hard-working taxpayers, whose support is essential if Labour is to return to power? A glance down today’s list of has-beens and nobodies standing in the Shadow Cabinet elections will fill Labour well-wishers with despair." – Daily Mail Editorial

…who doesn't take off in the opinion polls

"Labour has lurched to the left under Red Ed Miliband, say 45 per cent of people in a Sun poll. The party has lost its lead over the Tories. Labour support slipped from 40 per cent to 39 per cent as the Tories rose from 39 to 41." – The Sun

Ed Balls: room for the big beast?

Ed Balls "Ed Balls is emerging as the biggest personality in the Labour team. His leadership campaign may have bombed, but he has become an outstandingly good speaker with a powerful sense of what he wants to say – as he showed in his conference speech. He has been overlooked in the drama between the Miliband brothers…One of the most interesting aspects of the shadow cabinet elections, not always readily interpreted because of the bizarre process of alliances of convenience, is whether his colleagues are ready to forgive and forget his long years as Brown's representative on earth." – Anne Perkins, The Guardian

Labour Party abandons ballot-tampering enquiryThe Guardian

> Yesterday –

LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's £1,373 tax bombshell

LeftWatch: David Miliband's departure is Ed Miliband's opportunity

Jeremy Brier on CentreRight: Labour's back! (In the Unions' pockets)

Steve Baker MP on CentreRight: The comrades are confused about capitalism – they shouldn't be

Britons training in Pakistan for UK terror attacksDaily Telegraph

Ireland's police chief warns of terror threat to mainland BritainThe Guardian

Banks hit by 7000 complaints a dayDaily Mail

Seven out of ten people in Britain describe themselves as ChristianThe Times (£)

Benefit cheats in £230 million loan scamThe Sun

Former Conservative peer denies falsely claiming £24,300 in expenses scandalThe Times (£)

Treasury to probe high-frequency tradingFinancial Times (£)

BNP expels Richard BarnbrookThe Guardian

And finally…Ed Miliband was Matthew Parris's research assistant

PARRIS MATTHEW "About Mr Ed I’ve always had the impression — and was reminded of it again in his conference speech in Manchester this week — that he is one of those North London Labour intellectuals who find it genuinely difficult to believe that there could exist people of sound mind and humane instincts outside the circle of light in which the intelligent Centre Left feel they are bathed. In the surrounding darkness there can only be (they suppose) fools or, worse, knaves. When they meet us they tend to pay what they honestly mean as a compliment: “I can’t believe you’re really a Tory,” they say. And they can’t. It is beyond their imagination." – The Times (£)


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