9.30pm LeftWatch: David Miliband to stand down as an MP, according to reports

May statement5pm WATCH: A pair of significant Parliamentary statements:

3pm ToryDiary: Theresa May splits up the UK Border Agency

2.15pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: Against deposit insurance

1.45pm ToryDiary: Michael Fallon’s message for the Bank, the Government, Europe and everyone else: we really must do better

11.45am Local Government: John Bald on Freeing schools from the Left's wretched social determinism

Treasuryletter 11am Greg Clark's latest Weekly Letter from a Treasury Minister: The National Planning Policy Framework is one year old – it’s already succeeding

10.30am ToryDiary: The Government's counter-terror strategy: Quite a bit done, a lot more to do

ToryDiary: The new politics of the NHS ringfence

Also on ToryDiary, from last night: This evening's Boris documentary: Cockerell cuddle follows Mair mauling

John BaronJohn Baron MP on Comment: When it comes to the economy, the Government lacks the balls – and so does Balls

LeftWatch: Did you know that 44 Labour MPs rebelled against Ed Miliband last week?

Brandon Lewis on Local Government: East Sussex, Medway and Norfolk are Councils of the Week

The Deep End: Labour’s post-war settlement is alive and well in the 21st century

WATCH: William Hague visits a rescue camp with Angelina Jolie

The newspapers pick at David Cameron's immigration speech…


"David Cameron’s bid to stop Britain being a 'soft touch' for scrounging immigrants faces a clash with EU and human rights lawmakers, experts warn. … It has also emerged that only two out of his initiatives are sure to be brought in, with others being worked on." – The Sun

"Downing Street today struggled to produce statistics to back up David Cameron’s claim that Britain was a soft touch for immigrants. … Those it did produce sparked accusations that it was being misleading." – The Times (£)

"Doctors and nurses challenged David Cameron’s proposed curbs on foreigners using the NHS last night by saying they refused to act as an 'arm of the UK Border Agency'." – The Times (£)

  • Immigration"Even though these particular policies were oversold, the Tories’ approach is broadly correct." – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "Britain’s debate on immigration is catching up with the facts. Now that a consensus has emerged, effective policy needs to catch up with the rhetoric." – Times editorial (£)
  • "Skilled immigration is a boon to the UK economy, but this fact risks being drowned out by the Tourette’s-like momentum of the immigration debate, as each party seeks to outdo the next with unrealistic promises of tighter controls." – Financial Times editorial (£)
  • "Our immigration system is still far from fit for purpose" – Independent editorial
  • "Mainstream politicians need to articulate the benefits of migration and not demonise either migrants or their impact" – Guardian editorial

> Yesterday:

…and respond to the Cyprus bailout

Via editorials:

  • Cyprus"As long as Europe is strapped to the rack of an unworkable currency union, the crises will continue." – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • "Instead of propping up a political project, the IMF should be working to ensure that the break-up of the euro, which seems increasingly likely, is as painless as possible  – and sets Europe free." – Daily Mail editorial

  • "Europe has arrived at the best available remedy for Cyprus’s woes – but not without first trying every other option and nearly letting a tiny peripheral economy shatter the monetary union." – Financial Times editorial (£)
  • "The euro is a dead duck. Why don’t they just admit it?" – Sun editorial
  • "The crisis in Cyprus is a lesson in how much more needs to be done; Europe’s cack-handed response is a lesson in how little has been learned." – Independent editorial

And op-eds:

  • "To avoid the problems that have affected Cyprus and other countries, there will have to be a much stronger framework of economic and financial discipline for members." – Andrew Sentance, The Times (£)
  • "After the Cyprus crisis, it looks increasingly like this is a German Europe" – Gideon Rachman, Financial Times (£)
  • "This was not so much financial genocide as suicide." – Dominic Lawson, Independent
  • "This is all about saving the euro, not Cyprus" – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Benedict Brogan: Pity our poor PM – the Tories are now in a post-Dave state of mind

"A few weeks ago it was fashionable to predict a Conservative defeat in 2015. Now Tory MPs and commentators have gone one worse: they admit, grudgingly, that Labour’s inadequacies and the calculated political blandishments of last week’s Budget might just get Mr Cameron over the line and back into No 10; but – and this is truly embarrassing – they say it will hardly be worth it because the Prime Minister makes so little difference." – Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph

Boris, Boris, Boris


"Boris Johnson yesterday laughed off the BBC interview that branded him ‘a nasty piece of work’, saying his inquisitor ‘did a splendid job’. … But Mr Johnson’s father took a very different view, denouncing the BBC man for a ‘disgusting piece of journalism’ during Sunday’s interview." – Daily Mail

The Daily Mail profiles Eddie Mair

And the same newspaper also looks into the claims that Mr Mair made against the Mayor of London

  • Michael White"…between them Cockerell and Eddie Mair have exposed the mayor's achilles heel. It is that he needs to be liked." – Michael White, Guardian
  • "Without his private life, Boris Johnson has nothing" – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)
  • "Look past the barnet and Boris Johnson's ambition is more than just blonde" – Simon Kelner, Independent
  • "Boris is leader-in-waiting. He’ll never be leader" – Simon Richards, Independent

> Last night's ToryDiary: This evening's Boris documentary: Cockerell cuddle follows Mair mauling

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: Boris responds to his Night-Mair: “It is the function of BBC journalists to bash-up politicians”

Small-scale blogs exempted from new press rules – but what does "small-scale" mean?

