3pm Andrew R T Davies on Comment: Wales needs more Conservative councils
George Eustice MP on Comment: The law must prioritise business rescue over business closure
Local government: Nottingham businesses punished with new parking tax
Some good news for George Osborne as Standard & Poor's reaffirm UK's AAA credit rating, saying it believes the economy is "wealthy, open and diversified" – BBC
George Osborne quoted by The Express: “This is a reminder that Britain is weathering the international debt storms because of the policies we have adopted and stuck to in tough times. The Budget showed we are ready to go on making the difficult decisions that are keeping our country safe.”
In a Rangoon garden, Cameron stands with Suu Kyi and offers Burma a fresh start – Independent
The Express on Cameron's meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi: "The Prime Minister seemed to be slightly overwhelmed, not by the 99F (37C) temperatures, but by the way his host combined gentleness and courtesy with a steel core that proved unbendable to Burma’s dictator generals."
- Cameron wrapped up his visit to Myanmar with a private tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most popular tourist attraction in Yangon – Telegraph
- Cameron's Communications Chief Craig Oliver got a popstar reception when he was mistaken for the PM – Quentin Letts
The Daily Mail attacks Cameron's latest foreign trip
"The Mail hates to put a dampener on his triumphal jaunt. But isn’t this vanity globetrotting disturbingly reminiscent of Tony Blair? And aren’t voters entitled to ask how he can hope to serve their interests by chasing photo-opportunities in the Far East? …The truth is that he was entrusted with power because Britain needed urgent rescue from the most dire crisis of modern times. Two years on, we’re still waiting for even the faintest sign that he understands the gravity of our plight." – Daily Mail leader
- The FT (£): "Abroad, the prime minister has to prove there is more to British diplomacy than the promotion of trade. At home, where austerity offers little comfort, voters require a coherent and well-communicated vision for the next two years of government."
Climate change minister Greg Barker MP says Conservatives should not adopt 'swivel-eyed rhetoric' of UKIP to win 2015 election
"In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Barker insisted that the Conservatives should not be tempted to adopt a more Eurosceptic stance to win an outright majority at the next election. He said: “The important thing is to keep focused on the centre ground, particularly now that David Cameron has spelt out such a robust and clear position on Europe, now we need to have a very clear and strong message on Europe. “We don’t need to follow UKIP into swivel-eyed rhetoric. People expect grown up statesman-like leadership on Europe, and with David Cameron, that is what they get.”"
Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail: "Ukip, whose policies bear an astonishing resemblance to the Tory party’s when Mrs Thatcher ran it, are level with the Lib Dems in the opinion polls. I suspect they will soon overtake them. And I also suspect that every vote gained by Ukip is one lost by the Conservatives."
> Bruce Anderson yesterday: Tory voters won't stay with UKIP if Cameron delivers economic competence and strong leadership
Andrew Lansley may stay in Cabinet to implement his NHS reforms
"Andrew Lansley has urged the Prime Minister not to sack him, arguing that his work as Health Secretary will not be complete by the end of this year. The Conservative minister told The Times (£) that it would be “absurd” for him not to see through the implementation of his controversial health reforms. Downing Street sources suggested that Mr Lansley was increasingly likely to remain in place in a ministerial shake-up expected in the autumn."
- Sweets and alcohol could follow cigarettes by being banned from using fancy packaging – Express
Eric Pickles wants all civil service spending on credit cards published – Telegraph
- More than a third of Britain's most senior civil servants have left their jobs since the Coalition government took power – Independent
Cameron faces revolt from his local church pulpit over £20m Budget tax raid – Daily Mail
- The Treasury's insistence that the wealthy pay tax on at least three-quarters of their earnings is a welcome step – Heather Stewart for The Guardian
- Charity tax affair has been latest dent in Osborne's reputation – FT (£)
We shouldn’t have the right to see David Cameron’s tax return – or anyone else’s – Graeme Archer in The Telegraph
- Matthew Parris in The Times (£) agrees: "If you demand to see politicians’ financial information, make sure you’re happy to have your own made public"
Gisela Stuart is The Sun's hero of the week for standing up to Labour union bullying in Birmingham while Nick Clegg is the week's villain for constantly undermining the Coalition – The Sun
Andrew Grice: Ed Miliband will have to sign up to George Osborne's spending limits
"Sooner or later, Mr Miliband will have to bite the bullet and sign up to Mr Osborne's spending limits if Labour is to have any chance of regaining its lost economic credibility, a prerequisite for regaining power." – Andrew Grice in The Independent
'Human rights’ are undermining the whole concept of national security – Charles Moore in The Telegraph
Alex Salmond says Economist's Skintland cover revealed London elite's “sneering condescension” towards Scotland – Telegraph
Tory MSP David McLetchie's reaction is quoted in The Scotsman: “The SNP is manufacturing outrage aimed at anyone who dares to question their perspective that a separate Scotland would be a land of milk and honey, a line they are constantly pedalling about our future.”
Iain Martin: "This Economist row, and the chippy, humourless, pompous, furious reaction from other Nats is most revealing. As a friend pointed out on Twitter: "Sleepy unionists! Take note of the panicky SNP response to the front page of the Economist. Not as confident as you thought they were?" Indeed."
Quelle Surprise: He’s desperately behind in the polls weeks away from an election, so what does Sarkozy do? He attacks the English again – Daily Mail
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