The Sun comes out for the Conservatives in England. But not in Scotland.

The Sun Composite 30-04-15“Today, after a gruelling five-year wait, and an appalling Labour, The Sun is proud to deliver our choice for the election a week from now. It’s the Tories. The Tories who rebuilt the economy wrecked by Labour – and transformed lives. The Tories who alone are committed to an EU referendum. The Tories who alone can prevent a nightmarish left-wing Labour Government, propped up by the saboteurs of the SNP. A fragile left-wing Labour minority would see Britain plunged into the abyss. If it survived, it is committed to a doomed experiment with the socialist lunacy we all thought had been buried alongside the carnage it caused in the 1970s. So much of what Britain has achieved through hard graft since 2010 could be destroyed. You can stop this. But only by voting Tory.” – The Sun (£)

  • Why it’s a Tory 1) The programmes putting people back into work – The Sun (£)
  • Why it’s a Tory 2) Sturgeon holding Labour to ransom – The Sun (£)
  • Why it’s a Tory 3) The party prepared to stand up to Europe – The Sun (£)
  • The Sun endorses two quite different parties – The Independent

Ann Summers boss endorses the Tories

“When I think back to the situation this country was in five years ago, the turnaround is incredible. The Conservatives have had to take some tough decisions, but Britain’s economy is seeing the benefit. Families are starting to feel financially secure, increasing spending. Thousands of new jobs are good for business. People can look for the job they want, not any job, and I want to hire people who want my job, not any job. Apprenticeships are booming. For me David Cameron is the only real choice as Prime Minister. He is statesman-like and represents our country well. He has five years’ experience and has shown he can get our economy moving.” – Jacqueline Gold, The Sun (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Reasons to be Tory 9) Higher public service satisfaction levels despite the public spending squeeze

Cameron says it is time for the Tory machine to let rip

David Cameron 11-04-15“David Cameron said he remains convinced the Conservatives “will get there” over the final week of the election campaign but added it was time to “throw caution to the winds”. In a Guardian interview at the end of a hectic day of campaigning, the prime minister acknowledged that people are hesitant about voting Conservative because they need to think hard after seven years of struggle in the wake of the recession. But Cameron, who said he has “turned up the dial markedly” in recent days as a “passionate prime minister” hitting the election trail, added: “I think we will get there. But the reason it is taking time is, quite rightly, people want to have a good look and a good think.”” – The Guardian

Tories woo migrants with multi-lingual battle bus

“A grassroots Tory campaign group has launched a “diversity” battle bus with activists who speak a dozen languages on board, in an attempt to win over ethnic-minority voters. Conservative Connect was launched last month by Raza Anjum, 30, a British Asian lawyer and former employee at Conservative Campaign Headquarters, and Tian Yu Zhao, a British-Chinese entrepreneur. They founded the group to reach out to voters in ethnic and socio-economic communities that the Tories have found difficult to reach. In 2010, Labour won 68 per cent of the vote from ethnic minorities, while the Conservatives had 16 per cent.” – The Times (£)

  • London’s terrain proves harder for the Tories to navigate – Financial Times
  • Muslim vote could decide 25 per cent of constituencies – Daily Mail
  • Fears of religious coercion in Pendle over false claims that holy man endorses Labour – The Times (£)
  • The price Miliband is prepared to pay for the Muslim vote – Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Stephen Crabb MP in Comment: Our values are at the heart of our Conservative campaign here in Wales – perhaps more so than in England

Javid accuses the BBC of anti-Conservative bias

JAVID Sajid black background“Culture and Media Secretary Sajid Javid has complained of ‘bias’ in the BBC’s election coverage and threatened a review of how the Corporation is governed. Senior Tories have been increasingly frustrated by what they claim is a Left-leaning slant too much of the BBC’s coverage, which Mr Javid said sometimes left him thinking: ‘What was that? I’m sure they could have done a more balanced job.’ He cited a debate on BBC Radio 4’s flagship news show, saying: ‘Last week, listening to the Today programme, there was a debate…they were all anti-Tory. It came across as very, very anti-Tory.’” – Daily Mail

  • Tories outnumbered two to one in Question Time audience – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour accuse BBC of stacking pro-Coalition audience for final debate – The Independent

Lawson questions election promises

“The former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson has rejected a “flurry” of Tory election giveaways as either “expensive or unwise”. The Tory grandee, who served six years as Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor, said that the party was mistaken to make a spate of costly tax and spending pledges that risked undermining its mantra of fiscal discipline. His comments came as George Osborne, the chancellor, faced embarrassment over his new “tax lock” banning a series of tax rises after it emerged that he had previously derided such legislation. Lord Lawson’s comments make him the second former chancellor to go on the attack. This month Ken Clarke warned against “silly” promises and “blank cheques” that could harm the fragile economic recovery.” – The Times (£)


