8.45pm MPsETC Tomorrow's 1922 Committee Elections – nominations in full - updated with the candidates being backed by the right of the Party

3.45pm MPsETC Tomorrow's 1922 Committee Elections – nominations in full

2.15pm LeftWatch: As Tory MPs move apart for the '22 elections, Labour's leaders draw closer over an EU referendum

11.30am Local Government: Over a thousand register for right to buy in Wandsworth

Two ToryDiaries on tomorrow's '22 elections:

John Baron MP on Comment: A prize awaits the Prime Minister if he seizes the moment over the Eurozone Crisis

Also on Comment: Nick de Bois MP – On election fraud, the Government is locking the back door while leaving the front door wide open

Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 08.02.00Majority Conservatism: Don Porter promises to build a new Conservative political organisation as he resigns from Conservative Way Forward

Local Government: Cllr Ralph Baldwin – Why I am joining the Conservative Party

The Deep End: Britain – Still two nations in 2012


Hammond joins Government criticism of business…

Hammond"Defence Secretary Philip Hammond risked further raising tensions between the Government and business leaders yesterday after accusing them of ‘whingeing’. Mr Hammond said that firms were sitting on a ‘large pile of cash’ and needed to do more to kickstart growth in the economy. His comments followed strongly-worded remarks by Foreign Secretary William Hague at the weekend, who called on companies to stop complaining and ‘work harder’ to drag Britain out of the mire." – Daily Mail

…As Downing Street tries to cool tensions

"Business leaders urged David Cameron to press ahead with measures to boost enterprise on Monday as Downing Street tried to cool tensions after a weekend in which senior ministers told corporate critics to stop “whingeing” and work harder to get the economy moving.   Heads of Britain’s largest companies said a quarterly meeting of the prime minister’s business advisory group was more constructive than the last meeting in February, when corporate chiefs rounded on him for populist grandstanding against wealth creators." – Financial Times (£)

  • "At best, the supposedly huge cuts in spending delivered by the coalition amount to only a little more than £1 in every £100. Any well-run household or company would be able to cope; why can’t the British state?" – Allister Heath, City A.M

> Yesterday: Columnist Bruce Anderson – There is no abler or stronger leader than Cameron in any major country

Liam Fox: Me too!  I helped balance the defence budget

FOX GESTICULATING"They are not the achievement of single individuals, but of politicians, military leaders and civil servants working together, in this case against the full weight of institutional inertia or frank resistance. Reform has to be driven through against a cultural instinct to say why it cannot be done. David Cameron’s decision to keep his defence team constant throughout the time in opposition let us build up a common body of knowledge and enabled a better diagnosis of the Ministry of Defence’s ills." – The Times (£)

> Yesterday: WATCH – Hammond: "After two years' work, the black hole in the Defence budget has finally been eliminated"

Euro-crisis 1: Osborne accuses Merkel of undermining Britain's economy

“The eurozone crisis is very serious and it’s having a real impact on economic growth across the European continent, including in Britain, and it’s the uncertainty that’s causing the damage,” said Mr Osborne, the Chancellor. “Of course countries have got to make difficult decisions about their public finances. We know that in Britain. But it’s the open speculation from some members of the eurozone about the future of some countries in the eurozone which I think is doing real damage across the whole European economy.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Markets preparing for Greek exit
  • Spanish and Italian 10-year borrowing costs shot up to their highest levels this year
  • German 10-year bond yields fell to a record low
  • European stock markets suffered their biggest one-day drop in three weeks – Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday: International – Is Europe voting against austerity or is Europe voting against tax rises?

Euro-crisis 2: People's Pledge steps up referendum campaign

Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 07.51.35
"The People’s Pledge, a cross-party organisation demanding a vote on EU membership, unveiled plans to hold polls in three Parliamentary constituencies. A 39-strong shortlist included Mid Bedfordshire, where Nadine Dorries is MP, or the Corby seat of fellow Tory Louise Mensch. Last night Tories Anne Marie Morris, in Newton Abbot, and Mike Freer, in Finchley and Golders Green, brought to 68 the number of MPs backing The People’s Pledge." – Daily Express 

> Yesterday: MPsETC – The People's Pledge announce shortlist of 39 constituencies for new European referendums

Euro-crisis 3: Is Labour readying itself to expose Tory divisions by declaring for an In/Out poll?

