8.15pm VIDEO: Actors, Greens, Socialists and lottery winners join Alex Salmond to launch Scottish independence campaign

4.30pm Local government: MPs call for international observers to investigate Tower Hamlets vote rigging

4.15pm MPsETC: After attacking graverobber as "scumbag" Gavin Barwell MP is The Sun's "hero of the week"

3.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron makes case for elected police commissioners in regional media

Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 14.26.332.30pm WATCH: Cable isn't a socialist, concludes David Willetts, but a "flinty Gladstonian"

12.30pm Bill Cash MP on Comment: The EU isn't work economically or politically. The case for radical renegotiation in our relationship with the EU is unanswerable.

11.30am VIDEO: David Cameron knew that Jeremy Hunt supported Murdoch takeover when he appointed him to BSkyB role

10.45am John Baron MP on Comment: A military strike against Iran would be disastrous

ToryDiary: Osborne wanted top rate of income tax cut to 40p but Clegg said no and it may now be 45p for many years to come

Columnist Bruce Anderson: No thoughtful Tory should be tempted by an EU referendum. We need to think our way out.

Elliott MatthewMajority Conservatism reports on Matthew Elliott's answer to the question of how the Tories might win next time: Labour may have lost the election but unions are still getting subsidies and Left-wingers are still running public bodies

Steve Barclay MP on Comment: Why a remedy to Eastern European immigration is not at our borders but in our fields

Murdo Fraser MSP on Comment: Consumers, not governments, should choose the energy mix

Local government: The Committee on Climate Change should be abolished

The Deep End: The TRUTH about foreign aid

WATCH: Five economic lessons from the 1930s recovery, suggested by George Trefgarne

The PM was left reeling by catastrophic figures on the economy, immigration AND crime…The Sun

MIGRATION WATCH UKSoft on immigration? Coalition promised to cut net migration to under 100,000. Yesterday, it hit 252,000 – Daily Mail

  • Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch commented: "‘There is no sign of any reduction from the huge numbers that developed under Labour. The problem is that non-EU migrants are simply not leaving. It is time the Lib Dems understood the extent of public concern, including among 75 per cent of their own supporters. The Coalition must now take tough measures to reduce this unacceptable scale of immigration." (Quoted in The Express).
  • "The figures showed that while estimated long-term immigration remained steady at 589,000, there has been a continuing decline in UK residents emigrating from the UK – which dropped to 338,000 compared with a peak of 427,000 in 2008." – FT (£)
  • The Times (£): "Students are being allowed into Britain with such poor English that they cannot even answer the question “What is your name?”, an immigration chief has revealed."

Patel Priti Oct 2011Soft on crime? "More than 60,000 criminals were spared a jail sentence last year despite having committed at least 15 previous crimes" – Daily Mail

  • "Priti Patel, the Tory MP, said: “This is a pitiful legacy of a decade of criminal justice policy that has failed to punish criminals. These alarming figures show that too many criminals are being let off the hook and allowed to reoffend over and over again.” – Quoted in The Telegraph

Soft on growth? Economy shrank by 0.3% in first quarterBBC

  • Cameron must go further and faster on growth, immigration and crime – Sun Says
  • If David Cameron is opposed to a European financial transaction tax, as he claims, he should abolish the one he levies at home – stamp duty – Damian Reece in The Telegraph
  • The Economist rejects Beecroft as an answer to economic problems, saying UK labour laws are among world's least onerous

29 month 'Yes' campaign for Scottish independence to be launched todayScotsman | BBC

DARLING ALISTAIR 2"Alistair Darling has claimed that Alex Salmond's campaign for Scottish independence has stalled at the starting line after a poll found that only a third of Scots want to leave the UK' – Guardian | Herald

Telegraph leader: "It appears that a Unionist fightback is on – and not before time. One of the more pleasing aspects of this is that David Cameron has persuaded Alistair Darling to lead the campaign against the separatists. The former Labour chancellor is a trusted, moderate and refreshingly non-tribal figure with a substantial global reputation. It is to be hoped that influential Britons throughout the United Kingdom will join Mr Darling in putting their shoulder to the wheel of this most important cause."

