8.45pm ToryDiary: David Cameron joins Twitter…
6pm Tory Diary: What do the Tories need to do in Birmingham? The ConHome team previews the challenges
1.30pm Christopher Howarth on Comment: Birmingham – three things Cameron should say on Europe and three he should not
11am Mark Clarke on Comment: Francis Maude’s union crackdown is a good start but a concerted push across government is needed
ToryDiary: Cameron focuses on NHS at start of his "no turning back" Conference
Cheryl Gillan MP: After the West Coast Main Line trouble, the case for HS2 needs to be fundamentally re-examined
LeftWatch: Matthew Parris notes the black hole at the heart of Ed Miliband's party
Local government: The Conservative councils opposing the Government's adoption reforms
VIDEO: Why do the Conservatives struggle in the North? The BBC investigates…
Jeremy Hunt backs 12-week limit for abortions
"Jeremy Hunt, the new Health Secretary, backs a reduction in the time limit for women to have abortions, from 24 to 12 weeks. Speaking to The Times on the eve of Conservative Party conference, Mr Hunt said he had reached the conclusion after studying the evidence and denied that his stance was a consequence of his Christian belief." – Times (£)
Downing Street tells the BBC that Mr Hunt was speaking personally.
Nadine Dorries Tweets her delight at Hunt intervention – ITV
"I'm on a mission to make our NHS better than ever" – Writing for the Daily Mail, David Cameron focuses on the NHS on the eve of Tory Conference
The Mail also lists other policies likely to be unveiled by the Tory leader:
Michael Fallon: Cameron will communicate Thatcherite strength at Birmingham Conference
"The Prime Minister’s aides talk of the leader invoking Margaret Thatcher’s “not for turning” pledge, a reference to the former Tory leader’s refusal to change economic course in the teeth of the recession of the early 1980s" – FT (£)
Conservatives are still party of the rich, says Policy Exchange's Neil O'Brien
"David Cameron has failed to end the Tories' image as the party of the rich and is paying the price as Conservatives struggle to extend their appeal to urban areas in the north of England, according to the head of Downing Street's favourite thinktank. In a searing critique of the prime minister's faltering modernisation project, the director of Policy Exchange, Neil O'Brien, calls for an urgent round of renewal in the light of Cameron's failure to heal the "party's worst wounds"." – Guardian
Cameron loses out to Labour in battle for hearts of ‘strivers’ – The Yorkshire Post examines Lord Ashcroft's new 'Blue Collar Britain' polling.
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: How much government help do "strivers" want… and how much do they want government out of their way?
"The only three things [Cameron] seems to be passionate about are gay marriage, increasing overseas aid and green taxes" – Daily Mail leader
"David Cameron has said he is "extremely angry and apologetic" for the government's mistakes over its handling of the West Coast rail contract" – BBC
Cameron targets Ed Miliband's "Red" policies
"The PM gives a damning verdict on Red Ed’s speech to the Labour faithful, saying he wants to “hammer” business and is hell-bent on “moving the country to the Left”. Mr Cameron says: “He might believe in One Nation, but I thought it sounded more like East Germany than Great Britain.” – The Sun
Times writers assemble to offer Cameron advice…
David Aaronovitch: "Stuff is going wrong, as stuff does, and Cameron isn’t helped by the panicky rabble on his own benches. He has three assets. The first is himself. He must mess up his hair, get out among the public and look tired, harassed and purposeful. Second, he has got some great women MPs. We must see more of them. Third, he has a clear narrative of suffering and redemption. He must let nothing — no pressure from plutocrats and nobs — interfere with it."
Matthew Parris: "David Cameron is wasting his time with the Tory Right. They don’t recognise him as their own, don’t respect him, will never love him and wait only for him to stumble. They cannot be won. But the Centre and Left of the party are still potentially with him. They must see him as strong: he needs to keep talking about Big Society; keep talking about compassionate Conservatism; repeat the green message; restate his commitment to gay marriage."
More in The Times (£).
And there's LOTS more advice for David Cameron in the other papers…
Francis Maude to curb trade union activities of civil servants
"The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude is to announce that no trade union member in the civil service will be allowed to spend more than half their paid time on trade union duties. Any exemptions will require specific ministerial sign off and will be published online." – Guardian
"A review ordered by Mr Maude discovered that about 10,000 civil servants were undertaking taxpayer-funded union work. A Cabinet Office insider said some officials had “spent well over a decade doing nothing but trade union work” and had “even been promoted while doing so”. “That just isn’t fair to the taxpayer or to other civil servants,” he added." – FT (£)
Defence Secretary admits spending cuts have damaged our forces…and vows to put it right – The Sun
Chris Grayling says Cameron needs a “clear and deliverable plan” to stop meddling from Europe to win back voters at the next election – Express
"The Foreign Secretary indicates that a so-called “in-out referendum” is likely to be rejected by the Government in favour of an election manifesto pledge to return powers to Britain. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hague says that consent for a “fresh settlement” with the EU is likely to be in a “general election or referendum”.
84% of Tory MPs are convinced that an EU referendum will be held in the current Parliament or the next – Express
Stephen Pollard urges Britain to leave the EU before it "bleeds us dry" – Express
Andrew Mitchell accused of ignoring civil service advice and continuing to give aid to Rwanda – Independent
45 Tory MPs write to PM urging end of BAe Systems/EADS merger – BBC
Business support for David Cameron down from 77% to 55%
"The Chancellor is seen as "out of his depth" by 50 per cent of those surveyed (up from 40 per cent in 2010). Some 51 per cent believe he "seems like he understands business", down from 71 per cent two years ago. Two out of three businessmen think he still "lacks experience" after two and a half years at the Treasury. The proportion who believe he has "the right ideas" about the economy has dropped from 68 per cent to 52 per cent since the election." – Independent
Can Michael Gove become Tory leader? – Decca Aitkenhead in the Guardian
Half of voters think elected police chiefs will make no difference to crime – Telegraph
Cameron said he was “close” to a deal with Alex Salmond which will see Scotland vote in a poll that poses a single question on independence – Scotsman
We, the Tory troops, would like our party back please – Graeme Archer in The Telegraph
Damian McBride explains why Gordon Brown ended plans for a honeymoon election in 2007 – Telegraph
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