6.30pm ToryDiary: Ideas, please, for UKIP's next logo?

Map_of_afghanistan5.30pm John Baron MP on Comment: The Defence Secretary says one thing. The Development Secretary says another. The Government must clear up its confusion over Afghanistan.

2pm Garvan Walshe on Comment: If we abandon hope in the Arab Spring the terrorists win

10am ToryDiary: Sir John Major whispers what Downing Street is saying privately — a slow recovery is underway

ToryDiary: Boris Johnson features in ConHome's biggest ever Party Conference programme… and calls for tougher strike laws

Columnist Nadine Dorries MP: Stop laughing. Boris is a real candidate for Tory leader.


Lord Lamont on Comment: Yes, Britain benefited from getting out of the ERM, but we also first benefited from being in it

Giles Roca on Local government: Getting local growth moving

Michael Gove to announce replacement of GCSEs by 2015BBC

Screen Shot 2012-09-16 at 07.58.37"Michael Gove is to herald an end to a quarter of a century of ‘dumbed-down’ exams this week when he abolishes GCSEs and brings back a tough new O-level style system. The Education Secretary will announce the new exams on Tuesday in a joint press conference with Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg." – Mail on Sunday

In his Mail on Sunday column James Forsyth explains how a Clegg/Gove deal was reached: "The Education Secretary agreed to drop the aspect of the policy that had most concerned the Lib Dem leader – an easier, second-tier exam for less able children. In exchange, Clegg accepted that exams needed to become a real test again. This process was turbo-charged when David Laws, Clegg’s closest intellectual ally, arrived in  the Department for Education as Gove’s deputy. The appointment gave Clegg confidence that the Tories wouldn’t try to hoodwink him and enabled a final agreement to be reached far quicker than either side was expecting."

Foreign lorries are to be charged up to £1,000 a year to use British roads – in a bid to benefit domestic hauliersBBC

Insiders worried that Duncan Smith's Universal Credit won't workObserver

Duncan Smith Jan 2012"Iain Duncan Smith is preparing to demand that the prime minister take action over claims that Britain’s most senior civil servant has been putting the knife into his welfare reforms. Friends of the work and pensions secretary say he is “seriously dismayed” by briefings to journalists suggesting Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, is “sceptical” about universal credit, the government’s flagship welfare policy." – The Sunday Times (£)

New Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has been telling unpromoted backbenchers that there'll be another reshuffle in a yearThe Sun

  • Theresa May is highest-ranked Cabinet minister at number six – Mail on Sunday

Future of Cameron's leadership depends upon the economy

"Mr Cameron’s fate will rest on the economy. If there is a decent recovery, then many of his problems will dissipate and he will stand a strong chance of winning the next general election. If there isn’t sustained growth, his internal opponents will have the excuse they need to come for him." – Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph

Johnson Boris Microphone
  • Boris Johnson to take 'how to win' message to Tory party conference – Observer
  • Here come Boris and Vince… Fear of rebellion stalks conference season – Toby Helm in The Observer
  • "Boris is not Prime Minister material. The public want a PM who looks like one. They don’t want him to resemble a dishevelled buffoon. Let’s end the silly speculation. Boris is the John Prescott of the Tory Party," says the Shipley MP, Philip Davies in the Mail on Sunday.

50 NHS chiefs paid more than David Cameron after health shake-upThe Sunday Telegraph

Green lobby groups have been defeated, as energy minister favours massive investment in gas generation – Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph

…but reports the Independent on Sunday, "Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Climate Change Secretary, is to set out plans to offer communities financial benefits for taking on wind farms in their area."

Chris Grayling, the new Justice Secretary, needs to modernise the justice system to diminish delay, increase efficiency, and make sure that the process is not intimidating for witnessesSunday Telegraph leader

Tories more popular after Black Wednesday than now, says Lord Lamont

Lamont said that it was a “myth” that the events in September 1994
paved the way for a landslide defeat three years later. “Four month
after Black Wednesday the Conservatives were at 37 per cent in the
polls – six points higher than they are today,” the peer said. “The big
decline in Conservative support happened in 1994 when the Conservatives
fell to 20 per cent – that was two years later.”" – The Sunday Telegraph

> Today on Comment Lord Lamont busts other ERM myths.

