5.45pm ToryDiary ROLLING BLOG: Rejoice! Rejoice! PRESCOTT LOSES IN HUMBERSIDE. 2001: He punches man. 2012: Humberside punches him

5.15pm Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Corby – A bad result for the Conservatives, but we must keep it in perspective

4.45pm WATCH: William Hague: Both Israel and Hamas need to "de-escalate" the current conflict between the two

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at The Labour-UKIP pincer movement on Cameron pays off in Corby


1.30pm ToryDiary: Rolling blog: Prescott in trouble in Humberside.  In Corby, UKIP pushing for even better than "strong third place".  Hartlepool abolishes Mayor.

9.30am ToryDiary: Corby and Police Commissioner elections rolling blog

TCameron ThoughtfuloryDiary: The lesson of yesterday's elections. Unlike his predecessors, Cameron is under siege from two sides

Also on ToryDiary: Being outside the ECHR does not make a country a "pariah". Chris Grayling is right to consider Britain's exit

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Cameron should tell Merkel that quitting the EU is an option, not a nightmare

Dr Philip Lee MP on Comment: China may be big – but it has big, big problems

L*ftW*tch: D*nny B*yle describes Maria Miller as "M*n*st*r *f f*ck*ng c*lt*re

Local Government: McLoughlin's call to end clutter

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: Catholicism is the future of conservatism

WATCH: Blair on Israel and Gaza – "Unless it de-escalates very quickly, this is going to cause huge upheaval – right across the region"

Cameron's Black Friday. UKIP soars in Corby – and comes five votes behind the Conservatives in Manchester – as turnout plummets everywhere   

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 07.56.42"But in a blow for the Prime Minister, protest voters were expected to flock to the UK Independence Party on what was already being dubbed ‘Black Friday’. That would embolden Mr Cameron’s own rebellious backbenchers. Sources in Corby said UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the European Union, was on track to push the Liberal Democrats into fourth place in the Northamptonshire seat and was running the Tories close for second place." – Daily Mail

Prime Minister may bring forward delayed EU speech

"The Prime Minister’s staff are working on a major speech setting out his vision of Britain’s place in Europe, but the speech has been repeatedly delayed. Conservative sources said advances by Ukip in Corby could force Mr Cameron to finally deliver the long-awaited speech. "The Ukip vote is an issue. It could push the European issue even further up the agenda,” said a source. Labour officials accused the Tories of exaggerating Ukip’s prospects in Corby, but Lib Dem activists in the constituency also reported significant numbers of voters switching to the anti-European party." – Daily Telegraph

Pincer movement on Cameron: as UKIP pushes forward from one side, Mandelson does so from another, writing that an EU referendum is now "inevitable"

Mandelson happy"The
only justification for a referendum is to allow the people to determine
their position after new arrangements have been proposed. A test of
opinion is inevitable, and pro-Europeans need to abandon their
complacency about this. They should acknowledge that their case has
largely been won by default and that it needs to be re-articulated with
fresh vigour. Britain is limbering up for another battle over Europe and
those who take a realistic view of its future need to prepare,
whichever party they support." – Financial Times (£)

> Today: Columnist Bruce Anderson – Cameron should tell Merkel that quitting the EU is an option, not a nightmare

Conservatives: It's Mensch's fault

"Mr Cameron’s team was briefing observers on Thursday night that the party expected to be “trounced” by Labour in Corby. Even allowing for “expectation management”, the bookmakers shared that assessment. “There is a strong anti-Mensch feeling on the streets,” said one Tory official, seeking to deflect blame on to the former Conservative MP, Louise Mensch, whose decision to move to New York for family reasons caused the by-election." – Financial Times (£)

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 06.19.16
Mensch: it's Mensch's fault

"Ex-Corby MP Louise Mensch — who moved to New York — last night took the blame for the Tories’ predicted drubbing. She said: “Though I had to resign to unite our family, there was large and entirely understandable local anger.” – The Sun

Labour wins Manchester seat: Tories lose deposit and gain five more votes than UKIP. Huge swing against Liberal Democrats. Turnout lowest in by-election since World War Two

"She took 11,507 votes – 69% of those cast – and won a majority of 9,936. Liberal Democrat Marc Ramsbottom was in second with 1,571 votes, with Conservative Matthew Sephton third on 754 votes – five more votes than were achieved by UKIP's Chris Cassidy. The turnout of just over 18% is believed to be the lowest in a by-election since World War II. The result represents a swing of nearly 17% from the Lib Dems to Labour since the general election of 2010."