>Today: The Deep End: Who should make the big economic policy decisions? You’ll never guess what these economists recommend…

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Cameron pledges no rises in Income Tax, VAT or National Insurance

Conservatives missing the ‘feel-rich’ factor

MANIFESTO money“David Cameron’s key campaign weakness is laid bare today by an opinion poll that shows that more than twice as many voters believe that his party’s business policies would benefit the economy, but less than half think that they would personally be better off. Mr Cameron scores an emphatic victory on the question of whether Tory policies would lead to more or less economic growth, in a YouGov survey for The Times. Voters are also more likely to believe that the party’s approach to business would create more jobs. However, when voters were asked about the effect on their own standard of living, the situation was almost precisely reversed, with 42 per cent believing that they would be worse off, against 19 per cent believing that they would be better off under Tory policy.” – The Times (£)

Tories could ban ‘gay cure’ therapies

“So-called ‘gay cure’ therapies could be banned under a Conservative government, the Prime Minister has said. David Cameron said such practices were “profoundly wrong” and pledged that if a Government led by him needed to legislate to “protect people from harm”, it would. Conversion therapies, which seek to change a person’s sexuality, are not endorsed or supported by health authorities in the UK, but are offered by some Christian groups.” – The Independent

Boris 1) Cameron suggests Johnson would make a good Prime Minister

BORIS blue and red“David Cameron has suggested Boris Johnson would make a good prime minister by praising the idea of city mayors going on to lead their countries. The Prime Minister said Mr Johnson would get a role “at the highest level” in his government if the Tories keep power after the election and hinted he could be given an infrastructure brief. The comments come despite reports that senior figures are looking for a swift “coronation” of Mr Johnson as Tory leader should the party fall short of an outright majority.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Everything you need to know about Ruth Davidson, the Scot who may one day lead the party – Daily Telegraph

Boris 2) Mayor sets out his vision for Conservatism to the Spectator

“Johnson is concerned about more than just protecting tall poppies. ‘If they believe that the job of government is to nurture all the flowers in the flower beds rather than attacking some, then they should vote Conservative. That is the essential difference between us and Labour. Every single policy of Ed Miliband and his lot is precisely calibrated to divide society, to foster a sense of injury and injustice. We want to heal any sense of injury and injustice, to bring society together.’ Such rhetoric would go down a storm at every Conservative club in the country. But Johnson has more. He reveals something ‘that people are not aware of and that goes to the heart of what we are trying to do’, which is that the life-expectancy gap between Kensington and Dagenham is now narrowing.” – The Spectator

Tim Montgomerie: True-blue Boris is right to target inequality

MONTGOMERIE purple background“One week too early, the Mayor of London can’t resist the temptation to offer his post-mortem on the Tory campaign. Despite the fastest-growing economy in Europe, the creation of two million jobs and the “unelectable” Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour party, the Conservatives are struggling, and struggling badly. Even if David Cameron crawls over the finishing line and remains prime minister it will be the fifth successive election at which the Conservatives will have failed to win a majority. Boris thinks he knows why. He fears the Tories are doomed if they continue to be seen as defenders of the rich and, particularly, the privileged. He argues that “the wealth gap has been allowed to get too big” and is now “outrageous”. You can’t imagine him saying this even a year ago.” – The Times (£)

  • McVey losing Wirral West would be a rejection of modernisation – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph

Brand backs Miliband as left-wing critics close in

“Although he won the respect of Brand, The New Statesman delivered a withering assessment of Mr Miliband’s five years as Labour leader. Having backed him for the leadership in 2010, the left-wing magazine said that he had “never succeeded in inspiring the electorate” and shown “severe limitations”. It added that he had “performed well” during the election campaign, but remained “unable to reach the aspirational voters required to build a broad electoral coalition”. Mr Miliband’s decision to agree to a lengthy interview with Brand marked one of the few political gambles taken during a risk-averse campaign.” – The Times (£)


  • A date night with Russell and Ed – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)
  • Brand interviews himself… while Miliband watches – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • It should have been called ‘Brand: The Monologue’ – Andy McSmith, The Independent


  • Miliband’s decision to pay his respects to Brand’s ego was an error – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • The breathtaking hypocrisy of Brand, Miliband, and Labour’s front bench – Toby Young, Daily Telegraph
  • Red Ed’s climate change law from the Brown years will cost £50,000 per home – Christopher Booker, Daily Mail


