6pm Mark Field MP: Bash the banks and global companies if you must, but we need them more than ever

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 16.56.265pm Jeremy Hunt on Comment: "Andy Burnham, the man who opposed our increases in the NHS budget – and still wants to cut
it from its current levels (as he confirmed just before Christmas)
– said this was an example of "the moneymen and not the medics…calling the
shots." Labour's reaction to Lewisham A & E shows the NHS isn't safe in their hands

4pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Alas! I must ask you to vote against this mess

3.30pm WATCH:

2.30pm Dr Eamonn Butler on Comment: Wind power – the more you have, the bigger the problems

12.45pm ToryDiary: For Cameron, Eastleigh will be no Oldham East & Saddleworth. He must fight to win.

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 12.49.00


10.30am ToryDiary: Huhne pleads guilty. If a few votes had gone the other way, he might have been Deputy Prime Minister…

10am Nadine Dorries MP on Comment: Not a single person in the UK voted Conservative in 2010 because we said we would introduce same-sex marriage

ToryDiary: The same-sex marriage bill – and why I'm cutting the money I give to the Party

Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Crimestoppers launches hunt for dangerous foreign criminals hiding in the UK

Local Government: Labour councils are using localisation of Council Tax Benefit to punish work

MPsETC: Three
more Tory Associations select candidates: James Heappey in Wells, Lee
Rowley for NE Derbyshire and John Bell for Wirrall South

LeftWatch: Everything you need to know about the war between Toby Helm and Tory Education News

The Deep End: Real conservatism begins with culture

Same Sex Marriage Bill: Claims of pressure on backbenchers despite free vote…

FABRICANT MICHAEL"Last night Tory waverers were under mounting pressure to spare the
Prime Minister the embarrassment of being deserted by more than 150 of
his parliamentary party. Michael Fabricant, a Tory vice-chairman, said he
was “disturbed” to hear of ministerial aides warning backbenchers that
their careers would be dented if they failed to support the Government
even though Mr Cameron has given his troops a free vote. Another MP said
undecided ministers were being pressed to back the Prime Minister." –
The Times (£)

junior ministers were said to have warned backbench colleagues that
their careers could be damaged if they voted against the Government
while George Osborne is understood to have been contacting MPs whose
position is still uncertain." – The Independent)

…As senior voluntary party members deliver petition to Downing Street

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 07.57.30"David Cameron’s gay marriage plans will lead to disaster at the
next General Election, top grassroots Tories warned yesterday. More
than 20 current and former constituency chairmen said his support would
lead to “significant damage” at the ballot box — and called for the vote
to be delayed until after 2015. The joint letter from senior Tory
grassroots — delivered to Downing Street yesterday — warned that
“resignations are beginning to multiply”." – The Sun

The numbers test: Can the Prime Minister persuade at least half his party to vote for the bill?

"Up to four cabinet ministers and potentially more than half of Conservative MPs are considering voting against the bill on Tuesday – which despite being a free vote would be an embarrassment to the Tory leadership and especially for David Cameron, who has been so closely associated with the proposal. No 10 claim the number of likely Tory no-votes is closer to 130. The bill is expected to pass with overwhelming support from Liberal Democrats and Labour." – The Guardian

The Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to make his opposition to the bill clear today..

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 07.50.41"In his first official day as leader of the Church of England, the Rt Rev Justin Welby is expected to say that marriage should remain “between a man and a woman”. As MPs prepare for the vote on gay marriage on Tuesday, Bishop Welby will give his first interviews after being officially confirmed in the post at a ceremony in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. “If asked he will say that marriage is between a man and a woman, and always has been,” a source close to Bishop Welby said, adding that the Archbishop was expecting to be asked for his views and had prepared his response." – Daily Telegraph

…As David Burrowes receives death threats and is compared to Hitler

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 07.58.58"David Burrowes, a ministerial aide and leading opponent of equal marriage, said he and other MPs for and against the bill had received hate mail and tweets – in Burrowes's case including death threats and messages comparing him to Adolf Hitler. Burrowes will on Monday help publish a report on the controversy by ResPublica, the Tory thinktank responsible for the "big society", which compares extending marriage to non-heterosexual couples with allowing non-Jews to practise Judaism." – The Guardian

  • It's Time to Stand Up for the Progressive and Conservative Institution of Marriage – David Burrowes, Huffington Post UK


  • 'Secretly gay Tory MPs are planning to vote against same-sex weddings' Iain Dale shocker – Daily Mail
  • One voter in 14 says gay marriage is a priority – Daily Mail
  • Gay asylum seekers under pressure to prove sexuality – The Guardian
  • British conductor accused of making extract from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde "sound homosexual" – Daily Telegraph

Maria Miller: "At heart this is about treating people fairly"

Maria Miller"For those who teach, those who work, those who have children, those who have a practising faith, same-sex marriage will not affect you any more than you are affected already by choosing to live in a society that values tolerance and respect from its citizens. Marriage nurtures social values that bind families and society together; we believe it is a building block that promotes stability and that brings with it a set of responsibilities and pride. We should cultivate it." – The Times (£)

  • The Government's response to Aidan O'Neill's legal opinion, which warns that same sex marriage will threaten religious freedom – Department of Culture, Media and Sport
  • Marriage equality or the destruction of difference? – Roger Scruton and Philip Blond, Religion and Ethics
  • That Scruton/Blond Respublica paper in full – Respublica

Other Comment:

  • 'Hugely damaging obsession with fringe issue" – Daily Mail Editorial
  • Why failing to stand up for marriage is the reason Tories are always in crisis – Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail

> Today: ToryDiary – The same-sex marriage bill – and why I'm cutting the money I give to the Party

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Christian
and traditionalist Tories have chosen the wrong fight. They've chosen
to fight gay marriage, a battle they can't win. They've neglected
religious liberty, a battle they can't afford to lose.

