Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 20.13.218pm MPsETC: Alun Cairns MP wins London Marathon*

6.30pm WATCH: Warsi on the Boston bombing: "There will always be those who use religion asa basis to commit these heinous acts"

1pm LeftWatch: Miliband risks being written off as irresolute

ToryDiary: One in three Tory members think Cameron is the heir to Blair

John Glen MP and Jeremy Lefroy MP on Comment: NHS spending should be paid for by ring-fenced NI contributions

* Sort of.

Miliband poised to reject Government spending plans – opening up a 1992-type "Labour's Double Whammy" election in 2015…

Miliband Red Ed“Miliband…wants to run a big Election campaign, making the case for
radical economic change. He won’t be able to do that if he spends months
refusing to say whether he will accept Osborne’s spending numbers.  If Miliband does go down this route, he’ll be
in for a fight. Both Coalition parties believe, with some justification, that
the public still doesn’t trust Labour not to spend too much. One senior Downing
Street figure declares that ‘the screw is going to come down on them hard’.
They will attack Labour for wanting to repeat Brown’s mistakes.” James Forsyth,
Mail on Sunday

  • Labour lead over Tories cut to six points, but UKIP surges – Observer
  • Labour's mid-term wobble – Observer
  • Labour MPs thump Miliband over "naive" secret meeting with Galloway – Mail on Sunday
  • Labour plans student-style 'salary loans' for the unemployed – Observer
  • One nation under Ed – but what would he actually do? – Rafael Behr, Observer
  • Dave and Ed, the scaredy-cats avoiding a real fight – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)

…But, meanwhile, "Threat of
triple-dip recession puts more strain on Osborne"

“Economists say growth in the
first quarter will have been 0.1% at best. There are fears, however, that last
month’s cold weather and falling construction output might actually have caused
the economy to contract. Gross domestic product shrank by 0.3% in the final
three months of last year. Britain first went into recession in early 2008,
coming out in 2009. There was a second recession from late 2011 until mid-2012.
A third recession — defined as another two quarters of falling GDP — would put
more strain on the chancellor” – Sunday
Times (£)

Cameron rages at Zac Goldsmith

Goldsmith & Cameron
"The Prime Minister vented his fury after being given no choice but to climb down over proposals aiming to make it easier to build home extensions without planning permission. ‘Who does that man think he’s accountable to?’ Mr Cameron raged when Mr Goldsmith went back on a pledge to Ministers and led a Tory revolt in the Commons." – Mail on Sunday

Euro-sceptic "Business for Britain" campaign to launch tomorrow – in anticipation of an In/Out referendum during the next Parliament

"Scores of companies are throwing their weight behind Business for Britain, a
campaign group that is demanding a better deal on jobs, growth and other
policy areas from Brussels. The list of individuals backing the campaign will be published tomorrow
and will range from FTSE 100 directors to the owners of smaller businesses."- Sunday Times (£)

Matthew Elliott: Why we're launching Business for Britain

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 08.52.46"Today we face a similar situation, with a small group of self-appointed
business spokesmen making radically pro-EU statements, skewing the national
debate. That’s why tomorrow a campaign will be launched called Business for
Britain. The successor to Business for Sterling, it will bring together more
than 500 people, from FTSE 100 directors to family-owned businesses that are
the backbone of our economy, to articulate the demand that this government,
or a future one, gets a better deal from the EU: for jobs, for growth, for
Britain." – Matthew Elliot, Sunday Times (£)

  • The debt-ridden EU stares bankruptcy in the face – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph

> From December 2011: Paul Goodman's ToryDiary – Why Britain needs a Business for Britain Campaign

Coalition set to lose a quarter of its seats in council elections as UKIP soar

"Analysis carried out by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, both professors
at Plymouth University, suggests that Labour will gain 350 council seats,
while the Tories will lose 310 and the Liberal Democrats 130. The election experts predict the “most unpredictable local contests for years”
due to the impact of UKIP, which is fielding almost as many candidates as
the Lib Dems." – Sunday Times (£)

  • Main political parties baffled by the rise of UKIP – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer

Now badger-killing monster Owen Paterson is photographed brandishing two squirrel traps

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 08.53.44"The dead animals’ heads are inside the devices, while their bodies and bushy tails hang limply below. ‘I’m not sure what was more shocking – the dead squirrels or the smile on Owen’s face,’ said one Conservative who has seen the picture. ‘If the animal rights mob saw it they would have a fit. Owen insisted that we look at the photo and then he said, “Look at this – these traps are the real deal. No squirrel is going to get out of that.” – Mail on Sunday

