5pm Deborah Thomas on Comment: Why We Need to Cut the Cable

3pm Graeme Archer on Comment: "…if Scotland does ever become independent … it will be because English voters – regardless of which nation they were born in – finally get fed up paying the bills for a nation which is so indulgent over public spending that the Holyrood election last week was fought between two parties of the tax-and-spend Left" – My Heart Is Not In The Highlands

2pm ToryDiary: Boris: independent Conservative

10.45am LeftWatch: The remarkable solidarity of the Liberal Democrats

10.15am ToryDiary: Osborne and Clegg both insist Coalition will last and won't deviate from deficit plan

AVheadlines2 470AV


Bernard Jenkin MP on Comment: No more concessions to Clegg. No more appeasement. No more sell outs.

Local government: Boris needs anti-strike legislation

WATCH: Heckled at election count, UUP leader Tom Elliott blasts Sinn Féin members as "scum"

David Cameron: The hard work lies ahead of us

"Some Conservatives might be thinking of celebrating this weekend – a victory in the referendum and much better results than anyone expected or predicted in council elections. My message is: don’t.  The real task is still ahead of us. The real prize has yet to be won. Making the long-term changes our country needs. And in doing that our partnership with the Liberal Democrats – two parties with the determination to work together – is absolutely vital." – The Prime Minister in the Mail on Sunday

Liberal Democrats unhappy at George Osborne's focus on winning a Tory majority in 2015

Osborne on Marr AM "The Lib Dems now view Mr Osborne as a divisive figure who is trying to drive a wedge between the Prime Minister and his Lib Dem deputy and between the two parties. "Osborne is the one who there is the least trust in at the top of the coalition," a senior Lib Dem figure in the Government said. "He was the one who pushed Cameron into mobilising the full Tory machine against us in the referendum. Osborne constantly has his eye on a Conservative majority in 2015 and he is not minded to help out the Liberal Democrats any more than he has to. Cameron is more comfortable in the coalition and sees himself as chairman of the board, keeping everyone happy." – Independent on Sunday

"Mr Osborne needs to drop his disappearing act, copied from Gordon "Macavity" Brown, and defend his own policies." – Independent on Sunday leader

Clegg with LD bird "Bro-mance" is over says Clegg

"Clegg has admitted to friends that the "bro-mance" with Cameron went too far: the rose garden … tales of late-night texting. "He knows that there has got to be a new phase," confesses one adviser." – Independent on Sunday

  • "Policy arguments which have hitherto been largely conducted in private will be much more likely to explode into public view with the result that compromise will be more difficult and relationships more rebarbative. The Lib Dem urge to show they are being more assertive will collide with the feeling among bullish Tories that they can be less accommodating because the other party is too weak to make demands. "What are they going to do? Flounce out? That would be suicide for them," says one senior Conservative. Being reminded by Tories that they are trapped will make Lib Dems even more miserable." – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

Cameron shielding Clegg Cleggites don't want Cameron to look like Lib Dem leader's protector

"To boost Clegg’s personal poll ratings, Downing Street has also agreed that the prime minister should publicly distance himself from the Lib Dem leader in future. Senior aides of the deputy prime minister have asked Cameron not to “visibly try to help out Clegg” because they fear it will damage his reputation further." – The Sunday Times (£)

David Cameron has no need to mollify the Lib Dems Sunday Telegraph leader

In The Sunday Telegraph Matthew d'Ancona urges Clegg to focus on the central mission, not concessions: "Clegg has taken a party of protest and single-issue piety and begun the slow process of turning it into a party of government. The most powerful single body in this administration is the “Quad” (PM, Deputy PM, Chancellor, Chief Secretary) – and two of its members are Lib Dems. If the Coalition wipes out the monstrous deficit it inherited from Labour and achieves even half of what it has set out to do in the areas of welfare reform, education, social mobility and decentralisation, it will deserve to be counted a success. Would the Lib Dems really prefer to be outside looking in, than at the Cabinet table, shaping policy and – for the first time in decades – doing rather than talking?"

HUHNE BBC INTERVIEW In the Independent on Sunday Chris Huhne seems to agree with the d'Ancona analysis: "As growth resumes and jobs revive, so too will our support. This is not the time to waver."

