EU-FLAG 8pm ToryDiary: The European Court of Justice looks set to alienate half all the population tomorrow

5.45pm WATCH: David Cameron tells the Commons: Gaddafi must go now

5.30pm Matthew Sinclair on Comment: Philip Hammond applauds Birmingham Council for waste which Eric Pickles condemned

4.15pm Parliament: David Cameron updates the Commons on the progress of the evacuation of British nationals from Libya and moves against Gaddafi's regime

4pm Paul Goodman on Comment: Why doesn't Fine Gael now form a coalition with Fianna Fail?

3.15pm ToryDiary: What is the job of the Tory Chairman? Is membership growing or falling in your Association? Who are the Coalition's enemies? Is David Cameron giving too many concessions to the Lib Dems? Are Tory MPs TOO rebellious?

Ed Miliband on Marr2.30pm JP Floru on Comment: Ed Miliband prescribes more socialism to cure the squeezed middle

1.45pm WATCH: Ed Miliband says he thinks the Government's economic decisions will clobber lower and middle income families

Noon Guy Opperman MP on Comment: How I am promoting the Big Society as a constituency MP

10.45am: Paul Goodman on Comment: Searchlight's new campaign fails its first test

10.15am ThinkTankCentral: TaxPayers' Alliance restate opposition to High Speed Rail as five-month consultation opens

ToryDiary: Cameron needs a Party Chairman to take the fight to the Coalition's enemies

Philip Davies MP on Comment: Increased use of CCTV and DNA profiling would actually enhance our freedom

Also on Comment: Steve Baker MP: The Big Society is The New United Kingdom

Seats and Candidates: Dennis Skinner finds himself as Labour's new poster boy (at least in Barnsley)

Leftwatch: Has Ed Balls just stolen the centrepiece of George Osborne's budget?

Local Government:

WATCH: David Cameron pays tribute to the UK military involved in rescuing people from Libya

Cameron urges Gaddafi to "go now"…

David Cameron BBC 2011 "Prime Minister David Cameron urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to "go now" as the UK imposed sanctions in an effort to force him from power. The Prime Minister, speaking inside Downing Street, also said that he was "delighted" at the success of a second special forces-led operation to rescue oil workers stuck in the remote Libyan desert… Mr Cameron said: "All of this sends a clear message to this regime: it is time for Colonel Gaddafi to go and to go now. There is no future for Libya that includes him." – Press Association

…as George Osborne freezes his UK assets

"George Osborne has frozen the British-held assets of Muammer Gaddafi and five members of his family, as Treasury officials step up efforts to track down billions of pounds held in bank accounts and commercial property. The UK chancellor’s decision followed a similar move in the US by President Barack Obama and a UN Security Council resolution to freeze the embattled Libyan leader’s assets. Details also emerged on Sunday night of an audacious attempt made in the past week to move uncirculated Libyan banknotes worth £900m out of the UK." – FT (£)

  • Tony Blair in personal plea to Gaddafi to stand down – The Times (£)

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Hague says Government working round-the-clock to rescue remaining Britons in Libya

As a consultation begins, Philip Hammond brands HiSpeed Rail protesters "Nimbys"

Philip Hammond on Marr "Opposition to high-speed rail is driven by “Nimbys” peddling inaccurate scare stories, the Transport Secretary has told The Times ahead of the launch of plans to build a new railway through the heart of rural England… The Government will set out the case for the high-speed railway this morning, including a new business plan, an environmental appraisal and an assessment of alternatives such as upgrading the West Coast Main Line." – The Times (£)

  • The high cost of high-speed rail – FT (£) editorial
  • Without backing, high-speed rail will hit the buffers – Times (£) editorial

> Video from yesterday: Hammond vows to convert opponents of HiSpeed rail plan

…whilst he moots raising motorway speed limit to 80mph

"Motorway speed limits could be raised to 80mph and those on city and town roads be reduced, with the decision on restrictions being made as much on cost as on safety. The Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said yesterday that decisive factors could include the economic benefits of faster travel as well as environmental concerns." – The Independent

Unruly youngsters must be sent to boot camps to learn respect, declares Gove

Michael Gove serious 2010 "Youngsters need the rigour of a military-style education because they have ‘no self-discipline or sense of purpose’, the Education Secretary said. Michael Gove attacked the declining virtues of the young yesterday, as he announced £1.5million funding to draft battle-hardened troops into ‘boot camps’ for unruly pupils. He believes war veterans are needed to drill respect into troubled teenagers and provide them with role models." – Daily Mail

David Cameron "rebukes Liam Fox over 'bigging up' of Iran's nuclear ambitions"

"David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, are understood to be unhappy about the Defence Secretary’s hawkish statements on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Sources said Mr Cameron was worried that high-profile warnings about the Iranian nuclear programme could strengthen the domestic position of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime by lending it credibility." – Daily Telegraph

