10pm LeftWatch: One quarter of voters look at a photo of Ed Miliband and think it's David Miliband…

EU-FLAG9pm European Parliament update: European Commission confirms it wants a 5% increase in the EU budget updated at 9.45pm with reaction from Downing Street

8pm WATCH: A video from the Charles Koch Foundation illustrating How your quality of life is directly linked to your economic freedom

6pm Parliament: Andrew Stephenson calls for prosecutions to be able to appeal against judges' decisions to grant bail

5pm WATCH: Greek Parliament passes austerity bill amidst violence in the streets outside

4.45pm European Parliament: Martin Callanan suggests David Cameron might need Margaret Thatcher's handbag for the EU budget negotiations

2.45pm LeftWatch: Labour's Welsh First Minister says his ministers won't be crossing picket lines tomorrow

2pm ToryDiary update: CCHQ rebuts Ed Miliband's key claims from PMQs

1.45pm WATCH: David Cameron's final exchange with Ed Miliband at PMQs at which he accuses Labour of being "in the pocket of the unions"

Picture 2112.45pm ToryDiary: Ed Miliband asks "micro" questions on health as David Cameron accuses him of ducking the big issue of the strikes

Noon ConHome USA: Today's Republican and American political news

11.45am LISTEN: Justice Secretary Ken Clarke defends his sentencing policies on the Today programme

11.30am Eric Ollerenshaw MP on Comment: The north of England declined under Labour – but the Government is well-placed to close the north-south divide

11am ToryDiary: While striking teaching unions want to take Britain back to the 1970s, Gove plots a path to 21st century survival

10.15am ThinkTankCentral: Reform research shows that the Government's good work on deficit reduction will be undone by the effects of the demographic timebomb

ToryDiary: The ten year old article that's shaping the Government's NHS policy

Sajid Javid MP on Comment: Let's cap the national debt

Also on Comment, Philip Davies MP: Sadly, Ken Clarke's reforms will catapult more criminals on to the streets, to commit more crimes

Local Government:

Parliament: Fifteen Tory MPs back rebel amendment to recognise marriage in the tax system


WATCH: Christine Lagarde is named as new managing director of the IMF

David Cameron tells public sector workers they are wrong to strike over 'essential' pensions reform…

"The Government's controversial plans to reform public sector pensions are "fair", the Prime Minister has insisted. David Cameron said the changes being proposed for millions of public sector workers were a "good deal", which would secure affordable pensions for decades to come. He spoke out as the scale of disruption caused by Thursday's 24-hour walkout by members of four unions became clear, with thousands of schools, jobcentres, tax offices and courts set to be closed or badly disrupted." – Daily Telegraph

"The Labour leader Ed Miliband joined David Cameron in urging trade unions not to press ahead with tomorrow's mass strike, as the scale of the disruption from the walk-out became clear." – The Independent

"More Brits oppose tomorrow's teachers strike than back it, an exclusive poll for The Sun last night revealed. The YouGov survey found 49 per cent were against the union action, while 40 per cent supported it." – The Sun

…as Gove warns of tougher rule for teachers as strike goes ahead

Michael Gove 2011 "Teachers planning to strike could be forced to tell their heads under a shake-up signalled by Michael Gove yesterday. The Education Secretary issued the veiled threat with as many as 15,000 schools — two thirds — at risk of shutting in a strike tomorrow… Currently, teachers do not have to inform their heads of their intentions. Mr Gove, answering an urgent question in the Commons, twice said that such rules would be reviewed. " – The Times (£)

Further strike coverage

  • Public sentiment can switch sides during strikes. The Government could find itself fighting for survival – Daniel Finkelstein in The TImes (£)
  • Teachers' unions betray staff, pupils and British education – Katharine Birbalsingh in the Daily Mail
  • Why aren’t the trade unions paying the salaries of their own full-time representatives? – Telegraph editorial
  • Cameron accused of deliberately winding up workers before strike – Daily Mirror
  • Strike threatens holiday chaos – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday's coverage on ConHome:

Kenneth Clarke faces twin-track assault on jail reform plans

Ken Clarke 2011 "The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, faces another embarrassing U-turn over his controversial sentencing reforms today as the Labour frontbench combines with rightwing Tory MPs to further attack his prison plans. Tory backbenchers and Labour spokesmen served notice on Tuesday night that they would fight Clarke's plans to limit the use of remand in custody and tackle the explosion in the use of indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPPs)." – The Guardian

  • Legal aid reforms will hit the most vulnerable hardest, warns top judge – The Independent