"But please, Mr Gove, Sir, children are dead beat by 3.30pm"

“I was just learning to come to terms with my disturbing love of
many of Michael Gove’s education reforms — learning by rote, knowing times
tables and so on — but now he’s gone and blown it by suggesting that school
days should be longer and school holidays shorter. No, they shouldn’t. It would
be a disaster. Children are knackered by 3.30pm, as any parent will attest” – India Knight, Sunday
Times (£)

  • Anthony Seldon agrees with India Knight – Mail on Sunday
  • Villagers attack super-head over Gove plan to bring inner-city pupils to plush village – Mail on Sunday

Lord Ashcroft will
give half his fortune to charity

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 08.54.40“The billionaire and Tory peer Lord Ashcroft is to pledge at least
half of his £1.2bn fortune to charity as he joins a philanthropic movement led
by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, America’s two richest men. The former Tory
treasurer, who has given the party £10m but will not help to fund its general
election campaign, will next month sign up to the Giving Pledge, a public
commitment by billionaires to give away the majority of their wealth” – Sunday
Times (£)

Boris calls for “Thatcherite zeal” to cut down on strikes

“London Mayor Boris Johnson has joined calls for the PM to ban strikes
unless they are backed by 50 per cent of those entitled to vote. He told The
Sun: ‘The idea that a strike can be called by a majority of those that vote,
rather than a majority of all those balloted, is farcical. It often results in
a strike backed by just one in 10 members, antagonising commuters and costing
billions. I’d urge the Government to act with Thatcherite zeal and legislate
against strikes supported by less than half of all union members.’” – Sun on Sunday

> Today: ToryDiary – One in three Tory members think Cameron is the heir to Blair

Paul Goodman: Thatcher's Legacy – Why Tories must win hearts and minds in Bolton

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 09.00.57“There is a sense within the Tory tribe that
their leader is at last trying to be the heir not to a Labour prime minister,
but to the Conservative one whose funeral rites he helped to lead. Hence the
claims that No 10 is examining schemes for wider share ownership – an echo of
the popular capitalism of Lady Thatcher’s day…the swing seats which the
Conservatives must win to gain David Cameron the majority that eluded him three
years ago… are concentrated in urban and suburban areas in the Midlands and
North, where the public sector is comparatively large and social attitudes
relatively conservative” – Sunday

> Yesterday: Chris Green on Comment: Immigration control, extraditing criminals, welfare reform, cutting fuel bills, the EU – the doorstep issues in Bolton West

In the second set of extracts from his authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, Charles Moore describes how Margaret Thatcher took on the men and won the Tory leadership

“It is possible that Mrs Thatcher was also ambitious enough to be dropping a
hint, at a time when such things were considered a source of shame, that
Heath was homosexual. Many at the time believed that he was. WF Deedes
[former Tory minister, then editor of The Daily Telegraph] noted a private
conversation with Mrs Thatcher in 1976: “M. seems convinced TH is a
homosexual. (Women have more accurate instincts than we.) I said charitably: "an instinct sublimated in boats!’” -  Sunday

  • Liam Fox will call for the Tories to follow Thatcher on eve of local elections – Sunday Telegraph
  • The Chancellor's grief at Lady Thatcher's funeral won't sway his critics, but many found it both genuine and moving – Jane Merrick, Independent on Sunday
  • Thatcher V BBC struggle finally laid to rest – Sunday Telegraph
  • Leaders need convictions and courage – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Charles Clover: our debt to Thatcher the scientist

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 09.09.58“The left and the greens don’t like to admit that Thatcher did more
than any other world leader to legitimise environmental concerns. The right now
finds her espousal of the science of global warming embarrassing. The climate
change deniers say she recanted that belief, while not being quite able to nail
the evidence for it. Thatcher’s scientific training convinced her that the hole
in the ozone layer was a serious man-made problem." – Sunday
Times (£)

Stephen Hammond wants MPs to have a £40,000 pay rise

"Mr Hammond’s proposal would take a regular MP’s salary from around £65,000 to
£105,000 — a 38 per cent hike — while his own salary would rocket to more
than £130,000. The Transport Minister also insists their pay should rise by at least 2.5 per
cent every year — while their gold-plated pensions are protected" – The Sun on Sunday

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