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Prime Minister pledges to rescue the Yazidi as SAS deploy in Iraq

Iraq flag“American officials confirmed that a combined contingent of 20 US Marines, special forces and USAID disaster assistance experts had “briefly” landed on Mt Sinjar just hours after David Cameron pledged that Britain would help with the mission. The Prime Minister pledged to “get these people off that mountain” as he suggested that British helicopters could be used within days to save the Yazidi refugees “exposed, starving and dying of thirst” in temperatures of 50C (122F).” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The Lawrences of Iraq

>Yesterday:

Janan Ganesh: Even a bland speech from Miliband would lend him some weight on foreign affairs

“Nine months from a general election that could make him prime minister, we only have a sketchy sense of Ed Miliband’s take on the world. The Labour leader is minded against a referendum on EU membership and a bit warier of military action than the prime minister, David Cameron, but this is not much to go on. He has not given a set-piece speech on foreign policy.” – Financial Times

Duncan Smith casts doubt over spare room subsidy disability figures…

IDS headshot“Iain Duncan Smith has cast doubt on statistics showing two-thirds of people hit by the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ are disabled, saying they are based on tenants’ “self-declaration”. The Work and Pensions Secretary said there is no “check” on the figures which appear to show almost two-in-three council houses affected by the policy are occupied by someone with a disability.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Government crackdown on sickness benefit sees sanctions rise by 350 per cent – The Independent

…and hails ‘remarkable’ fall in joblessness but wages are falling

“The number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants is set to dip below a million next month, for the first time in six years. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith called the figures “remarkable”. He said rising employment was the first step in pushing up wages, adding: “Your salary can’t rise if you’re not in work.” But shadow employment minister Stephen Timms called the pay fall worrying.” – The Sun (£)

Fall in Lloyds share price puts Osborne’s privatisation plans on hold

Osborne-Headshot3“George Osborne has ruled out selling shares in Lloyds Banking Group to the general public before May’s general election, meaning the taxpayer may have to wait longer than expected to make its money back on the bank’s bailout six years ago. The Chancellor had ambitions to allow retail investors to buy shares from the Government before the end of 2014, but Lloyds share price has recently dropped below what the taxpayer paid to save the bank in 2008.” – Daily Telegraph

Cameron ‘may be forced to quit’ if Scots secede, claims Davis

“David Cameron could be forced to resign as Prime Minister if Scotland votes to leave the UK, a senior Conservative MP has warned. Former Tory leadership contender David Davis said a Yes vote in next month’s referendum would be such a ‘humiliation’, he would have to consider stepping down. Mr Cameron has insisted he has no intention of quitting, even if he presides over the end of the 300-year-old union.” – Daily Mail

  • Bank of England has drawn up plans to ‘save Sterling’ in case of Yes vote – The Times (£)
  • Second debate to be screened live across the UK by the BBC – The Guardian
  • Devonport could be the new home for a post-Yes nuclear deterrent – The Guardian

Tim Montgomerie: The Tories should take lessons from Canada on winning minority votes

Britain shield“No other conservative, anywhere in the world, has been more successful at winning over ethnic voters. Conservatives won 31 per cent support from “visible” minorities at the last Canadian general election and 41 per cent support from immigrants who had been in the country for a decade or more. Most key minority groups are just as likely to vote for the Canadian Conservative party as white Canadians.” – The Times (£)

  • Eastern European migration rises 25 per cent – The Sun (£)
  • Major’s views on immigration are predictably wrong – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A Conservative immigration policy

Tories beat Labour on donations

“The Conservatives raised almost twice the amount of political donations than Labour in the second quarter of the year after leading business figures poured money into the governing party’s election war chest.” – Financial Times

  • Tory peer donated £300,000 to party months before elevation – The Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Two political fundraising successes

Burnham under fire over aide’s tax-avoidance tactics

Andy Burnham“Labour is under fire for employing a senior adviser on an ‘off payroll’ arrangement which is often used to avoid tax. Kevin Lee, who manages the office of shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, is not on a typical staff contract but is paid through his own private company. These sorts of deals have been criticised by Labour, because they allow both the employee and the employer to get out of paying National Insurance contributions.” – Daily Mail

Second Labour MP calls for suspension of Greater Manchester police chief

“A second MP has called for the suspension of Greater Manchester Police’s senior officer after it emerged he is facing a criminal investigation by the police watchdog. Graham Stringer, a Manchester MP, said Sir Peter Fahy to be removed from his job while an inquiry continues into his supervision of a sex offender investigation.” – Daily Telegraph

Jack Straw: Strasbourg’s climbdown shows we must keep up the pressure on this arrogant court

Jack Straw“The problem that the Strasbourg court has created for itself — and for us — over the years has therefore lain not in the terms of the convention, but in the way in which the court has stretched to breaking point the intentions of those nations that signed the treaty. It has sought to turn itself into a supreme court for Europe; but, unlike any other supreme court in the world (the US included), one for which no democratic override was available.” – The Times (£)

Lib Dems 1) Home Office Minister Baker calls for legalisation of medical cannabis

“Lib Dem Norman Baker will today write to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt demanding an urgent rethink of the current ban. Mr Baker says he has seen “more and more evidence that cannabis can provide genuine medical benefits to treat a number of conditions”… Speaking a week after his leader Nick Clegg said addicts caught in possession should no longer be jailed, Mr Baker insisted he was not proposing weakening laws on recreational use of cannabis.” – The Sun (£)

Lib Dems 2) Party clears MP who said he’d bomb Israel

Israel flag“The Liberal Democrats sparked fury last night after saying they would not suspend an MP who had said he would be ready to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel… Last night, after an investigation lasting three weeks, the Lib Dem chief whip Don Foster said he did not believe Mr Ward’s comments were ‘in any way anti-Semitic’ or motivated by anti-Semitic intentions.” – Daily Mail

  • Sir Nicholas Fairbairn accused of abuse at ‘notorious’ guest house frequented by Cyril Smith – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Left Watch: What does David Ward have to do to get kicked out of the Lib Dems?

Lib Dems 3) Prime Minister under pressure to cut National Insurance as Lib Dems float the idea

“David Cameron has been put under pressure to offer a major tax cut after it emerged that the Lib Dems will raise the idea of cutting national insurance paid by workers. Nick Clegg’s party will promise to look at raising the threshold at which workers begin to pay national insurance contributions.” – The Times (£)

UKIP MEP calls for restoration of the death penalty

UKIP logo“Fifty years after the last execution took place in Britain a Ukip MEP has marked the anniversary with a call for it to be brought back. Louise Bours, Ukip health spokesman, said there was no “ethical reason” to keep child killers and police murderers alive.” – Daily Telegraph

Donations to UKIP outstrip those to the Lib Dems for the first time

“Donations to Ukip have exceeded those to the Liberal Democrats for the first time. Ukip was given more than £1.4million in the three months to June – a three-fold increase on the previous period – compared to the Lib Dems’ total of £1.2million.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Resit crackdown could mean shock for thousands today – Daily Mail
  • Pope’s aerial act of diplomatic goodwill towards China – The Times (£)
  • Universities scramble to attract the best students – Daily Telegraph
  • Man accused of murder asked his iphone where to hide the body – The Independent
  • Independence for North Queensland? Meet the Australian separatists – The Guardian
  • Businessman moves golf-mad partner’s office to the links – Daily Mail

10 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 14th August 2014

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