Labour wins Cardiff seat.  (The Conservatives are second)

"Stephen Doughty won the seat with 9,193 votes, a majority of 5,334 over the Conservatives. The Lib Dems were third, with Plaid Cymru fourth. He takes over from predecessor Alun Michael who stood down after 25 years as an MP to stand in the police and crime commissioner elections. Labour has held the seat since it was created in 1983 and the party's representation of southern Cardiff in Parliament has been unbroken since Jim Callaghan was first elected as an MP in 1945." – BBC

  • "In Manchester Central, the swing away from the Liberal Democrats was 16.77%.  Voter turnout in Cardiff was higher at 25.65%, with a swing from the Conservatives to Labour of 8.41%." – The Guardian

New pro-NHS party targets PM’s seatFinancial Times (£)

> Today: ToryDiary – The lesson of yesterday's elections. Unlike his predecessors, Cameron is under siege from two sides

And meanwhile, in the Police Commissioner elections, polling stations are "graveyards" The Electoral Reform Society brand the elections a "Comedy of Errors"…

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 06.08.31
"One Tory MP told MailOnline: '‘I have been telling my constituents not to vote. This is an appalling bloody travesty costing £75million. I have not met anyone who is voting.’ In Wiltshire, the only area due to declare a result overnight, it was reported that barely one in seven electors had made it to the booths in Swindon.  Turnout in the town was just 14.68 per cent. It was even lower at nearby Devizes at 10.41 per cent." – Daily Mail

…But the Conservatives win the first result to be declared: Angus Macpherson is first winner of Police Commissioner contest. ("Were you up for Wiltshire?")

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 08.49.20
  • "Polling station in Cumbria waits two hours for its first visitor" – The Times (£)
  • "Only 11 voters had turned up at All Saints Hall in Reading, Berks, in more than four hours after the polls opened" – The Sun
  • "One village hall in Suffolk saw just seven people vote in nine hours, while there were reports that a polling booth in Manchester had just three visitors" – Daily Telegraph
  • "There were reports from the Lib Dems that the former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott's bid to become crime commissioner for Humberside was going to be tight." – The Guardian
  • Low turnout doesn’t matter: the last great unreformed public service must be opened to outside pressure – Philip Collins, The Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary: – Just how low has today's turnout fallen?

Evil Michael Mates racist shock horror: former MP and Hampshire Police Commissioner candidate under investigation for using the word "gypsy"The Independent

Will Israel send troops into Gaza? The Muslim Brotherhood calls on Egyptian Government, which has already withdrawn its Ambassador, to break off diplomatic relations

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 08.18.04
"Despite Israel’s acclaimed missile-defence system, a rocket fired from Gaza on Thursday struck a house in the town of Kiryat Malachi, killing three Israeli civilians. The strike was part of a barrage of more than 380 missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and other militant groups since the initial Israeli strike on Wednesday that killed the leader of the Hamas military wing. Sirens were heard in Tel Aviv for the first time since 1991 as residents ran for cover." – Financial Times (£)

"In Gaza, bombardment continued for a second day, with Israeli planes targeting militants and weapons sites. But there was mounting concern about rising civilian casualties, with the Gaza ministry of health reporting that four children and a woman pregnant with twins were among the dead. It said 130 people had been wounded…Israeli troops were reported to be moving south in preparation for a possible ground invasion of Gaza." – The Guardian

  • How Israel's Iron Dome system works – Michael Burleigh, Daily Mail
  • Israel is once again entitled to defend itself. But the cycle of violence must be broken – Times Editorial (£)
  • Netanyahu: courageous, not dangerous – Daily Express
  • The battle between Israel and Gaza solves nothing – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

Britain and France consider arming Syrian rebelsDaily Telegraph

> Today: WATCH – Blair on Israel and Gaza – "Unless it de-escalates very quickly, this is going to cause huge upheaval – right across the region"

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Hague: Hamas bears "principal responsibility" for the Israel/Gaza escalation of violence

McAlpine 1) His lawyers pursue Twitter users, including Sally Bercow, as he gains £185,000 compensation from from the BBCDaily Mail

McAlpine 2) OFCOM to probe This Morning and Newsnight blundersDaily Express

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – The wisdom of Alistair McAlpine – a man who, in two senses, lives well

Dave Lee Travis is latest held over sex abuse allegations in Savile inquiryThe Independent

Patten letter blocks inquiry into payoff for EntwistleThe Times (£)

