Screen Shot 2012-02-19 at 19.53.148pm Local government update: Video of Eric Pickles explaining why he's enabling local councils to hold prayers before meetings

6pm ToryDiary: Where does George Osborne stand on the three big tax arguments in British politics?

3.30pm WATCH: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore says referendum should be single question and could be held next year

1pm VIDEO: Michael Fallon MP says Labour's VAT plan would increase interest rates and endanger Britain's triple A status

ToryDiary: By more than two-to-one public now prefers single party to coalition government

DORRIES ON QTColumnist Nadine Dorries MP: Liberal Democrat MPs want to have their Coalition cake and eat it

J P Floru on Comment: George W. Bush's autobiography: Debunking the left's myths

Local government: Eric Pickles has written to councils to confirm that the general power of competence in the Localism Act includes the legal right to say prayers at the start of their meetings

Also on Local government: Council plans to ban housing applicants who give false information

Chris Grayling attacks the hypocrisy of the BBC and Guardian over work experience

Grayling Chris Newsnight"The critics are job snobs. The Guardian newspaper publishes stories attacking big retailers for offering short-term unpaid work experience placements for young people. But that same Guardian newspaper advertises on its website – yes, you guessed it – short-term unpaid work experience placements for young people. The BBC's Newsnight joined in the attack on big retailers offering unpaid work experience. And on the BBC website? Yes, you guessed it again – an offer of unpaid work experience placements. It's time we put an end to this hypocrisy." – Sunday Telegraph

In The Sunday Times (£) Dominic Lawson attacks the laws that protect the vested interests of the employed and keep the unemployed out-of-work.

David Laws and Simon Hughes will support coordinated Lib Dem push to include wealth taxes in forthcoming BudgetThe Sunday Telegraph

The Independent on Sunday says the Lib Dems are demanding £16 billion of tax rises on the wealthy to pay for tax cuts for the poor.

  • Iain Martin looks at Osborne's Budget options – The Sunday Telegraph
  • The Lib Dem leader's call for help for low earners will probably be heeded, but Tories won't concede a wealth tax – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

Cameron's top seventeen advisers meet at Chequers to discuss how to maintain LibDem support for the Coalition – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday

Cameron has privately conceded the pro-Union parties will need to give voters more details on the alternative to independence ahead of the 2014 referendumSunday Herald

David Cameron should beware of making concessions to Alex Salmond and taking Scotland closer to independence – Sunday Telegraph leader

DarlingInShirt"Alistair Darling today backs a significant increase in the powers of the Scottish Parliament, saying it is time for MSPs to be given the responsibility for raising the money they are in charge of spending… But, echoing Prime Minister David Cameron, he says such plans can be considered in detail only in the wake of a “no” vote on independence." – Scotland on Sunday

I feel very deeply that to destroy the Union would be a monstrous act of vandalism – Andrew Gimson in the Independent on Sunday

Gove under fire for faith schools that distribute "homophobic" materialObserver

Andrew Lansley will be offered job swap with Jeremy Hunt in autumn

Screen Shot 2012-02-19 at 08.35.12Looking forward to the reshuffle the Mail on Sunday also says Anna Soubry will go straight into the Cabinet.

  • Cameron has been accused of shutting healthcare professionals out of talks on the coalition's controversial NHS reforms – Sky | Channel 4 video report

Peter Hitchens: David Willetts is equally to blame for Les Ebdon

"Equality of outcome is to replace equality of opportunity,  and politics is to override education. Professor Les Ebdon, friend of the Mickey Mouse degree, is to be appointed to help achieve this aim. Can we please stop pretending that this act of national suicide is the responsibility of Liberal Democrat Vince Cable alone? Equally to blame is that most useless of Tories, David Willetts." – Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday

William Hague warns that Iran weapons programme would trigger new Cold War

"IRAN’s nuclear ambitions could plunge the world into “a new Cold War” even more dangerous that the stand-off between the West and the USSR, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned. He said that if Iran successfully develops its own weapons, it would inevitably prompt neighbouring countries also to arm themselves in a new nuclear arms race." – Scotland on Sunday

The Sunday Times (£) says game-changing sanctions may be enough to bring Iran to its knees.

Britain can lead the world in tightening up rules on trade of arms – Nick Clegg in the Independent on Sunday

High speed rail link 'at risk of derailment' because of 225mph trainsThe Sunday Telegraph

"The Prime Minister seems unformed" – Rejecting Tim Montgomerie's warning against prime ministerial hyperactivity, John Rentoul warns against too much gesture politics from David Cameron – Independent on Sunday

Tory MPs upset at each other after claims Coalition Ministers 'colluded' to force them to pay more into their pension schemesMail on Sunday

Ed Balls calls for unfunded tax cuts in BudgetBBC

Ed Balls' article is on The Sunday Times (£) website but can be read for free on his personal site: "The Chancellor should announce a temporary reversal of his VAT rise. This is part of Labour’s five point plan for jobs, which also includes tax breaks for small businesses taking on extra workers and bringing forward essential infrastructure investment. Such a tax cut now would boost confidence, help families feeling the squeeze and help get our economy moving again. It would cost £12 billion to do it for a year. Given the government is set to borrow £158 billion more than planned because of slower growth and higher unemployment, the argument that we cannot afford this boost is absurd."

'Always wear a jacket' – John Prescott's desert islands advice to Ed MilibandBBC

"It is a question that no Labour politician should struggle to answer but when Lord Prescott was asked who he thought would be Labour’s next prime minister, he sounded momentarily lost for words. On today’s Desert Island Discs programme on Radio 4, the former deputy prime minister seems to falter when discussing Ed Miliband’s prospects of securing the top job. “Er, I think it’ll be Ed,” he replies hesitantly. There is a pause before he repeats, with only a little more confidence, “Ed Miliband.”" – The Sunday Times (£)

Work and Pensions Select Committee warns against severe implementation of new disability benefitsBBC

From imposing a wealth tax to legalising brothelkeeping, the 12 things the Green Party wants to do – Bottom of this page in the Independent on Sunday

The EU, which boasts that solidarity is its founding principle, is forcing Greece into destitution and chaos – Nick Cohen in The Observer

And finally… Michael Gove drops Steve Hilton in new hot water, revealing he recommends Virgin and not fat cats BAObserver


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.