EXCLUSIVE: MacFarlane launches N.Ireland Chairman bid.

tbg can exclusively reveal that South Down and Armagh Conservative Future Chair', Eimhear MacFarlane, is to run for Northern Ireland Regional Chairman.

Macfarlane is a fast rising star in Northern Ireland, the University of Ulster student told tbg she is able to get her message across to separate camps in the politically volatile tribal region of the UK.

"I can reach out to voters on both sides because of my Nationalist, Catholic background so I can reach out to diversify and I've experience with regards to being an Area Chair."

Eimhear has impressed Conservative Future stars across the UK such as Jamie Williams, who appointed her an Honorary member of University of Manchester Conservative Future.

Eimhear MacFarlane is also former Author at Tory Hoose and Author at NI Tory.

Follow Eimhear MacFarlane on Twitter @Eimmyxox.

Red Ed's Labour Party donate over £20M to Unions.

So, since Ed Miliband has been Leader of the Labour Party over £20 Million has been donated by the unions amounting to 81% of all income.

This proves that Ed Miliband is not just the Son of Gordon but also in the pockets of the unions.

The same unions who, like Unite's Len McCluskey, called for "civil disobediance" during the London Olympics.

The same unions who called for a National Strike recently.

And the same unions who funded the last Labour Government at the same time as gold reserves were sold at rock bottom prices, the same time as private pension schemes up and down the land were wrecked by economic incompetence, and the same Government that left a culture of welfare dependency that was so deeply ingrained it is still near impossible to shift.

This isn't the actions of a party fit to run Britain but moreover the policies of left wing Marxist union wreckers who's promise to rebuild Britain have about as much credibility a someone offering to re-erect a house that has just been burnt to the ground.

EXCLUSIVE: Cooper claims Thatcher is God.

Oliver points to former PM as our saviour

In an exclusive Q&A session with tbg, Conservative Futures' potential next National Chairman shares his love for Red Bull and cites France as an example of a post-Leveson UK. Oliver Cooper also says he wants to help CF "get away from cliquey personality politics".

What are you doing with your day?

"I spent today delivering letters inviting local residents to the public primary my constituency association is holding on 30th January to select our next parliamentary candidate. We lost the seat by a tiny margin in 2010, and need to start work now to get the right result in 2015. I’m a huge fan of primaries and it's a shame that they've been dropped by the government.

"In most target seats, preparing for the 2015 election means winning crucial county council elections in May, so there's no respite between the must-win PCCs and the must-win May elections.

"Meanwhile, London had neither, while other metropolitan areas don't have elections in May. As a result, I'll spending every spare second leading up to the May election campaigning in marginal counties, not in my backyard - sorry to any of my constituency association officers reading!"

So rumours of a new job are not true?

"I have a great job, working for a great boss, and I’m not moving. I’m not sure where the rumour started – nobody’s ever asked me about it! – but it’s sad that others feel as though they have to make up stories about my job to score political points. Smears, lies, and negative campaigns have no place in CF."

What do you think of National Chairman candidate Paul Holmes?

"To be honest, I don’t know Paul that well. But I know both him and I have been subjected to a barrage of smears, which just deters serious CFers and distracts from what really matters: standing up for members. The only way we’ll help build CF is by getting away from cliquey personality politics. So instead of talking about Paul or other candidates, I’d much rather talk about ideas that will benefit CF members: whether campaigning, training, or events."

What's your favourite fizzy pop beverage?

"Red Bull. What, that doesn’t count? Fine, then Monster or Relentless: twice the heart attacks as Red Bull for the same cost – now THAT’s austerity!"

What did you eat for breakfast?

"A good British breakfast of eggs and eggs and eggs. And if that sounds hard to digest, try digesting the codswallop that the Guardian serves up daily to its seventeen readers. I’m not sure I could stomach that."

Do you want to keep the press free from State intrusion?

"I’d rather have an open society than a state-controlled one – that’s the way to raise standards in public life. Who was it that exposed the expenses scandal? A newspaper. What about phone-hacking itself? A newspaper. A free press is – along with a free market – the bulwark of all of our liberties, on which all our other freedom depends.

"For a glimpse of a Leveson-run world, look to France: where the press has been heavily-regulated since 1881, where ministers pilfer public money and Presidents have affairs with impunity, and where no-one reads newspapers. Not just as a former journalist, but as someone that believes in freedom and democracy, I cannot think of a worse response than state control."

Where do you see Conservative Future being as an organisation come the 2015 General Election?

"I hope that national CF becomes a more national organisation. Right now, branches, areas, and regions outside London are just left on their own by national CF and have to just get on and do it. They do it admirably, but members and officers across the country across the country tell me they feel completely disconnected from the national organisation.

"So I’d like to see national CF do more targeted campaigning - having branches in each and every one of the eighty target seats we have to win, liaising with local CF to make sure campaign days are focused in target areas, and encouraging university branches to 'adopt' target seats and wards. CF also needs better communication and social media presence. That will make us a more effective campaigning machine, with members kept up to date about the best ways to help CF and the party win in key areas."

Do you think David Cameron can achieve a Conservative majority?

"We can win a majority in 2015. In fact, we have to win a majority in 2015. We’ve seen the Lib Dems oppose crucial policies: on cutting petrol duty or cutting income tax, reducing red tape on business or reducing red tape on schools, tackling out-of-control crime or tackling out-of-control borrowing, or just standing up to the EU.

They’re not just on the wrong side of the policies we know the country needs, but on the wrong side of voters – especially working class voters – too."