John Redwood is uneasy about the latest round of Quantitative Easing

"There is no substitute for creating stronger and more competitive banks, and for both the private and public sectors getting on top of their excess debt problems. Money printing may delay some of the adjustment, but it does not replace the laws of arithmetic." – John Redwood

A preview of the Party Conference seasonObserver

  • Labour enjoys 44% to 34% lead at start of Party Conference season – Anthony Wells in The Sunday Times (£)

Sacked Defence Minister Nick Harvey claims Clegg axed him because he wouldn't support attack on IranMail on Sunday

EU and BRITAINOn the potential EADS, BAe merger, Will Hutton alleges that the Eurosceptics are just like the Tea Party, living in their own parallel universe

  • "The best way forward is for Britain to renegotiate a new relationship with the European Union – one based on an economic partnership involving a customs union and a single market in goods and services" – Liam Fox in the Mail on Sunday
  • The Sun Says: "Much that the EU does is admirable: environmental and health controls, safeguards for workers, strict hygiene standards. We all say yes to that. But the trouble with Brussels is that it goes too far: it saddles employers with so many restrictions that it’s often not worthwhile hiring anyone — so the jobless queues grow longer."
  • “We Demand A Referendum Party” will challenge Tories at next election – Sun

“Vince as leader would win back a lot of votes to the Lib Dems that have fled to Labour,” I was told. “It could work well for us in 2015.” – Matthew d'Ancona says many Tories see advantage in Cable becoming Lib Dem leader, The Sunday Telegraph

Clegg April 2012Nick Clegg's "bigot" gaffe revealed "how he regards anyone with the temerity to disagree with him"
– Nick Ferrari in The Sunday Express

  • Gerald Warner in Scotland on Sunday agrees, writing that "We must fight our descent into a totalitarian state".
  • "People worried about levels of immigration are bigots. People who oppose women priests are bigots. People who oppose gay marriage are bigots. Clegg is so bien pensant, he probably thinks people who don’t like hummus are bigots." – Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times (£)

"As we approach the halfway point of this parliament, the arrangement between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats seems unhappier than ever… It is not that England does not love coalitions; it does not understand them. It does not see parties working together in what Vince Cable might call an "adult, mature relationship"; it sees ferrets in a sack." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

Ed Miliband WOULD back statutory regulation of newspapers if Leveson inquiry backs its introductionThe Sunday Times (£)

CLARKE CharlesCharles Clarke calls on Theresa May to scrap police commissioner elections

"Charles Clarke has launched a savage attack on plans for elected police and crime commissioners, predicting they will be “a total grade one disaster” which will “destroy” officers’ morale and undermine heir ability to operate." – Sunday Express

  • Hillsborough emphasises that the government must be bold in dealing with the police – the last unreformed public service – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

Nigel Farndale: The Left hate too

"The Left likes to pretend it is motivated by compassion, when it is actually fuelled by hatred. Look at Gordon Brown and Ed Balls, fine haters both. Demented by their hatred, indeed. Would Damian McBride, Brown’s well- poisoner in chief, have dared to smear senior Conservatives, including Samantha Cameron, with false rumours about their private lives, if there hadn’t been a deep culture of Tory hatred in the Brown camp?" – Nigel Farndale in The Sunday Telegraph

> Recent LeftWatch: How the Left went bad

And finally… Lord Hill tried to resign as an education minister but couldn't get a meeting with the Prime Minister…

"Attempts to book an appointment to tell the prime minister were cancelled by No 10. Finally, Hill fixed a meeting with David Cameron in his office at the end of the reshuffle. Hill started to explain why he wanted to resign, according to sources in his department, but the prime minister was apparently not paying attention. Cameron was so distracted during Hill’s spiel that he appeared not to hear." – The Sunday Times (£)


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