Human rights law prevents the UK from deporting dangerous criminals

"Immigrants who are “undesirable” or “dangerous” cannot be deported if they may face ill-treatment at home — however bad their crimes in Britain, human rights judges ruled. In a test case, with more than 200 similar actions pending against Britain, the Strasbourg judges decreed that the UK’s duty to protect people against torture or inhuman treatment is “absolute”. – The Times (£)

"The pathetic truth is that we do not have control over our borders, and these cases quite clearly show that we do not control not only who comes in to the country but who we choose to remove. My constituents do not want any more mealy-mouthed promises about getting a grip on this – they want to know what the Government is actually going to do." – Tory MP Douglas Carswell quoted in the Daily Mail

  • Human rights court is no friend to the law-abiding – Express editorial

Brussels demands an extra £2 billion a year from the UK in 'outrageous' 12 per cent rise…

EU-FLAG "Eurocrats are about to demand an ‘outrageous’ budget increase of up to 12 per cent – three times the rate of inflation. This means Britain’s contribution to running the EU – already £15.3billion a year – will rise by another £2billion. The budget, being finalised by the European Commission, is a clear rebuff to David Cameron’s calls for belt-tightening in Brussels." – Daily Mail

…as David Cameron vows to lead fight against Brussels' plan for new 'EU tax'

"The European Commission is to propose a new EU-wide tax to enable it to boost its spending even though many national governments are imposing cuts to reduce their deficits. Britain will lead the opposition to the planned tax, with David Cameron warning that the Commission must "cut its cloth" in the same way member states are doing. He wants a freeze in EU spending. – The Independent

Benedict Brogan: David Cameron and the Conservatives are on a collision course over Europe

Benedict Brogan "Conservative MPs rejoice in a leadership team of Mr Cameron, George Osborne and William Hague that is unequivocally sceptical about the EU. But they are unlikely to be satisfied with hard-won but modest successes that over time tilt the EU towards being more competitive, less costly, and less ambitious. At some point they might realise that the Prime Minister has no appetite for attempting the renegotiation he promised, and which the Coalition usefully prevents him from considering." – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

David Cameron's new man in Brussels approved cut in Britain's EU rebateThe Guardian

David Willetts opens up the market for student places

"Universities will compete against each other for a quarter of the students they recruit next year under government reforms unveiled on Tuesday, putting pressure on institutions to bring down fees." – The Guardian

"The new requirements devised by David Willetts should give students the information they need to make sensible decisions" – Telegraph editorial

> Yesterday on ConHome:

Tory donors in funding threat over HS2

"Several Conservative donors have warned the prime minister that they will withdraw funding from the party if the coalition presses ahead with its plans for a high-speed rail link, it emerged on Tuesday. David Begg, director of the Campaign for High-Speed Rail, admitted that the project was “not a done deal by any means”, given the voluble resistance from some Tories living near the proposed route." – FT (£)

Climate change arguments incite 'weird religiosity', says Greg Barker

"Hardliners on opposing sides in the battle over climate change are guilty of a weird "religiosity" which hinders a sensible debate, energy minister Greg Barker has said." – The Guardian

Hague under fire for allowing Tory whip to meet Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in bizarre diplomatic mission

NEWMARK-BROOKS "Foreign Secretary William Hague was under fire last night after it emerged that he let a junior Tory launch a bizarre private diplomatic mission to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Tory whip Brooks Newmark sparked a diplomatic storm when it emerged that he spent three hours on Sunday with the tyrant who has been blamed for authorising the deaths of hundreds of pro-democracy protesters." – Daily Mail

Greece faces ‘suicide’ vote on austerity

"Greece will be committing “suicide” if its parliament fails to back sweeping austerity measures aimed at averting a catastrophic default, according to the head of the country’s central bank." – FT (£)

  • Greek protests against austerity package turn violent – BBC

Sandra Parsons: We women are falling out of love with Dave Daily Mail

> Sunday's ToryDiary: The Conservatives are losing female supporters. Why?

News in brief

  • Boris to keep a closer eye on City Hall staff -  FT (£)
  • Government considers plan to strip charities providing abortions of their ability to counsel women too – The Guardian
  • Christine Lagarde's appointment at the IMF is a diplomatic victory for George Osborne – James Forsyth of The Spectator
  • Poll suggests many Tory and Lib Dem councillors are opposed to housing benefit cuts – BBC
  • Burglaries rise fast as economy goes slow – The Times (£)
  • Austerity engulfs the high street – The Guardian

And finally… Labour MP in intern hypocrisy row

"A Labour MP who has campaigned against low wages was yesterday branded a hypocrite after advertising for an unpaid researcher. Lyn Brown is seeking a “voluntary Westminster worker” to help with constituency and research duties. The West Ham MP has been at the forefront of a campaign for a living wage of £8.30 an hour for workers in London." – Daily Mirror