8.45pm ToryDiary: S&P to Obama: Do what Osborne is doing
5.30pm Andrew Lilico on Comment disagrees with Tim Montgomerie on what should be done if AV passes
4.30pm Robert McIlveen on Comment: The IPPR's unconvincing claims about AV
2.30pm Local government: Boris Johnson appoints new Deputy Mayor
- Gordon Brown might still be Prime Minister if AV had operated at last election, claims David Cameron
- Vince Cable says Ann Widdecombe would have won Strictly Come Dancing under First-Past-The-Post
- Ed Miliband says a vote for AV is a vote for hope and change
Noon ThinkTankCentral: BBC World Service cuts wouldn't be necessary if we cut ineffective EU aid budget
Noon Local government: Trafford Conservatives launch election manifesto
11.15am Local government: Only one in 15 children aged more than five is being taken out of care
10.15am ThinkTankCentral: The Conservative Policy Forum wants to know your views on how to rebalance the economy
Bob Blackman MP on Comment: The tobacco display ban will be a powerful and healthy nudge
Also on Comment, Matthew Elliott: Clegg flounders as Yes Men falter
On Local government:
- How will Boris cope without Sir Simon Milton?
- The Conservatives are stepping up the attack today on Labour councils cutting services while sitting on reserves
- John Bald: What phonics will and won’t do
Finland moves decisively towards the Eurosceptic Right – Telegraph
> Yesterday evening's International: Anti-bailout party, allied to UKIP, quadruples vote
Highlights from David Cameron's Sky News interview
- PM rejects call for phone hacking inquiry – Independent
- Libyan crisis deepens as David Cameron rules out attack – Metro
- Royal succession change backed by David Cameron – Mirror | Video
Cameron to share No2AV platform with John Reid today while Vince Cable teams up with Ed Miliband for Yes campaign – Daily Mail
"The current system of first-past-the-post entrenches a way of doing things that we must try to change. There is no motivation under this system for parties to go into elections pretending anything other than that they hate each other equally. No reason to find points of common ground; just to disagree. To secure a majority of votes under AV, candidates will need to be more honest about points of agreement. So a Yes vote is a vote for hope for a better politics; more accountable, fairer with a changed political culture." – Ed Miliband in The Independent
> Photographs of David Cameron campaigning against AV in Oxfordshire
Health reforms might be delayed by a number of years, says Cameron – Daily Mail
"[Cameron] said there were some "key elements" to the reforms – making sure hospitals were more independent, keeping foundation trusts, paying by results, giving GPs a "lead role" in commissioning care, and getting politicians to "stand back" from the health service. But he added: "There will be some real changes, some real improvements." Asked if Mr Lansley's job was safe, the prime minister said he was "doing an excellent job"." – BBC
- David Wighton asks an important question in The Times (£): Are ministers prepared for the sort of battles over public sector reform seen in the Thatcher years?
- Telegraph leader attacks Health Department's failure to disclose abortion statistics.
Leo McKinstry: The Liberal Democrats are becoming a poisonous influence in Coalition
"On so many fronts, posturing Liberal Democrat ministers now obstruct the introduction of sensible, robust policies that might drag Britain out of the mess created by Labour. So they prevent any repeal of the wretched Human Rights Act. They water down attempts to reform the profligate welfare state. Their euro-fanaticism makes it a constant struggle for the Tories in the Government to bring back powers from Brussels and Strasbourg." – Leo McKinstry in The Express calling for Vince Cable to be sacked.
