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‘Music is evil’ – further reports of Islamic extremism in schools

School‘A state-funded Islamic school was at the centre of controversy last night over claims that a poster banning listening to music appeared on its official noticeboard. The poster, alleged to have been put up  at the Madani Schools Federation in Leicester, warned that pupils ‘must stay away from evil acts such as music and encourage others to do the same too’. A photo of the poster, which is claimed to have been taken by a concerned supply teacher inside the school, has appeared on Facebook.’ – Mail on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary: “Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils”

Might Boris’ successor be female?

‘The dark horse is Joanna Shields, chairwoman of Tech City – Cameron’s digital industry initiative. The leadership knows it takes a different kind of Tory to win in traditionally Labour London, and Shields, a naturalised American, is not a typical Tory. But she is not well known. By contrast, Karren Brady is a TV star thanks to The Apprentice. She introduced George Osborne’s last conference speech and was Cameron’s small business tsar. She also has London roots and is vice-chairman of West Ham Football Club.’ – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

Labour 1) The Opposition is a “one trick pony”

LABOUR dead rose‘Senior party figures said this weekend that if Labour continues to base its election strategy on a “cost of living crisis”, it risks becoming a “one-trick pony”. The warning comes as polling for The Sunday Times shows that the Tories are closing the gap on the issue, and that Labour now only has a narrow lead on its ability to tackle high prices, boost living standards and provide jobs. The Tories have also extended their advantage over Labour when it comes to questions of economic competence.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Labour 2) Miliband plans to strike a coalition deal with Clegg

‘Party chiefs say they’d give Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg the plum job as part of a Coalition deal – in the clearest sign yet of internal fears Labour won’t win next year’s general election outright. The controversial offer would lumber Britain with ANOTHER five years of Mr Clegg as Deputy PM and his opportunist party in Government – risking fury from voters. Labour bigwigs admit it would also spark a huge backlash from grassroots supporters who loathe the 47-year-old – but are prepared to take it on the chin.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

CEBR: Osborne has room for £7bn tax cuts

OSBORNE SWORD‘Britain’s economy will be nearly 2% bigger than at its pre-crisis peak by next year’s election, giving the chancellor scope for up to £7bn of tax cuts, a report is expected to say. The latest forecasts from the respected Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), released tomorrow, are likely to give the government another boost after a week in which earnings matched inflation for the first time in four years.’ – Sunday Times (£)

>Today: Andrew Allison on Comment: Osborne’s plan to give a power too many to HMRC

‘The Right’ reportedly preparing demands should UKIP win the Euro election

‘The Right is even now readying its demands. A Minister influential with this wing warns: ‘The Right will be robust in pushing the party to reflect the realities of defeat.’  The Right will also want its  people promoted in the reshuffle expected afterwards. I’m told: ‘The PM will have to look after the Eurosceptics and ensure that it is a reshuffle that promotes party unity.’ If he doesn’t do this, there will be trouble.’ – Mail on Sunday

Investigation raises questions over food bank statistics

Food bank‘Volunteers for a charity that blames welfare cuts for the soaring use of its food banks have admitted that fraudsters routinely ‘take advantage’ of the handouts. The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest provider of food banks – which highlighted a ‘shocking’ rise in demand for emergency food packages last week – last night pledged to investigate after volunteers were filmed admitting that people could take free food without checks, and that many visitors were asylum-seekers.’ – Mail on Sunday

Meet Putin’s New World Order – same as the old one

‘Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer, does not present his case for annexing Crimea and destabilising the government in Kiev as a crusade on behalf of the proletariat, or a struggle against the evil forces of international capital. There is no theory of the betterment of the human condition involved here, or any prescription for a superior form of society which would bring justice to the world. It is just a land grab justified on the basis of racial identity.’ – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Give your credit card details to watch porn online

Shield‘Children will be blocked from watching online pornography under government plans to force website owners to obtain proof that users are aged over 18. The new age-checking system will be introduced for UK-based porn websites by the end of this year if parliament passes rules being drawn up in Whitehall…The new system would require users to provide credit card details or official records to prove they are 18 or over.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Patrick Mercer may be expelled from Parliament

‘Until last week, Mr Mercer was expected to be suspended from the Commons for up to six months in line with punishment already handed out to Labour peers caught in a separate lobbying sting. But Commons sources last night claimed that new evidence had now been unearthed which could lead to him being kicked out. One said: ‘It’s very serious and all options are now being considered.’’ – Mail on Sunday

Gap closes on Scottish independence

Scottish flag‘A landmark ICM survey for today’s Scotland on Sunday reveals a decline in the No vote from 46 per cent to 42 per cent over the past month. Over the same period, the Yes vote has remained steady at 39 per cent, resulting in a significant tightening of the gap between the two sides. When the 19 per cent “don’t knows” are excluded from the equation, the No vote stands at 52 per cent, with 48 per cent in favour of Scotland going it alone. This is the highest level of Yes support to be recorded by an independently commissioned opinion poll.’ – Scotland on Sunday

Quangocrat sacked after failing to declare bankruptcy

‘A Tory crony of David Cameron put in charge of a £60 billion quango was dramatically fired last night after it was revealed that he was declared bankrupt for not paying his taxes. Mr Cameron was forced to act after a Mail on Sunday investigation into businessman Tony Caplin, who ran the Prime Minister’s family stockbroking firm and was Conservative Chief Operating Officer when Mr Cameron became party leader. The Prime Minister claimed he had no idea Caplin had been declared bankrupt.’ – Mail on Sunday

News in brief

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