2.45pm Roger Evans on Comment: Public Appointments – what the Government needs to do

2.15pm ToryDiary: Comments Policy

11.15am Local Government: All town halls should fly the flag at half-mast on Wednesday

11am ToryDiary: Merkel is Kohl. Cameron is Major

Tory Diary: Paul Goodman is the new Editor of ConservativeHome, and here are details of the new editorial team

Three Margaret Thatcher-related items:

Columnist Garvan Walshe: North and South Korea. China and Taiwan. Japan and China. The threat of war is alive and well in Asia

Local Government: Conservative councillors champion localism in the EU

Cooper departure: Downing Street issues denial.  But is it a non-denial denial?

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 07.28.43
"Andrew Cooper, Mr Cameron's pollster, who has spent more than 15 years trying to impress on the Conservative Party the need to adapt and modernise, is said to be leaving because of professional disagreements with the Tories' Australian-born election strategist, Lynton Crosby. Downing Street issued a formal denial of a story in the Mail on Sunday that Mr Cooper was going back to Populus, the private polling company he co-founded, but without any further comment or explanation." – The Independent

  • Ding-Dong! Cooper's going – Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – As Andrew Cooper departs No.10, the question for David Cameron is “Why?”

Thomas Kielinger: Why Merkel is cosying up to Cameron

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 07.47.38
"Mrs Merkel certainly has no wish to see her new British friend fall into the European death trap. The chemistry between them is strongly enhanced by her strategic conviction that for the EU to lose Britain but gain Croatia, Bulgaria or Romania stands logic and good sense on its head. But there is a domestic angle to her calculations as well. If she wants to maintain her current popularity right up to the national elections in September it is good politics to be moving closer to Mr Cameron and his ideas of open markets and democratic accountability, rather than going for the more statist French and their protectionist instincts." – Thomas Kielinger, The Times (£)

Loughton moves to help stay at home mums

"Former children’s
minister Tim Loughton plans to table amendments to the Finance Bill –
which puts Budget changes into law – to force Chancellor George Osborne
to introduce a tax break for married couples. Dozens of Tory MPs are set
to back the move, piling pressure on the Prime Minister to act…Family
groups are also angry that the Government is offering childcare
subsidies to parents who both work but no equivalent allowance to
households with a stay-at-home mother or father." – Daily Mail

Boris Johnson: Ding-Dong! Communism is dead. Ding-Dong! Old Labour is dead. Ding-Dong! Clause Four is dead. But Thatcherism is alive and kicking!

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 07.49.57"But I tell you what, my little Left-wing friends, and all you who think it amusing to break out the champagne at the death of an 87-year-old woman. There is one thing that is alive and well – and that is Thatcherism. Thatcherism lives; and will live as long as there are people in this country, and on this planet, who see how economic freedom can be the servant not just of the rich, but of our whole society…What we need in this new museum is YouThatch, the game that tests whether you have the reflexes and the sheer cojones of the Dama de hierro." – Daily Telegraph

  • Bishop of Grantham attacks funeral costs – Daily Mail
  • Protesters claim green light from police – The Guardian
  • Maude: show respect – Daily Telegraph
  • Sally Bercow blames Downing Street for leaking over funeral non-attendance row – Daily Mail
  • Duke Dumont beats Wicked Witch – Daily Express
  • Welsh Guards brothers who served on the Sir Galahad feature in funeral plans – Wales Online
  • Scottish Tories make last-ditch attempt to postpone Holyrood Thatcher debate until after funeral – Scotsman
  • They hate Thatcher because she won – Brian Monteith, Scotsman
  • Thatcher statue could be targeted by vandals, Conor Burns MP warns – Daily Telegraph
  • BBC Parliament's 1979 election coverage was a portal into another world – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • A library devoted to Britain’s first woman Prime Minister must be useful to the present and faithful to the past – The Times (£)

> Yesterday: Donal Blaney on Comment – Introducing the Margaret Thatcher Library & Museum

Farage: If Thatcher had stayed on, UKIP wouldn't have started up

Farage Nigel Purple"I was asked last week if UKIP would have been necessary if Mrs Thatcher had not been overthrown before the Maastricht treaty. Had she still been in power in 1992 there would have been a referendum on that treaty, and the need for UKIP would probably never have arisen. What would she do today? She would trust the people and give them a say over the heads of the Establishment. So she would offer an in/out referendum now — and campaign hard for an “out” vote — to ascertain the will of the people." – The Times (£)

  • Whatever happened to the wets? – John Harris, The Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – The media are taking Ukip more and more seriously – how will the Tory leadership respond?