"I know CF can play a major role in winning in 2015, having seen great examples across the country. We set up five branches in North West London when I was area chairman; thanks in part to CFers’ hard work, those five target seats saw twice the average swing to us. If national CF helps areas to focus and gives them resources and responsibility, CF can make the difference in 2015."

Do you believe in God?

"Believe in God? Not only do I believe in Her, but believe that Her eleven years in Downing Street were nothing short of miraculous. OK, so I don't believe in god, but it's a scientific fact that Margaret Thatcher was the country’s saviour."

Cameron vows to back the workers.

On top of his New Year Message released earlier tbg can today confirm that Tory Leader David Cameron is all set to fire the opening shots for the next General Election within days.

Its not known whether his position on Europe will be part of the same speech but tbg does understand a key promise to 'get behind the workers and crackdown on shirkers' will be at the heart of it.

An e mail sent by new Chief Whip Sir George Young orders all Tory MPs to a private meeting with the Prime Minister on Tuesday 8th January.

Also present at the meeting will be Cameron's Head of Campaigning Stephen Gilbert who insists the Conservatives can still win an outright majority in 2015.

This is despite the fact that, according to a poll for Conservative Home, two thirds of party members have already given up hope.

Mr Cameron gave a brief preview of what's to come in his tough approach to Welfare by telling tbg:

"When people say we have got to stop our Welfare Reforms because somehow it is cruel to expect people to work, we are saying no. Getting people into good jobs is absolutely vital, not just for them, but for all of us."

"We inherited a welfare system that was out of shape and paid people not to work."

"So we made some big changes, and this New Year almost half a million more people are in work than last New Year."

Lib Dems urged to criticise Tories.

It was so rosy

Liberal Democrats members are openly being encouraged to criticise the Government. That's according to a leaked memo in the news that is breaking tonight.

According to the memo, members are being told to attack the Conservatives along the line that they "cannot be trusted to build a fairer society."

Previously, Party Leader Nick Clegg said that he wanted to keep his party "anchored in the centre ground."

The memo goes on to say that members should also be saying that the Tories only want to "look after the super rich."

The embarrassing disclosure comes just days after it emerged that Chris Huhne may be the man to replace Nick Clegg in time for the 2015 General Election if he is cleared of charges next month.

'Bonfire of Quangos' Update.

Maude set the torch alight back in August

tbg has been regularly updating readers as regards the coalition's 'bonfire of the quangos' so today we decided to offer a quick update.

Since May 2010 a total of 114 quangos have been axed and more than 150 of the original 900 have been merged into below 70.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude tells tbg:

"We acted swiftly to close down unnecessary public bodies and ensure that those that remain are fit to deliver public services efficiently and effectively."

"They are well on track to reduce the administration cost of public bodies by at least £2.6 Billion by 2015".

Dellors and Van Rompuy fear UK EU exit.

Both Herman Van Rompuy and Jaques Dellors were today said to be fearing a British exit from the EU.

With David Cameron set to make a big speech on the issue in the New Year Mr Van Rompuy launched a scathing attack on Tories wanting to "cherry pick" the benefits whilst discarding the rest.

In an exclusive interview with a national newspaper the EU Council President said: "If every member state were able to cherry pick the EU would soon unravel."

"I do not expect a single member state to seek to undermine the fundamentals of our co-operative system."

It seems some in the EU believe it better if Britain was completely in or out, without room for maneuver.

Disability spending soared by 33% under Labour.

The Daily Express is so right to highlight how disability spending soared by 33% under Labour and to say that "too many recipients were workshy scroungers."

This is backed up by re-assessment facts that continue to show how in each case at least half of the people trying to pocket incapacity handouts could hold down a job and how at least a third of those due to be re-assessed closed their claims down.

This is all the more reason why we need to continue with the re-assessment programme, continue clearing up the mess Labour left behind, and above all, stop the benefits trap blighting communities up and down the land by making it pay to work.

Howlett announces CF Annual Conference.

Leader of the Tory Youth wing Ben Howlett has announced that the youth wing of the Conservative Party's Annual conference will be held in Leeds on the weekend of April 13-14.

The 2012 CF Conference was held in Central London.

Tory Youth Leader Ben Howlett told members "Keep your eyes peeled for more details".

Cooper & Holloway can't beat Holmes on their own.

Cooper is said to be definitely running for CF top job in 2013

Richard Holloway was set to launch his Conservative Future Chairmanship campaign in the new year however, there is now speculation that the influential CF'er may join ranks with Oliver Cooper in a bid to stop the vote splitting and allowing another candidate "in through the back door".

Cooper is said to be launching his campaign in the new year after recent refusals to talk to media outlets about his plans which have led to rife speculation that he and Holloway are in talks.

One Young Tory told tbg - "Holloway & Cooper don't think they can win the CF elections on their own and it may be best to combine the votes against the strong Holmes|Argyle bid".

The Holmes|Argye bid which has been plagued by recent revelations that the campaigns Twitter feed was misleading Conservative Future members over at rival publication London Spin.

Merry Christmas.

Now back to business

Well done Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps for floating the idea of 1% rises to certain benefits over the next six years.

So long as the government remains committed to continuing to raise the tax threshold for the low earners who keep our country ticking I fully support it.

Where as under Labour we saw the tax rate for the low paid double from 10p to 20p what this clearly signals is that once again the Conservatives are the party of Britain's strivers.

And the fact that Ed Balls has already said he is opposed to it shows that as well as continuing to be the party of the shirkers, Labour still have no plans whatsoever to reduce the enormous deficit and mess they left behind

Huhne to make comeback as Lib Dem Leader.

