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7.15pm Local government: A conference star turn from Eric Pickles
6.45pm WATCH: Boris Johnson takes part in video praising increase in Aid Budget
5pm Don Porter on Comment: Thousands of supporters have joined Conservative Voice
4pm WATCH: George Osborne says the 50p tax rate raised no money and drove away jobs
3.15pm LeftWatch: Another state funded "charity" indulges in a political attack on the Government
2pm ToryDiary: George Osborne says he'll keep on going — but will the Lib Dems follow?
12.15pm ToryDiary: Aspiration, deficit reduction, welfare, schools and the NHS – conference 2012's themes
11.15am ToryDiary: The teenage George Osborne watched the A-team, listened to Madonna, and played computer games
10.45am ToryDiary: Will Boris blow a hole through the middle of the conference planners' grid?
ToryDiary: Could this be the class of 2020? Boris as PM and the class of 2010 holding most of the big briefs
Also on ToryDiary: 50% of Tory members are satisfied with David Cameron. 49% are not
Columnist Andrew Lilico: Osborne's medicine may taste horrible but it's the best cure we have
Lord Ashcroft's Party Conference Diary (Day 2)
Lord Lamont on Comment: George Osborne is doing the right thing and history will judge him well
The Deep End: The Greek political system is bankrupt – and not just morally
George Osborne to cut welfare bills by £10 billion
"Jobless parents who insist on having more children may face losing benefits. Writing in the Daily Mail Chancellor George Osborne and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith unveil the radical proposal as part of their plans to slash the welfare budget. After months of wrangling, the pair have agreed to find £10billion in savings, to follow the £18billion already cut from handouts." – Daily Mail
> From today:
Boris speaks up for "ignored" middle classes
"The Mayor of London positions himself as the champion of the “struggling middle” and declares: “They are not being helped.” The intervention, at the start of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, will fuel speculation about Mr Johnson’s leadership ambitions and chances of replacing David Cameron." – Daily Telegraph
> Today on ToryDiary: Could this be the class of 2020? Boris as PM and the class of 2010 holding most of the big briefs
The Independent claims a former Archbishop of Canterbury speaking at a fringe meeting means the return of the Nasty Party…
"David Cameron has been warned that his attempts to shed the Conservative Party's "nasty party" image are being undermined by organisers of a mass rally against gay marriage. About 900 people, the majority of them active members of the Conservative Party, will crowd into Birmingham Town Hall at lunchtime today to hear the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, the former Home Office minister Ann Widdecombe and others give speeches on why there should be no change in the legal definition of marriage to recognise same-sex couples." – The Independent
Cameron threatens to veto EU budget but pressed to move faster on referendum
"The Prime Minister said he is prepared to torpedo the new Brussels budget which will set spending limits for the period 2014 to 2020 if Eurocrats continue to insist on a ‘massive’ rise. But Mr Cameron sparked controversy among Tory MPs when he made clear that there is little prospect of a referendum on Britain’s relationship with Europe before the general election." – Daily Mail
> Today on ToryDiary: 50% of Tory members are satisfied with David Cameron. 49% are not
> Yesterday WATCH:
Cameron: "If necessary, we will veto the EU budget"
Would West Coast fiasco have happened under Hammond?
"Defence Secretary Philip Hammond knifed Cabinet colleague Justine Greening yesterday over the West Coast rail franchise fiasco. Asked if it would have happened under him, Mr Hammond told the BBC: “It would be very easy for me to stand here and say absolutely no, it wouldn’t.”
"He stressed ministers would not have seen the detailed calculations used by officials. But he added: “I would certainly have checked what I was presented with.” – The Sun
Sniping at the rich is futile
"The Prime Minister said that “we are going to take further action to make sure the richest people in this country pay a fair share”, while the Chancellor warned that “the rich will have to make a contribution to closing the budget deficit”.
"It is a little depressing that the two most senior figures in the Conservative Party can strike such a misleading pose. For they must both be all too aware that the better off already bear a disproportionately large share of the tax burden. The top one per cent of earners pay almost a quarter of all income tax revenues." – Daily Telegraph leader
> Yesterday: Julian Mann on Comment: A Christian argument for cutting the higher rate of tax
Disraeli reclaimed for Tories by Hague
"Speaking from the Birmingham conference stage, Mr Hague, a best-selling author of political histories, was cheered by activists as he attacked the Labour leader: "Last week he made claim to be Disraeli. We know a little more about Benjamin Disraeli, a great Conservative Prime Minister, than he does….To borrow a turn of phrase, we were led by Disraeli, our predecessors knew Disraeli, Disraeli's beliefs were Conservative through and through, and, Ed Miliband, you are no Disraeli." – BBC
"Many Tories seem to have had enough of realism, however, preferring fringe-meeting fantasies. In part, this is Mr Cameron’s fault. As he conceded in a newspaper interview on Sunday, he has not done nearly enough to explain himself. Margaret Thatcher always enjoyed talking about her philosophy. Although this bore no relation to the cautious pragmatism with which she approached the problems of government, it still cheered up the troops." – Bruce Anderson Financial Times
What direction will Cameron take on tax and spend?
"Will he, with one eye on Boris, go further to the right, appealing to the party on Europe, taxes, crime and immigration – giving himself a pretty easy time in Brum? Or will he try to cleave to a more centrist path, accepting the Lib Dems' pleas on tax and spend? After Sunday's TV interviews, it's already clear that, forced to choose, he is going for the second option. Ed's "one nation" raid has spooked the prime minister.
"Yet the most interesting and thoughtful intervention from the Tory side is an eloquent plea to avoid making this kind of choice. Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home, has just launched Strongandcompassionate.com, a web-based campaign for a Tory agenda that mingles true-blue values with a stronger appeal to poorer and middle-class voters. If you want to know the best of what the other side is thinking, I recommend a look." – Jackie Ashley The Guardian
Businesses back carbon reduction target – Guardian
Married couples to be in the minority
"The Centre for Social Justice, the think-tank set up by Work and
Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, says marriage is increasingly the
preserve of the middle and upper classes. A CSJ report, to be unveiled
today at the Conservative conference, warns of an increasing social
divide on family structure." – Daily Mail
Strivers is the new buzzword
"David Cameron's attempt to reach out to the "strivers" in society, with
a series of measures to be unveiled at the Conservative conference this
week, received a cautious welcome in the party on
Sunday." – The Guardian
Yesterday ToryDiary: Cameron pitches to strivers – and hints at crackdown on EU migrants – in Marr interview
(Scottish) Health Secretary under fire over abortion – The Times (£)
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