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ISIS 1) Prime Minister breaks off holiday but will not recall Parliament

CAMERON flag“David Cameron broke off his holiday for a crisis meeting with security chiefs yesterday following the beheading of a US journalist by a British jihadi. He travelled back from Cornwall to co-ordinate the hunt for the Islamic State fanatic who murdered James Foley. In a statement last night he said it appeared ‘increasingly likely’ that the ‘deeply shocking’ killing had been carried out by a British citizen.” – Daily Mail

ISIS 2) UK faith leaders press Cameron for action on crimes against humanity

“Jihadis plotting the “extermination” of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq could get away with crimes against humanity unless the British Government acts now, the leaders of the major faiths in the UK have warned. In a rare show of unity, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Zoroastrian leaders have issued a joint call to David Cameron to use the UK’s seat on the UN Security Council to begin the process of bringing war crimes prosecutions against militants from Isil – short for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” – Daily Telegraph

Tim Montgomerie: The Church can’t rely on others to defend faith

MONTGOMERIE purple background“I sent a round of texts to government contacts yesterday, asking whether the intervention of church leaders would spur action. Some replies left me profoundly depressed… I did get one or two replies of high principle but most were soaked in the language of electoral calculation. I hope the Church of England has begun to realise that religious freedom is not a priority for this government or, for that matter, the opposition. Over the past month Ed Miliband has tweeted repeatedly about Gaza, housing policy, the future of Scotland but nothing on the plight of Christians.” – The Times (£)

May: Bullying partners could face jail for ‘controlling behaviour’

“Bullying partners who cause psychological harm through non-violent behaviour could now face jail-time under new domestic violence laws proposed by the Home Secretary. Theresa May on Wednesday put out a consultation paper looking at criminalising “controlling behaviour” from emotionally abusive partners, such as threatening victims with the use of violence, cutting them off from friends and family, and refusing them access to money in order to limit their freedom.” – The Independent

  • New domestic abuse powers? Surely Conservatives should want less state power – Norman Tebbit, Telegraph Blogs

Former ministers raise doubts over Bercow appointee

John Bercow“Two former cabinet ministers have sounded the alarm over John Bercow’s attempt to install a controversial Australian as the most senior official in the Commons. There has been growing unrest among senior MPs over the Speaker’s determination to appoint Carol Mills, the secretary of the department of parliamentary services in Australia, to the £200,000-a-year post of Commons clerk. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former foreign secretary, and Cheryl Gillan, the former Welsh secretary, spoke out yesterday after Downing Street signalled that it would not intervene in the row.” – The Times (£)

Garnier warns against ‘catastrophe’ of interest rate rise

“Interest rate hikes being considered by the Bank of England would be a catastrophe for millions of families, a senior Tory MP said last night. Mark Garnier, who sits on the Treasury committee in the Commons, said any increase would herald ‘a very difficult time’ for mortgaged households. His warning came after publication of the minutes of the Bank’s rate-setting meeting revealed two officials want an immediate rise to 0.75 per cent.” – Daily Mail

‘Hypocrite’ Claire Perry attacked for defending ‘comfortable’ rail commuting whilst driving to work

PERRY Claire“Hypocrite rail minister Claire Perry insists long-suffering train commuters have it cushy — even though she gets to Parliament by car… She sparked fury by insisting rail passengers pay “fair fares for comfortable commuting” — despite prices being set to jump again by up to 5.5 per cent and the miserable reality. The worst-hit will have to fork out nearly £200 extra for season tickets from January.” – The Sun (£)

Alasdair Palmer: Border control fiasco could be hiding a more sinister truth

“I am told by senior officials in Border Force that there is an explanation for the pattern of failure on the e-borders scheme. It isn’t that the computer systems don’t work. It is that ministers do not actually want to have the information that e-borders, if successfully implemented, would provide – because if they had it, they would have to reveal it, and that would almost certainly show that there were at least 200,000 additional illegal immigrants coming into Britain every year.” – Daily Telegraph

Lord Glasman attacks Labour’s ‘aggressive public sector morality’

Miliband Odd and Red“Labour does not understand or appreciate the importance of family life, according to a former guru of Ed Miliband. In a highly critical interview, Maurice Glasman also said it was no surprise that religious people would be sceptical about the party’s policies. The academic claimed Labour had been ‘captured’ by an ‘aggressive public sector morality’ interested only in the individual and the collective.” – Daily Mail

Ashcroft poll shows Labour gains despite Miliband’s poor personal ratings

“LABOUR would storm to victory in key Tory seats at the Election, an influential poll claimed yesterday. A survey of eight marginals currently held by the Conservatives showed Ed Miliband’s party is set to gain each of them. Pollster and former Tory party chairman Lord Ashcroft said the average swing to Labour in the eight seats was 6.5 per cent. And that comes despite Mr Miliband’s poor personal rating among many of the electorate.” – The Sun (£)