Remember the story we ran recently about the rumour going round Westminster that Chris Huhne is all set to be cleared of all charges in the New Year?

Well, it seems to have struck a chord.

So much so that the former Energy Secretary is now being tipped to not just return but to take over as Leader from Nick Clegg.

Simon Hughes has admitted that the "chatter" about ousting Cleggers is growing and many are now looking towards Huhne as the ideal replacement.

One Lib Dem MP who wishes to remain anonymous told tbg:

"If Chris is cleared, he will be back in the game and I think he would be a rallying point for those of us who do not like what is going on in the Coalition."

Tories want to cap benefits for six years.

Hot on the heels of a You Gov Poll showing strong support for the government's benefits pay cap Grant Shapps is this morning said to be studying the idea of a 1% cap for the next SIX years to be at the heart of the 2015 Conservative Manifesto.

In a sign of the Conservatives wanting to put clear blue water between themselves and Labour a Downing Street source told tbg last night:

"If they win the next election Labour would have to increase Britain's debt by £700 per working household to pay for their policy of uncapped benefits."

"The Government's policy of limiting benefits to one per cent rises at a time when public sector pay is limited to one per cent will save £11 Billion over just three years."

Party Chairman Grant Shapps told tbg - "This government is having to make difficult choices to deal with the deficit and so its fair that when private sector workers are squeezed and we are limiting public sector pay we do the same to benefits as well."

Labour have just responded to the idea.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said - "George Osborne underestimates the sense of fairness in the British public."

"This is a trap of the Conservatives making and they have fallen into it."

Daily tracker.

Seems as though Christmas has come early for David Cameron.

Out with our boys in Afghanistan this morning, tbg can reveal that he's got Labour's lead down to single figures today.

Labour 41%
Conservatives 33%
Liberal Democrats 11%
UKIP 10%

Government Approval -30

Don't eat that Milky Way.

Happy 30th birthday to our Editor today, downtime

New arrest in Plebgate row.

There's been another arrest in the plebgate row this morning.

A 23-year-old man, who does not work for the police, has been released on bail.

The release of CCTV footage this week has cast serious doubt on allegations against former Tory Minister Andrew Mitchell that he called a policeman a "fucking pleb".

Daily tracker.

Labour's lead is back up to thirteen points and would you believe that UKIP are back in fourth spot.

Seems to me that UKIP only ever increase their share when something controversial increases their profile.

Which begs the question: Does anyone really take our fruitcake loving friends seriously anymore?

Labour 43%
Conservatives 30%
Liberal Democrats 11%
UKIP 10%

Government Approval -36

You Gov find that 63% of voters support the benefits cap.

Bias Broadcasting Corporation.

Channel 4 News were once again leading on the Andrew Mitchell story tonight.

One of the backbenchers who called for Mr Mitchell to resign, Sarah Woollaston, has said that she would welcome him back in his job.

Former Home Secretary John Reid has said that trust is at stake but people should be careful what they say.

And guess what? The BBC didn't even make the story a headline at six-o-clock.

David Cameron told the House of Commons earlier that the matter was now "very serious."

I think that's an understatement!

Obama wants UK in the EU.

While U.S. integrates further with Canada & Mexico

It is being reported that U.S. officials are stressing to the UK government to stay in the EU and continue with integration. Obama is backing David Cameron's approach in his battle for a 'better deal for Britain'.

This of course is no surprise, it has been U.S. policy since 1945.

The U.S. themselves have been apart of the so-called 'North American Union' (NAU) since 2005 when U.S. President George W. Bush, Paul Martin the Prime Minister of Canada and Vicente Fox, President of Mexico signed the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America"(SPP) treaty with the purpose of providing greater cooperation on security and economic issues.

Stated goals of the SPP are - "Cooperation and information sharing, improving productivity, reducing the costs of trade, enhancing the joint stewardship of the environment, facilitating agricultural trade while creating a safer and more reliable food supply, and protecting people from disease."

Sound familiar?

Integration was front page news in 2008 with a proposed SPP super-highway. But the Department of Transportation Appropriations Act was made law prohibiting the use of federal funds for "U.S. Department of Transportation participation in the activities of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)".

Cameron kicks his British Bill of Rights 'into the long-grass'.

[PHOTO] There are some concerns over terror extraditions to USA

Remember how a British Bill of Rights was at the heart of the 2010 Conservative Manifesto?

It wasn't so long ago that the Prime Minister was promising to implement it if he wins an outright majority in 2015.

Today though, after a probe by judges that has cost the taxpayer a whopping £700,000 in austere times one MP has accused the PM of trying to kick the matter "into the long grass."

Tory Maverick Peter Bone has told tbg that - "This is all about deep divisions in the coalition" - between Conservatives who want a Bill of Rights and Liberal Democrats who are vehemently against the idea.

Mr Bone tells tbg - "I despair that at a time when we are cutting back on police numbers we can spend £700,000 on a vanity exercise."

"I'm not entirely sure what the point was, when everyone knew their position. I could write a paper on it for fifty quid!".

Blair slams Red Ed's immigration approach.

Ed Miliband's new approach to immigration has gone down like a lead balloon with former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

After the current Labour Leader slammed his old boss for opening the floodgates during his ten years as PM our Tony has hit back.

In a statement published night Mr Blair said:

"Overall immigration has been good for Britain and most immigrants have assimilated well."

"So don't make them a scapegoat for our problems."

"Personally, I think Polish people have contributed a lot to this country."

"It's a sad day when we target them."

Daily tracker.

Labour are eleven point clear this morning.