IDS: Cheat the system, and you'll lose benefits for three years

"As part of a radical overhaul of the welfare system, repeat offenders will lose their benefits for 13 weeks, 26 weeks or three years, depending on the severity of their crime. Last year 10,000 people were caught cheating the system. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s fresh war on the workshy will also see hit squads sent to flush out suspect claimants. He said: “We’re telling these repeat offenders – if you cheat the system, you could lose your benefits for up to three years." – Daily Express

Grayling crackdown latest: prison perk rules to toughen

"Under plans to be announced
soon, it will become harder for prisoners to earn perks such as having
televisions and games consoles in their cells. Ministers are planning to
increase the threshold of “good behaviour”, requiring prisoners to work
or enrol in courses. Sky television will be banned in private prisons and thousands of
inmates could be forced to wear prison uniform rather than their own
clothes." – The Times (£)

  • Priti Patel MP unearths £8.3 million spent kitting out prison gyms – The Sun
  • Wipe the slate clean for prisoners with convictions – Mark Day, PoliticsHome

That home extension restriction.  Does it cover your garden- or your curtligate?

"Communities Secretary Eric Pickles insists proposals to double the length of extensions that can be built without planning permission would allow people to build only out to half the length of their garden. Now the Royal Town Planning Institute has pointed out his pledge is not reflected in the wording of the legislation which uses the legal term ‘curtilage’, rather than ‘garden’." – Daily Mail

Miliband breaks his wrist

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 08.08.25"Miliband was walking with his wife, Justine, on a coastal path in Devon and fell, hitting his left wrist on a rock. The injury only came to light when he visited the accident and emergency unit at University College hospital, London, on Friday because the pain in his wrist was not subsiding. Miliband spent three days campaigning with the injured wrist, as well as delivering his tribute to Lady Thatcher in the House of Commons and attending an overnight Policy Network conference in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. It was only on the way back from Denmark on Friday that he decided he needed an x-ray." – The Guardian

  • Red Len McLuskey voted back in as boss of Britain's biggest union… by just 10 per cent of members – Daily Mail
  • Unions that Maggie crushed are on rise- Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • Labour MP Jim McGovern £27,000 bill over £24 train ticket IPSA rumpus – Daily Mail
  • If Miliband can’t control his own party, how could he run the country? – Sun Editorial

Tim Montgomerie: In the twentieth century, the Right won on economics, but it lost on culture

Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 08.10.52"If the Left has an ultimate hero, there’s a strong case that it should be Antonio Gramsci…The aim was a slow march through all these institutions in order to delegitimitise the Right’s key beliefs. The success of Gramsci’s followers has been extraordinary. Government departments, universities, newsrooms and other generators of ideas are in the grip of people who take a low view of religion, the two-parent family, the nation state and private enterprise." – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • DVLA made £10m by selling on millions of drivers' names and addresses to parking and clamping firms – Daily Mail
  • Palestinians lash out at West as Prime Minister Salam Fayyad quits – The Independent
  • Some NHS charges would have conditional support – Financial Times (£)
  • Arrests as football fans riot – Daily Telegraph
  • Oil-cash pressure grows on No camp – Herald Scotland
  • Damascus adjusts to the constant sound of war – The Guardian
  • Irish Embassy staff defy austerity by blowing cash on wining and dining – The Sun
  • Students complain BBC risked their lives in North Korea – The Times (£)
  • Britain celebrates hottest day of the year – Daily Express


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