Cameron warns there are just ten days to save the Union from the SNP

David Cameron 14-04-15“David Cameron has told voters that that they have “ten days to save the United Kingdom” in his strongest attack so far on the possibility of an Ed Miliband government supported by the Scottish National party. Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, wants the “best for Scotland and the rest of the UK can go hang”, the prime minister said as he echoed stark warnings issued in the final days before the Scottish referendum seven months ago. In an interview with The Times, Mr Cameron raised the stakes over his own future by saying that winning an absolute majority was the line between success and failure. Setting a bar that most forecasters believe he cannot reach, he said: “Not winning the election outright is obviously not a success.”” – The Times (£)

  • ‘I’ve been working hard for five years’, claims the Prime Minister – The Times (£)
  • Tory poll boost as Prime Minister claims he’s ‘hungrier than ever’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Conservative leader injects some passion into the campaign – Financial Times
  • Has Cameron finally found his fire? – Daily Mail


  • England spells more trouble for the Union – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
  • Winning back UKIP voters isn’t a solution for Cameron – Matthew Goodwin and Caitlin Milazzo, Daily Telegraph


  • The Prime Minister gets passionate… and a little scary – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

Tories will consider tax cuts for firms employing older workers…

“David Cameron has said that a future Conservative government could cut national insurance for companies that employ older workers. Speaking at the launch of his party’s small business manifesto, Mr Cameron said that Britain needs an “economy and culture that really values older workers”. One small business owner suggested that as pensioners do not have to pay national insurance companies that employ them should be relieved of the burden too. Mr Cameron said: “That is a very good point, something I’m very happy to look at. We’re trying to create an economy where work really pays. As we change the pensions system and have the single tier pension so that everything you save is yours to keep not to be taken away because of a means test.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron brands small businesses the ‘magic ingredient’ of recovery – The Sun (£)
  • Tory leader reaches out to small businesses – Financial Times


  • Prime Minister’s claim to lead for business community comes not a moment too soon – The Times (£)

…and pour £200m of Libor fines into combating youth joblessness

FULL employment“David Cameron will pour £200m of sinning bankers’ fines into the battle to fight youth joblessness. German-owned Deutsche Bank was last week hit with the huge levy for fixing Libor exchange rates. The PM will reveal the cash will be used to target some of the toughest cases, and pay for 50,000 new apprenticeships for 22 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for more than six months. The move is part of his bold election pledge to abolish long-term youth unemployment completely.” – The Sun (£)

  • Cameron pledges to create 50,000 new apprenticeships – The Guardian

Osborne promises action on the 40p rate

“George Osborne put income tax cuts at the heart of the Conservative pitch for power last night as he promised a ‘crusade for the people of Middle Britain’. The Chancellor vowed to take action on the 40p tax threshold, which has sucked in more and more middle class families, in every Budget if the Tories win next week’s general election outright. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, he also issued a direct appeal to Ukip voters, warning a ‘vote for Farage is a vote for Miliband’ and insisting the election is ‘too close’ for people to make a protest vote. Mr Osborne said voters faced the biggest choice in a generation on May 7, launching an incendiary attack on what he called the ‘the most anti-business, anti-market, anti-free enterprise, anti-aspiration, anti-prosperity, anti-jobs Labour manifesto I can remember’.” – Daily Mail

  • Chancellor calls Poldark an ‘advert for Britain’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Reasons to be Tory 6) Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse

May warns of further policing cuts

Police shield“Theresa May indicated that further deep cuts to police budgets will be in the pipeline if the Conservatives win the election, but insisted savings could be made without harming the fight against crime. But the Police Federation, representing rank and file officers, warned policing could not cope with a further financial squeeze as it was already “on its knees”. Around 17,000 frontline police jobs have been lost since 2010. Ms May’s comments came as she was challenged over a calculation that the Home Office budget would be trimmed by 18 per cent between 2016 and 2018 on current Tory spending proposals.” – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Reasons to be Tory 7) Grayling’s rehabilitation reforms

Morris on the campaign trail in Exeter

“There are only two south-western English Labour seats south of Bristol; prosperous Exeter is one of them. Its MP since 1997 has been Ben Bradshaw, who made it into Gordon Brown’s Cabinet. Might suave matinee-idol Ben be toppled on May 7? It wasn’t long yesterday before Mr Morris’s blue rosette attracted flak. ‘The party of the rich!’ snarled a 40-something man in Timberland-style shoes and newish anorak. In the shopping centre a suited youth jabbed his finger at the Tory’s chest and said: ‘I’m not voting for THAT badge.’” – Daily Mail

