Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, on Chris Grayling, grey marginals and TV debates.

1. Where's Chris Grayling? Tories fail to learn Letwin's lesson

Following his gay rights gaffe, Chris Grayling is nowhere to be seen, writes Sunder Katwala. But after hiding Oliver Letwin away in 2001, the Tories should have learned to avoid this risky approach.

2. The grey marginals

Over at PoliticalBetting, Scott Davidson looks at the impact that "grey marginals" could have on the general election.

3. General Election 2010: Who's in charge?

The Telegraph's Benedict Brogan asks who will run the country while the politicians fight it out on the campaign trail. Is the government or the civil service in control?

4. Top Tory's VAT plan would leave poorest 30 per cent worse off

Boris Johnson's deputy, Kit Malthouse, has proposed replacing all direct taxes with VAT. But, says Will Straw, such a policy would hit the poorest families with a 30 per cent tax hike.

5. Are we mistaken about TV debates?

We all assumed that the party leaders' debates would improve accountability, but were we wrong? asks Daniel Finkelstein. If they come at the expense of big TV interviews, the public may end up with less information.

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Police shoot man in parliament

A man carrying what appeared to be a knife was shot by armed police after entering the parliamentary estate. 

From the window of the parliamentary Press Gallery, I have just seen police shoot a man who charged at officers while carrying what appeared to be a knife. A large crowd was seen fleeing from the man before he entered the parliamentary estate.

After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.

Ministers have been evacuated and journalists ordered to remain at their desks. 

More follows. Read Julia Rampen's news story here.

Armed police at the cordon outside Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Getty

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.