Labour 43%
Conservatives 32%
Liberal Democrats 9%
UKIP 10%

Government Approval -34

Plebgate returns.

I find it staggering that the police officer arrested in relation to the now false allegations made against Andrew Mitchell has not even yet been charged (at time of writing).

I, like thousands of others saw the evidence for myself on Channel 4 News and to say that it is overwhelming is an understatement.

This person has deliberately made a false allegation against a member of the government which has resulted in a resignation.

It is what is called perverting the course of justice and people should remember that the maximum sentence for such an offence if life imprisonment.

Given the serious nature of this disgustingly perverse allegation not only should the officer be sacked on the spot and lose pension rights but he should also be sent to prison of and when found guilty.

Cleggers goes after the 'rich'.

Under pressure from the grass roots Nick Clegg has today set his sights on the rich again by raising the idea of bringing back means testing.

The Deputy PM wants rich pensioners to lose their rights to free bus passes, prescriptions, fuel payments and television licences.

Pensioners group Saga accused Mr Clegg of being "misguided".

As reported on tbg yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister is under intense pressure from within his own party.

Cameron refuses to rule out EU exit.

David Cameron yesterday set out his vision for Britain in the EU yesterday but again refused to rule out a possible pull out.

In a statement to the House of Commons reporting back from the recent Brussels Summit he said - "All futures for Britain are imaginable."

However, in a hint of what is to come in his much anticipated statement in January he also said:

"I believe the choice we should we should make is to stay in the EU to be members of the single market, to maximise our impact in Europe but where we are unhappy we parts of the relationship we shouldn't be frightened of standing up and saying so."

Mr Cameron was accused of "dithering" on his decision by Nigel Farage and "sleepwalking" toward EU exit by Ed Miliband.

Now Labour faces Gay Marriage opposition.

Its not just the Conservatives facing a revolt on gay marriage.

tbg has today heard that a number of Labour figures have today also put their names to an open letter arguing that the PM has no mandate for such a move.

They include Joe Benton, Mary Glindon and Lord Anderson.

Seems as though they have some growing up to do too.

Daily tracker.

The Times Poll shows that the Conservatives have lost six points to UKIP.

Labour 40% (=)
Conservatives 29% (-6)
Liberal Democrats 11% (+2)
UKIP 10% (+6)

12% of people who voted for the Conservatives in 2010 say that they now intend to vote for UKIP.


Is the man who got the Lib Dems into government about to be cut loose

After the internal civil war of this year's Liberal Democrats Conference in Brighton, sources have told tbg that Nick Clegg has been given a year to sort his party out.

Alarm bells have been ringing since two polls put the party in fourth place over the weekend behind UKIP and the party was thrashed out of sight in the Rotherham By Election.

One Lib Dem veteran told a national paper this morning - "Let's put it this way, if we're still behind UKIP come next year's conference it will be curtain's for Nick."

Queen to observe Cabinet.

Downing Street has just confirmed that HRH The Queen is to observe a meeting of The Cabinet tomorrow when the Prime Minister is due to give her a gift to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

EXCLUSIVE: Cameron to offer EU vote in May 2014.

tbg can exclusively confirm this morning that David Cameron is seriously considering holding a Referendum on Britain's future ties with Brussels in as early as May 2014.

Its understood that the Prime Minister will set out his future vision in a set piece speech in January before laying out his plans for the people to decide in a referendum.

Boris Johnson yesterday openly endorsed the idea of an early EU poll yesterday saying "I think it would be a good idea if they did it before 2015, it would be fantastic."

Today's tbg exclusive comes just hours after two opinion polls suggested that UKIP are making serious ground towards becoming the new third party of British politics.

EXCLUSIVE: Huhne could return in New Year.

There is intense speculation today that Chris Huhne could be returning to the Cabinet as early as the New Year if, as is now expected, charges made against him by the CPS are dropped.

Speculation intensified yesterday when Lawrence Brass, a lawyer and former Lib Dem candidate tweeted that the case against the former Energy Secretary "will be dropped next month."

Tory rebel sends warning to Cameron.

Tory Rebel Peter Bone has today told tbg that the issue of gay marriage could be David Cameron's undoing as Tory Leader.

With Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and DWP Secretary Iain Duncan Smith also said to be uneasy its sure to set alarm bells ringing.

Mr Bone told tbg - "It is by no means impossible that David Cameron could be brought down as Conservative leader by his gay marriage plans."

"He is completely out of step with the mainstream of his party."

The news comes on the day a poll shows that Tory supporters are completely split down the middle on the issue.

A Downing Street source told tbg last night that were it not for pressure from Nick Clegg and Lynne Featherstone, the Prime Minister might not even have put forward the plans at all.

Daily tracker.

Labour 38%
Conservatives 30%
Liberal Democrats 9%
UKIP 14%

60% of all voters support same sex marriage laws
50% of Tory voters support same sex marriage laws
42% agree marriage is a sacred act only between a man and a woman
53% agree with the MP who said most parents do not want gay children
58% believe Church of England entitled to oppose gay marriage
67% believe that David Cameron is supporting gay marriage because he wants to win trendy votes

Mahyarism embroiled in 'votes-for-positions smear'.

Allegations seem to be proven false

In a sensational twist this afternoon Mahyarism has published a denial that It had been approached by the Holmes|Argyle camp.

It would seem the editor was alleged to have been offered Conservative Future National Executive positions for his support, this has been vehemently denied by the blog.

The editor tells readers - "Mahyarism can confirm that any allegation, suggesting that this blog or the editor have been approached by Holmes|Argyle is a complete falsehood."