Burham thinks Labour was wrong to introduce 24 hour drinking

Andy Burnham“Labour was wrong to bring in 24 hour drinking, the party’s health spokesman Andy Burnham has said. Mr Burnham, who was culture secretary in the Gordon Brown’s Government in 2008 was in charge of the policy, admitted that it had been a “mistake” in a BBC debate. Mr Burnham made the comments in a debate about health on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme, alongside other health spokesmen including the Tories’ Jeremy Hunt and the Liberal Democrats’ Norman Lamb, who both agreed with him. Bars, clubs, pubs and supermarkets in England and Wales were allowed to apply for longer opening licences after the introduction of 24 hour drinking in 2005 – following legislation passed in 2003.” – Daily Telegraph

Scottish Labour running scared as poll predicts clean sweep for SNP

“The SNP is on track to seize every seat north of the border and turn Scotland into a one-party nation, according to a poll. The Nationalists have widened their lead over Labour to 34 points and their support is now at 54 per cent, the research published yesterday by Ipsos MORI shows. When the figures are put into the Electoral Calculus website, they predict a clean sweep for the SNP. The results of the poll for STV News are devastating for Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, as they put his party, which once dominated Scotland, on 20 per cent — only slightly ahead of the Conservatives, whose share of the vote has increased by five points since January to 17 per cent.” – The Times (£)


  • Labour blame the Tories for their SNP rout. What tosh! – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Sturgeon is wrong, but I do admire her – Sarah Vine, Daily Mail



Dan Hodges: The SNP have put Labour’s union link on borrowed time

On strike“Next Thursday, the historic link between the Labour party and the trade unions that has existed for 115 years will finally be severed. The reason it will be severed is a simple one. In Scotland trade unionists are about to vote in huge numbers for a party other than the Labour party. Obviously, trade unionists have done so in previous elections. A poll for YouGov taken back in 2013 showed only 54 per cent of trade union members were actually Labour voters, with the rest spread amongst the Tories (16 per cent), Ukip (12 per cent), the Lib Dems (6 per cent), and the remaining 12 per cent spread amongst the “minor parties”. But in Scotland as we now know, the SNP are no longer a minor party. In truth, they are not a political party at all – more a social phenomenon. And they sweeping up Scotland’s trade unionists in the same way they are sweeping up the rest of the country.” – Daily Telegraph

Alexander claims Scots are ‘terrified’ by the rise of the SNP…

“A senior unionist politician has claimed that Scottish people are terrified by the rise of the SNP – despite successive polls showing that most are planning to vote for the party. A survey today by pollster Ipsos MORI found that the nationalists are on course to win every single seat in Scotland, taking 54% of the vote. But Liberal Democrat minister Danny Alexander said this afternoon that the latest poll would “strike fear” into the hearts of people across the country.” – The Independent

…as he accuses Tories of plot to make ‘secret’ cuts worth £8bn

Lib Dems Recontaminating“Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander faces the wrath of the Tories, after unveiling what he claims are their ‘secret’ plans for £8billion welfare cuts – which would include slashing child tax credits and child benefits. In a statement, that is sure to promote Conservative fury, Mr Alexander accuses the Tories of attempting to ‘con’ the British people by keeping their planned cuts to welfare a secret until after the election. The Conservatives have previously said they will only set out plans for welfare cuts after the election.” – Daily Mail

  • Lib Dems would have to accept Tory cuts for deficit reduction – The Guardian

Party plans to revolt over second pact with the Conservatives

“Nick Clegg will face huge resistance from within his own party if he tries to push through a second coalition deal with the Conservatives, according to Liberal Democrats at every level. The Lib Dem leader will struggle to get the formal authorisation needed from the party’s MPs, governing bodies and two thirds of his grassroots members at a special meeting if he wants to do another deal with the Tories. Senior figures in the party told The Times that they would consider voting down a Conservative Queen’s Speech to remove Mr Cameron from office, while one leading Lib Dem demanded a ­veto over every Tory budget as a price for joining a second coalition.” – The Times (£)


Farage claims refugees from North Africa pose ‘terror threat’

UKIP glass“Nigel Farage will say today that allowing refugees into Europe ‘could lead to half a million Islamic extremists coming to our countries and posing a direct threat to our civilisation’. The Ukip leader will say the boatloads of people trying to get to the continent from North Africa could provide a cover for jihadis wanting to do harm. Mr Farage will make his comments in a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in the wake of more than 1,000 migrants drowning in the Mediterranean.” – Daily Mail

  • The truth about Labour’s open-door policies – Daily Mail
  • UKIP support on the wane in Crawley as Scotland looms in voters’ minds – The Independent
  • Scottish MEP receives indefinite ban from Wikipedia – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • A detailed report into the arsenal of ISIS – Daily Mail
  • Diesel cars to be phased out after Supreme Court orders Government to toughen up – The Times (£)
  • Child abuse inquiry to investigate allegations against Lord Janner – Daily Telegraph
  • Global business leaders more concerned about Brexit than Grexit – Financial Times
  • GCHQ ordered to destroy intelligence gathered illegally – The Guardian

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