10.30pm LISTEN: Our promise is HOPE! Our promise is REWARD! Our promise is OPPORTUNITY! Listen – if you dare – to the new theme tune of the Australian Liberals

10pm ToryDiary: We made a silly promise not to build a third runway for Heathrow but it was a promise

11.30am Mohammed Amin on Comment: A land fit for billionaires

ToryDiary: Are Tory MPs wrong to complain about Osborne's spending priorities?

Untitled-2Also on ToryDiary: Captions please

Guy Opperman MP on Comment: Five policies that will help the Tories win in the North

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The reaction to my gay marriage report was an interesting study on how research can be selectively interpreted or misunderstood

Local government: Labour and Lib Dem councillors are still trying to scupper Bedford Free School


Revised economic show the economy contracted by 0.5% during the last quarter, less than the 0.7% announced last monthBBC

A Treasury spokesman said: “Britain is dealing with some very deep-rooted problems at home and a very serious debt crisis abroad and that is why the healing of the economy is proving to be slow and difficult.” – Express

> Amber Rudd MP yesterday: "Let’s now get on with the essential task of freeing up businesses and encouraging entrepreneurs, to build real growth back into the economy."

Merkel Angela Nov 11Bankrupt Greece yesterday begged Germany’s Iron Chancellor Angela Merkel for “breathing space”
The Sun

The Daily Mail: "The brutal truth is that Greece, whose economy is shrinking at a rate of more than 6 per cent a year, has no realistic hope of recovery until it is freed from the straitjacket of the one-size-fits all euro."

Patrick O'Flynn: We're already borrowing enough

"Some opposition MPs will cling to the strange idea that borrowing just a few billion more would make all the difference to the success of the economy, as if the £550billion extra this Government plans to borrow over five years was not enough. If more public borrowing made a country richer we would be one of the medal winners. Borrowing is just delayed taxation. It all has to be paid back one day." – Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

Headteacher attacks Michael Gove over marking 'butchery'Guardian

Leading private schools waded into the row over a sudden drop in GCSE grades today amid mounting calls for an inquiry into this year’s exam results – Telegraph

Shapps Grant April 2012Grant Shapps: Britain must consider building a third runway at Heathrow if it is to remain a “great trading nation”

"Mr Shapps also indicates today that he is opposed to emerging Treasury proposals to deregulate further the planning system. The minister, tipped for promotion in the forthcoming reshuffle, says there is no need to build on the green belt as some have suggested." – Telegraph

"Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, which controls British Airways, said he saw the lack of progress on aviation as a "disgrace". "I don't believe this government has the political will to address the issues," he said. "David Cameron seems a lot happier clapping and cheering for gold medals than dealing with tough, long-term economic challenges."" – Quoted in The Independent

Graeme Archer in The Telegraph: We need new houses built on fields, not these 'mixed-use’ Soviet estates

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: As the growth row over Heathrow goes on, don't forget the one over housing – and building on the Green Belt

David Cameron told he has a 'moral duty' to return Asil Nadir's party donationsIndependent

Countdown to the reshuffle

Fallon Michael July 2011"David Cameron is to revive a tradition championed by Margaret Thatcher and John Major by revamping the government whips' office to give it greater authority over the parliamentary party… Michael Fallon, the Tory deputy chairman, is expected to be rewarded for his work fire-fighting on behalf of the government on the airwaves with a promotion to chief whip, party chairman or leader of the house." – Guardian

There's no point in a reshuffle, says Simon Heffer, if the Chancellor isn't moved: "Mr Osborne is safe not only because he is Mr Cameron’s friend and crony. He is safe because Mr Cameron has bought so heavily into the failed policy that he believes to fire the Chancellor would undermine the Government’s credibility, and Mr Cameron’s. And if there can’t be a change at the Treasury I can’t, I’m afraid, see the point of having a reshuffle at all. For without a new Chancellor, it will be just a silly season diversion." – Daily Mail

Ten rising stars of the Coalition include Maria Miller, Grant Shapps, Michael Fallon, Hugh Robertson, Anna Soubry, Ed Timpson, Sajid JavidGuardian


A group of Conservative MPs are trying to seize the political agenda with some of the most rightwing ideas the party has seen in decades – and many are taking them seriously – Andy Beckett in The Guardian profiles Dom Raab, Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss

Screen Shot 2012-08-25 at 06.06.18Government arranges for uniformed youth services – including Scouts, guides and police cadets – to set up in deprived areas in £10 million initiative

"At least 2,700 adult volunteers will be trained to lead the 400 new groups to be established in areas such as Hackney, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and Middlesbrough. The aim is to provide 10,000 more places for youths, including offenders, disruptive schoolchildren, children in care and the unemployed. But the cash for “uniformed” groups suggests that ministers favour more disciplined organisations over less-established local services." – Times (£)

Tories turned off by 'extreme' Republican party, says Brooks NewmarkTelegraph

Number 10 under fire after Prime Minister hosts king of Bahrain in 'beneath the radar' meetingDaily Mail

'Come to Britain for free NHS treatment'

"Ministers have vowed to tighten rules over abuse of the NHS by foreign visitors after a woman reported flew in from Nigeria especially to have her baby in a British hospital… She was said to have gone straight from the airport to Wythenshawe Hospital, where she told staff that there were complications with her pregnancy. She received treatment costing a total of £10,000, but immediately after giving birth left without having paid anything." – Times (£)

In The Express, Stephen Pollard calls for a crackdown on tourist abuse of the NHS.

Tory police candidates must find £5,000 deposits while Labour fund theirsTelegraph

Liberal Democrat Tim Farron calls for debate in parliament after ePetition in favour of Virgin Trains keeping West Coat mainline reaches 100,000BBC

"Yesterday, Louise Ellman, chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, wrote to Ms Greening asking her to hold off signing the final contract. Mrs Ellman wrote that the West Coast ruling raised "important issues about the basis on which decisions on major rail franchises are made"." – Independent

The Financial Times urges Liberal Democrats to keep faith with Nick Clegg

Clegg on stage

"Amid the scorn directed at Mr Clegg from all sides, his virtues are easily forgotten. He did the right thing in 2010 by entering the coalition: a minority Tory government would not have lasted and a coalition with Labour was never mathematically viable. For all his squabbles with his governing partners, he has never wavered on the central issue of deficit reduction. Lib Dems who fret at their party’s supposed lack of influence in government should remember that Mr Clegg has blocked countless Tory policies (including, sadly, some good ones) and secured a dramatic rise in the income tax threshold to £10,000 by 2015." – FT leader (£)

Alex Salmond has pledged to break up BBC Scotland under independence and create a new national broadcaster that utilises the corporation's existing staff and assets

Salmond Alex Jan 12 : 2"The First Minister said in a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival that a new public sector broadcaster would be modelled on Ireland's RTE station if his Government wins the 2014 referendum. The new Scottish broadcaster would still take popular BBC programmes such as EastEnders but have a more distinctive voice through nationally focused shows, added Mr Salmond, citing the success of the Gaelic-language channel BBC Alba." – The Herald

The SNP’s message has become oddly blurred – Alex Massie in The Scotsman

What Galloway and Akin say about rape says so much more about them – Jonathan Freeland in The Guardian

And finally… Mr Commieron, Boris brands Tory leader a 'Politburo PM'Sun


> 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.