The implications of a CF news-site editor being offered positions on the new executive would have certainly raised questions about the validity of some candidates.

As it happens tbg sources this afternoon confirm that - "Allegations made by a CF member is a smear tactic and untrue, it's very clearly orchestrated, malicious & false".

A supporter of the Holmes|Argyle camp also told tbg - "At the end of this the only campaign with a manifesto and any substance is Homes|Argyle, some individuals resort to personal smears."

It would seem the Holmes|Argyle camp is beginning to show their tenacity and steel.

Holmes comes out fighting.

Conservative Future National Chairman Candidate Paul Holmes has again rejected speculation that Regional Elected Officials will be scrapped under his leadership.

Holmes told tbg - "Elected regional reps will not be done away with. We believe in democracy".

"Regional structures will always be elected not appointed. (Delivering) democracy, accountability."

Paul Holmes told tbg that he doesn't say he'll abolish Regional reps in his manifesto - "We want to debate how they operate and what responsibilities they have".

EXCLUSIVE: Matt Robinson set to launch National CF Chairman bid.

That's three, Conservative Future now have an election race

Norther Ireland Regional Chairman Matt Robinson is to run for Conservative Future (CF) National Chairman tbg can exclusively reveal.

Matt joined the Tories in 2007 and says he "is inspired by David Cameron's forward thinking leadership".

Matt Robinson was outspoken against Holmes|Argyle plans for the Tory Youth wing to do away with Regional Chairman on tbg last month saying:

"Any national led commitment to restructure the Regional and Area organisation of Conservative Future should be treated with caution. I have had the opportunity to speak to a handful of Regional Chairmen colleagues, and I share their utter bemusement at why a campaign would commit to such a review without having engaged in a dialogue with the Regional College beforehand"

It is thought Matt has been trying to keep his announcement under-wraps to gain electoral momentum over his main rivals Paul Holmes and James Deighton.

EXCLUSIVE: CF Deputy Candidate in 'votes-for-positions' allegation.

Knives are out in CF race

tbg can exclusively reveal allegations toward a Conservative Future Deputy Chair' Candidate.

tbg source reveals that on Nov 17th during a Holmes|Argyle 'Thank You' party at 1 Monument, London, a Deputy Candidate offered CF members potential new "District Coordinator" positions, which may be appointed centrally if one of the manifestos on offer is implemented in 2013.

tbg source said:

"I overheard a conversation, in which [Deputy Candidate] explicitly telling [Insert CF member] and [Insert CF member] that if they supported the candidate, they would get a position in National CF, regardless of their own election result. The position mentioned was that of 'district coordinator, for any area they choose'.

"It was also mentioned that the CF members have no choice but to support the Candidate, as it has been decided 'by CCHQ' that they are the 'preferred candidate' - it would appear we may have another limited franchise on our hands."

This explosive news comes as James Deighton announced yesterday he would be running for Conservative Future National Chairman.


[READ] Argyle wants a clean fight - Charlotte says recent allegations are totally false.

Tory Councillors to debate EU as UKIP close in.

Is UKIP's Hunter-Clarke preparing to take on his former Tory colleagues?

Tory Councillors in Lincolnshire will be debating the EU in the coming hours. A motion proposed by Skegness North County Councillor Mark Smith calls for a referendum on the issue.

A bit of electioneering going on here perhaps?

UKIP have made steady ground in Lincolnshire over the years and earlier this year former Tory Skegness Councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke jumped ship to join them.

Rumour has it that Hunter-Clarke is planning to stand against Mark Smith. However, questions are being raised about the second year students' current effectiveness as a Councillor because Hunter-Clarke apparently spends alot of his time 100 miles away in Chester, where he goes to University.


Tory led Lincolnshire County Council voted overwhelmingly to support a motion calling on David Cameron to agree to a binding referendum on continued membership of the European Union. The motion was supported by Liberal Demovrat and Independent Councillors. It was opposed by Labour.

Skegness Councillor Mark Smith said:

"Today’s EU is a world away from what the British People believed they were signing up for when we joined the Common Market. Only 27% of today’s electorate were eligible to vote in the 1975 referendum. It is time to challenge the conventional wisdom on Europe. This is our country and its future should be ours to decide."

"It is right that Lincolnshire County Council supportst eh call for holding a National Referendum on our continued membership of the European Union, and to remove all doubts this should be sooner rather than later."

[READ] Motion agreed by Council.

EXCLUSIVE: CFCA set to hold launch event.

tbg can exclusively reveal that brand new foreign affairs group Conservative Friends of Central Asia (CFCA) is planning to hold a launch event in London at an undisclosed location on 23rd March 2013.

CFCA President Thomas Kingston, who organised the event, told tbg back in October that he was on the search for an Honorary President for the new Tory group.

The promo seen by tbg states: "Taking place only a few days after Nowruz (a public holiday in the Central Asian nations) the event will be held at an exclusive Central London venue and will include drinks, canapes and speeches from politicians, business people and those involved in International Relations. A full list of speakers will be announced closer to the date

We hope to follow the event with a meal at a restaurant specializing in Central Asian cuisine. Though not compulsory it is encouraged for members to attend both."

EXCLUSIVE: Osborne's growth gamble.

tbg can exclusively reveal this morning that George Osborne and the new forthcoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney are seriously considering taking a gamble.

It's understood that they are thinking of scrapping the government's inflation target in a fresh dash for growth.

Whilst the Eurozone stutters and unemployment in the UK falls it's understood that following talks in Europe yesterday Mr Osborne is keen on the idea.

The Chancellor told the Treasury Select Committee before departing for Brussels yesterday that "There is a debate going on."

