9.45pm Parliament: Three Tory MPs vote with Labour to condemn forest sell-off plans as "fundamentally unsound"

Leslie Charlotte6pm Parliament: Charlotte Leslie calls for hospital doctors to be exempt from the EU Working Time Directive

5.45pm Peter Bone MP on Comment: The Parliamentary Conservative party is moving from Euroscepticism towards supporting withdrawal from the EU

5.30pm Heather Blake on Comment: If human rights is to be fundamental to foreign policy, the Government must seek justice over the death of Sergei Magnitsky

5pm ToryDiary: Andy Coulson's replacement has been appointed

4pm Parliament: Pauline Latham and Robert Halfon press the Government for answers over the release of the Lockerbie bomber

Picture 14 3.15pm WATCH: David Cameron tells the Commons that he wants to see a rapid, credible political reform in Egypt

2.45pm Local government: Free school planned for Rotherham

12.45pm ToryDiary: In a subdued PMQs Miliband and Cameron have a "serious conversation" about Egypt and Afghanistan

11.30am WATCH: Policing MInister Nick Herbert explains the benefits of the police's new crime-mapping website

10.30am Brandon Lewis MP on Comment: Getting more companies into our schools and colleges will help ensure that students acquire the skills businesses require

Picture 7
ConHomeUSA: It's time to move beyond Sarah Palin

ToryDiary: Media speculation about a double dip recession must not become a self-fulfilling prophecy

Balls-large Paul Goodman in LeftWatch: Ed Balls – My part in his rise


Local Government: 

Parliament: 20 Tory backbenchers back Peter Bone's amendment calling for a trigger on an in/out EU referendum

WATCH: President Mubarak says he will not seek re-election in Egypt in the autumn – but Barack Obama calls for a meaningful transition of power to begin now

Tory MPs get go-ahead to defy Strasbourg over prisoner votes

Prisoners votes "Tory MPs are to be given the green light to assert the supremacy of Parliament in a defining battle with the European courts. David Cameron has accepted he has no chance of persuading Parliament to back demands from Strasbourg to give thousands of prisoners the vote for the first time in 140 years. In an extraordinary move, the Prime Minister has decided to give his MPs a free vote on the issue – effectively encouraging them to refuse to bow to the European Court of Human Rights." – Daily Mail

"Their defiance comes despite a warning yesterday from legal experts that the UK will face a deluge of compensation claims if prisoners do not get the right to vote. Barrister Aidan O’Neill QC told MPs that the Government was open to legal ­challenge from prisoners if it did not allow them to vote in May 5 elections for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly." – Daily Express

> Yesterday's ToryDiary on votes for prisoners

Tories fear 'betrayal' by Cameron over electoral reform

"Senior Conservative MPs fear that David Cameron is diluting their party's opposition to electoral reform in an attempt to boost Nick Clegg's chances of winning a Yes vote in the referendum due in May. They are worried that the Tories will run a "softly, softly" campaign against a switch to the alternative vote (AV) system, even though Mr Cameron promised his MPs that the party would fight hard to retain the present first-past-the-post system. The Independent has learned that the Conservatives have so far earmarked only £250,000 for the No campaign – a small proportion of the £5m both sides in the referendum battle will be allowed to spend in the 10 weeks before the public vote." – The Independent

Theresa May pledges new funding to tackle knife crime

Theresa May Home Secretary "Ministers will today pledge £18million to tackle knife crime – as Brooke Kinsella reports on ways to end the blade epidemic. The ex-EastEnders star – whose brother Ben was stabbed to death – will call for closer links between cops and schools… Home Secretary Theresa May will respond by pledging new funding. She will hand £3.75million to cops in London, Manchester and the West Midlands – three areas where more than half the country's knife crimes are recorded. Another £10million will be spent on schemes to stop youngsters being sucked into gang, gun and knife violence. Local charities and voluntary groups working with teens involved in blade and gang attacks will get £4million." – The Sun

Big society tsar Lord Wei 'doesn't have enough time to perform role'

"The man appointed by the prime minister to kickstart a revolution in citizen activism is to scale back his hours after discovering that working for free three days a week is incompatible with "having a life". Lord Wei of Shoreditch, who was given a Tory peerage last year and a desk in the Cabinet Office as the "big society tsar", is to reduce his hours on the project from three days a week to two, to allow him to see his family more and to take on other jobs to pay the bills." – The Guardian

