Cameron’s bid to win over ethnic minority voters

David Cameron 07-04-15“Britain’s first black prime minister will be a Conservative, David Cameron will claim today. In a bid to woo ethnic minority voters, Mr Cameron will say the Tories are the party of opportunity for people from all backgrounds who want to get on. He will also set out targets for ethnic minority recruitment designed to persuade voters the party is on their side.Mr Cameron will set out what he terms a “2020 vision” for black, Asian and minority communities, promising 20% more jobs, students and apprenticeships – as well as 20% of selections in Westminster seats where Tory MPs are standing down – for ethnic minorities by the end of the decade.The initiative came as former Tory treasurer-turned-pollster Lord Ashcroft accused the PM of harming the party’s hopes of victory in the May 7 General Election by focusing its campaign on attacking Ed Miliband rather than setting out a positive vision for the future.” – Daily Mail

  • PM pledge to increase BME army and police recruits – The Sun(£)

English vote for English laws to come in with first Conservative Budget

“Proposals for “English votes for English laws” would be in place for the first Budget of a Conservative government, David Cameron has said. He pledged an “English rate of income tax” – although it could apply in Wales and Northern Ireland – once more powers are devolved to Scotland. The Conservatives want to give MPs for English seats a veto on issues which only affect England. Labour’s Harriet Harman criticised the “back of an envelope” proposals.” – BBC

  • Offering an English Manifesto is a betrayal of unionism – Tim Stanley Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A Conservative devolution settlement should be broad and equal for all the Home Nations

The boss of the largest company in Wales backs Conservatives

welshdrag“The boss of Wales’ largest company has backed the Conservatives – but admits many of his staff and customers will disagree. Iceland chief Malcolm Walker said they were “the right party for the country”, as Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb visited the food firm’s Flintshire HQ. Mr Walker stressed it was a “personal opinion, not a company opinion”.” – BBC

Miliband is winning over waverers warns Ashcroft

independentashcroft“The influential Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft has blamed David Cameron for the party’s failure to open up an opinion poll lead over Labour, as the election heads for a draw that could put Ed Miliband in Downing Street. The former Tory deputy chairman, who is now a pollster, asserts that some people who prefer Mr Cameron to Mr Miliband are deciding to vote Labour, as the Labour leader performs better than voters and the Tories expected. Writing in The Independent he says: “Far from crumbling, Miliband has shown a good deal of resilience in the face of some rather unseemly attacks.”

  • The Tories are turning off undecided voters – Lord Ashcroft The Independent
  • Tory attacks on Miliband are failing says Ashcroft – The Guardian
  • YouGov still has Labour lead still at two – YouGov
  • Cocky Ed declares he is “going to win” – The Sun(£)
  • Some clear blue water as Tories edge into the lead – Daily Express

>Today: Oli Waghorn on Comment: The Tory campaign to date. A failed message and polling stagnation.

Sturgeon boasts she will have “enormous influence” on Miliband…

“The SNP expects to wield “enormous influence” over Labour if the party forms a minority government, Nicola Sturgeon has admitted. In an interview with The Times, Scotland’s first minister sought to allay English voters’ fears of a “mess” if Ed Miliband had to rely on SNP votes in the Commons. She also thanked David Cameron for helping to power her party into a commanding position. Her remarks will be seized upon by the Conservatives as they increase their attacks over the prospect of a Labour deal with Ms Sturgeon.” – The Times(£)

>Today: Lord Hennessy on Comment: Never before in recent times have constitutional possibility and peril jostled together quite like this

…as Matthew Parris visits the Highlands

PARRIS Mathhew“This is the face of the post-referendum SNP. It is reaching parts of the national consciousness that others do not touch. It is dispelling apathy. I do not myself like it. I’m contemptuous, philosophically. Suspicious of populism in politics I feel easier in the company of Danny Alexander. But I have to recognise it, to acknowledge its potency. Though the differences are many, you cannot follow an SNP campaign in Scotland without thoughts of the UK Independence party tugging at the corners of your mind.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

Row continues over Miliband blaming Cameron for refugee deaths

“David Cameron said: ‘Let me be clear about what Ed Miliband has said. I have learned as Prime Minister that it is so important in a dangerous and uncertain world that you show clarity, consistency and strength on these foreign policy issues. People will look at these ill-judged remarks and they will reach their own conclusions.’ Former foreign secretary William Hague slammed the ‘ill-judged, opportunistic remarks’. He said: ‘Foreign policy is not something that you can just discover 13 days before polling day. This is the first time in five years that Ed Miliband has troubled himself to make a full length speech on foreign policy.’ ” – Daily Mail

