6pm WATCH: Eric Pickles and David Cameron present the Conservative local election broadcast: "We're putting power in your hands", and "don't let Labour do to your council what they did to our country"
11.45am ConHomeUSA: Today's American newslinks focus on Santorum's exit, Romney's general election options and Obama's tax-the-rich strategy
ToryDiary: Modernisation, yes. Self-flagellation, no.
Columnist Jill Kirby: The Green Deal could leave Ministers with a giant mis-selling scandal on their hands
Adam Afriyie MP on Comment: Parts of our political class are indulging the politics of envy. It's time to value wealth creators.
Local Government: Which councils will the Conservatives take from the Lib Dems on May 3rd?
David Cameron and Nick Clegg clash over web monitoring plan
"An extraordinary bust-up erupted between the PM and his deputy yesterday over “snooping” plans to protect Britain from terrorists. David Cameron branded Nick Clegg a hypocrite after whining Lib Dems threatened to “kill” the move. The rift deepened further last night when Mr Clegg hit back at the Premier — ordering his spokesman to issue a long public response to shoot down his claims." - The Sun
- "Mr Cameron told journalists: "I think everyone needs to be patient. They need to see what is proposed, both in terms of the [secret] court issue and in terms of telephone calls and emails. Why would we be doing this in a Cabinet of Conservatives, including quite a lot of liberal Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats, if there wasn't a problem?"" - Independent
- Jack Straw set to be quizzed by Met over rendition… and Tony Blair could be questioned, too –Daily Mail
- CIA wins fight to keep MPs in dark on rendition - Independent
Victory for Theresa May as ECHR rules Abu Hamza and other terror "suspects" CAN be deported
"In a landmark victory for the UK, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said extraditing the terrorism “recruiting sergeant” Hamza and others would not lead to inhuman treatment in the US. The Strasbourg court unanimously dismissed claims that conditions in American “supermax” jails were degrading but rather luxuries such as televisions, phone calls and arts and crafts “went beyond” what was provided in most European prisons." - Daily Telegraph
- "Speaking during a trade mission to South East Asia, Mr Cameron said: "I am very pleased with the news. "It is quite right that we have proper legal processes, although sometimes one can get frustrated with how long they take."" - Independent
- See you later, Britain hater - The Sun
- If only we could be rid of Strasbourg, too – Daily Mail editorial
- First the disgrace, then the cover-up - Stephen Glover
- Abu Hamza extradition ruling should be a wake-up call to the legal system - Richard Norton-Taylor
- Thousands of foreign ex-prisoners avoid deportation – The Times (£)
> From yesterday - WATCH: Theresa May – This ECHR decision will permit the extradition of Abu Hamza
800 charities say Osborne's budget will lose them millions as wealthy donors are branded tax dodgers
"Charities went to war with Downing Street last night after wealthy donors were branded tax dodgers. No 10 said many are giving money to bogus charities, some of them abroad, to claim income tax relief and wipe out their liabilities. But furious charities said the accusations – for which Downing Street has produced no evidence – were a desperate attempt to justify George Osborne’s plan to cap tax relief on donations. More than 800 charities… have signed up to a campaign called ‘Give it Back George’ to persuade the Chancellor to drop his plans" – Daily Mail
- Who are you calling tax dodgers? Philanthropists enraged by slur – Independent
- "Some of the wealthiest people in the country were giving to charities which “don’t do a great deal of charitable work” in order to “wipe out” their income tax bills, Downing Street said today. Imposing a cap was necessary to prevent “abuse” of the system." – The Times (£)
"The near-term outlook is that such measures, alongside the Coalition’s spending reductions, will get the national debt falling back towards 60 per cent of GDP by the 2020s (in itself a despair-inducing scenario that will require spending cuts or tax increases worth an additional £12 billion a year after the next election). But after that, unless spending is lowered or taxes increased further, the debt will creep back up to reach 107 per cent of GDP by 2060. The betting, then, must be that we will be asked to pay more in future, not less – and that the combined weight of direct and indirect taxation will continue to rise." – Benedict Brogan
Cameron 'relaxed' about ministers' tax returns being public
"Sources close to Mr Cameron, who is on a trade and diplomatic trip to Asia, said he was relaxed about the idea of tax returns of senior cabinet ministers being published. But they made clear he first wanted the opportunity to explore how how this might work in practice. In truth, few in government expect any early action on this. Some suspect the Conservatives are encouraging speculation to put pressure on the Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone to reveal more of his own tax affairs" - BBC
- Cameron says he's 'happy' to publish his tax return to show he's paying his fair share - Daily Mail
Tim Montgomerie: David Cameron ignores UKIP at his peril
