The PM says he is “profoundly shocked” by Patrick Rock’s arrest:
Still no reasonable explanation for why Downing Street failed to inform the public that a key aide had resigned…
Guido would never usually push one of the endless stream of PR emails he gets each day, but this one did tickle him. At the launch of the Two Together rail card at Kings Cross this morning, a David Cameron look-a-like was hired. Now normally these people never look like the actual person they are meant to be, but you have to admit this one is a dead ringer though:
Too much hair though.
In the 2010 Tory manifesto, the party vowed to reduce net migration to below 100,000:
“Immigration has enriched our nation over the years and we want to attract the brightest and the best people who can make a real difference to our economic growth. but immigration today is too high and needs to be reduced. We do not need to attract people to do jobs that could be carried out by british citizens, given the right training and support. So we will take steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands.”
Today’s ONS figures show net migration has risen by 56,000, hitting a total of 212,000 for the last year. You don’t need to change the axes on the graph below to show the Tories have failed to keep their pledge:
This is what you get for making promises about something you can’t really control…
Dave says he will not go into coalition after the election:
“The Prime Minister wants to make a commitment in the Conservative Party election manifesto not to sign a second power-sharing deal with a smaller party in the event of a hung parliament next May, it is understood.”
No.10 are not denying the story, instead saying that the PM is in it to win it.
Such a promise reminds Guido of a remarkably accurate election broadcast from the Tories just before the last election. Who remembers The Hung Parliament Party? The broadcast went out while the Tories prepared for a Con/Lib government:
Is that a ‘cast-iron guarantee’ Prime Minister?
The FT has a great spot this morning:
“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.
The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!
Four years in office have taken their toll on the PM…
Guido revealed what went on inside a tense recent meeting of LibDem MPs in yesterday’s Sun column. Clegg defended himself against allegations it had been “easy for him” in government, quipping “If I’d been a Tory it would have been easy.”
One crowd-pleasing line stood out: Clegg calling Cameron “spineless” and saying that while he used his Liberal values as guidance, the PM merely asks “how’s this going to play?”
Something that Tory backbenchers might find themselves in rare agreement with Clegg over.
Expect more public airing of dirty laundry as the Coalition’s divorce day draws nearer.
A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed
Dave Shouldn’t Have Moved Gove | Michael Howard
Bercow’s Nightmare | Alex Wickham
Miliband Abandons Britain to Meet Obama | Sun
Tequila-Quaffing Chat Show Plonker Clegg | Quentin Letts
Pragmatists v Romantics | Rachel Sylvester
I’m Sorry | Colin Brazier
Blair Was a Gradualist Prime Minister | Janan Ganesh
Why Blair Will Worry Ed | Steve Richards
Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:
“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”