7.30pm Zehra Zaidi on Comment: Bahrain is in a state of emergency, and its Grand Prix should not have gone ahead

5pm LeftWatch: Ed Miliband wants Labour to become an energy supplier. Would you trust them to handle your electricity?

Oakeshott iv3.45pm WATCH: Lord Oakeshott: "Plenty of Conservative MPs, particularly the younger ones" favour Lords reform

11.30am MPsETC: Five Tory MPs are running the London Marathon tomorrow (and would appreciate your sponsorship!)

ToryDiary: Osborne says it's "very unlikely" IMF will now need further cash from UK taxpayers

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: Cameron will not lead the Conservative Party into the next election if he charges on with Lords reform

Rob Leitch on Comment: The government should tackle Britain's rip-off culture if it wants to appear in touch

Local government: Labour housing scheme destroyed 10,000 homes – but built only 1,000

WATCH: "Conservatives are on your side" – the Conservative party political broadcast for the English local elections

George Osborne criticised over £10bn IMF loan

OsborneGreenTie"Eurosceptic Tory MPs and Labour are expected to unite to try to block the extra funding, though the Coalition is not planning to allow a Parliamentary vote on the decision. One Tory MP said the refusal to hold a vote was “cynical and calculating”." – Daily Telegraph

"Tory MPs reacted with fury to the decision, accusing the Chancellor and Prime Minister of reneging on a pledge not to hand over one more penny to prop up the euro, and threatening legal action." – Daily Mail

  • "Andrew Tyrie, the Tory chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, voiced support for the Chancellor, and called the IMF pledge “essential” adding: “The IMF is the only fire brigade available to the global economy.”" – The Times (£)
  • "Controversially, though, the Government will not have to put the extra funding to a Parliamentary vote because headroom was built into the last agreement." – Daily Telegraph
  • George Osborne's defence: "It's in Britain's interest that we have a stable and strong world economy – that creates jobs in Britain." – BBC
  • True, no-one ever lost money lending to the IMF – but the IMF has never faced a crisis of this scale – Jeremy Warner for TelegraphBlogs

> Coverage from yesterday:

David Cameron on a collision course with Tory backbenchers over whether to hold to a referendum on abolishing the House of Lords…

Lords_Chamber"Backbench Tory MPs and Labour leader Ed Miliband have joined forces to call for the Prime Minister to agree to put the plans to a national vote. An official report from MPs and peers on Monday is likely to raise the prospect of a referendum to win public backing for the plans for an elected senate. It will also raise concerns about the role of an elected second chamber, and whether it should have primacy over the views of the House of Commons." – Daily Telegraph

  • Laziness, lack of core values and the "sneering condescension" of Cameron and Osborne explain the frosty relationship between Number 10 and the Tory backbenches – Guardian
  • Ed Miliband calls for referendum on Lords reform – Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday:

…and Lib Dems say they won't vote for the boundary review unless an elected Lords is passed…

Farron Tim 2"Tim Farron told The Independent that the Liberal Democrats would find it impossible to back Tory proposals to reduce the number of MPs is the House of Commons unless Conservative MPs backed his party’s plan for a fully elected second chamber. … some Tory MPs whose seats face being abolished in the boundary review may not be unhappy – on personal grounds – to see that legislation fall as well." – Independent

  • "Conservative MPs unhappy with plans to reform the House of Lords should “grow up” and back the Government, Lord Oakeshott has said." – Daily Telegraph
  • No time to blackmail us into Lords reform – Daily Mail editorial
  • Behind closed doors, the love-in goes on – Andrew Grice for the Independent

…but the Times says Cameron "secretly encouraged" Tory backbench revolt on Lords reform

"The Prime Minister told Tory MPs at an away-day in February that he would rather not enact the reform in this Parliament because of more pressing issues facing the country. … he added that he was being forced to introduce the policy after coalition horse-trading with the Liberal Democrats, according to three Tory MPs present." – The Times (£)

David Cameron backs Theresa May in Abu Qatada deportation row

May Theresa Abu Qatada"Asked if the Prime Minister still had full confidence in Mrs May, a Downing Street spokeswoman replied: "Yes." She added: "It is our firm intention to see him deported. If he applies for bail, we will oppose it vigorously," a No 10 spokeswoman said." - Daily Telegraph

  • Fiasco could mean other terror suspects dodge boot – The Sun
  • Theresa May and the 14 dodged Abu Qatada questions – Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday:

Charles Moore: The interminable Abu Qatada affair proves Britain needs to bring home the rule of law

