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NATO 1) Destroying ISIL will be three year project

timesisil“Britain could become involved in three years of military conflict with Islamist terrorists, it was warned. The timescale was suggested by John Kerry, the US secretary of state, on the final day of the Nato summit in Wales as the UK pledged to stand alongside the United States in its battle to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil). While David Cameron insisted that Britain was “not yet” at the point of launching air strikes, the Prime Minister added that “clearly a military commitment is required” as he signed up to a “core coalition” led by the US.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “President Obama continues to insist that any strategy to squeeze Isis depends on the formation of a stable and inclusive Iraqi government, and Mr Cameron again insisted that such a condition was “front and centre”. Both he and Mr Kerry, however, were notably more bullish at the end of the two-day Nato summit. “We need to attack them in ways that prevent them from taking over territory, to bolster the Iraqi security forces and others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own,” Mr Kerry told a meeting of foreign and defence ministers of the newly formed coalition.” – The Times(£)
  • “The leader of Somalia’s al-Shabaab terror group, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a US air strike, the Pentagon says. He was one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, with a £5million bounty on his head. Special forces used missiles to destroy a camp and a vehicle on Monday, but did not confirm Godane had been killed until yesterday.” – Daily Mail
  • “WESTERN dithering has thrown fuel on the Middle East’s fire. Yet we’re not learning. Even at Nato’s summit yesterday nothing concrete was agreed to rid the world of Islamic State. Britain still won’t commit to air strikes. Similar hesitancy two years ago led to this disaster. A plan was put to David Cameron both to topple Syria’s murderous President Assad and allow the crushing of IS too. He didn’t have the stomach for it.” – The Sun Says(£)
  • Re-boot NATO – Leader The Times(£)

NATO 2) A thousand UK troops for new multinational rapid reaction force

“The UK will contribute 1,000 troops to a new multi-national rapid reaction force, Prime Minister David Cameron has told the Nato summit. He said the Nato “multinational spearhead force” could be deployed anywhere in two to five days. The PM said leaders were “united in condemnation” of the “barbaric” acts of militant group Islamic State (IS). He also confirmed a second new Royal Navy aircraft carrier – the Prince of Wales – would be brought into service.” – BBC

  • “David Cameron said the new multinational brigade based in Poland would ‘reassure’ eastern European allies that the threat from Russia was being taken seriously.” – Daily Mail

Yesterday: Muddassar Ahmed on Comment: NATO cannot carry on as though it’s 1949

Coalition splits over the spare room subsidy cut…

independentbedroom“One of the Coalition’s most unpopular and punitive policies is finally on track for abolition, after Labour and the Liberal Democrats united to vote against the bedroom tax. MPs voted by 304 to 267 for a Bill, brought in by a backbench Lib Dem MP Andrew George, to limit the scope of the policy which penalises council tenants who are deemed to have more rooms than they need. Mr George later admitted that he had not expected the Tories to be so heavily defeated in what he imagined would be a close vote. “It was such a stonking victory that if that coalition can hold together in the coming months we should get this Bill through,” he said.” – The Independent

  • “Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs have joined forces to defeat Conservatives in a Commons vote to partly overturn housing benefit changes. MPs backed the Affordable Homes Bill at second reading by 306 votes to 231. Lib Dem MP Andrew George’s private member’s bill will now move to detailed scrutiny at the committee stage. The issue has split the coalition, with Lib Dem and Tory MPs and ministers voting along party lines.” – BBC
  • “After the vote, Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, who backed the benefit changes when they were initially approved by parliament, said that it signalled the end of the coalition. He told the Commons: “Given that those of us who were against the setting up of the coalition in the first place always knew that the Lib Dems were devious and untrustworthy, and given that this vote today on the bill shows the coalition government has come to an end.” – The Times(£)

…but the SNP miss the vote

“A wave of English and Welsh Labour MPs is to hit Scotland over the next fortnight after Ed Miliband ordered them to “get up there” with the independence referendum battle on a knife edge. Senior sources said Mr Miliband told his MPs to urgently head north of the Border at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) in the Commons and “show some solidarity” with their Scottish party. … In a public relations disaster for the Nationalists’ hopes of eating further into Labour’s core support, only two of the six SNP MPs turned up at the Commons yesterday to vote on watering down the so-called Bedroom Tax.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “The battle for key centre-left votes in the Scottish independence referendum intensified sharply after Labour attempted to split the yes campaign, attacking Alex Salmond’s record on social justice. The Scottish Labour party launched a series of attacks on the first minister, accusing his party of hypocrisy over taxation policy in a final effort to win back several hundred thousand Labour supporters believed to have switched sides to back independence.” – The Guardian

>Today: Columnist Alistair Burt MP: The clinching pro-Union argument. The more Tory MPs Scotland has, the better its football does

Boris on the shortlist for Uxbridge

Boris stands“Boris Johnson came a step closer to returning to Westminster last night when he was selected for the shortlist to become the Conservative candidate in Uxbridge. The mayor of London must now face a meeting of all party members in the west London constituency on Friday. Local party figures have insisted that Mr Johnson will not be a “shoo in” for the seat, despite being the Tories’ most recognisable and best-liked politician.” – The Times(£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Boris back on top in future Tory leader two-horse race