Its understood that another member of the coalition keen on the idea is Vince Cable. Mr Cable told tbg last night that Mr Carney "had some very interesting ideas."

Ed Balls refused to comment on the idea but the man tipped to replace him as Shadow Chancellor, Alistair Darling, told tbg last night that he too also supports the idea albeit "in principle."

Strivers tax - Really?

What a cheek for Red Ed Miliband to accuse David Cameron of introducing a "strivers tax".

David Cameron has been very fair to the workers of this country especially the low paid.

Under Labour and their something for nothing culture it paid not to work, millions of people on disability benefits went unchecked for years, and whilst having an open door migration policy thousands of young people saw their talents wasted.

Far from Labour's endless failures what the latest unemployment figures show is that even though the economic recovery as a whole is slow the employment policies of the Conservatives are already proving a success.

[READ] A Labour Shower.

Cameron & Osborne protect UK against EU integration.

PM and Chancellor stand up for Britain and safeguard our banks

The EU were up to their usual tricks yesterday but thankfully both the Prime Minister and Chancellor stood up to them.

The Chancellor won a number of safeguards for British banking interests that will stop interference from Brussels.

The Prime Minister said last night that - "Britain won't be part of this banking union and we have properly protected our interests in the single market."

"Britain is not in the Euro, we're not going to join the Euro, so we won't be part of that integration but this change taking place does give us the opportunities to argue for the things that we want in Europe and get a better deal for Britain in Europe."

The Prime Minister is now expected to speak in the new year about the new kind of relationship he wants with the EU.

George Osborne said - "I think this is a bit of a model of the way Britain's future relationship with Europe is going to be."

Daily tracker.

Labour lead by ten points this morning as the Conservatives again equal their best rating since late November.

UKIP have again taken over the Lib Dems.

Labour 43%
Conservatives 33%
Lib Dems 9%
UKIP 10%

Government Approval -33

Josh Geddes sets his sights on CF North-East position.

Josh Geddes has announced his intention to run for Conservative Future's North East Regional Chairman position in the 2013 elections.

Geddes made these exclusive comments to tbg:

"Over the last 18 months Conservative Future has come on a long way in the North East. Shane Moore has done a tremendous job as regional chairman and I’d like to carry that on.

"I’d like to support and encourage CF members to become councillors as well as helping candidates to win elections and hopefully we can win some more seats in the 2015 general election in the North East."

Josh described himself to tbg as a "Centre-Right Conservative" and has devised a '5 Point-Plan' for the young Tories in the North East.

[READ] Josh Geddes campaign website.

Brighton Christmas lights' hidden code.

At least we can count on Brighton to have a laugh [VIDEO]

Daily tracker.

Labour are just a point off equalling their record lead once again this morning. They lead by thirteen points despite more positive economic news yesterday.

Labour 44%
Conservatives 31%
Liberal Democrats 12%

Government Approval -33

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked YI election smear snaps.

[PHOTO] UKIP Youth in smear uploads

Leaked snaps have emerged online from the Young Independence (YI, the youth wing of UKIP) recent election where Olly Neville was successfully elected leader.

The uploaded snaps show defeated runner Matthew Smiths' campaign manager Lead Enthusiast in a tie next to Harry Aldridge, the previous chairman, donning a burgundy jumper.

The creator of the picture-reel/storyboard has a running commentary which seems to disparage and smear Smiths' camp for "personally contact(ing) everyone" and allegedly told them not to vote for Olly Neville:

"What... you're shitting me...[sic] Olly Nevile is the new YI Chair even though... personally contacted everyone and told them not to vote for him" - the commentary sarcastically proclaims.

According to the storyboard some in the Smith camp had upset some YI members by "badmouthing" his 'rival' colleague for the past "18 months".

Many were pleased to see Olly Neville elected after he ran on the campaign slogan "Join The N[EVOL]UTION".

[WATCH] Olly Neville tells us his outlook on Cameron's plan to cut housing benefit for the under-25s.

A Labour shower.

On the day when unemployment has fallen by over 80,000, youth unemployment saw its largest drop of all time and figures show that public sector employment is down 128,000 but private sector employment is up 627,000 in the past year, Ed Miliband decided to produce figures at PMQ's showing families would be over £500 worse off after the Chancellors measures last week.

Though the Prime Minister rebuked this claim as Milibands' figures do not include tax allowance increase or include the new Universal Credit.

In fact Chancellor George Osborne, in his Autumn Statement, again increased the salary threshold at which people start paying tax by another £235, to £9,440, increasing take-home pay for millions of individuals and households with a low-income.

So Miliband let that one go and went back to "tax cuts for millionaires" mantra. David Cameron again rebuked the argument and said that the richest are paying more under his Government than at anytime during the 13 years of a Labour Government, and will carry on to do so.

The Chancellor is dragging more higher end earners into top-rate tax brackets and launched a £1 billion 'raid' on the pensions of the super-rich.

The Prime Minister doesn't deny that everyone on benefits and tax credits will be affected by the below inflation 1% rise but says he wants to get the welfare bill under control and make it pay to work.

The Pope takes to Twitter.

Such a fuss about nothing [VIDEO]

How many Vatican officials does is take to send a tweet? Well if this video reveals anything to you at all, it'll be that.

Tory backbencher launches into Cameron.

If you thought it could get any worse it just has.

A leading Tory backbencher last night launched a devastating attack on the Prime Minister.

Northamptonshire South MP Brian Binley says the PM has "failed consistently to chime with the natural instincts of Tory supporters" and has left the party in complete and utter "chaos".

