Ed Balls tieless 9pm LeftWatch: Mission accomplished by Ed Balls in Channel 4's Labour leadership debate

8pm LeftWatch: Highlights of Andrew Marr's interview with Tony Blair

5.30pm ToryDiary: Statement from William Hague revealing that his special adviser, Christopher Myers, has quit

4.30pm Local Government: Portrait of the Queen unveiled at DCLG

3.15pm Steve Baker MP on CentreRight: Surely the Big Society is about more than volunteering?

Picture 612.45pm WATCH: Tony Blair tells Andrew Marr about his "very difficult" relationship with Gordon Brown

Noon ToryDiary: 142 schools to convert to Academy status in first wave of Gove reforms

11.45am LeftWatch: Blairmania – more Blair quotes on the Coalition, the deficit, George Bush, John Prescott, Ed Balls…and his own supernatural powers

ToryDiary: How blue is the Coalition? Part Two: Home and Constitutional Affairs

LeftWatch: As Tony Blair's memoirs are published…

Mark Littlewood on Platform: The BBC licence fee's time has passed

Local Government:

“I’m a Conservative because… I believe in the virtues, of freedom of choice, personal responsibility, a smaller state and the creation of a culture of enterprise.” – Marcus Jones MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Alex Deane on CentreRight: Islam and modern society (German edition)

WATCH: President Obama declares the US combat mission in Iraq to be over

Teaching unions attack Michael Gove's education reforms

GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE "Teachers' unions are branding the government's plan for an expansion of academies in England as a "failure". The government is to release details of the number of new-style academies to be launched this term – which is only expected to be 32 schools… A government spokesman said the tight timescale explained why more schools have not become academies. Education Secretary Michael Gove will be able to say that he has achieved the target of converting schools to academies in the autumn after the general election." – BBC

George Osborne sets a creative example over cuts

"George Osborne owes a debt of gratitude to his predecessor-but-one in the Treasury, Gordon Brown, whose empire-building tendencies have given the Chancellor ample scope for some exemplary job cuts. He intends to take full advantage by reducing the number of Treasury civil servants by 25 per cent over the next four years, from 1,350 to 1,000. That this became public yesterday shows once again that Mr Osborne appreciates the importance of carefully preparing the ground for battle. He is about to convene the Star Chamber to start the serious part of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). His own hand will be strengthened by his demonstration that spending cuts begin at home." – Daily Telegraph editorial

William Hague defends Special Adviser appointment…

William Hague serious square "William Hague has issued an extraordinary statement about the nature of his relationship with a special adviser. The Foreign Secretary dismissed as unfounded scurrilous internet rumours about him and 25-year-old Chris Myers." – Daily Mail

"The appointment of Chris Myers as the Foreign Secretary's third special adviser has raised questions because David Cameron has been seeking to restrict the number of advisers employed at public expense as an economy measure, and because Mr Myers has no known qualifications for the job, other than he has worked as a driver and constituency aide for Mr Hague. Yesterday, Mr Hague's spokesman said: "Any suggestion that the Foreign Secretary's relationship with Chris Myers is anything other than a purely professional one is wholly inaccurate and unfounded." – The Independent

…as he pressures Serbia over Kosovo

"Britain's foreign secretary urged Serbia on Tuesday not to challenge Kosovo's independence at the U.N. General Assembly, and the Balkan country's president said it is open to a compromise on the resolution." – Washington Post

Nick Clegg says Afghanistan mission is "turning a corner"…

Picture 5 "Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has insisted the military campaign in Afghanistan is "turning the corner", during a surprise visit to the country. But he said he "had no idea exactly how and when we will succeed". He repeated the promise made by the government that UK combat troops would leave Afghanistan by 2015." – BBC

> WATCH: Nick Clegg says Afghanistan is "turning a corner" during visit to UK troops

…as he visits Pakistan today

"The Deputy Prime Minister will on Wednesday visit Pakistan, the most senior Coalition minister to do so since David Cameron angered the country's government by suggesting it turned a blind eye to some forms of terrorism. The Daily Telegraph has learned that as part of the continuing spat over the Prime Minister's remarks, Pakistan's intelligence agency has blocked an offer of British military aid for millions of flood victims." – Daily Telegraph

Mixed polling news for Nick Clegg

"Nick Clegg and his fellow senior Liberal Democrats have been given a timely boost ahead of a potentially fractious party conference by the results of a survey showing that support for Mr Clegg among party members remains high. But the survey of almost 600 members shows that net support for the coalition has begun to slip, falling to 45 per cent in August from 57 per cent in July." – FT (£)

"Support for the Lib Dems has hit a new low of 11 per cent, a YouGov poll for The Sun shows, with the Tories on 43 per cent and Labour 38 per cent." – The Sun

Storm of protest over controversial call for Royal Navy to share aircraft carriers with the French

"A proposal for Britain and France to share their aircraft carriers was last night described as 'barking mad' by military experts… Defence Secretary Liam Fox is set to meet his French counterparts tomorrow to discuss the proposal." – Daily Mail

Cost-cutting is distorting defence review, says senior naval officerThe Times (£)

MoD denies UK and France could share aircraft carriersBBC

As Labour leadership ballot papers are issued…

"Labour Party members are to start voting for Gordon Brown's successor. Ballot papers have been sent out to members, trade unionists and members of socialist societies, who have three weeks to vote." – BBC

…David Miliband secures new Fleet Street endorsements

David Miliband 2010 "David [Miliband] is the only candidate who has acknowledged that the state may have to retreat from its high-water mark under Gordon Brown. This has not, to be sure, been done in a ringing fashion, but he has at least not repudiated the last government’s plan for deficit reduction. He has thereby staked out a position on the deficit that will be defensible for the next five years. This is reason enough to elect him Labour leader." – FT (£)

"The Daily Mirror today backs David Miliband to be the next leader of the Labour Party. We believe he has the intellect, talent and experience to take on the Tories – and eventually become PM. And we urge all those with a vote in the contest to rally behind him." – Daily Mirror

"In truth, all of the Labour candidates are flawed. But anybody who cares for the future competitiveness and prosperity of this country should be hoping David Miliband becomes the next Leader of the Opposition. He is the least bad candidate – and that, after all, is better than nothing." – Allister heath in City AM

Jonathan Freedland: Labour needs the credibility of David and the freshness of Ed The Guardian

Tim Montgomerie: Why CCHQ fears David Miliband most as Labour leader

"It is still David Miliband that Conservative HQ fears most. On the basis that likeability is vital in the age of TV debates, Tory strategists take some comfort from the Labour frontrunner’s geekiness. One pointed out to me the “barbecue test” in the Daily Mirror. Apparently Miliband Sr is not the kind of ordinary Joe that voters want to meet over a beer and burger. But it’s not the Shadown Foreign Secretary’s ability to set the world, or even a barbecue, on fire, that concerns the Tories. It is his positioning in territory designed to woo Middle England and the Lib Dems." – Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)

Commons Fees Office official facing jail for bogus claims scamDaily Telegraph\

Dame Vera Lynn backs Tory MP Charlie Elphicke's plan to make Dover a "people's port"The Sun

And finally… Boris is joined by Kelly Brook for launch of Sky Ride scheme

Picture 4 "Lucky Boris Johnson got to cosy up to Kelly Brook today – and wasn't told to get on his bike. The Mayor of London looked pretty pleased with himself as he put his arm around the model during the launch of his Sky Ride scheme in London. Piranha 3D star Kelly has been publicising the mass-participation cycling event, which takes place in the capital this Sunday." – The Sun


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