"Small-scale bloggers will be exempt from new rules seeking to punish publishers with exemplary damages if they refuse to join an 'approved regulator', under an amendment tabled by the Government. … The Department for Culture, Media and Sport declined to clarify the meaning of 'small scale'." – The Times (£)

  • Lord Black warns that the new press regulations are likely to come unstuck - Daily Mail

> Yesterday, by Garvan Walshe: The press regulation Royal Charter is a boon to dictators everywhere

Jeremy Hunt wants "back to basics" care in the NHS

Hunt"In a Commons statement today, Mr Hunt will call for a fundamental change in the culture of the NHS. … Students seeking NHS funding for nursing degrees will be required to work for up to a year as a healthcare assistant or support worker. … Ministers will also publish a code of conduct for healthcare support workers, with clear requirements on behaviour and attitude." – Daily Mail

  • "The NHS is one of our proudest creations. … But Cameron’s insistence on ringfencing its funds creates a climate in which idiocy and incompetence go unchecked." – Sun editorial

> Today on ToryDiary: The new politics of the NHS ringfence

"The UK government is to commit more than £20m towards research and development into nuclear power"Financial Times (£)

  • "Welcome to blackout Britain" – Tom Rowley and Auslan Cramb, Daily Telegraph

Patrick McLoughlin overhauls the rules around driving tests

"Announcing the moves, Mr McLoughlin spoke of his alarm over the death rate among young drivers, who are disproportionately more likely to be in crashes than older motorists. He said one-fifth of the people killed or seriously injured on roads in 2011 were involved in a collision where at least one driver was aged under 25." – Independent

IDS's housing benefit reforms come under attack

IDS"Iain Duncan Smith has adopted a 'wait and see approach' and has little idea how his housing benefit reforms will impact on the poor, the spending watchdog claims today. … In a critical report, the Public Accounts Committee also accuses the Work and Pensions Secretary of overestimating the savings that can be achieved." – The Times (£)

And so too does William Hague, for travelling to Africa with Angelina Jolie at a time of EurocrisisDaily Mail

> Today's video to WATCH: William Hague visits a rescue camp with Angelina Jolie

Francis Maude urged to drop his plans to make Whitehall more political

"A report published by the Institute for Government says the cabinet office minister should abandon his proposals to let ministers appoint their own 'cabinets' … It says: 'The downside to these larger and more political offices is the greater potential for tension between the ministerial team and the rest of the department.'" – Financial Times (£)

Sir Merrick Cockell warns about local authority cuts

"Sir Merrick Cockell, the Conservative chairman of the Local Government Association, told the Guardian local authorities will have lost a third of their budget by 2015: 'This is the calm before the storm. We do not know how big the storm will be or how long it will last.'" – Guardian

Ed Balls reckons he's won the spending argument

Balls"The shadow Chancellor told a meeting of Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee, that commentators were now agreeing with the party’s strategy to continue splurging." – Daily Mail


  • One in three Labour voters does not trust party on economy – Independent

> Today, by John Baron MP on Comment: When it comes to the economy, the Government lacks the balls – and so does Balls

Alistair Darling warns of a subprime "housing bubble"

WSpeaking in a Commons debate on the Budget, Mr Darling claimed fthat George Osborne had largely 'given up on doing anything' and that his housing package could – if anything – create more problems. He claimed a chronic housing shortage meant that extra state support for mortgages could pump up prices." – Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Rachel Sylvester: Old Labour rears its rebellious head again

RS"This is deeper than the rows between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — it is a reinvention of the battle between old Labour and new Labour, Left and Right. One frontbencher warns that 'digital Bennism' risks consigning the party to electoral oblivion in the way that the left-wing politics promoted by Tony Benn did in the 1980s." – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

  • Labour needs to recapture the spirit and nerve of 1945 – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • "The Labour party has failed us. We need a new party of the left" – Ken Loach, Kate Hudson and Gilbert Achcar, Guardian

> Today:

Economists reject Alex Salmond's "oil boom" claimDaily Telegraph

Janan Ganesh on the "strange death of a more liberal Britain"

"There is more to liberalism than permitting same-sex couples to marry or elder daughters to inherit the throne. It also involves tolerating real messiness in economic and public life. It is sad to see a country become squeamish about an idea it helped to invent." – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times (£)

MI5 boss stands down

Jonathan Evans"Top spook Sir Jonathan Evans, 54, will step down when his contract expires next month, MPs were told yesterday. … The announcement — six years after he took over from MI5 legend Lady Manningham-Buller — was made in the Commons by Home Secretary Theresa May." – The Sun

  • Most Britons back assassination of terrorists in UK or abroad, poll finds – Guardian

"Pupils from state schools and ethnic minorities are less likely to get into UK elite universities even if they have the same A-levels as their white and private school counterparts, new research has shown"Financial Times (£)

Around 630,000 families in Britain are in negative equityDaily Mail

  • "…the number of one-child families has increased by almost 700,000 in 15 years, and they are likely to be in the majority within a decade." – Daily Mail

And finally… Quentin Letts on Theresa May, the "low-cal politician"

"The Zero Noodles were pretty revolting … But my mind wandered back to them yesterday while watching Theresa May at the despatch box. … How unrelentingly, brilliantly joyless she is. … Chewy and quite lacking in salt and grease: Theresa, the low-cal politician!" – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


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