In an open letter to today's media the 1922 Committee member says that "the chaos is harming our party's reputation with our voters."

On the same day that an opinion poll showed that all the credit the party gained from the Autumn Statement has now gone after a weekend of infighting the 70 year old says - "Its not just the standing of the leadership which is imperilled through this approach, but our entire political credibility."

Daily tracker.

Labour's lead over the Conservatives is back in double figures this morning but in the same poll Government Approval has slightly improved.

Labour 43%
Conservatives 31%
Liberal Democrats 10%

Government Approval -31

Government to legislate for same-sex religious weddings.

But Church of England will be banned from holding ceremonies

Culture Secretary Maria Miller has this afternoon announced plans to expand marriage by introducing same-sex marriage to the UK.

Miller told the House of Commons that gay married couples will not weaken marriage but strengthen it.

The Culture Secretary also just confirmed that religious organizations will be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages, but they will also be allowed not to do so.

Equalities Minister Maria Miller told the Commons the Government will offer a "quadruple lock" in law to protect religious institutions and individuals from being forced to hold same-sex weddings.

However Miller announced that The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages.


UPDATE: Twitter consumer and Liberal Democrat activist Martin Shapland tweeted a Biblical quote "for the gays" while some MP's are standing up in the Commons, as tbg types, quoting the Bibles' anti-gay ramblings:

Here it is - "If they cannot control themselves they should marry for it is better to marry than to burn with passion - Corinthians 7:9"

Tory MP: 'Sparred with a gay, so can't be a bigot'.

[VIDEO] David 'Tory Tornando' vs. Charles 'Pink Pounder' Jones

Tory MP for Welsh county town Monmouth, David Davies, says David Cameron's plans for same-sex marriage are "barking mad" and that parents "don't want gay children".

After the Tory MP made these astonishing remarks he received much heat online calling him a bigot and other useful terms to describe the obnoxious ignorance shown by some Tory MP's in recent days.

Davies slammed claims he is a bigot and posted a video (above) on Twitter claiming he once trained with gay boxer Charles 'Pink Pounder' Jones.

In another tweet Davies said - "Once fought [a] gay boxer. Respect and like. Trained with [him] after bout so not bigoted. Activists calm down - listen to other view [sic]."

The Welsh MP also claimsteh Tory Party will lose a large number of "very loyal activists" if Camerons' gay marriage bill is passed through the House.

Daily tracker.

Labour and the Conservatives unchanged from Sunday but Government Approval slightly down.

Labour 42%
Conservatives 33%
Liberal Democrats 10%

Government Approval -32

PM compares new EU policy making to tantric sex.

David Cameron has compared determining Britains new EU policy to tantric sex, worth the wait and even better when it comes.

"This is a tantric approach to policy-making. It will be even better when it does eventually come... That wasn't in the script.

"What I think is right for the country, what I think is politically deliverable and what is deliverable diplomatically.

"I don't want Britain to leave the European Union, I think we benefit crucially from the single market"
- said Prime Minister Cameron with a shovel in hand.

tbg exclusively revealed last week that the Prime Minister is set to offer Britain a referendum on European Union membership.

MP's accuse health bosses of neglect.

Peterborough City Hospital costs taxpayer £1m a week and has a £54m deficit

MP's have said that health bosses in Peterborough have been "negligent" in their pursuit and opening of Peterborough City Hospital.

State of the art 611-bed Peterborough City Hospital was opened in November 2010 at a cost of £289 million, funding was provided through the government-backed private finance initiative scheme.

The hospital has seen care costs soar in recent months just as it was about to begin repaying its PFI loan but now faces a deficit of £54 million.

MP's cannot understand why the Department of Health and Peterborough & Stamford Trust did not sell the old Peterborough District Hospital site back in 2007, a site which still stands unused today in the centre of the City.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said - "This is the worst report of financial incompetence in NHS that we have seen.

"It is a nightmare that is continuing with the decision to send in more consultants at huge cost to the public purse.

"This should never happen again - it is a financial disaster."

Peterborough & Stamford Hospital trust say they are trying to renegotiate their PFI repayments which have gone up from £30 million a year to around £40 million.

Cannabis "will not be legalised".

Lib Dem Government Minister Jeremy Browne has put the brakes on media speculation that the government is about to consider the decriminalisation of cannabis.

In doing so Jeremy Browne has put British society's clock back 15 years as the rest of the world grows up about drugs legislation that actually works and makes sense.

Among other U.S States, Washington has just celebrated the legalisation of cannabis possession and same-sex marriage all in one night.

Browne says cannabis is stronger than it was a generation ago and the dangers are unknown. This is not true. The active compound in the natural herb is shown to produce little to no harm to the body's organs and can actually help to fight aggressive cancers and tumours.

Cancer Research UK stress more research is needed into cannabis and the positives effects it has, their website says that cannabinoids (the active chemicals found in the plant) does the following to cancer cells:

"Triggering cell death, through a mechanism called apoptosis"

"Stopping cells from dividing"

"Preventing new blood vessels from growing into tumours"

"Reducing the chances of cancer cells spreading through the body, by stopping cells from moving or invading neighbouring tissue"

"Speeding up the cell’s internal ‘waste disposal machine’ – a process known as autophagy – which can lead to cell death"

So tell us something new Mr Jeremy Browne. [Read the report: Drugs: Breaking the Cycle].

UPDATE: David Cameron has rejected the report and calls for the decriminalisation of drugs, despite the evidence, saying - "I don't support decriminalisation. We have a policy which actually is working in Britain."

[READ] Drug Laws "Not Fit For Purpose".