  • Chris Huhne 'asked others to take speeding points': Climate Change Secretary denies he pressurised others to admit motoring offences so he could keep his driving licence – Mail on Sunday
  • The wife deserted by the Liberal Democrat minister tells of the sacrifices she made for a man driven by ambition – The Sunday Times (£)

Concessions on the NHS? Or Cameron's instinct for self-survival?

Cameron-and-NHS "If No 10 makes changes to its troubled health reforms, they will be dictated by the prime minister’s own political requirements. Cameron needs to preserve his claim to be the benign protector of the NHS; he won’t allow the Lib Dems to assert that it was only their intervention that saved a great national institution from a gang of axe-wielding Thatcherites." – Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times (£)

"The pause for reflection on the NHS was a stroke of genius. Whoever persuaded the PM of the merits of a U-turn saved hundreds of Tory councillors. Imagine if the last six weeks had been a campaign by Labour to send the coalition a message about the NHS? Going forward there will be compromises on health. The Lib Dems will want all the credit. Cameron must strike a delicate balance. Clegg needs a prize – but if it's saving the NHS that comes at the risk of retoxifying the Tory brand." – John McTernan in Scotland on Sunday

It's not sooooo bad, claims Tim Farron

"We took a battering on Thursday, but we kept three-quarters of the seats we defended and registered a sixth of the national vote – so these were bad, bad results, but not the apocalypse that some folks would have you believe." – Tim Farron MP in The Observer

Ministers under pressure across Whitehall to find ways of honouring military covenantIndependent on Sunday

Don't bail out Greece, Tory MPs warn CameronSunday Telegraph

Number 10 Downing Street and the Foreign Office will not fly the EU flag on Europe Day on Monday… but Vince Cable's Department will – Sunday Telegraph

SALMOND ALEX Prime Minister tells SNP he will not put up any legal or political objections to an independence referendumObserver

  • Cameron agrees to Alex Salmond's demand for authority to borrow at least £300m every year from Treasury to help boost Scotland's economic recovery – Independent on Sunday
  • Ed Miliband wants Gordon Brown to lead anti-Salmond, Save the Union campaign – Mail on Sunday

Annabel Goldie said yesterday she would definitely stand for re-election as Scottish Tory leader – Scotland on Sunday …but Tavish Scott as quit as Lib Dem leader – Scotland on Sunday

Paul Davies AM becomes acting leader of Welsh Tories – The Western Mail looks at the long-term contenders to Nick Bourne

DUP/SF alliance does well in NI elections

"The Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin will return to the new Northern Ireland assembly with more or less the same number of seats as before. For both parties the assembly poll has been a success and, they would argue, proof that their power-sharing arrangement is working. All 108 seats have been filled. The final party tallies are: DUP 38; Sinn Fein 29; UUP 16; SDLP 14; Alliance 8; TUV 1; Green 1 and Ind 1." – Observer

If last Thursday's results were projected…

Screen shot 2011-05-08 at 08.33.29

"Labour would now be the largest party in a hung parliament had the country voted in a general election last week instead of the local polls. Analysis of how more than 6.3m people voted on Thursday across 2,500 English local council wards gives the Tories 38% (a one point increase since the general election last year) of national vote share, Labour 37% (up seven points) and the Lib Dems 16% (down eight points). Repeated at a general election, this would result in another hung parliament but with Labour winning 318 seats, up 60. Nick Clegg’s party would lose more than 30 of its 57 seats but with Labour could piece together a notional overall majority." – Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher in The Sunday Times (£)

Miliband Ed from Lab broadcast Labour relaunches with focus on NHS and education

"On Monday Labour will seek to expose Lib Dem discomfort within the coalition by calling on its MPs to support an opposition motion opposing the government's NHS reforms, which are strongly opposed by Lib Dem activists. Then on Wednesday it will ask the Lib Dems to support a series of Labour amendments to Michael Gove's education bill, including one insisting that all teachers in schools be fully qualified." – Observer

Ed Miliband said last night that he regretted posing alongside a Labour councillor who urged people to ‘dance on Margaret Thatcher’s grave’Mail on Sunday

Fears grow over 'frail' Baroness Thatcher after no public appearance for nearly two months – Mail on Sunday

Shale gas is a new fossil-fuel source that could power the world for centuries – Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph

And finally… Banksy's take on the Coalition


Artist recreates famous Vinnie Jones football image – News of the World (£)