Tory manifesto 1) Bring on “the good life”

CAMERON flag‘David Cameron promised giveaways for voters “at every stage of life” as he added six hours of free childcare a day to an election pitch that post-austerity Britain is on the “brink of something special”. Launching the Conservative manifesto, the prime minister spelt out his offer in retail terms. “The next five years are about turning the good news in our economy into a good life for you and your family,” he told the electorate.’ – The Times (£)



Tory manifesto 2) Right to Buy is crucial for opportunity and aspiration

‘”A home of your own” has always been a core part of the Conservative message and has always spoken directly to people’s aspirations for their family. Labour didn’t understand this when Right to Buy was launched in the 1980s and spent much of the decade scratching their heads trying to work out why the policy was so popular with voters that they’d stopped understanding. The metropolitan left still doesn’t understand this authentic and deeply help desire to have a home of your own.’ – David Skelton, Daily Telegraph


Tory manifesto 3) Cameron pledges more anti-terror powers

Police shield‘David Cameron has pledged to push through fresh powers to defeat Islamic terror – after meeting the loved ones of their murdered victims. The PM confirmed he will try again to give spy chiefs the ability to monitor more fanatics’ emails and online chats.’ – The Sun (£)

  • Short, sharp shock to deter criminals – The Sun (£)
  • Turing pardon to be extended to thousands – Daily Telegraph

Tory manifesto 4) Childcare pledge wins fans

‘Young mum Chloe Waight is delighted David Cameron has promised childcare changes to help hard-pressed parents. She and partner Ant Fallon — floating voters last month — now plan to vote Conservative on May.’ – The Sun (£)

  • A comprehensive pitch to working families – The Sun (£)

Britain is now Europe’s second largest economy

growth flag‘Britain has overtaken France to become the second biggest economy in Europe, figures showed yesterday. The UK clocked up growth of 2.8 per cent in 2014 – the strongest in the Group of Seven industrialised nations and seven times higher than France’s 0.4 per cent. According to an International Monetary Fund report, this was enough for Britain to leapfrog socialist France.’ – Daily Mail

  • Inflation turns slightly negative – The Sun (£)
  • Growing IMF frustration with Greece – Daily Mail
  • Grexit could be the beginning of the end, warns eurocrat – The Times (£)
  • Migrants are dying to get to Europe – The Times Leader (£)

Juncker tries to block EU renegotiation

‘The president of the European Commission has ruled out any treaty negotiations on Britain’s relationship with Europe until two years after the referendum promised by David Cameron yesterday. In comments that will infuriate the prime minister, sources close to Jean-Claude Juncker told The Times that there was no prospect of formal plans for treaty change until the end of 2019 at the earliest, with negotiations beginning the following year.’ – The Times (£)

  • Europhiles need to persuade people of the benefits of free movement – Hugo Dixon, FT

UKIP manifesto: Defence spending pledge designed to maximise Tory pain

FARAGE eating‘Unveiling his party’s manifesto in Thurrock, one of Ukip’s top target seats, Mr Farage will describe the impending election as the first one in a century that could bring about “real change”. He will say: “For the first time in 100 years, there is real change on the horizon, all you have to do is vote for it.”’ – FT


>Today: ToryDiary: Don’t rule out dealing with UKIP

Labour gain ground in Ashcroft marginals polling

‘Labour has established a lead in three out of the latest ten Tory-held marginal seats polled by Lord Ashcroft. Two others are too close to call. The polling revealed that voters in all ten of the seats had come into contact with more Labour leaflets, campaigners and emails than Conservative material and activists. In some cases, Labour’s “contact rate” with voters was almost twice that of the Tories.’ – The Times (£)

  • Halfon retains strong lead in Harlow – The Sun (£)
  • Which way will white van man turn? – Daily Telegraph
  • Campaign technology could make all the difference – Newsweek
  • Dead candidate will remain on ballot paper in tight race – The Sun (£)
  • The linguistic battle is painful – Marina Hyde, The Guardian

>Today: Election sketch: Bolton West wants to talk about immigration


Miliband, and the advisers who mould him

MILIBAND Ed red background‘Miliband’s task over the next five years would be to take the ambition that was hatched in his living room that May morning and fashion it into Labour’s agenda for government. He had to refine an intellectual proposition into something that looked like a stump pitch to the electorate – a message that would set pulses racing in Beales’s focus groups. The challenge of doing so was prefigured in his first appointments. “One way to look at the journey of the past five years is to see it in terms of Ed’s favourite adviser changing over time from being Stewart to being Greg.” – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

  • Non-doms plan to leave if Labour win – The Sun (£)

Balls rejects an SNP deal that would disadvantage England

‘Ed Balls has ruled out any post-election pact with the SNP that would put Scotland ahead of England – insisting it would be a ‘betrayal of the English vote.’ The shadow chancellor said he was ‘unequivocal’ that he would not allow Nicola Sturgeon’s party to dictate a deal at England’s expense.’ – Daily Mail


>Yesterday: To The Point: The English vote has held up the Tories – but will that continue?

Lib Dem manifesto: Clegg offers education cash

Clegg Hands‘Nick Clegg will on Wednesday put £2.5bn of extra education spending at the top of Liberal Democrat demands in a hung parliament The deputy prime minister will send a clear message that his party wants to continue in government. Despite the toll suffered by the Lib Dems after five years in coalition with the Conservatives, Mr Clegg will stress that his party is not hankering for a more comfortable life on the opposition benches in the next parliament.’ – FT

  • Inside the Lib-Lab battle for Rochdale – The Times (£)
  • Deputy Prime Minister warns of ‘coalition of grievances’ – The Guardian
  • Stronger public interest defence for journalists – The Sun (£)

Green manifesto: £177 billion a year splurge

‘The Green party would increase spending by £177 billion a year by the end of the decade to implement policies that include scrapping all student debt, nationalising the railways and bringing in a “complete ban on cages for hens and rabbits” on farms. Measures launched in its manifesto also include ending the building of new roads, closing all coal-powered fired stations, ending night-time flights and banning the sale of foie gras.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Hugh Byrne on Comment: The healthcare reactionaries of the NHS Action Party

>Yesterday: WATCH: Bennett launches the Green manifesto

Russian warship and bombers appear in the Channel

Putin hunting‘A Russian warship and two bombers strayed close to UK territory yesterday in yet another apparent attempt to test Britain’s defences. A destroyer equipped with missiles, anti-aircraft guns and torpedoes entered the English Channel along with two other Russian ships. It forced the UK to send a heavily-armed frigate to monitor the vessels.’ – Daily Mail

  • MH17 victims’ belongings left in fields – Daily Mail
  • Obama removes Cuba from terror list – Daily Mail
  • Crate of Soviet gold dropped into the Clyde – Daily Mail

News in Brief

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