Coalition parties train to fight each other in May local elections offensive

"The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives will spend their spring conferences planning how to attack each other’s policies as the coalition partners’ gloves come off before the local elections in May. Members of Nick Clegg’s party have been invited to attend workshops with names such as Inspired! Winning against the Tories and Defending Against the Conservatives in 2011, The Times can reveal… A Conservative spokesman said that there would be similar sessions at its spring forum in Cardiff this weekend." – The Times (£)

Boris Johnson: Why we must oppose AV – which, lest we forget, was Gordon Brown's Gaddafi-style last gasp self-preservation attempt (and let's have a referendum on Lisbon while we're at it)

Boris Johnson smiling "It seems unlikely that in the next few weeks the AV campaign will mobilise the masses in the way that we have seen in North Africa… The whole thing threatens to be a bit of a damp squib. Which is a shame, because the more closely people focus on what is being put to the people on May 5, the more clearly they should see that this is a gigantic fraud… It is bonkers to be pursuing the last manoeuvre of a cornered Gordon Brown. By all means let us have a referendum – the one we were promised, on the Lisbon EU Treaty." – Boris Johnson writing in the Daily Telegraph

  • Boris Johnson says Bob Diamond should "think very carefully" before accepting bonus… – ITN
  • …as the London Mayor asks Barclays to double bike hire backing – Bloomberg

Daily Mail: Overseas aid should share the burden of the cuts

"We welcome news that the Coalition is to stop aid to 16 relatively well-off countries — including economic superpower China and oil-rich Russia… Bewilderingly, though, the Coalition’s review of international aid has concluded that payments to India — a nation with three times as many billionaires as we have and its own space programme — will be maintained… The International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, admits that his constituents ‘go ballistic’ that aid is not facing the same cuts as practically every other Whitehall department. He should listen to them." – Daily Mail editorial

> Video from yesterday: Andrew Mitchell defends UK aid spending in India

John Redwood: It’s refreshing to hear an apology

"Why have Caroline Spelman, Michael Gove, Liam Fox and William Hague all had to say sorry in the last few weeks? Each case is different… The only common current is they each illustrate the need for Ministers to involve themselves in the detail as well as the main decision." – John Redwood's Diary

David Miliband rounds on Cameron for his attack on state multiculturalism…

David Miliband 2010 "David Miliband has made a rare intervention into frontline British politics to warn David Cameron his recent attack on state multiculturalism risks pushing people with concerns about race and immigration into "latent hostility or active enmity". In a Guardian article, the former foreign secretary says the prime minister's "muscular liberalism" offers little to people who are craving what he calls a "greater sense of security" in an ever changing world." – The Guardian Ed Miliband warns of "cost of living crisis"

"Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, will warn today of a "cost of living crisis" that will leave middle-income earners struggling even if the economy recovers. A report launched today is expected to claim that average pay will be no higher in 2015 than it was in 2003. Allowing for inflation, the Resolution Foundation suggests that the median wages of full-time employees will be £25,559 in 2015 – compared with £25,570 in 2003." – The Independent

  • Labour calls for VAT rise on fuel to be scrapped – The Mirror
  • Mandelson tells Labour to consider future Lib Dem deal – City AM

Political news in brief

  • How minister earnt £2m in EU farm subsidies which his department tried to cover up – Daily Mail
  • BMA attacks health bill's 'power to GPs' pledge – The Guardian
  • Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams calls for NHS reform plans to be opposed – The Times (£)
  • New "gold standard" for care homes – The Independent
  • Labour "doubled kids on the sick" – The Sun
  • Jeremy Hunt stakes his reputation on local television – The Guardian
  • Today sees first product placement on British TV – Daily Telegraph

Fine Gael-Labour coalition to follow Irish election win with EU talks on loan

"One of the most dramatic elections in Irish history is expected to produce a record majority of more than 50 seats in the Dáil for a Fine Gael-Labour coalition. Enda Kenny, the Fine Gael leader, has pledged that one of his first acts as prime minister will be to seek a lower interest rate on loans to Ireland to shore up its banking system and keep public services running." – The Guardian

  • Gerry Adams leads party’s surge as Sinn Fein become a significant force in the Dail – Belfast Telegraph

> Zoe Healy on International yesterday: Fine Gael's big Irish victory

And finally… Bob Crow calls for tax on sending emails

Bob Crow "Bob Crow, the Left-wing trade union leader, has suggested that emails should be subject to taxes in order to pay off the deficit. The General Secretary of the militant Rail, Maritime and Transport union was booed as he outlined his idea for a 1p tax on each email during an appearance on a late night comedy show. He said that rather than cutting public services, the Government should tax email traffic and scrap the replacement for the Trident nuclear defence system." – Daily Telegraph


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