Rachel Sylvester: Labour and Tories turn up the fear factor

Miliband and Salmond“With around 16 per cent of voters still undecided, and a further 10 per cent open to persuasion, all sides know that anything is possible between now and May 7. The popularity of smaller parties, which gives undecided voters many more options than in previous elections, only adds to the potential for a last-minute victory or defeat. So prepare for Fear versus Fear from here on in. The parties are united in believing that the only way to break the deadlock is to terrify voters about the risk posed by their opponents. The Conservatives claim that a Labour government reliant on the SNP would be even more dangerous for the economy and, by highlighting fears about the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, have raised concerns about national security and constitutional stability.” – The Times (£)

  • Neck and neck polls spur all parties into final straight – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: The Tories lead by six points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll

Property analysts warn Labour proposals will take UK back to the Seventies

“Ed Miliband lurched further to the Left yesterday with a land grab to extend state control over the property market. The Labour leader’s ‘Stalinist’ plan to seize unused plots – as well as impose rent controls – shocked experts and investors. Property analysts said the move would take Britain back to the ‘dark days of the Seventies’. Mr Miliband wants to bring in ‘use it or lose it’ powers allowing councils to encourage building by putting up taxes on undeveloped land. Sites still left idle could be compulsorily purchased for use by another developer. The announcement saw shares in housebuilders, including Barratt Developments, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, fall by around 2 per cent before later recovering. The Institute of Directors describes the land grab as a ‘Stalinist attack on property rights’.” – Daily Mail

  • Millions wiped off value of house builders – Daily Mail
  • Experts warn that stamp duty relief will waste taxpayers’ cash – The Times (£)
  • Britain will run out of housing without a building boom – The Sun (£)
  • Miliband promises Labour will start on 1m new homes by 2020 – The Guardian
  • Election promises under fire for boosting demand, not supply – Financial Times
  • Will cutting stamp duty raise house prices? – The Guardian

Sketch and Editorial:

Julia Hartley-Brewer: Labour’s housing policies will do more harm than good

HOMES Manifesto“At first glance, there is a lot to like about what Labour wants to do: limiting rent rises to inflation, more security of tenure for tenants, helping local people buy homes in their area, sparing most first-time buyers from stamp duty. It is only when you take a second, longer look that you realise there are three fundamental problems with the policy. First, Labour may well be ignoring the actual facts of the existing private rental market. Secondly, that the unintended consequences may result in more damage than good. And thirdly, the policy completely ignores the real problem, which is the fundamental shortage of homes to buy or rent.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Rent controls won’t end our property madness – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • Only one generation ever struck housing gold – Danny Dorling, Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: JP Floru in Comment: Rent controls have never worked, ever

Miliband under pressure over migration plan

“Ed Miliband will today claim Labour’s attitude to immigration has ‘changed’ – despite still refusing to put any upper limit on the numbers allowed in. In an audacious move, the Labour leader will insist that he offers a ‘clear, credible and concrete plan on immigration – not false promises’. He will say: ‘We will deal with people’s concerns because we have listened, we have learned and we have changed.’ But, only hours before the key election speech was due to be delivered, his own shadow home secretary refused at least four times to say Labour would put a target on net immigration.” – Daily Mail

  • Pressure group claims it is impossible to take Labour seriously on immigration – The Sun (£)
  • Labour plan to boost wages for agricultural workers – The Independent
  • Has Red Ed met with Russell Brand just weeks before the election? – Daily Mail


Unite will push Labour towards pact with the Nationalists

SNP logo white background“The head of the Unite union has given his blessing for Labour to work with the Scottish National party after May 7, paying tribute to the Nationalists for upending the general election. A new poll gave the SNP a 32-point lead over Labour. The TNS poll put the SNP on 54 per cent and Labour on 22 per cent, and could mean the Nationalists taking 57 of Scotland’s 59 seats, with only one for Labour and one for the Liberal Democrats. Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, said that in the event of a hung parliament he would be expecting Ed Miliband to work with “any progressive party” that sought to support the Labour leader’s vision for Britain.” – The Times (£)

