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Grant Shapps

Diary: David Cameron and Nick Clegg value their special relationships

Before they were united in coalition, David Cameron and Nick Clegg agreed on one thing, that the Labour government was employing too many special advisers. There is a serious case for having more, not fewer, of these political appointees who serve their ministers without being restricted by civil service rules about impartiality, despite the controversy surrounding some of them, such as Alastair Campbell or Andy Coulson. But Cameron promised to cap their numbers, while Clegg's position was that there should not be any at all, unless their salaries were paid from party funds.

MPs threaten rebellion over new electoral boundaries

When MPs return to Westminster from their extended summer break today, one subject will preoccupy their thoughts. It will not be the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime, the plans to reform the NHS or the changes to abortion law, all of which are on this week's Commons agenda.

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Miliband says 'fighting cuts' is election theme

Ed Miliband claimed Labour would be the public's "first line of defence" against the Coalition Government's spending cuts yesterday as he launched his party's campaign for the 5 May local elections.