Prime Minister sets himself "ambitious plan" of brokering deal between Afghanistan and PakistanThe Times (£)

Two more plots against Cameron brewing. One is led by former armed forces officer plotting "military coup"Daily Mail

Tim Montgomerie: Cameron – the man without a plan

CameronUnhappy"From the start of his leadership Mr Cameron has done the frontman routine but not the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting needed to re-engineer the Tory party completely. A successful political party is much more than a personality cult. It has to have a steady and compelling strategic purpose. Sadly, Mr Cameron has never delivered that. Modernisation has been conducted casually — sometimes even carelessly." – The Times (£)

  • "Cameron will lead the Tories into the next election" – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • Prime Minister needs a more civil partnership with his party – Daily Telegraph Editorial

Osborne to publish bill today to prevent taxpayers bailing out bankers

"The Chancellor will outline plans to ring-fence high street operations from the reckless ‘casino’ investment arms that caused the financial crash. And in what amounts to the biggest shakeup of the banking industry in decades, he will threaten to forcibly break up banks that break the rules…The Treasury will today publish a bill to prevent taxpayers ever having to shoulder the burden of bailing out fat cat bankers." – Daily Mail

Cameron may live to regret his backing for Osborne – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

CCHQ "to put Scottish constituencies in top 40 target seats"

Ruth Davidson"The Conservatives are planning to include Scottish constituencies in their top 40 target seats for the 2015 election, in a sign the party is serious about mounting a fightback north of the border. The decision confounds previous expectations that the Tories would concentrate their campaign firepower almost exclusively on English battleground seats. Senior Conservative strategists have decided it is worth including Scottish constituencies in the 40 marginal seats they plan to prioritise in the 2015 campaign." – Financial Times (£)

  • "There will now be around 2,000 more people on average in a Conservative seat than a Labour seat." – Daily Telegraph

Grayling says that he smacked his children when they were badly behavedThe Sun

Blair warns that Britain must stay in the EUDaily Express

Pickles: ‘I doubt anyone’s as passionate as I am on bins'

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 08.20.04"It’s never been just about the collection of the bins; it’s about how disconnected the political classes have become from the people…If you’ve got a big detached house and your bins are down the path, then it doesn’t really matter to you when they’re collected, does it? But if you’re bringing up a family in a terrace house and you’ve got maggots and God knows what else making your bins smell, that’s not very nice, is it?’ – Daily Mail

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones warns that NHS in Wales could 'collapse' unless change comesWales Online

Latest Scotland independence poll shows support for quitting UK at under a third of those sampledScotsman

The police are at risk of becoming as unpopular as politicians, warns Damian Green…

“It seems to me the police are at a fork in the road. They can go one way, which is as a highly regarded, highly recognised profession like the medical profession, or they can carry on as they always have done. I’m very keen the police reputation doesn’t go the way that the reputation of politicians and journalists and bankers have gone. All of them at one stage were highly regarded, but for reasons we all know their reputations have been shredded and it will take years if not decades to recover.” – The Times (£)

(…Speaking of which…)

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 08.14.51
"Andrew Mitchell will tonight tell how he was caught “between the pincers” of the police and the media during the “plebgate” row which cost him his job. Mr Mitchell said the treatment that sparked his demise was “completely wrong” as fresh evidence about the infamous Downing Street clash is set to emerge. The former Tory Chief Whip quit the high-profile role after it was alleged he called police officers “plebs” after they asked him to get off his bike." – Daily Express

  • Police Federation Chairman admits that log which brought down Mitchell could be a fake – Daily Mail
  • The Andrew Mitchell affair revealed our prejudices, and showed the police to be untrustworthy – Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Guardian

Dozens of abortions carried out on foetuses with minor imperfections such as cleft lip or club foot Daily Mail

The 1967 Act was never intended to make terminations a form of contraception – Jill Kirby, Daily Telegraph

Alan Johnson presses Ed Miliband for policies and warns of union decline

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 08.21.34"Johnson, a former shadow chancellor under Miliband, also said
trade unions were in danger of becoming irrelevant and should have less
power in the Labour party. Many unions "cannot connect to a whole swath
of the workforce that thinks they died out with the ark", he said in an
interview for Progress magazine. One reason was the image of "fat,
white, finger-jabbing blokes on rostrums shouting and screaming",
Johnson said, and the only sign of "rational thought" in the union
movement came from the Trades Union Congress rather than individual
unions." – The Guardian

  • As the Tories revolt, Ed is given an easy ride – Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph
  • What would happen if Scotland voted to leave the UK? – Financial Times (£)

The 17 most wanted foreign villains hiding in UK The Sun

> Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment – Crimestoppers launches hunt for dangerous foreign criminals hiding in the UK

Public Accounts Committee claims that Sellafield clean-up group is cleaning up at the public’s expenseThe Times (£)

5000 Syrians died in January during civil war The Guardian

Nuclear storage clean-up bill could cost £70bnThe Independent

Is it really Richard III's skeleton?The Guardian

Centre for Policy Studies says that public sector pensions could 'cost up to £1,600 a year per householdDaily Telegraph

Fact of the day: 14 per cent of income tax payers meet 60 per cent of income tax billDaily Express

Boris Johnson takes sides in Fox v Cat war in Telegraph columnDaily Telegraph

And finally…Labour calls for investigation into Gove Spads after bizarre Observer splash over Political Editor Toby Helm's Twitter row with mystery "Tory Education News" account. Gove wife Sarah Vine joins battle. Education aide Dominic Cummings compared to Apocalypse Now's Colonel Kurtz. Helm is tweeted tranquillising video of Bach Brandenburg concerto.   – The Guardian


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