4pm Martin Callanan MEP on Comment: Why the True Finns' success could be bad news for UK Taxpayers
3.45pm Local government: The battle for Medway
3.15pm Tim Montgomerie on Comment: "What should I think about celebrity activism?"
Noon Robert Halfon MP on Comment: Is it time for a United Nations Resolution on Syria?
10.30am Andrew Lilico on Comment: Restricted immigration…into Scotland
Parliament: Cameron warned against appointing more peers
Philip Booth on Comment: Why contracting out of the state pension should remain
Eric Pickles on Local government argues that local newspapers are vital for democracy and shouldn't be undermined by freesheets from the Town Hall that are nothing more than propaganda
Also on Local government: The battle for Nick Clegg's backyard – Labour likely to oust Liberal Democrats in Sheffield
Second poll in two days gives No2AV campaign a 16% lead – UK Polling Report
- "A Liberal democrat Cabinet minister has warned David Cameron that the "outrageous" Conservative-led No campaign ahead of next month's referendum on the voting system risks inflicting permanent damage on the Coalition. Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, told The Independent that the Prime Minister should intervene to stop the No camp telling "downright lies". He cited its claims that a switch to the alternative vote (AV) would require electronic counting machines and cost £250m that could be spent on vital public services." – The Independent
- "Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, said party members were “furious” at what he described as “appallingly personal” jibes against the Deputy Prime Minister. He suggested that the Prime Minister, who is heading the Conservative campaign against the introduction of the Alternative Vote system, had allowed the attacks to become so hostile the referendum risked harming the Coalition between the two parties." – The Daily Telegraph
"You’d think they were condemning the foulest of war crimes. But, no. This is the ludicrously intemperate language with which the LibDems seek to challenge the arguments against the obscure AV voting system, which they believe would give them more seats. Elsewhere, Vince Cable speaks of widespread ‘revulsion’ against ‘offensive’ Tory policies – just days after accusing the Prime Minister of ‘inflaming extremism’ with his low-key (and probably empty) remarks about limiting immigration." – Daily Mail editorial
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Are the Liberal Democrats genuinely angry about the No2AV campaign or are they playing politics?
The Prime Minister blocks plans for Gordon Brown to head the IMF…
"David Cameron is set to shatter Gordon Brown’s hopes of becoming the next IMF chief, saying the organisation needed someone ‘competent’ to run it. In a withering attack, the Prime Minister said the former Labour leader was not the ‘most appropriate person’ to lead the International Monetary Fund because he had never admitted the UK had a ‘debt problem’. Mr Brown is reportedly hoping to take on the £270,000-a-year managing director role at the IMF – but he must be nominated by the Government. Chancellor George Osborne says he is prepared to veto the appointment, saying it would be ‘an insult to the British public’." – The Daily Mail
…but he is attacked for "belittling" Gordon Brown…
"David Cameron has been accused of being "vindictive" after indicating that he would block any attempt by Gordon Brown to become the managing director of the International Monetary Fund." – The Guardian
"Mr Cameron is under no obligation to back him. And the Prime Minister made a reasonable point when he suggested that the IMF should look eastwards, to China or India, for a suitable candidate. But he could have argued that without indulging in derogatory comments about the former Prime Minister, saying that the IMF needs someone who "understands the dangers of excessive debt, excessive deficit" rather than "someone who says that they don't see a problem". Neither Tony Blair nor Margaret Thatcher ever belittled John Major or Jim Callaghan in such a fashion." – The Independent editorial
- Andrew Grice: The Tories cannot promote Brown and attack his legacy – The Independent
- Guardian readers say Gordon Brown is not the right man for the job
- Cameron: Next IMF head should be from India or China – Times of India
> On ToryDiary yesterday Tim Montgomerie reported: Cameron says we don't need a "washed up", debt-denying politician like Gordon Brown running the IMF
U-turn on immigration?
- "The PM was blasted after he declared the cut was now only an "ambition". Mr Cameron even refused to say whether the reduction from hundreds of thousands to "tens of thousands" was Government policy. His comments come days after Vince Cable condemned his views on immigration as "unwise" and insisted they were not Coalition policy. Angry Tory MPs last night warned Mr Cameron not to cave in to Lib Dem pressure." – The Sun
- "David Cameron was yesterday accused of going soft on his promise to slash immigration. David Cameron stunned Westminster when he appeared to abandon a pledge to reduce the annual figure from 200,000 to “tens of thousands”. Pressed on the figures, he said cutting migration to the low levels seen in the 1980s was an “ambition” and not Government policy." – The Daily Star
Miliband: People 'lost trust' in Labour on immigration - BBC
"Are you awake, Ken Clarke?"… The Sun describes Justice Secretary as yobs' "best ever mate"
The Sun Says: "Read Page One of The Sun today. Jersey-Lou Perry, a girl aged four, has had her lovely face shredded with glass after thugs threw a brick into her dad's van because he dared to ask them to stop kicking a football at it. Here in one terrible incident we see the price Britain is paying for craven surrender to the mob. Who has the guts to stand up for decent dads trying to protect their kids? Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is the best mate yobs ever had. He doesn't believe they should go to jail. Our police are run by politically-correct robots. Our courts crawl to Europe and put the rights of murderers and rapists and paedophiles before law-abiding families."
The Battle for Scotland
"Prime Minister David Cameron is hitting the Holyrood campaign trail, ahead of the 5 May Scottish Parliament election. Mr Cameron is making a speech in Inverness as the main parties continue the fight for votes before polling day." – BBC
"…a Tory-SNP alliance has many things going for it. It would, in reality, be the continuation of the deal that has delivered budgets for the nationalists for the last three years. That deal has worked well because the politics – and economics – of Salmond and Swinney are not that far from those of Annabel Goldie, or even of Osborne and Cameron. Small-state, low-tax, pro-business, fiscal conservatives. And an SNP-Tory coalition would be a dream scenario for Cameron. Not only a way to box off the Scottish "legitimacy" problem he has cared so much about. But yet another way to exclude Labour from power. For the SNP and the Tories have a common enemy – Labour – and a common aim: to render them irrelevant. Watch this space." – John McTernan in the Scotsman
Scotland's experience of AV makes awkward reading for both camps – John Curtice in the Independent
Coalition in brief:
- Catholics should be able to ascend throne, says David Cameron - Belfast Telegraph
- NHS plans to have significant changes, says ‘listening’ chief – Times (£)
- Army experts to mentor Libya rebels – Evening Standard | Video of Hague defending deployment
- Nick Clegg gives house sale profits to taxpayer – BBC
I may be a bit over the top occasionally, admits Galloway
"It may turn out to be the quote of this Holyrood election campaign. George Galloway in what appeared to be his first-ever moment of self-doubt confessed: “Hyperbole can sometimes be a fault of mine.” The rather startling admission came as the man who has used his talent for hyperbole to sometimes devastating effect launched his manifesto for the election on May 5." – Times (£)
And finally… David Cameron as a hippy
"This is how David Cameron might have looked if he had chosen peace and love over politics. Get on the wrong side of the Prime Minister in this gallery of alternative Camerons, however, and you may meet ‘punk Dave’, with blue hair and a sneer worthy of Sid Vicious. Then again, there’s also ‘goth Dave’ – similar to Robert Smith of The Cure – with a face as gloomy as the economy, ‘rapper Dave’ sporting a baseball cap that would be the envy of William Hague, and angelic ‘choirboy Dave’. This bizarre Cameron family album was created to promote an annual music festival which begins on Sunday in the Prime Minister’s constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire." See more images of Cameron in the Daily Mail.