  • Hypocrite Miliband’s politics of the gutter – Leader Daily Mail
  • Shameful Mili – The Sun Says
  • Miliband steps back from blaming Cameron for the deaths – The Times(£)
  • Miliband in Newsbeats Live Loung for Radio 1 – BBC

Phone in challenge to Miliband on his NHS record

NHS“A woman whose mother died in a hospital under Labour has told Ed Miliband that she find it ‘physically repulsive’ when he claims to lead the party of the NHS. During a live radio phone-in, the woman challenged the Labour leader over the ‘totally avoidable’ and ‘horrific’ death. The woman, who was identified as Claire from Manchester, said that there was a ‘total denial’ from the party about what went wrong in her mother’s case.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour attacks growth of income from private patients for the NHS – BBC

Clegg rules out “life support” deal with the SNP…

“Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said he would not join a government dependent on “life support” from the SNP after the general election. Mr Clegg told the Financial Times he “totally” ruled out “any arrangements” with Nicola Sturgeon’s party in the event of a hung Parliament. He also suggested that any coalition formed by the second largest party would lack “legitimacy”.” – BBC

…as Danny Alexander warns of hung Parliament instability

Alexander Danny Jan 12“There is “a lot of concern” in the financial markets about a minority government, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has claimed. The Lib Dem warned of a Labour or Tory government “on life support” and reliant on the SNP or UKIP. David Cameron has called a Labour-SNP deal “frightening”, though Labour has said it would not enter a coalition. Mr Alexander also unveiled a reply to a note by his Labour predecessor saying “there is no money left”.” – BBC

HSBC consider leaving UK

“HSBC has said it is considering moving its headquarters out of the UK. The bank said the review followed “regulatory and structural reforms” since the financial crisis. HSBC’s board has asked its management to “look at where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment,” the bank said. “The question is a complex one and it is too soon to say how long this will take or what the conclusion will be; but the work is under way.” – BBC

Free school founders defend increased choice

School“We are providing much needed school places, raising standards and offering parents and pupils choice. We call on all parties to continue to allow free schools to be set up — wherever parents want them — because they are helping to raise standards, especially for those most in need.” – Letter The Times(£)

New evidence of Janner cover up

“The most damning evidence yet of how the Establishment hid Lord Janner’s alleged child abuse can be revealed today. Police and social workers were told more than 20 years ago that the peer took a vulnerable boy to Labour Party offices and Parliament before molesting him in his marital bed. A ten-page witness statement details the alleged victim’s harrowing ordeal at the hands of Janner. But all references to the politician were removed from the child’s social services file, according to legal papers obtained by the Mail.” – Daily Mail

Labour would send for Heseltine promises Umunna

HESELTINE Michael“Labour would turn to the Tory peer Lord Heseltine for advice in No 10 if Ed Miliband won the election. Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, said that the former deputy prime minister was a “visionary” and indicated that Labour would call on him to consult on devolution and stimulating economic growth outside London and the southeast. Lord Heseltine told The Times that he has not been approached by Labour. He said: “I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If they [Labour] are interested in the work I am doing with Greg Clark, then it’s not surprising the Labour party would like to take on our ideas.”- The Times(£)

Farage admits to health problems

“Nigel Farage has directly addressed rumours about his health – admitting that he is receiving hospital treatment and has been prescribed Temazepam for a serious back condition. However the UK Independence Party leader insists he is not seriously unwell and is fit to fight the rest of his general election campaign. Mr Farage made the admission after being dogged by speculation that he was severely ill and would be unable to take part in negotiations in the event of a hung parliament” – Daily Telegraph

Moore: Get ready for another wobble

MOORE Charles blue background“Will there be another wobbly Thursday next week? One thing that never changes in the British constitution is the dignified presence of the Dimbleby family. On Thursday, this age-old role will be performed by David of that ilk. He will chair separate BBC Question Times for all three main party leaders, one after the other. This should be a good occasion for wobbles.”- Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

Parris: Ruth Davidson is a happy warrior

“Something odd is happening in Scotland. The party that will do the worst boasts the happiest warriors. Labour and the Liberal Democrats are losing the will to live. The Scottish Nationalists are confident and on the march. But it is the self-assurance of the Scottish Conservative party that surprised me. Scotland is packed with conservatives. They just don’t know it. To one woman falls the task of introducing Scottish voters to their inner Tory, and she’s walking the walk and getting noticed. I went to watch her on the stump in Aberdeenshire this week.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

News in brief

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