The last 24 hours offer some hope that the Tory leadership is aware of the need to do more to maintain the unity of the broad Conservative coalition.  First came David Davis’ clear commitment to build more prisons and on the front page of today’s Mail comes a commitment to reduce the tax burden on marriage.

The tough and tender dimensions of the ‘And theory of conservatism’ were on full display in yesterday’s commitment from David Davis to build more prisons and invest in more rehabilitation of offenders.  The Sun records this section of Mr Davis’ speech:

“Under a Conservative government, people who mug, rob and assault will be brought before the courts and treated like the criminals they are. They won’t be slapped on the wrist as if they’ve forgotten to buy a TV licence. And we will provide the prison places to do this.”

Up until now the Tory leadership has emphasised that higher green taxation will pay for lower business taxation.  It now appears that George Osborne’s environmental levies will also pay for a reduction in family taxation and so make good David Cameron’s leadership election pledge on marriage.  This from the Daily Mail:

"The Shadow Chancellor has ordered Tory officials to draw up proposals for a series of eye-catching initiatives that will swing the financial support of the state clearly behind those in a legally recognised relationship… One idea described as "likely" would see the creation of a transferrable tax allowance worth about £5000 that would allow parents who choose to stay at home to pass their their tax-free allowance to their spouse or partner."

is and Osborne