Nine Conservative MPs first elected in 2010 already standing down…

“David Cameron has presided over the biggest exodus of one-term MPs of any party leader in a generation, an analysis for The Times shows. Nine Conservatives who were first elected in 2010 have either already left or have said that they will step down after only a single term. Many in Westminster expect more Tory resignations. The departures give the prime minister the worst retention rate since Commons records began. Sir John Major and Margaret Thatcher lost only three MPs after their first terms, according to the House of Commons library. After Tony Blair’s new Labour landslide in 1997, only two of his MPs quit four years later.” – The Times(£)

McVey plans “attitude tests” for the unemployed

MCVEY Esther Downing Street“Benefits claimants will undergo interviews to assess whether they have a psychological resistance to work, the employment minister reveals today. Unemployed people will be subject to attitude profiling to judge whether they are “determined”, “bewildered” or “despondent” about taking a job, under plans prepared by Esther McVey. Those that are less mentally prepared for life at work will be subject to more intensive coaching at the job centre, while those who are optimistic – such as graduates or those who have recently been made redundant – while be placed on less rigorous regimes.” – Daily Telegraph

Policy Exchange estimate the average house price will be £780,000 by 2040

“The average home will cost nearly £800,000 in just 25 years time, according to calculations by a leading right of centre thinktank. Policy Exchange worked out the figure using a complex Government formula taking into account house price inflation and housing forecasts. The thinktank has produced the calculation to work out how much a home that costs £244,000 today will cost in 26 years time.” – Daily Telegraph

Tyrie attacks banks over bullying letters

TYRIE Andrew“A TOP Tory has slammed high street banks for “misleading” customers by using Wonga-style bullying letters to chase payments. Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said Barclays, HSBC, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland had tried to “pull the wool over consumers’ eyes”. The four banks were among firms that sent out letters that looked like they were from independent lawyers – piling pressure on worried customers. In letters to Mr Tyrie published by the committee last night, RBS and HSBC both admit they had sent out such correspondence – but no longer did so.” – The Sun(£)

Green Party call for £10 minimum wage

“The Green Party of England and Wales is calling for the minimum wage to rise to £10 an hour by 2020. In an address to Greens’ autumn conference, party leader Natalie Bennett said Britain was a low-wage economy and people deserved “a decent return on their labour”. Under the plans, wages would rise by £1.15 to £7.65 an hour next year before increasing each year until 2020.” – BBC

  • Green Party leader brings a streak of red – The Guardian

Anti strikes teacher to contest union leadership

FIST Red“A moderate who opposes regular school strikes is to challenge the left-wing leadership of the biggest teachers’ union. Ian Grayson, a PE teacher from Newcastle upon Tyne, is to stand as a candidate to be deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers. It is the first time in recent years that the NUT leadership has faced a challenge from the union’s moderate wing rather than the ultra-left.” – The Times(£)

  • Hunt says the Tories are taking school standards backwards – The Guardian
  • Birbalsingh regrets Tory Conference speech – The Guardian

Labour proposal for a shopping tax

“A TOP Labour figure has called on Ed Miliband to clobber supermarkets with new taxes – sparking fears that food prices could soar. Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council and a member of Labour’s governing body, warned that superstores had a “detrimental impact” on high street shops. He called on Labour council chiefs to drum up support for a new tax of up to 8.5 per cent on big retail outlets. But Tories warned the “shopping tax” would simply be passed onto customers in higher food costs – and hit the poorest Brits hardest. They also warned it could lead to fewer jobs as supermarket chains fear expanding their businesses in the UK.” – The Sun(£)

Parris: Conservatives should turn their backs on Clacton

PARRIS Mathhew“The truth from which the right hides is this: you cannot have both. You cannot look like a party for the resentful and still appeal to the cheerful. If you want to win Cambridge you may have to let go of Clacton. From the train leaving Stratford at platform 10a, you can see Canary Wharf, humming with a sense of the possible. You must turn your back on that if you want to go to Clacton. I don’t, and the Tories shouldn’t.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

Moore: EU membership weakened Parliament’s and now threatens the UK

“Most MPs did not understand the logic of their own decision. They still spoke of a party being “in power”. They still fought elections as if the result were a matter of life and death. They thought they deserved ever higher allowances and salaries. But they became more negligent and partisan in legislation. In this Parliament, they could not even agree to reform their own boundaries. Law-making bodies live by how well their rules work. In the past few weeks, the Speaker of the House of Commons has been trying to put an Australian in charge of its rules who knows nothing whatever about them. Such changes are symptoms of institutional self-hatred.” – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

Interviewed for The Times, William Hague explains why he is standing down

HAGUE William looking right“At 53, the former Tory leader may not be the oldest man in politics but he is probably the most experienced and now he feels it is time to move on. “It will be 20 years next year since I first joined the cabinet,” he says in his first major interview since announcing his decision to stand down as an MP at the next election. “I was in parliament in my twenties . . . When I speak at the conference at the beginning of next month, I will have given more conference speeches than anyone else ever in history, 38 years of them — I think I am allowed to do something else. Holding office is not an end in itself.” His wife, Ffion, is “very happy I made the decision but she didn’t press me . . . I have discharged my duty . . . but I also like music, literature and academic life. I want a bit more freedom.” – The Times(£)

News in brief

  • More patients are paying for NHS treatment – Daily Mail
  • Fiona Wolf to head child abuse inquiry – BBC
  • Migrants storm Calais ferry heading for Britain – Daily Mail
  • Brown laughs off Commons voting record – The Times(£)
  • TUC attacks Conservative plans to curb union power – BBC
  • A&E waiting times worst for 18 months – The Sun(£)
  • Government must do more on contract management says NAO – BBC
  • Farage and Murdoch meet – The Independent

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