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Rebel Rebel 1) Montgomerie: Prize Tory rebels instead of attacking them

MONTGOMERIE purple background‘The campaigns of the likes of Mr Halfon and Mark Reckless — against tax rises, against prisoner voting, against weak immigration controls — have pulled Parliament and party closer to the concerns of the British people. Team Cameron has also benefited from the rebellion instigated by David Nuttall, John Baron and other Eurosceptics. Their demands for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU were first met with disdain but are now party policy. Without that policy UKIP would today be an even stronger, more formidable opponent.’ – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

Rebel Rebel 2) MPs demand EU truce terms from Cameron

‘Rebel MPs…are said to have identified the Conservatives’ annual conference in Birmingham in October as the last opportunity to rebel. The price of a so-called Birmingham truce — which would give Mr Cameron a trouble-free approach to the election — is that he is more explicit about what he hopes to achieve in a renegotiation over Britain’s membership of the European Union. They also want him to commit to engage the party in any negotiations with the Liberal Democrats if there is another hung parliament.’ – The Times (£)

  • New EU fuel rules to cost motorists £200 a year – Daily Mail
  • Heavy cost of driving hitting the poorest – The Sun (£)
  • UKIP expel gay floods councillor – Daily Mail

Downing Street mulls ban on tube strikes

On strike‘No 10 said that it was looking “very, very closely” at plans to ban strikes by declaring the London transport system an essential service along with other “vital public transport networks”. Such a move, being considered for the Conservatives’ 2015 election manifesto, would put the Tube on a par with police and fire services and make it subject to a minimum service guarantee.’ – The Times (£)

£100m extra for the flooded Somerset Levels

‘Residents in three villages on the flooded Somerset Levels were told to leave their homes immediately last night – as David Cameron was forced to take charge of the crisis. The Prime Minister led a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra and pledged another £100million to help tackle the aftermath of the floods and said there were ‘no restrictions’ on the help available to stricken communities.’ – Daily Mail

  • We must not be so exposed next winter – The Sun Says (£)
  • Owen Paterson undergoing emergency surgery on detached retina – BBC News

Fiscal fights 1) The IFS attacks pension tax grabs

Savings‘Plans to hammer the middle classes with a raid on their pensions were yesterday branded ‘unfair’ in a devastating analysis by Britain’s most respected tax watchdog. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said cutting tax relief on pension contributions for millions of workers is frequently proposed by politicians hoping to raise cash to fund pet projects. But it warned that such a move would be ‘complex, unfair and inefficient’ and put off prudent workers saving for retirement.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Osborne’s record-breaking rise in our Cabinet league table

Fiscal fights 2) Recovery could bring tax cuts

‘Britain’s economy is recovering so fast the Chancellor may be able to ease spending cuts and lower taxes in the coming years, economists claim. Experts say spending cuts planned beyond 2015 “could be reversed” if forecasts come true. The Oxford School of Economics say forecasts the Britain’s GDP – the most accurate indicator of our standard of living – has grown at a rate of 2.6 per cent in 2013 will put us in one of the strongest positions in the developed world.’ – The Sun (£)

Fiscal fights 3) Labour debate tax on turnover

Tax Take‘Ed Balls is coming under pressure from top Labour figures to propose slapping a “turnover tax” on business, The Sun can reveal. The unprecedented raid on a percentage of companies’ annual sales was discussed by the party’s most senior body, the National Executive Committee, at a meeting last week. Labour leader Ed Miliband and deputy Harriet Harman were among those present. The group agreed to pass the idea on to the Shadow Chancellor to look at.’ – The Sun (£)

  • It’s terrifying when Ed Balls is the voice of (relative) sanity – The Sun Says (£)

All-male front bench gives Cameron an awkward PMQs

‘David Cameron faced claims he runs the government like an ‘old boy’s network’ with not a single woman on the government frontbench today. At Prime Minister’s Questions Labour leader Ed Miliband said the all-male line-up alongside Mr Cameron was proof his government did not represent the country he leads.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Julia Manning on Comment: The Conservatives need all-women shortlists now

>Yesterday:

David Laws bites his master: in-fighting in Education

Libdem bird vs TORY‘David Laws, the Schools minister, has called for Ofsted to be given greater powers to investigate the performance of the Conservatives’ academy schools, opening a new rift with Michael Gove, the Education Secretary. In an interview with The Independent, the Liberal Democrat minister has demanded reform of the system for making key public appointments to prevent cabinet ministers installing political allies.’ – The Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: We know what the Liberal Democrats are against in government, but what are they for?

Aidan Burley stepping down in 2015

‘The Tory MP who organised a Nazi-themed stag do for a friend and then tried to downplay his role in planning the party, last night announced he would step down at the next election. Aidan Burley was allowed to remain as MP for Cannock Chase after pictures were published in the Mail on Sunday of him attending the distasteful event – despite a party inquiry last month which called his actions ‘stupid and offensive’.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Aidan Burley to stand down at the next election

GPs revolt against NHS data gathering

NHS_Logo‘Growing numbers of GPs are joining a rebellion against an NHS scheme to harvest millions of medical records. Unless patients object, officials will start to extract confidential data from their files next month…At least four GPs – with thousands of patients between them – are defying orders to hand over their patients’ records. Many more are known to share their concerns.’ – Daily Mail

Britain slips two places in military league table

‘Britain has dropped to fifth place from third as a global military spending power because of its shrinking defence budget and increased expenditure by Russia and Saudi Arabia, a respected report on the state of the world’s armed forces said yesterday. British military spending last year was $57 billion dollars (£35 billion), putting the country behind the United States, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the Military Balance 2014, by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.’ – The Times (£)

  • Scottish independence threatens the future of Trident – FT

Hand in hand on Hadrian’s Wall to save the Union

STEWART, Rory headshot‘Tens of thousands of people will form a HUMAN CHAIN along Hadrian’s Wall in a last-ditch bid to persuade Scots not to quit the UK. Tory MP Rory Stewart will today launch the ‘Hands Across The Border’ campaign in the House of Commons. It is aimed at showing Scotland how much the rest of Britain wants them to stay. He wants up to 100,000 to stand side-by-side along the 135-kilometre structure.’ – The Sun (£)

>Today: Brian Monteith’s column: A Scottish Yes vote would have a vast impact on the 2015 general election

Met Chief gives Mitchell face-to-face apology

‘Britain’s top police officer last night apologised to former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell over the ‘Plebgate’ affair. In a highly unusual move, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe travelled to the Commons to deliver a personal apology to Mr Mitchell for police conduct during the controversy.’ – Daily Mail

  • PC who smashed in disabled pensioner’s window wins £430,000 compensation for mockery – Daily Mail

First female genital mutilation prosecution approaches

Police helmet‘The first prosecution for female genital mutilation is expected to go ahead within weeks after a concerted drive to end Britain’s “shameful” record over the crime. The case, involving an adult woman who was mutilated twice, will be the first to reach the courts since the practice was criminalised 28 years ago.’ – The Times (£)

Meet the Britons waging jihad in Syria

‘We can only imagine the sense of shock, then, when these same families opened their newspapers last week to be confronted by a photograph of the pair in very different guise. Gone were their favoured designer suits, replaced by paramilitary fatigues whose pouches bulged with bullets. Gone, too, their workaday briefcases; instead, both brandished AK47 machine-guns.’ – Daily Mail

  • Fighters threaten terror attacks back home – Daily Mail

News in brief

26 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 6th February 2014

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