Labour to oppose benefits cap.

tbg has learnt this morning that Ed Balls' Labour Party are to oppose the Autumn Statement benefits cuts and encourage Britain's 'something for nothing' culture to continue.

The news was leaked last night by a source close to Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna.

Its understood that the move is opposed by a number of Blairites including Ed Miliband's own brother David.

Liam Fox puts EU pressure on PM.

Liam Fox has today upped the ante as the Tory EU Row drags on.

As exclusively revealed on tbg last week, PM David Cameron is to give Britain a vote on the EU at some point.

That's not enough for Liam Fox though.

The former Defence Secretary told tbg this morning that he wants the Government to adopt a "settled position" on the issue within a year.

Dr Fox is calling for the Tories to adopt a new "Back to the Common Market" slogan in time for the 2015 General Election.

Dr Fox says that public opinion is pointing towards a renewed consensus on the issue of looser ties with the EU and says that - "If the choice is between a looser, more economic relationship and leaving" he would choose to stay put.

tbg's Downing Street mole yesterday said that there was a 50% chance that David Cameron would be making his big EU speech before Christmas and a 50% chance he would do it in the New Year.

Its understood that the Prime Minister wants to stay in the Single Market but cut loose from Brussels over food, fisheries, employment laws and human rights and that once he has sorted out his plans he will put them to a fresh EU Referendum.

Labour MP attacks Balls.

Labour MP John Mann has this evening launched a scathing attack on Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

In a statement Mr Mann said that - "Ed Balls failed to defeat Osborne when Osborne was by far the most vulnerable Cabinet member."

"There was a time when it was felt Ed Miliband was running to catch up with Ed Balls." "That's reversed in the past year."

"What happened last week crystalises that change."

Quote of the day.

"Ed Balls on the economy?"

"It's like consulting the undertaker before calling the doctor!"

Lord Heseltine

Racism arrest at Premier League clash.


It's been alleged that Norwich City player Sebastian Bassong was racially abused by a Swansea City fan in yesterdays Premier League clash.

Police say a 23 year old fan was arrested for allegedly making racist gestures toward Sebastian Bassong.

Cameroon international Bassong scored during the game as his side won 4-3 at Swansea's Liberty Stadium.

A Swansea City Football Club spokesman said - "Within 10 minutes of the report, the stewards had got hold of the TV footage, replayed it, identified the alleged person in question and within that period, he was arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence."

South Wales Police said: "We can confirm that a 23-year-old Swansea man was arrested during the Swansea v Norwich game at the Liberty Stadium for a racially aggravated public order offence.

NHS to fund new cancer prevention technology.

Health Sec. Jeremy Hunt announces new treatments

Cervical & bowel cancer screenings are set to receive a massive boost as Jeremy Hunt announced new measures to introduce a new more accurate test for HPV, the virus that causes 99% of cervical cancer cases.

The new test identifies the HPV virus much earlier that the current smear test recommended every 3 years for the over 25's. Women could be safely tested every six to ten years with the new technology.

Hunt will also announce the new £2M pilot screening programme for bowel cancer which is reported to save 3,000 lives a year.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I want to make sure our survival is among the best and NHS patients receive the best treatment available."

Drug laws 'not fit for purpose'.

A report by the Home Affairs Select Committee is due this coming week focusing on Britain's drugs policy.

tbg can reveal that the report will declare Britain is losing its war on drugs and that the current laws are "not fit for purpose".

One MP on the panel told the Mail on Sunday: "The general view was that the drug laws in Britain are all a bit out-dated. We have a Drugs Act that’s really outlived its usefulness and that really belongs in the 1960s and 1970s.

"It seems to deal with the drugs world as a fairly simple market with a relatively small number of controlled substances out there. But that’s not the case. (We are) fighting a losing battle over drugs policy"

David Cameron used to back legalisation of certain drugs in his early days but isn't so hot on the topic now. Lib Dems are sure to support a review and possible decriminalisation of certain drugs that are currently illegal.

MPs have looked into Cannabis laws being relaxed in the United States in recent months and years, also changes to Portuguese drug possession law, basically decriminalising it, have seen crime rates such as robbery fall and HIV infections decline.

When David Cameron was on the Home Affairs Select Committee panel in 2002, he agreed that the Government should look again at the legalisation of some illegal drugs.

Daily tracker.

Having reached their peak with a fourteen point lead for the fifth time this year the question on many lips today is 'Have Labour Peaked?'

Since the Autumn Statement and Ed Balls woeful response Labour's lead has started to tumble.

Today the Labour lead is back in single figures at just nine points today:

YouGov poll for the Sunday Times:

Labour 42% (lowest rating since November 29th)
Conservatives 33% (highest rating since November 26th)
Liberal Democrats 10%
UKIP 9%.

Government approval is also on the up. Last month it was as low as -37 but today its only -31.

Tory big beasts join new pro-gay marriage group.

Senior Tories such as Boris Johnson, Catholic Patrick McLoughlin and Education Secretary Michael Gove have today given their backing to same-sex marriage campaign and launched the group "Freedom to Marry".

The new group aims to help pass the Equal Marriage Bill when legislation comes before Parliament in the spring.

Group members have the same opinion as Prime Minister David Cameron that churches should be free to conduct gay marriage ceremonies but should not be forced to do so if they choose not to.

Tory MP Nick Herbert, who is in a civil partnership, says that changing the law is "the right the thing to do"

"It is precisely because marriage is such a uniquely important institution that we should ensure that all couples who want to enter into it, regardless of their sexuality, can do so.

"Conservatives who believe in marriage should feel this most strongly."