Johnson Boris airport speech8.30pm WATCH: Boris Johnson: "Heathrow is failing as a hub"

5.30pm Local government: The Paddington Academy success story

4.30pm MPsETC: Leader of Tory MEPs condemns European Commission for demanding extra £8billion funding from national governments

4pm Local government: Schoolgirl heckled at Labour conference for attending an academy

Hague Cardiff2.45pm WATCH: William Hague: Syrian attack on Turkey is "outrageous", Britain expresses its "strong solidarity"

1.45pm ToryDiary: Boris attacks the Government's "lamentable" airport plans, which could cause an "economic catastrophe"

12.30pm Dr Teck Khong on Comment: We should maintain our international aid spending – but we can make it smarter and more innovative

11am WATCH: Mancunians – in an unscientific Daily Politics poll – are divided over whether Ed Miliband is too posh

ToryDiary: Can Hunt escape an NHS crisis on his watch?

Also on ToryDiary: This could be the civil service's expenses-gate. Its Lehman moment. Its hacking crisis.

Columnist Andrew Lilico: Which Eurozone countries can and can't cut deficits without currency devaluation?

On Comment:

LeftWatch: Five things we’ve learnt about Ed Miliband’s Labour from their Manchester conference

International: Mitt Romney receives momentum shift as he easily bests Obama in first presidential debate

Local Government: Harry Phibbs reviews The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The Deep End: The awful truth about Ed Miliband

WATCH: Romney and Obama clash on the US deficit and spending cuts

Greening and Villiers safe in new jobs despite West Coast rail fiasco

Greening Justine"Ministers could not be expected to delve into the minutiae of the West Coast Main Line franchise award and other complex deals, Downing Street insisted yesterday. Justine Greening and Theresa Villiers, the two ministers at the Department for Transport when the bids were being considered and awarded, appeared safe in their new roles, despite the fiasco. Senior Tory sources said that ministers should not carry the blame for failing to spot errors in highly technical spreadsheets unintelligible to the layman." – Times (£)

  • The error could eventually cost £300m – Times (£)
  • Ministers accused of using rail scapegoats – FT (£)
  • Labour call for Greening to be sacked – Daily Mail
  • Virgin Rail back on track in west coast shambles - Guardian


  • Department for TransportMinisters cannot escape the blame for this train wreck – Christian Wolmar for the Times (£)
  • Public deserves better over rail bid shambles – Scotsman editorial
  • "[T]he most important lesson is that the civil service is broken; it is an archaic institution that has become very bad at delivery. We need to move to a more US-style system of government, where thousands of officials are brought in by incoming governments to run things, with strict safeguards." – Allister Heath for City AM
  • Ministers and mandarins must work together to avoid repeating the West Coast rail franchise fiasco – Sue Cameron for the Daily Telegraph

> Today on ToryDiaryThis could be the civil service's expenses-gate. Its Lehman moment. Its hacking crisis.

> Coverage from yesterday:

We may have to cut back on NHS spending if we win the next election, Hunt says

Hunt Jeremy"The Tories pledged to ringfence the NHS budget until 2015, but the Health Secretary said in an interview that the current ‘uncertain’ economic situation meant it may not be possible to repeat the promise next time. His comments are at odds with those of his predecessor Andrew Lansley, who said last year that health spending would have to continue rising ‘until kingdom come’ because of the growing elderly population." – Daily Mail

  • Hundreds of contracts signed in 'biggest ever act of NHS privatisation' – Guardian

> Today on ToryDiary: Can Hunt escape an NHS crisis on his watch?

> From yesterday - WATCH: Andy Burnham rails against NHS "privatisation"

Andrew Mitchell pulls out of Conservative party conference to avoid being a "distraction"

Mitchell Thoughtful

"The minister has reversed his earlier decision to attend the party’s annual gathering in Birmingham because he does not want to be a “distraction”. The move is a blow to the Conservatives because Mr Mitchell, who represents Sutton Coldfield, is one of the party’s few MPs with a seat in the city. It is also extremely rare for a senior politician like Mr Mitchell, who can attend Cabinet, to stay aware from the annual conference." – Daily Telegraph

Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia

Hague local elections iv"Britain has begun tentative talks with China and Russia about setting up a hotline to help prevent cyber-emergencies from spiralling out of control. The discussions are at an early stage but they reflect anxiety from all sides that a calamity in cyberspace, whether deliberate or accidental, could have devastating consequences unless there is a quick and reliable way for senior officials to reach each other." - Guardian

New "City Minister" Greg Clark tells Brussels to crack down on market abuse

Clark-Greg-And-Big-Ben"The EU should stand firm and enact tough laws on market abuse, including hefty fines for wrongdoing, the new UK City minister said in his maiden speech to a Brussels audience. He stressed London is no soft touch on regulation. Greg Clark, who took over as the UK coalition government’s leader on financial regulation in September, urged EU policy makers not to water down plans to standardise market abuse rules across the 27-nation bloc." – FT (£)