"Senior Labour ranks are considering an in/out referendum on the European Union, it emerged yesterday. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls admitted the public could have their say on whether Britain should continue its membership of the crisis-hit EU in the years to come. Pressure is mounting on both the Conservative and Labour leaderships to pledge a referendum at the next general election." – Daily Mail

Hain to go, Byrne to be demoted, David Miliband perhaps to return in forthcoming Labour reshuffle

"Ed Miliband is planning to stamp his authority on Labour this week with an expected reshuffle and an attempt to get the party’s stalling policy review back on track. The Labour leader feels invigorated after his party surged into a double-figure lead in the opinion polls, partly on the back of the controversial Budget…Allies of Mr Miliband say that he no longer feels the need to mollify figures in the party when he disagrees with them." – Financial Times (£)

Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 06.15.38Labour hit biggest poll lead over the Conservatives for a decade – The Sun

  • Miliband should seize the moment and build a front bench capable of governing – Times Editorial (£)
  • Labour's talent contest – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph\Cheryl Gillan: I will miss Peter Hain – Wales Online
  • Labour opens branch in Londonderry and says it will contest Northern Ireland elections – Belfast Telegraph

Lansley heckled by nurses as he stands firm on NHS pay

"Andrew Lansley stood firm on changes to nurses’ pay and pensions and said NHS trusts should be held accountable for cuts in staffing that adversely affected frontline services. Addressing the Royal College of Nursing’s annual congress in Harrogate, the Health Secretary insisted that across the NHS the number of clinical staff dealing with patients had been maintained or even increased over the past two years while management posts had been cut." – The Times (£)

  • Theresa May set for fierce reception at Police Federation conference – The Independent

> Yesterday: WATCH – Andrew Lansley gets rough reception at the Royal College of Nursing's Congress

Accountants slam child benefit planDaily Telegraph

Disability benefits row latest: figures suggest thousands are fit to work

"Thousands on sickness benefits for more than 15 years are fit to work, it emerged last night. Of 15,700 on the pay-out since 1997, a quarter — 3,900 in all — could return immediately. Many could have pocketed up to £78,000 in Incapacity Benefit (IB), which now pays up to £99.15 a week. Another 5,100 — 32 per cent — could do some work in time with help, official figures revealed…Employment minister Chris Grayling said the government was determined to help claimants “overcome the barriers” that stop them working." – The Sun

  • Public Accounts Committee says Work Programme wastes taxpayers' money – The Independent

Debate rages over benefit and cost of minimum alcohol pricingScotsman

'22 elections 1) Soames and Crouch to stand down from '22 Committee in protest against factionalism – and 301 Group slate

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"The row has erupted on the eve of the first elections to the executive of the 1922 committee in two years. Members of the 301 group of Tory MPs – the number of parliamentary seats needed to secure a majority in the next parliament – infuriated Soames and Crouch when they told the Guardian last month that they would publish a slate of candidates in a bid to remove members of the "bloody rude" old guard who have criticised David Cameron." – The Guardian

'22 Elections 2) De Bois to stand for Secretary as independent

"Occasional rebel Nick de Bois announced that he would stand for the post of secretary as a ‘non slate’ candidate – an open challenge to those trying to oust Mr Cameron’s critics. He will be up against loyalists Charlie Elphicke and Karen Bradley, who are trying to oust serial Cameron critic Christopher Chope. Mr de Bois said: ‘I think the 1922 Committee should be big enough to accommodate all views across the party. It’s a good place for people to let off steam and I hope I have the chance to play a role.’" – Daily Mail

  • Fears of Downing St stitch-up as one in five Tory MPs voting in 1922 committee ballot is member of Government – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: Chris Kelly MP on Comment – We don't need to shift right or stay as we are. We need to talk more about our Conservative achievements.

Former U.S Ambassador to NATO report claims Government has no clear foreign policyThe Times (£)

Bercow says Hunt cannot use Leveson to dodge questions about BSkyB

BERCOW JOHN 5"Under fire Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been told he cannot use his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry to avoid explaining his handling of News Corporation's bid for BSkyB in the House of Commons. Mr Hunt is due to appear before Lord Leveson later this month to explain a series of leaked emails between his advisor and News Corp's head of public affairs over the planned £8billion takeover." – Daily Mail

Rebekah Brooks will learn today whether she is to be charged for perverting the course of justice over phone hackingDaily Mail

Whitehall gets seven weeks off for OlympicsThe Times (£)

Thousands of children to be struck off special needs listDaily Telegraph

Cameron says Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is his favourite album for Desert Island Discs (but before the election apparently said it was The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths)Daily Mail

Blair wanted to end speech with: "God bless Britain"Daily Telegraph


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