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7.15pm WATCH: Newsnight investigation goes to Halifax to probe Warsi claims of Asian Labour postal vote fraud

4.30pm Robin Simcox on CentreRight: 10:10 video campaign now offline

Screen shot 2010-10-01 at 14.54.49 3pm ToryDiary: 1922 Committee Secretary: Liberal Democrats holding Conservative Ministers "to ransom"

2.30pm Robin Simcox on CentreRight: No pressure…but cut your carbon emissions – or I'm going to blow you up

1.30pm WATCH: Irish Government Reveals Data On The Bank Bailout

12.15pm Three new posts on Local Government:

Noon J P Floru on CentreRight: In Mr Bean's world, we all end up with a begging bowl

9.45am Local government: Conservative gain in Council byelection yesterday

Iain Duncan Smith speaking ToryDiary: The Times reports that Iain Duncan Smith has won his battle for a universal credit

Mike Weatherley MP on Platform: The Government should listen to our nation of shopkeepers – and not force through a tobacco display ban

Local Government: Labour Local Government leader attacks spending transparency

WATCH: Red Ed sings The Red Flag

William Hague goes in to bat for David Cameron – as the Daily Telegraph continues to push the Liam Fox defence spending row story

"Mr Cable is one of several Liberal Democrat ministers understood to be backing the Navy's plan for two new aircraft carriers.  The fate of the £5.2 billion programme is a key test of strength in the increasingly heated debate over the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Dr Fox is strongly arguing that both carriers must be built and says money should be saved by cutting manpower, especially in the Army. Mr Cameron has suggested priority must go to the Army and the war in Afghanistan." – Daily Telegraph

HAGUE WILLIAM CLOSE-UP "We do indeed operate under serious financial constraints. Ultimately, we cannot have an effective foreign policy or strong defences without economic success, and all departments have to play their role in helping to restore the national finances. But the Prime Minister, the Defence Secretary and all of us in the Cabinet are determined not to shirk these difficult decisions.  Acting together, we will make the right choices to protect our security and our national interest. – William Hague in the Daily Telegraph

"Liam Fox was looking increasingly isolated in his last-ditch attempt to limit defence cuts last night, despite being told by David Cameron that his fears were “unfounded”. The Prime Minister tried to reassert his position as a mediator between the Defence Secretary and George Osborne as negotiations over a cost-cutting review reached their final stages. But his attempted reassurance was undermined by Nick Clegg, who rejected Dr Fox’s preferred option — that the defence budget was frozen — saying it would not be right at time when the rest of the public sector was being asked to make sacrifices." – The Times (£)

"A fierce dispute within the government over the future shape of Britain's armed forces showed no signs of abating today as David Cameron hit back at his defence secretary, Liam Fox, dismissing fears of "draconian" cuts as "unfounded". Clearly stung by Fox's leaked letter to him expressing concern about potential "grave consequences" for the Tories and government, the prime minister said the forthcoming defence review would not make "bad decisions"." – The Guardian

Scottish party leaders meet Liam Fox over defence cuts – BBC

> Yesterday in CentreRight: James Norman – Upgrading our Armed Forces

Doctors' union takes on Lansley's plan

LANSLEY "The government's radical shakeup of the NHS threatens its future, may not improve patient care and could usher in a two-tier health service, doctors' leaders warn today. In a strongly worded intervention, the British Medical Association casts serious doubt on the huge reorganisation of the NHS in England unveiled in health secretary Andrew Lansley's white paper in July. The doctors' union argues that Lansley's plans are potentially damaging, risk setting groups of clinicians against each other and are not a good use of public money when the NHS has to save £15bn-£20bn." – The Guardian

CBI criticises migration cap

"Employers' group the CBI has thrown its weight behind Vince Cable, the business secretary, by warning that government plans to cap non-EU immigration could hamper the economic recovery. The government is consulting on plans to introduce a permanent cap next spring, and has put a temporary limit in place until then. Home secretary Theresa May has limited the number of non-EU migrant workers to 24,100 between now and April. But the CBI will today say that the interim arrangements, which have been put in place to prevent a spike in applications ahead of the permanent cap, have been “poorly managed”." – City AM

Yesterday in 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

Cable tells EU to cut its budget

"Europe will face a “big backlash” if its budget is not subject to the same public spending disciplines being imposed at national level, Britain’s business secretary warned policymakers in Brussels. Vince Cable told a meeting in the European Parliament on Thursday that the EU’s own budget needed to mirror austerity moves in member states. “At a time when national governments, including mine, are having to make very painful cuts in public spending, no one can understand why the European budget is not being subject to the same discipline,” he said." – Financial Times (£)

Huhne agrees funding cuts settlement – and joins the Star Chamber

HuhneSnarl "Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, today became the third cabinet minister to agree his four-year funding settlement and join the government's "star chamber" to review and approve other Whitehall department cuts.Huhne has been defending his department from attempts by the Treasury to relocate its staff into his offices. No details of the settlement will be officially published before the comprehensive spending review on 20 October, but it is understood that the energy secretary has successfully resisted the idea of merging his department." – The Guardian

Electoral Commission says AV referendum question "hard to understand"

"Nick Clegg's plans for a referendum on electoral reform suffered an embarrassing setback today as watchdogs ruled the question incomprehensible to many voters. The Electoral Commission – which is required by law to assess the question – found people with lower levels of education or literacy found it 'hard work' or completely impossible to understand." – Daily Mail

Government welcomes Sudan trade delegation

"The Government is courting the regime of the indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir by declaring that relations with Sudan have entered a "new epoch". The announcement came as Britain welcomed a trade delegation from the country which has near pariah status, for the first time since warrants for President Bashir's arrest were issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, over atrocities in Darfur.  Khartoum's high-level delegation met British government officials and business leaders on Wednesday to encourage investment in a country still targeted by US sanctions." – The Independent