  • Let’s demand a new deal that allows EU members to opt in only to the policies they favour – David Heathcoat-Amory for the Daily Telegraph

> From today - Andrea Leadsom MP on Comment: The British option for EU reform can be based on trade and less interference

Ironbridge Gorge 'saved' by Eric Pickles' £12m grant

"Ironbridge Gorge, regarded by historians as the cradle of the industrial revolution, has been saved for the nation with a multi-million pound government grant. … The cash will go to restoring and protecting the gorge and its bridge so that generations can enjoy the landscape that sparked a new age of modernity in Britain." – Daily Telegraph

Thug kung-fu kicked Tory MP who tried to stop him vandalising bus stop

Jackson Stewart"A skinhead admitted kung-fu kicking Tory Stewart Jackson when the MP tried to make a citizens arrest after spotting him vandalising a bus stop. Ivans Karanovs, 20, attacked Peterborough MP Mr Jackson and bystander Christopher Brierley. … The MP decided to make a stand and carry out a citizen's arrest but backed down when Karanovs became aggressive. Shaven-headed Karanovs then launched a kung-fu style kick into the politician's side in front of his horrified wife." - Daily Telegraph

Phillip Blond: David Cameron has lost his chance to redefine the Tories

Blond Philip"Rather like some ghastly ghost story, the various shades of the conservative past have returned and overwhelmed the good that Cameron originally represented. His brand is now polling almost at the same level as that of the Conservative party itself. His failure to maintain a coherent new vision has led to spasmodic appeals to vague progressive notions that have further alienated his own base and suggested that the PM is not a master of his own beliefs. None of this is helped by an almost permanent lack of central direction; even cabinet ministers do not know who is in control of the government's message or approach." – Phillip Blond for the Guardian

Class war and marches, so much for One Nation: Miliband vows to support union protest against cuts

Miliband E bankers"A day after he made his audacious attempt to claim the ‘One Nation’ philosophy from the Tories, Ed Miliband was back making left-wing class war attacks yesterday. Despite his earlier claims that Labour would unite the rich and poor, he pledged to speak at a trade union march against austerity measures. And in a question and answer session with grassroots members, Mr Miliband referred to activists as ‘comrades’ and boasted that ‘hatred’ of the Government kept his party united." – Daily Mail

  • Poll boost for Miliband after "One Nation" conference – The Sun
  • "Shadow Cabinet members will be ordered to draw up policies to illustrate Ed Miliband's new One Nation Labour theme as he tries to build on his successful conference speech and answer criticism that his party is a policy-free zone." – Independent
  • Miliband ducks questions over his own wealth - Daily Telegraph
  • Builders and plumbers urged to join Ed Miliband's class war against the Conservatives – Daily Mail
  • David set for return to lead his brother's election campaign - Independent
  • Labour considers curbs on universal benefits to pay for social care – Guardian


  • OBORNENow it’s David Cameron’s turn to display his one-nation credentials – Peter Oborne for the Daily Telegraph
  • One nation? Hypocritical Red Ed is the most divisive Labour leader for decades – Stephen Glover of the Daily Mail
  • Ed Miliband and Tony Blair have more in common than those stuck in the past can allow – Martin Kettle for the Guardian
  • Heads should roll after this rail bid debacle. If a blunder of this proportion had occurred in the private sector, the consequences would be very different – Daily Telegraph editorial

> Today on The Deep EndThe awful truth about Ed Miliband

> Coverage from yesterday:

National 'virtual ID card' scheme set for launchIndependent

World economic crisis recovery will take at least a decade, says IMF chief economistDaily Mail

  • UK services grow slowly but Eurozone contracts – City AM
  • Workers are £1,600 a year poorer because of state of economy, study finds – Guardian

Turkey strikes Syrian targets after cross-border mortar bomb kills fiveGuardian

Divorce rates fallDaily Mail

Making prisoners use bucket as toilet is not degrading, rules judgeDaily Telegraph

Romney wins first presidential debate

Romney Obama debate

"Sixty-seven percent of registered voters who watched the debate said GOP nominee Mitt Romney won the debate, while 25% said President Barack Obama came out as the winner, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released late Wednesday night." – CNN

"With the possible exception of a highly technical exchange on Medicare I’m not sure [Obama] won a single round. Romney by contrast was back to his best. The 27 debates he endured against his Republican challengers in the spring proved good preparation for this contest." – Alex Massie of the Spectator

  • Romney humiliated Obama in the presidential debate – Tim Stanley of TelegraphBlogs


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