Cameron shouldn't reshuffle without very good cause – Tom Richmond in the Yorkshire Post
"Two lanes on the northbound carriageway have already been reopened with a 50mph speed limit in place but Roads Minister Mike Penning has urged motorists to avoid the route as congestion is expected… Mr Penning said: "The bridge has been damaged by the fire quite badly and that means we have to make sure it's safe for the motorist and safe for our workers underneath the bridge." – Sky
- Sixty Harrier jump jets that could be blasting Libyan tyrant Gaddafi's bloodthirsty gangs sit in UK hangars – waiting to be scrapped under defence spending cuts – The Sun
- Environmental campaigners angry as green laws labelled as red tape – Guardian
- Secrets put on internet in Whitehall blunders – Telegraph | BBC
Mary Ann Sieghart: Voters who believe in aspiration will be penalised by the Conservatives
"It's a funny old world when political detoxification has come to this. Labourministers were so desperate to be seen as business-friendly that they sucked up to the bankers and allowed in loads of foreign workers. The Tories are so desperate to be seen as compassionate that they have gone far further than Gordon Brown ever did in forcing universities to transform their intake." – Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent
Stephen Glover: Cut the World Service and it's Britain we harm
"Last week, the all-party House of Commons foreign affairs committee said that planned cuts of £46m to an annual budget of £253m should be reversed. Richard Ottaway, the Tory MP and committee chairman, quoted the verdict of the former United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, that the World Service was "perhaps Britain's greatest gift to the world". As things stand, this priceless but relatively inexpensive gift is losing five foreign language services, and the World Service's global audience is expected to decline by about 30 million listeners from 180 million." – Stephen Glover in The Independent
Peter Preston in The Guardian agrees with Glover that a fraction of the DFID budget should save the World Service.
Enda Kenny to hold talks with David Cameron in London – BBC
Julian Glover attempts another definition of Cameronism
"He doesn't regard conservatism as an ideology, but as a sensible way to interpret human nature. He wants to use the power of the state in a targeted way to promote social virtues. He thinks that the source of happiness lies in the quality of human relationships. His outburst the other day about royal wedding street parties was typical. To him, such things are part of the self-generating ties that should hold society together." – Julian Glover in The Guardian
Boris Johnson: Camilla should become Queen
"I read somewhere of a plot by the Sir Alan Fitztightlys of the Court to make sure that Camilla one day becomes Queen, and not just Princess Consort or whatever. I devoutly hope that is true. Anyone who has seen her in action knows that she is terrific. It is not just her work for the families of soldiers or victims of osteoporosis. She has been helping us in London to publicise a campaign against the growing problem of rape and sexual violence and to make sure that we have adequate rape crisis provision. She is funny, she is knowledgeable and she cheers people up wherever she goes. Much of what she does is not for the cameras." – Boris Johnson in The Telegraph
Scottish Labour leader struggles to be recognised as poll puts SNP ahead – Guardian
Times launches campaign to double number of adoptions
"New data shows that the proportion of children leaving care for adoption plunges from one in three when a child is 4 or younger, to one in 15 after their fifth birthday. By the age of 12, only one in 100 is adopted." – Times (£)
Half of children see parents split by 16 as births outside marriage hit highest level for two centuries – Daily Mail
Ban on Christian's cross is outrageous, says ex-Archbishop Lord Carey – Daily Mail
"One of the figures in Niall Ferguson's docmentary that jumped out at me is that Britain is (in his words) "already one of the most godless societies in the world, with 56 per cent never attending church at all, the second highest rate in Western Europe." Practising Christians are well in the minority and, increasingly, being advised not to show their faith." – Fraser Nelson on Coffee House
And finally… Edward Timpson MP runs London Marathon with father
Edward Timpson MP, PPS to Theresa May MP and part of the 10 Downing Street Political Unit, crossed the finish line of the 2011 London Marathon with his 68 year old father John at 6 hours 28 minutes 47 seconds. He ran in aid of Crewe Parkinson's. He commented:
"Although this was my 9th marathon, in many ways it was the most memorable. To run it with my Dad from start to finish was very special, and the support from the Parkinson's UK cheer teams along route was a real motivator. The temptation to do a 10th marathon may be too hard to resist. Despite being back at work tomorrow, the buzz from today will stay a little longer."
You can still sponsor Edward by clicking here.