Conservatives publish first English manifesto

England flag‘A system of ‘English votes for English laws’ allowing England to set its own rate of income tax will be brought forward within 100 days of a Conservative election victory. David Cameron and William Hague will today pledge that delivering effective ‘home rule’ for England will be one of their party’s top priorities if re-elected. As the Daily Mail revealed yesterday, the Tories are publishing a separate ‘English manifesto’ for the first time, to go alongside their Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish manifestos.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: David Skelton on Comment: Raise a glass of ale today to England, Englishness – and St George

Stick to your guns, Tory strategists urge

‘Allies of Lynton Crosby, the hard-nosed Australian election strategist running the Tory campaign, dismiss such critiques. They are adamant that his tactics will prevail on May 7, noting that armchair critics do not have access to his spreadsheets and polling intelligence in marginal seats. The Conservative campaign is targeting middle Britain and voters who earn £28,000-£35,000. The essence of this ground campaign is to combine fear of change — and the prospect of a Labour government held hostage by the Scottish Nationalist party — with inducements such as giving housing association tenants the right to buy their homes at a discount.’ – FT

>Today: Iain Dale’s Friday Diary: “The policy on gay marriage has driven away our most useful bigots”


Cameron: Trust me on immigration

Cameron1‘Under Labour, for years, 90 per cent of job growth was taken up by foreign workers. With the Conservatives, two-thirds of our job growth now benefits British citizens. That is a remarkable turnaround. I’m not saying there isn’t a lot more to do. It’s clear that, as our economy has taken off, the bigger issue has become migration from within Europe…Do you honestly think Ed Miliband cares about controlling immigration? No. He was there the last time, remember, when net immigration increased five-fold. His arrogant refusal even to discuss numbers – let alone speak about any reduction – tells you all you need to know.’ – David Cameron, Daily Mail

  • One in five voters still undecided – Daily Mail
  • I’ll never leave the EU, says Miliband – Daily Mail

Miliband blames the Prime Minister for the Mediterranean boats tragedy

‘In a section of the speech that will infuriate Conservatives, Mr Miliband will imply that Mr Cameron’s alleged lack of engagement has been a contributory factor to the migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean. “In Libya, Labour supported military action to avoid the slaughter Qaddafi threatened in Benghazi,” Mr Miliband will say. But since the action, the failure of post-conflict planning has become obvious. David Cameron was wrong to assume that Libya’s political culture and institutions could be left to evolve and transform on their own.’ – FT

>Yesterday: Graeme Archer’s column: Ship of fools

Labour = £1,000 more taxes per family + more debt, IFS calculates

Labour Big Govt‘Ed Miliband would saddle every ­working family with extra taxes equivalent to more than £1,000, according to an ­independent comparison with ­Conservative plans. Figures published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies yesterday revealed that a ­Labour government would increase tax revenues by £12 billion more than the Tories by the end of the decade. The think-tank also found that ­Labour’s slower approach to clearing the deficit would add £90 billion to the national debt.’ – The Times (£)

  • The choice is crystal clear – Daily Mail Leader
  • Digby Jones attacks Miliband’s tax policies – Daily Telegraph
  • Umunna retreats from “predator” language to calm business fears – FT
  • SNP cuts revealed – The Times (£)


The Reds face extinction in Glasgow

‘The SNP had six MPs in the last Parliament. Now it is set to deliver 30, 40 or even 50 politicians to Westminster. Labour’s biggest losses are expected in the one-time Red stronghold of Glasgow, a concept that some people find mind-boggling, including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Tory former Scotland secretary. “It is like my party losing the Home Counties,” he told me.’ – FT

  • Activists met with rage on the doorstep – The Guardian
  • McCluskey: Back off, Salmond, Labour’s mine – Daily Mail
  • The SNP message is getting through in Thurrock – FT
  • The best places to flee to if Miliband and Sturgeon form a government – Daily Telegraph
  • Nicola stands by Cybernat candidate – The Scotsman
  • I want Ed and Nick in coalition – Philip Collins, The Times (£)

>Today: Dr Dan Boucher on Comment: I went canvassing with my three year old son. Guess what a Labour supporter told me to do.

>Yesterday: Ted Yarbrough on Comment: Labour do not believe in Britain

The Opposition brace themselves for UKIP surge in their backyard

UKIP logo‘Ed Miliband must brace himself for Ukip to finish second in scores of Labour-held seats, a leading figure in the party has admitted. John Healey, a former Labour minister tasked with shoring up support for his party against Ukip in marginal seats, said it was “realistic” to expect the anti-EU party to become the main challengers in many constituencies.’ – The Times (£)

  • Tory candidate in Thanet owns website encouraging Hungarian work applications – The Times (£)
  • Poll puts Farage ahead – Daily Telegraph
  • People’s Army leads the stakes in Google searches – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Election sketch: Javid copes with a semi-naked UKIP voter in Derbyshire

Tower Hamlets Mayor banned from office for bribery, vote fraud and religious intimidation

‘Britain’s first elected Muslim mayor was ousted in disgrace by the High Court yesterday after rigging his election by using religious intimidation to force voters to back him. Lutfur Rahman faces bankruptcy, being stripped of his profession as a lawyer and the risk of a criminal investigation that could lead to jail, after a judge said that he and his witnesses told a “pack of lies” in court. He was the first person since the 19th century to be found guilty of the Victorian-era misdeed of unlawful religious influence. Bangladesh-born Mr Rahman, who was mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, was also found to be responsible for a range of illegal and corrupt practices including bribery and voter fraud.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Reasons to be Tory 5) Talking of Lutfur Rahman…Cameron’s anti-extremism policy

>Yesterday: Local Government: Tower Hamlets verdict is a vindication for Pickles

Number of recorded crimes rises, as abuse scandals bring victims forward

Police helmet‘A surge in the number of sex attacks reported to police has fuelled the first rise in recorded crime for more than a decade. Nearly 3.8million crimes were recorded by police last year, an increase of 2 per cent from 2013, figures released yesterday revealed…The Office for National Statistics, which published the data, said the rise was also due to police recording complaints more accurately after accusations of ‘fiddling’ figures to meet targets.’ – Daily Mail

Dodds: The licence fee should go

‘Take the BBC, whose charter is up for renewal in 18 months. My party, the Democratic Unionist Party, believes the licence fee is regressive and archaic. A household levy on a device now superseded by networked technology is not just obsolete, it’s cruel. Not only does this unique tax disproportionately affect young, poor women with children, it leads to an astonishing 150,000 convictions per year.’ – Nigel Dodds, The Times (£)

News in Brief

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