GREEKTory MPs say Greek exit will force referendum

"David Cameron will face demands from Tory MPs to redraw Britain’s relationship with Europe in the event of a Greek exit from the eurozone, senior government sources believe. No 10 and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office say that treaties governing the European Union will have to be rewritten after the departure of one of the 17 members of the single currency bloc. This would trigger “aggressive” demands by Tory MPs to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, or pull out of the social chapter, a commitment made by Mr Cameron during his campaign for his party’s leadership." – Times (£)

  • The end of the €uro could be David Cameron's last chance to shine – Frederick Forsyth in The Express

We must defy Strasbourg on prisoner votes – David Davis and Jack Straw renew their joint position in an OpEd for The Telegraph

  • Some prisoners have earned the right to vote, so let them – Jonathan Aitken in The Guardian

GRAYLING-OPEN-SHIRTMore 'EU veto moments' please Prime Minister, says Chris Grayling

"In a speech to an event organised by the ConservativeHome website, Mr Grayling noted that the Tories surged to 40 per cent in the polls shortly after the veto. The party is currently languishing at around 30 per cent. He said Mr Cameron needed to find a handful of similar such “EU veto moments” in the remainder of the parliament to get “a lock” on traditional Tory supporters." – Telegraph

> Yesterday on ConHome: Chris Grayling urges Cameron to find more "EU veto moments" as part of his five point election-winning plan

At last! David Cameron is listening to his backbenches: on gay marriage, Lords reform and prisoners' votes – James Chapman in the Daily Mail

191 calls, 158 emails and 1,056 texts: The true scale of contact between News Corp and Jeremy Hunt's office during £8bn BSkyB bidDaily Mail

Cameron knew Hunt would back BSkyB bid – Independent

'Jeremy Hunt was backing BSkyB bid, not judging it' – Harriet Harman has told ITV News that the Prime Minister should never have appointed Jeremy Hunt to judge News Corp's bid for full control of BSkyB

Daily Mail leader: "Doesn’t it defy belief that, only a month after this memo was written in 2010, and only days before enjoying a Christmas dinner at the home of a senior Murdoch executive, David Cameron saw no conflict of interest in making the clearly biased Mr Hunt the supposedly quasi-judicial, independent arbiter of whether the deal should be approved?"

Michael Gove unveils school rebuilding decisionFT (£)

Gavin Barwell MP yesterday branded a scrap metal thief who stole a plaque from his dad’s grave a “scumbag”

"The Tory vowed: “If I ever find out who you are, you are going to regret it.” The tribute to his dad David, who died in 2005, was nicked from Beckenham Cemetery, Kent." – The Sun

'You need the hide of a Sherman tank' – Edwina Currie gives some advice to David Cameron on keeping his temper in the CommonsTelegraph

Boris Johnson has caused outrage by accusing two-thirds of the cyclists killed and seriously injured in London of causing the crashes by breaking the laws of the roadIndependent

TAXPAYERS ALLIANCEMary Dejevsky: Why the political left should adopt the 'flat tax'

"Simple, transparent and fair, a single tax has at least as much to recommend it for those of modest or average means, as it does for bankers and big business. It offers Mr Miliband an opportunity to reinvent himself as the advocate at once of lower tax, the "squeezed middle" and an effective state, which he could propose to slim down not on US, but on Australian or Swedish lines. His Labour could be the party of 30 per cent maximum taxation; no extortionate marginal rates; no hair-splitting about child benefit; no advantages to be derived from clever accountancy, and no special deals over lunch with HMRC. The 2020 Commission's report runs to 400-plus pages. Mr Miliband and his new policy chief, Jon Cruddas, should get reading." – Mary Dejevsky in The Independent

There is a significant body of economic literature that suggests that small-government countries grow more quickly after accounting for other characteristics – Tim Knox and Ryan Bourne in the Wall Street Journal

The Big Society is a lesson for Labour in how not to sell a big idea – Rafael Behr in the New Statesman

Conservatives in government can claim – and again not without some justification – that they are pursuing progressive policies on welfare by pointing to the way they are busy removing benefits from Britain’s middle-classes – Professor Tim Bale for the Policy Network

Italy would benefit from creation of a modern, pro-business centre-right party, says FT after fringe parties prosper in local electionsFT leader


> 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.