"Lord Ashcroft, the former Conservative deputy chairman, who oversaw polling for the party until the last election, advised Mr Cameron to focus on swing voters. He is now sounding the alarm. Study of the latest data leads him to believe that leakage to UKIP has become a serious threat to Mr Cameron’s prospects… Mr Farage… is optimistic that, with a cleaned-out stable of candidates, he will outpoll the Tories in [European] elections… This will give his party momentum for the next year’s general election. He also hopes that more high-profile Tories will have defected by then. I know of two Conservative MPs seriously considering following the path already trodden by Roger Helmer, MEP, and other Tory activists." – Tim Montgomerie (£)
- Cameron lacks both a feel for the big picture and an eye for detail – Anthony King
Sunshine all the way as Boris launches his charm offensive
"Addressing a packed hall in the Duke Street Church from a lectern beneath a 10ft wooden crucifix and flanked by imposing pictures of his own face, Mr Johnson was in his element. Supporters kitted out in blue and white "Back Boris" T-shirts roared obligingly at every campaign promise and crime reduction statistic, with pantomime boos reserved for Labour's repeat candidate Ken Livingstone and the "Union barons"." – Independent
> From yesterday - WATCH: Boris Johnson's first election broadcast of the campaign
'Choose which one of your children will die': The chilling email sent to Tory MP Louise Mensch by internet troll – Daily Mail
Westminster is women’s work – Priti Patel MP
David Cameron paves way for Japanese to build nuclear power stations in UK - Daily Telegraph
- David Cameron calls for UK arms sales to Indonesia - Guardian
- Note to PM… you're supposed to be promoting British business: Cameron flies into Tokyo on an Angolan plane - Daily Mail
> From yesterday:
- WATCH: Selling guns to the Mikado: The Prime Minister arrives in Japan
- Benedict Rogers on Comment: Cameron's Burma message must be: "So far so good, but there is much more to be done".
Energy companies will have to help customers save cash, says Nick Clegg
"Consumers will be told once a year by their energy company if they could be on a cheaper tariff, so saving them up to £100 a year, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister will announce. It is the first time that the big six energy companies will be required to send such information to its consumers, including how they can switch to a cheaper tariff." – Guardian
- Conserving water and fuel isn't a vote-winner, but politicians can't afford to be coy about our reckless guzzling – Gaby Hinsliff
Ed Miliband throws support behind Ken Livingstone's campaign
"Labour leader Ed Miliband is to get behind Ken Livingstone amid polling suggesting the Labour mayoral candidate is losing ground in his battle to beat Boris Johnson on 3 May. … Pressure on the Labour campaign is mounting as the latest ComRes poll shows Johnson has widened his lead over Livingstone to six percentage points, suggesting that a row over the Labour candidate's tax affairs has dented his credibility in the eyes of voters." – Guardian
- "Normally, mid-term elections pose the biggest headache for the government of the day. But council and mayoral elections on 3 May will be widely seen as a test of Labour's progress under Ed Miliband." – Independent
- Labour revolt over party ‘fix’ for mayoral polls – Times (£)
> From yesterday
- Local Government: Boris has 4% lead over Ken Livingstone in new London mayor poll
- Nick De Bois MP on Comment: "The way to counter Ed Miliband's bleats isn’t to be seen hugging a hoodie, eating a pasty or emphasising that we really are 'all in this together'." The choice for Britain is the Politics of Envy or the Politics of Prosperity?
Phillip Blond: Electing the Lords would be the greatest extension of executive power since Charles I dissolved Parliament – Independent
Now teachers call for strike over scrapping of long summer break, saying that six week holiday is 'essential' – Daily Mail
The NUT and other teaching unions are reactionary and self-serving
"The NUT’s formal motion in favour of long summer holidays ended as follows: there is a “misconception that more teaching automatically leads to more learning”. It has come to something when a teaching union questions the value of teaching itself. The unions’ ideas on education are dangerous, damaging and unrepresentative of the good practice in many state schools. When they sit down with the unions in future, ministers can afford to be a little tougher in their negotiations." – Andrew Haldenby
- The NUT offers no positive ideas for British education and teachers need better representation – Times editorial (£)
> Yesterday on LeftWatch: Teacher – Britain is Egypt! Cameron is Mubarak! Mass resistance now!
William Hague welcomes Neil Heywood death investigation – Independent
- The stakes in Neil Heywood’s murder could hardly be higher – Times editorial (£)
MPs slam UK Border Agency – Scotsman
Health and safety overkill to be challenged by official body – Guardian
Euro crisis back with a vengeance
"Yields on Spanish and Italian government bonds soared throughout the day, reversing the recent calming downward trend that had been temporarily achieved with a €1 trillion (£824bn) refinancing operation by the European Central Bank." – City AM
And finally… Big bash planned to celebrate Sam Cam's 41st birthday – Daily Mail
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