  • Red Len admits he wants a Labour-SNP deal – The Sun (£)
  • Mandelson’s firm warns that SNP would drag Labour leftwards – The Sun (£)
  • Lab-Nat Pact: What the parties have said – Daily Telegraph
  • First Minister slams Miliband for being ‘bullied’ by Tories – Daily Mail
  • Prospect of SNP alliance makes one voter in four less likely to back Labour – The Independent
  • Poll finds Labour reduced to one Scottish seat – Daily Telegraph
  • Ed’s ArMcGeddon – The Sun (£)

‘Surging Sturgeon’ takes SNP to 54 per cent in new poll

“In the early hours of September 19, after Scotland narrowly voted against independence, David Cameron appeared outside Number 10 and declared the issue of separation ‘settled for a generation’. The Prime Minister said there could be ‘no disputes or re-runs’ because the Scottish people had given their ‘settled will’ on the matter. Yet barely six months later, the SNP’s leader Nicola Sturgeon stands on the brink of a political revolution after overseeing a record surge in the polls. According the respected pollsters TNS, Ms Sturgeon’s party now commands the support of 54 per cent of Scots, up 35 points on the SNP’s performance at the last general election.” – Daily Mail

  • Nate Silver predicts 48 SNP MPs – Daily Telegraph
  • SNP reveal plans for new £1bn Glagow hospital dubbed the ‘Death Star’ – Daily Mail
  • Are Scots in the mood for a bit of revenge? – Nick Ferrari, The Times (£)
  • Campaign Calculus: How the SNP is transforming Scotland – Martin Baxter, Daily Telegraph

Farage vows to smash Labour’s one-party state in the North

UKIP logo“Nigel Farage has proclaimed that he will ‘smash apart’ Labour’s ‘one-party state’ in the North at the election. The Ukip leader said that his party is now the ‘serious challenger’ to Labour in northern seats. He accused the party of making claims Ukip is racist because it is ‘running scared’.‎ Mr Farage called on Conservative supporters to vote tactically to help Ukip beat Labour in its target seats. He said that traditional Labour voters also want to send a message to Ed Miliband, ‘you don’t represent us anymore’. In an article for MailOnline, he wrote: ‘The truth is, Labour are running scared, and it’s not the Conservative Party making great inroads into their vote. It’s us. It’s UKIP.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour simply don’t understand the impact of immigration – Nigel Farage, Daily Mail
  • UKIP’s housing spokesman was paid £827,000 in housing benefit as a private landlord – The Independent

Clegg names education spending as first ‘red line’

“Nick Clegg tonight set out the first of his ‘red lines’ for a second coalition, warning he will block any cut in education spending. The Liberal Democrats admitted today that their best hope is to end up with 30-something MPs after May 7, compared with the 57 elected in 2010. A senior party source said their best chance of holding the balance of power after the General Election was to finish ‘in the 30s’ if they are able to retain a number of closely-fought seats. But Mr Clegg is still determined to form a coalition with either the Conservatives or Labour and today vowed to set out which of the policies announced in his manifesto would be non-negotiable. The first of what he dubbed his ‘Premier League policies’, which the party would insist upon as a condition of propping up a government, is a £5billion commitment to protect the entire education budget in real terms.” – Daily Mail

  • Atheist Clegg explains why his children have been raised Catholic – Daily Mail
  • Heard of joined up thinking, Cleggy? – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

Democratic Unionists would seek review of BBC in hung parliament talks

DUP logo“The Democratic Unionists say they would place the renewal of the BBC charter on the table in talks with Labour or the Tories in a hung parliament, after accusing the corporation of distorting UK politics in its handling of the television election debates. Nigel Dodds, the leader of the Northern Irish party at Westminster who was furious at the DUP’s exclusion from the debates, believes the future of the BBC should be decided by a royal commission rather than the traditional deal negotiated between ministers and the corporation. The DUP gave a taste of its demands in possible hung parliament negotiations after Dodds entered the wider UK general election campaign by raising concerns about the Tories’ handling of Scotland.” – The Guardian

  • How Paisley’s party might hold the keys to Number 10 – The Guardian
  • Everything you need to know about the Democratic Unionist Party – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The DUP want to have their constitutional cake and eat it

News in Brief:

  • Libyan convicted of 78 offences cannot be deported on account of his alcoholism – Daily Mail
  • Baltimore declares state of emergency as riots erupt – The Times (£)
  • Nepal earthquake toll rises to over 4,000 as Ghurkhas are deployed – Daily Telegraph
  • Two thirds of cars pay no tax in the first year – Financial Times
  • Britain’s oldest living thing is dying – The Independent
  • Hundreds found dead as details of fresh Boko Haram attack emerge from Nigeria – The Guardian

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