MOORE"An axis of Brussels and Strasbourg will make the law of England no more independent than is the Bank of Greece in its handling of the euro. We are under an exterior authority, which is something which we strove successfully, for hundreds of years, to avoid. This is not what the British have meant by “the rule of law”. So the answer is to remove ourselves from the jurisdiction of the Court and bring our rights home." – Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph

  • "The £500,000 cost of this week's conference on reform of European human rights law has been called into question after it emerged that the proposals had all been agreed in advance" – Daily Telegraph

Peter Oborne: "This is the week when the wheels well and truly came off the Coalition bus" – and we are "on the edge of a national political breakdown"

GALLOWAY George"The emergence of parties such as Ukip, Respect and the Greens, and the many other independent politicians, is a sign that traditional British politics no longer works. And if a solution is not found, then at some stage there is every reason to predict that Britain’s traditional political architecture will smash, and we will indeed be on the edge of a national political breakdown." – Peter Oborne, in the Daily Telegraph

  • "Here is my simple strategy to get the government out of the bog of minor controversies. Champion two causes and pick fights to promote them. The Big Society is one. It is the true touchstone of Cameronism. The other issue is public probity, or responsibility in high office" – Danny Kruger in the FT (£)

Jeremy Hunt bans "political" Christian radio ad

"A radio station was barred from broadcasting an advertisement on the rights of Christians at work after an intervention by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Mr Hunt said the advert should be kept off the air because it was 'political'." – Daily Mail

The Guardian claims David Cameron's father built up legal offshore funds in Panama and Geneva - Guardian

Evan Davis: Why are there so many gay Tories? 

"Gay men have bills to pay, aspirations to fulfil and beliefs about the shape of society that drive their party affiliation. The results vary. Even the gay Tories themselves are not all one and the same. They, too, come with different motives and beliefs." – Evan Davis for the Guardian

David Cameron's mask has slipped, says Ed Miliband

Miliband Ed Yes 2"What has happened over the past months or so is the government has stopped getting the benefit of the doubt. I do genuinely believe the mask has slipped and they have revealed something very deep about themselves, which is that they are an unchanged party with an unchanged ideology." – Miliband interview with the Guardian

  • Ed Miliband plans to switch voters on with cheap electricity – Guardian

Patrick O'Flynn: It looks like Labour will pledge an EU referendumDaily Express

Ed Balls is ready for a run-in with unions and the IMF

"Mr Balls makes clear his opposition to a single extra penny of taxpayers’ money being handed over in the current circumstances. “…The IMF cannot become the substitute for the European Central Bank [ECB] and the German taxpayer." … “My tough stance on pay, fiscal discipline and spending wasn’t popular with certain parts of the trade union movement, but I’m afraid that’s the nature of life.”" – Ed Balls interview with the Daily Telegraph

Ken Livingstone quits mayoral debate over BNP participationIndependent

Livingstone Marr
  • Britain’s cities should say yes to mayors - Daily Telegraph editorial
  • Make the mayoral elections independents’ day – Janice Turner in the Times (£)

> From yesterday:

New warplanes 'less capable', secret paper shows - Daily Telegraph

MPs look to monitor next bank governor

"Senior MPs will next week attempt to impose more supervisory control over the next Bank of England governor, amid fears about accountability at the beefed-up central bank." – FT (£)

One-third of Scots re-assessed for incapacity benefit told ‘fit to work’Scotsman

Britain ‘faces terror attack if it deports Abu Qatada’The Times (£)

Ministers unveil hi-tech scheme to tackle the scourge of dangerous dogsDaily Mail

French election: Hollande and Sarkozy in final drive

SARKOZY"The leading contenders for the French presidency have made their final appeals to voters on the last day of campaigning before Sunday's election. Incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy… urged supporters to "speak up" and choose "a strong France". Socialist challenger Francois Hollande… said it was "the left's turn to govern the country"." – BBC

  • "Despite an indifferent economic record and bursts of populism, the French President merits a second term" – Times (£) editorial
  • Despondent Sarkozy faces his final reckoning – Independent
  • Nicolas Sarkozy is a victim of his own courage - Anne-Elisabeth Moutet in the Daily Telegraph

Thousands protest against Bahrain Grand Prix as organisers and stars remain defiantIndependent

  • Ed Miliband calls for cancellation of Bahrain Grand Prix - Daily Telegraph

Anders Breivik is a terrorist, so we should treat him like one – Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian


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