Labour could ban ‘rogue’ energy companies

gas-energy“Energy companies could be banned from supplying energy to households if they repeatedly break the rules, under tough new proposals announced by Labour. The opposition argues that the current penalties for misselling energy deals and preventing customers from switching do not deter repeat offenders. Ofgem has the power to fine companies by up to 10 per cent of their turnover but the regulator has only ever levied a fraction of the maximum.” – The Times (£)

Scotland would have to pay for UK institution post-breakup, claims Curran…

“Scots would have to pay extra for BBC shows after independence or accept a “lower quality” of programming, Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary said yesterday. Margaret Curran used a speech in Glasgow to stress breaking up the BBC after separation was not Unionist scaremongering but a policy proposed by the Scottish Government.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Yes campaigns health promises based on political hypochondria – John McDermott, Financial Times

…whilst SNP accused of exaggerating oil reserves by up to 60 per cent…

snplogo“Sir Ian Wood, the most influential figure in the Scottish oil industry, has accused Alex Salmond’s government of exaggerating North Sea oil reserves by up to 60%. Wood, the billionaire founder of the oil services firm Wood Group, said the first minister’s administration had also overestimated North Sea oil income over the next five years by up to £2bn a year or £370 per person, raising serious questions about Salmond’s public spending plans.” – The Guardian

…and Salmond defies calls for Holyrood statement on currency

“Alex Salmond’s currency plans were in “chaos” yesterday as opponents demanded a Plan B after a top adviser admitted Scotland may not share the pound after independence. The First Minister rejected calls from all three opposition parties to explain his backup option before Parliament despite renewed pressure.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Scotland ‘stronger’ using Pound unofficially, according to Adam Smith Institute – The Guardian
  • Vox Scots: Our panel unites against Devo Max – Financial Times

Victims’ anger as campaign-mastermind Lord Rennard’s is reinstated by Lib Dems…

“The Lib Dems were accused of losing their ‘moral compass’ last night after Lord Rennard was allowed back into the party despite claims he groped a string of women activists. Alleged victims reacted with fury, saying the party’s reputation had been ‘torn to shreds’ and women would desert it in droves. It also emerged last night that Lord Rennard will keep his position on an influential party policy committee – and will be free to stand for high office within the party and campaign at next year’s General Election.” – Daily Mail

  • Peer’s accusers say there is no place for women candidates in the party – The Times (£)
  • Party will still turn to Rennard for advice, reveals Cable – Daily Telegraph
  • Rennard’s return caps a sorry saga of Lib Dem mistakes – Anne McElvoy, The Guardian
  • Clegg accused of failing women – The Times (£)
  • This will force women to leave Lib Dems, claims Gasczak – Daily Telegraph

…and their calls to bar him from the party’s Lords group

LibDemDead“Victims of allegedly sexually inappropriate behaviour by Chris Rennard on Wednesday night called on Nick Clegg to ensure the peer is expelled from the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords. Bridget Harris and Susan Gaszczak, whose evidence was described in a report by QC Alistair Webster as “credible”, said Clegg should use his powers as party leader to demand the Lib Dem leadership in the Lords expel Lord Rennard.” – The Guardian

UKIP 1) Party to cut taxes for richer, and for poorer

“Ukip will fight next year’s election attempting to straddle the political divide with a promise to cut taxes for both the richest and the poorest as part of a “blue-collar platform” for aspiration. Tim Aker, head of the party’s policy unit, revealed that the party’s 2015 manifesto would promise to increase the 40p tax threshold from the current £41,865 to £45,000. The move will put pressure on the Chancellor, George Osborne, who has faced calls from Conservative backbenchers to raise the limit amid warnings that growing numbers of middle-class families were being dragged into the upper band.” – The Times (£)

UKIP 2) Racial slurs show ‘a darkness at the heart of UKIP’

ukip-cover“This is obviously the type of language that Atkinson uses in her private life and she forgot to temper it in a public forum. She was caught, not for uttering a swear word when she didn’t know her microphone was switched on, but for showing her true colours. UKIP is a party based on the public face of one man. I doubt that many who voted for them in the last election could name a single other member, or knew who would be representing them in the European Parliament. Consequently we have a group of MEP’s who are worse than useless.” – Alice Arnold, Daily Telegraph

Galloway lashes out as police probe Israel comments

“Controversial MP George Galloway today vowed not to be ‘silenced’ after he was interviewed under caution by police for publicly declaring Bradford an ‘Israel-free zone’ in protest at the war in Gaza. Speaking in Leeds earlier this month, the veteran Left-wing firebrand said Israelis were no longer welcome in the city where he has a constituency. The remarks sparked outrage and hundreds of complaints to West Yorkshire Police.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Police arrest four in Northern Ireland after attempted letter bomb attacks on Army recruiters – Daily Mail
  • Aberystwyth offers TV police drama £150,000 to film there whilst cutting CCTV budget by the same amount – The Times (£)
  • Hundreds evacuated as earthquakes herald a second ash cloud – Daily Express
  • Land of the free? In Ferguson USA you can be arrested for standing in the wrong place – The Sun (£)
  • Introducing Rupert, the Tory spy who blew his cover on a Labour battle bus – The Independent

10 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 21st August 2014

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