Hospitals wasting £500m a year overpaying for supplies, says NAO

"Hospitals are wasting at least £500 million a year by overpaying for supplies of everything from paper to hip joints, the spending watchdog has found. Different NHS organisations are paying hugely different prices for basic equipment, with many paying 50 per cent more than others for the same supplies." – The Times (£)

Damian Green announces crackdown on abuse of student visas

Damian Green 2010 2 "Tougher limits on how long foreign students can stay in Britain after their courses end were promised yesterday. Immigration minister Damian Green said the current system was “too generous”, particularly at a time of high unemployment among British graduates… In a speech in London, Mr Green spelled out his determination to crack down on abuse of the student visa system." – Daily Express

> WATCH: Immigration minister Damian Green explains why he has announced a review of all routes used by those gain the right to live and work in the UK

Osborne's tax plans "hit Middle England hardest"

"The upper middle classes will be the biggest losers from the tax and benefits reforms expected to be confirmed by George Osborne in his Budget next month – with families on about £50,000, often characterised as "Middle England", among the hardest hit. The typical loss for such households will be about £270 a month." – The Independent

  • Osborne eyes US banks for start-up aid – FT (£)

Harriet Sergeant: Hooray for a website we really DO want

"Three cheers for Policing Minister Nick Herbert and his new Home Office website. At the touch of a button millions can now see how much crime goes on in their street – or any street in the country. Well, yes, it did crash on its first day of use. No one can deny that is a bit of a dampener. But the fact that four million people tried to log on by mid morning just goes to prove that this is £300,000 well spent." – Harriet Sergeant in the Daily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Ministers hail new crime-mapping website as a huge step forward for transparency and police accountability

British Government urges 'comprehensive' change in Egypt

"The government Tuesday repeated its call for the Egyptian government to bring about "real, visible and comprehensive change" after President Hosni Mubarak announced he would not seek re-election. "We have been clear… with President Mubarak and his government in private, about the need for a transition to a broader-based government that will produce real, visible and comprehensive change," a Foreign Office statement said… Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron said the Egyptian government must "urgently" heed protesters pushing for reform amid the biggest rallies yet against the embattled leader." – AFP

EU Conservatives dismiss talk of ECR split

CALLANAN MARTIN "The leader of parliament's UK Conservative delegation has rubbished talk of a split in the ECR group, insisting "it is business as usual" despite the resignation of Michal Kaminski. Martin Callanan was responding to speculation of a major rift in the ECR in the wake of Kaminski's decision to stand down as leader… "As far as I am aware there is no possibility of him or any of his colleagues leaving the group. It is business as usual and we are getting on with our work." He said other groups in parliament contained parties from the same national delegation which "did not necessarily share all the same opinions." – The

Baroness Ashton in political correctness row over word 'Christian'

"Baroness Ashton is under fire after the EU failed to agree on a statement condemning attacks on religious minorities in the Islamic world because it is not politically correct to use the word "Christian". A meeting of EU foreign ministers failed to agree on a condemnation of sectarian attacks over the Christmas period that targeted Christians in Egypt and Iraq. Talks ended angrily when Italy accused Lady Ashton, the EU's foreign minister, of "excessive" political correctness because she refused to name any specific religious group as a victim of attacks." – Daily Telegraph

Other Coalition news in brief

Labour news in brief

  • Jack Straw returns to the Chilcot Inquiry – BBC
  • Ex-Labour MP Jim Devine's expenses trial begins – Press Association

And finally… After Two Jags, here's Eight Jags

Picture 6 "Eight Cabinet ministers are still burning up taxpayers' cash on fuel for their luxury Jags, The Sun can reveal. Thousands of pounds are going on their motors while the rest of Britain is bled dry at the pumps. Our investigation exposes MPs snubbing the far cheaper Toyota Prius option. It means each wastes £1,500 a year extra each on diesel alone. The revelation heaps pressure on Chancellor George Osborne and PM David Cameron – who has an armoured Jag – to act on The Sun's "Keep It Down" campaign for a fairer deal for motorists." – The Sun

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