Huge Daily Mail war on Leveson: a dozen pages of inquiry into his advisers and Common Purpose

Boris: The Government's immigration policy is cramping growth

Boris Johnson messy hair"Mr Johnson said ahead of a visit to India that visa policies were preventing the City and universities from recruiting the brightest talent, and were “a block to growth”. We are losing a massive business opportunity here, which is completely crazy for the UK market – which is brilliant at higher education – to be closing itself off from some of the best and brightest students from around the world,” he told The Hindu Business Line." – Financial Times (£)

Anger at ‘politically correct’ sex gangs reportThe Sun

Osborne will tackle multinational tax avoidance in autumn statement, says Cable

"The Business Secretary, indicated that new measures were set to be announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement next month amid continuing controversy over the amount of tax paid by some multinationals. It comes as a plan to block companies that avoid tax from winning government contracts has run into legal problems. Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told the Liberal Democrat conference in September that he would publish a plan before the end of the year setting out how to prevent “the very small minority of firms that don’t play by the rules from winning government contracts”." – The Times (£)

  • Taxpayers' Alliance: Government risking further decline in values of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds shares – Daily Telegraph
  • Seven thousand jobs going in Hull unemployment "blackspot" – Daily Express
  • CBI: Osborne must fire gun for "industrial Olympics – The Guardian

The bill for ‘Spads’ hits £6.8m, the same level as under LabourThe Times (£)

Coalition still deadlocked over energy bill

"David Cameron and Nick Clegg dashed hopes on Thursday of a deal on energy policy when they put off talks aimed at ending months of coalition deadlock over the issue. The prime minister and his Liberal Democrat deputy had been expected to finalise the long-delayed energy bill in a “quad” meeting of coalition leaders.  However, the issue was left off the agenda because it was clear that more work was needed to narrow differences over a bill that is supposed to spark urgently needed investment in UK power infrastructure." – Financial Times (£)

  • Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 08.19.55John Hayes must resign! Boo!  Hiss! – Caroline Lucas, The Guardian

Danny Boyle describes Maria Miller as "minister of f*****g" culture"

"Speaking after an event that brought together the heads of 23 of England's leading regional theatres, Boyle told the Guardian that the lack of attention to the arts shown by the culture secretary, Maria Miller, was "outrageous". "Not one of those [artistic directors, including Hytner] has been even approached by this woman," he said. "That is outrageous. This is cultural life of our country. She is the minister of f*****g culture. I mean, come on." – The Guardian

> Today: L*ftW*tch – D*nny B*yle describes Maria Miller is "M*n*st*r *f f*ck*ng c*lt*re

Sir Ian Kennedy should quit, say MPs as row over expenses watchdog escalatesDaily Telegraph

Michael Deacon sees the Quiet Man take on a noisy audience – toddlers

"Thus the Secretary of State’s serious and heartfelt speech was punctuated by heckles such as “Doh!”, “Mooo!” and “Uuuurgh!” “The disproportionate focus on income,” Mr Duncan Smith said gravely, “does little to reflect the experience of those trapped in poverty.” “No, no, NO!” cried a small boy. “A closer look will show that real incomes did not rise.” “NO!” “It may seem strange, a politician coming here to say, ‘I’m not going to claim a massive success for something'.” “OW!” “Harnessing the expertise of local organisations, charities and…” “DADDY!” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Michael Gove is teaching the art of politics – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Is Michael Gove in the vanguard of another revolution?

Another day, another Salmond apology

Alex Salmond square"The First Minister said colleges received more cash this year than last, despite official figures showing a steep fall. His assertion at First Minister's Questions effectively silenced efforts by Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont to press him on the further education crisis. However, minutes after their exchange at Holyrood it emerged he had used a misleading figure to present this year's cash allocation as an increase. Mr Salmond's embarrassment was heightened by him insisting to Ms Lamont he had provided "as exact an answer as anyone has ever given to Parliament" – Herald Scotland

Lord Ashdown: we have lost in Afghanistan – and must get out as fast as possible

"It is now crystal clear that we have lost in Afghanistan. We have succeeded in only one thing, albeit the big thing we first said we went to war for — driving out al-Qaeda. In almost all the other tasks we set ourselves, especially the establishment of a sustainable state, we have failed. The word “defeat” is only inappropriate because it confers some stain upon the extraordinary young men and women who have fought our cause in a foreign land." – The Times (£)

Pro-abortion campaigner is new head of Girl Guides, which she describes as 'the ultimate feminist organisation'Daily Mail


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