BBC stars condemn militant strikers

"BBC heavyweights have told unions to call off a ‘partisan’ strike intended to black out David Cameron’s speech to the Tory conference. Many of the corporation’s most respected presenters and reporters, including Jeremy Paxman and Nick Robinson, said the action would make viewers think the BBC was biased against the Conservative Party. They said the walkout, which was voted for by just a fraction of the BBC’s 17,000 employees, would put the corporation’s political impartiality at risk, and hinted that they might cross picket lines." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday in ToryDiary: Paxman, Robinson, Maitlais, Naughtie and 28 other BBC journalists warn the NUJ about striking during next week's Conservative Conference

Boris spells out plan to tackle tube strike

Boris Johnson smiling "London mayor Boris Johnson has spelled out contingency plans to deal with next week's Tube strike. Transport bosses are laying on more than 100 extra buses, increasing capacity for over 10,000 more journeys on the river, organising marshalled taxi ranks and delaying or curtailing planned roadworks. Volunteers will also be positioned at Tube, bus, and rail stations to help people with their journeys and provide maps and other information, and people who own a bike are being encouraged to cycle to work." – Press Association

Former Cameron speechwriter: Let's denationalise criminal justice

All the state can do is put a young offender on a conveyer belt…with the taxpayer shelling out £100,000 a year for a place in a secure unit. "Imagine instead an informal committee of parents and community leaders in every estate or neighbourhood, coming together to deal with local tearaways sent to them for punishment by the courts. Imagine the jobs the youngsters could do – clearing up the mess they and their peers have made, learning mechanics and computing, helping the elderly – all under the control of the community they have violated." – Danny Kruger, Financial Times (£)

Labour gets ready for its Shadow Cabinet elections…

 "Next week he will also have to fashion a Shadow Cabinet that balances the competing political pressures within the Labour Party and presents a credible alternative to the Coalition. Mr Miliband will almost certainly do so in the knowledge that only a minority of his top team voted for him in the leadership election. Voting papers for the 19 seats at the Shadow Cabinet table go out to MPs today, with the result due to be declared next Thursday. They are not elected to specific positions." – The Independent

"In the age of celebrity politics, everything has been speeded up. Ed Miliband has been around for just five years, while David Cameron served for four years as an MP before being elected Tory leader. In British politics, unlike serious walks of life, experience today counts for nothing. Barristers don’t become judges after only five years at the bar, nor are lieutenants promoted to general shortly after leaving Sandhurst.  They are expected to learn their trade. In contemporary politics, like showbusiness, advancement comes in the blink of an eye and, regrettably, many of the same values have come to apply." – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

…And the commentators limber up for next week's Conservative Conference

David Cameron blue background "The Conservatives will play the patriotic card against Ed Miliband, claiming that he is betraying the national interest by refusing to spell out how Labour would tackle the £155bn deficit. But at their conference in Birmingham, which starts on Sunday, the Tories will avoid personal attacks on him, knowing that strident assaults on a leader barely known by the public could be counterproductive. "We will stick to the substance," one Tory insider said." – Andrew Grice, The Independent

"The grassroot Conservatives — or “Tory Right” as the party’s mainstream has become known — do have a series of grumbles with decisions made by the coalition Government: the 50p tax rate, reducing prison numbers, the cuts in defence spending. But all these decisions are being taken by men wearing blue rosettes." – Fraser Nelson, The Times (£)

"It is tempting to say that the Tories had better enjoy themselves now because the good times for the coalition are about to give way to the long night of unpopularity. But is it true?…As long as the coalition is more trusted than Labour on the economy, Cameron more trusted than Miliband as prime minister, and the government's approval ratings are positive – all of which are currently the case – the Tories will have good reasons to stay confident for far longer than their opponents would like to admit." – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

Just when Ed Miliband’s Labour must have thought it had won all the soap operatic garlands, along came David Cameron yesterday to show them a bit of what-for. When it comes to shrewd domestic spillage, the Prime Minister remains the maestro. Mr Cameron, hair fresh-clipped, chubby cheeks brushed peachy pastel, glided along to the Thameside studios of ITV’s This Morning – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

84 per cent of Conservative voters back coalition deal with Lib Dems

"Tory voters overwhelmingly support David Cameron’s decision to share power with the Liberal Democrats rather than attempting to form a minority government, according to a Populus poll for The Times. The results challenge the notion that large numbers of Conservative supporters are hostile to the coalition. The poll, taken before the party conference season, shows that 84 per cent of Tory supporters approve of the decision to form a joint government, higher even than the 79 per cent of Lib Dems who welcomed the deal." – The Times (£)

> Yesterday in ToryDiary: Cameron beats Ed Miliband by 47% to 20% as preferred PM

Druidry recognised as a religion under English lawThe Times (£)

And finally: Red Ed goes global

Screen shot 2010-10-01 at 07.43.47 "Ed Miliband was "Red Ed" round the globe yesterday as the world's media adopted The Sun's nickname for him.   But by last night it had gone global as TV presenters and journalists translated the phrase into their own language and used it to describe Red Ed's position in post-New Labour British politics. In France he was Ed Le Rouge, Der Rote Ed in Germany and Ed El Rojo in Spain. Italy's famous La Repubblica newspaper reported on the Labour conference under the headline: "Ed Il Rosso." Diario de Noticias in Portugal told how the Labour leader is "Ed vermelho". In Greece respected broadsheet Ta Nea had picked up the Kokkivou Evt – Red Ed – tag too. Even in Serbia, Blic newspaper reported "Crveni Ed" had disowned mentor Gordon Brown" – The Sun

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