9.45pm International: Romney is in contention because he's not the grotesque caricature of Democrat propaganda
4.30pm ToryDiary: "If you want someone to act quickly and theatrically then Theresa May is not your kind of politician. She is Britain's Mrs Merkel: unshowy, not particularly flamboyant but reliable, steady, solid and very hard-working."
2pm Majority Conservatism: Thatcher was a great Tory Prime Minister but the party must also be inspired by other great conservatives
Noon Paul Goodman on ToryDiary considers implications of 16 and 17 year-olds being able to vote in the Scottish referendum: Cameron gives the vote to Rolfe
Columnist Peter Hoskin: Let's look at the Thatcher Years in full, not just in parts
Simon Less on Comment: Low carbon and lower bills – Can the circle be squared?
Majority Conservatism: The Conservative message needs to be more balanced; 50% strength and 50% compassion
Local government: "Virtual schools" are failing to close the gap for children in care
The Deep End: Monetary versus fiscal stimulus – a no score draw
Cameron will not play a leading role in anti-independence campaign – FT (£)
…Although Alex Salmond wants head-to-head TV debate with Cameron – Herald
"Mr Salmond was keen yesterday to focus attention on the last section of the “Edinburgh Agreement” which commits London and Edinburgh to the deal and to work “constructively” in the light of the outcome. This, he declared, meant that if there was a yes vote, there was now a commitment to ensuring a deal was done across the UK in good faith, beginning “the day after” the referendum." – Eddie Barnes in The Scotsman
- Daily Mail leader: "Leave aside the traumatic implications of a divorce for defence, diplomacy, trade, energy and any number of other issues. If hard-headed Scots remain in doubt, they should consider that without the UK’s bailout of RBS and HBoS, they’d be worse off than Greece by now."
- Janan Ganesh in the FT (£): "Last year’s Scottish social attitudes survey found that views on independence depend enormously on its perceived economic impact. If it made Scots £500 a year better off on average, independence would be favoured by 66 per cent to 21 per cent. If it made them worse off by the same amount, Scots would vote against it by a similarly strapping margin."
- 42% of the British public oppose independence for Scotland, compared with 29% who support it – ITV
Now is not the time to strike Iran, Cameron urges Israel – Telegraph
"David Cameron last night warned Iran is a ‘threat to the world’ and Britain will not ‘learn to live’ with the regime getting nuclear arms. The Prime Minister said he told Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu now is not the time to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities since it would unite Iranians behind the regime. But he held out the prospect of air strikes in future if the Iranians do not come to the negotiating table." – Daily Mail
PM urged to establish wide-ranging Jimmy Savile probe
"Labour leader Ed Miliband said a broad inquiry into Savile's activities at the BBC, Stoke Mandeville hospital and Broadmoor was essential to "do right by the victims". Culture Secretary Maria Miller has dismissed calls for an independent inquiry, saying she was "confident" BBC chiefs were taking the claims "very seriously"." – London Evening Standard
The Sun is certainly pressing for a judge-led investigation: "Taxpayers are entitled to a rigorous independent inquiry. Shouldn’t the Government appoint a judge to find out why the BBC apparently covered up and perhaps even colluded in the sickening activities of this creature?"
"The Culture Secretary admitted to a slip of the tongue tonight when she condemned the BBC for “inappropriately” pulling a documentary about Jimmy Savile’s sexual abuse" – Times (£)
Theresa May was hailed by Tory MPs as she announced Government plans to opt out of 130 EU law and order measures – The Sun
- Open Europe's briefing on the Home Secretary's decision to opt out of 130 EU crime and policing laws.
- "Cameron will tell fellow EU leaders this week that he will not accept a eurozone banking union unless Britain’s financial services are safeguarded" – Express
- Frederick Forsyth reports on a new Eurosceptic campaign being formed by Liam Fox – Express
"Angela Merkel thinks David Cameron and the British are the Statler and Waldorf of Europe, it was claimed yesterday. The German chancellor apparently likens the Prime Minister to the grumpy Muppets who constantly grumble from the sidelines." – Daily Mail
"Germany is plotting a Europe without Britain and is determined to “plough ahead” with projects the UK opposes, it emerged last night. Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly fed up with Britain being “spectators” and instead should be cut out of the power bloc." – Express
- "For nigh on six decades, [Europhiles] purported to represent mainstream political opinion – now, they are the fanatics" – Philip Johnston in The Telegraph
- Europe still has the potential to tear the Tories apart – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)
Sir David Mitchell, a former Tory MP and whip, has urged his son to tough out 'plebgate' – Telegraph
Former Labour MP Chris Mullin comes to Andrew Mitchell's defence in The Times (£), arguing that it is vital that the Police Federation is resisted: "The Police Federation is a mighty vested interest that has seen off just about all attempts to reform the least reformed part of the public service. They need to be taken on, not appeased."
- Labour MP seeks £1,000 fine for Andrew Mitchell for swearing at police officer – The Sun
Cameron and Clegg told to honour promises over Gary McKinnon
"In opposition, both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party leaders had argued forcefully that Gary McKinnon should stand trial in Britain rather than America for breaking into military networks… The Home Secretary will announce to the House of Commons the long-awaited decision on his extradition, as well as the Government’s response to an independent review of the treaty with the US following claims it is “one-sided”." – Telegraph
- David Burrowes MP may quit as Owen Paterson's PPS if McKinnon extradition goes ahead – Telegraph
The Daily Mail, however, senses victory on the general question: "Theresa May will today unveil a major shake-up of Britain’s lopsided extradition laws. In a victory for the Mail’s Affront to British Justice campaign, the Home Secretary will introduce rules making it more likely a UK citizen will face trial at home rather than being bundled on a plane to the US."
Liz Truss promises to reform Britain's expensive and patchy system of childcare – Telegraph
Workers who change jobs risk losing up to a quarter of their pension under Government plans to let employees carry retirement funds with them – Telegraph
Does Boris Johnson's popularity extend outside of London?
"While Mr Johnson’s mainly London-centric policies are unlikely to win minds in the north, his humour, candour and what pollsters call “authenticity” are translatable. Tony Travers, London expert at the London School of Economics, said: “Whatever it is he has, it’s delivered primarily through the television – and that works just as well in the Western Isles as it does in west London.” – FT (£)
Ed Miliband claims to have got under Cameron's skin by using one nation phrase
"We got under their skin because they know if we define this election as a many-versus-the-few election they are on the wrong side of the argument. It's a stark contrast to the sink-or-swim society offered by the Conservatives, which is not only unfair but offers answers that won't work." – The Labour leader quoted by the BBC
A backroom deal to swap Tory-favouring boundary changes for reform of party funding would be suicidal for the Liberal Democrats – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian
Watchdog's reforms could see MPs' wages rise by 40% to £92,000 – Daily Mail
"Its review said suggestions for the appropriate multiplier for calculating salaries had ranged “from 1.5 to 4 times national average earnings”. On the basis that the current average pay is £23,000 a year, four time that amount would produce a pay packet of around £92,000 for MPs." – Independent
Local authorities expect half of poor residents to refuse to pay council tax – Guardian
Drug legalisation is the only direction – Hugo Rifkind in The Times (£)
Driverless cars and 3D printing are two technologies that can change the world – Allister Heath for City AM
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