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Cameron says EU renegotiation on migration is “one last go”

expressquit“Although Downing Street insisted that “no final decisions” have been taken on the issue, Mr Cameron admitted that “further action” is needed on immigration. Answering questions from members of the public during a campaign visit to Strood, in Kent, the Prime Minister said: “We need further action to make sure we have more effective control of migration. We should have one last go at negotiating a better deal.” Mr Cameron added: “I think we need to be clear that the immigration system hasn’t been working properly. Greater control is required, but fairness should be at the heart of it.” – Daily Express

  • “The scale of the fight the PM will have on his hands was reinforced when Brussels chiefs tried to shoot down his red line plan within hours. An EU Commission spokeswomen insisted: “Freedom of Movement is a fundamental principle of the European Union”.” – The Sun(£)
  • The Tory ladies taking on UKIP – Quentin Letts Daily Mail
  • Reckless accused of housing flip flop – The Times(£)
  • Tory by-election hopeful backs “point based” immigration system – The Times(£)
  • Is UK protectionism growing? – Nick de Bois City AM

Ashcroft marginal seats poll shows UKIP’s threat to the Conservatives

“UKIP is on course to take enough Tory votes to put Ed Miliband in power next year, according to a poll of marginal constituencies. The survey of ten Conservative-held seats suggests the anti-EU party could tip the balance in favour of Labour in all but two of them. The findings will reinforce the central Tory message that Ukip voters risk handing the election to Mr Miliband, who has effectively ruled out holding a referendum on EU membership.” – Daily Mail

  • “Leading Conservative politician Michael Gove has responded to claims that his party are in a state of panic over the rise of Ukip by saying “Does this face look bovvered?” – The Independent

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: A five per cent swing to Labour in my latest battleground polling

16 per cent fall in crime last year

Police helmet“Crime in England and Wales is at its lowest level since 1981 after a record 16% fall in the past 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics. The authoritative crime survey shows a decline in most offences, including a 23% fall in violent crime, a 20% drop in criminal damage and a 12% decline in theft. The survey estimates that there were 7.1m crimes in the 12 months to June 2014.” – The Guardian

PM calls on EU to do more to fight Ebola

“David Cameron has urged other European countries to start Ebola screening at airports, saying they “must do more” to stop the deadly disease spreading. The virus has killed about 4,500 people so far, with nearly all of the deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Mr Cameron made his comments at a Cobra committee meeting on Thursday, and said infection risk to the UK remained low.” – BBC

  • Ebola may be gruesome but it’s not the biggest threat to Africa – Fraser Nelson Daily Telegraph
  • Downing Street’s Ebola panic is the politics of fear – Simon Jenkins The Guardian

Four out of ten hospitals exposed as failing

mailunsafe“Four in ten hospitals are unsafe, a damning report reveals today. Patients are being given the wrong drugs and picking up serious infections while shortages of staff mean the elderly are neglected and suffering falls, says the care watchdog. A&E units and maternity wards are particular causes of concern, according to the Care Quality Commission….‘The public is being failed by the numerous hospitals, care homes and GP practices that are unable to meet the standards that their peers achieve and exceed,’ warns the report.” – Daily Mail

  • “Errors are not always due to budget constraints – they are more often a reflection of bad management or poor training. Experience shows that, by adopting best practice, it is possible to raise performance without simply pouring in more money.” – Leader Daily Telegraph
  • Calls for inquiry into Welsh NHS – BBC

May defends security services data gathering….

“Home Secretary Theresa May has defended the collection of vast amounts of phone and internet data – as exposed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden. “If you are searching for the needle in the haystack, you have to have a haystack in the first place,” she said. She told a Parliamentary committee citizens did not give their explicit consent to have their data harvested by the security services. But there was an “unwritten agreement” that it was needed to “keep us safe”.” – BBC

…and quarrels with backbenchers over the European Arrest Warrant

MAY Commons Ellison“Two of the Conservative party’s most senior figures are set to clash before the Rochester by-election over the adoption of European justice powers. David Cameron is caught between Theresa May, his home secretary, who is demanding that Britain signs up for the 35 new powers, and about 40 MPs determined to rebel, some of whom claim that Michael Gove, the chief whip, has been holding out the prospect of dropping one of the most controversial powers, the European arrest warrant (EAW), of which Mrs May is a staunch supporter.” – The Times(£)

>Today: ToryDiary: The European Arrest Warrant is not, unfortunatley, about to be scrapped

Freud backed by father of disabled girl

Lord Freud“The father whose question led to Lord Freud’s remarks suggesting some disabled workers were ‘not worth’ the minimum wage told yesterday of his frustration at the deepening political fallout. David Scott said his exchange with the Welfare Minister at the Conservative Party conference last month had been taken out of context as he spoke movingly of the inspirational life of his severely disabled daughter Moira, who died six years ago.” – Daily Mail

  • Ed’s cheap shot won’t help people like my daughter – Ross Clark The Times(£)
  • Ed Miliband’s hypocrisy over Lord Freud – Norman Tebbit Daily Telegraph

Collapse of UKIP’s Euro block

“Ukip suffered a serious blow to its finances yesterday when the defection of a Latvian MEP caused the collapse of the seven-state group led by Nigel Farage’sparty in the European parliament. The extinction of Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, the parliament’s biggest anti-EU group with 48 MEPs, means Ukip and its partners will lose influence, speaking time, access to positions on committees and funding. Ukip alone will lose €1.95 million (£1.55 million) a year of EU funds, according to the Open Europe think tank.” – The Times(£)

Balls “faces axe” in reshuffle

BALLS attack dog“Close allies of Ed Balls feared that he could be moved from his job as shadow chancellor. Labour Uncut, a political website, referred to a rumour that had circulated Westminster that Ed Miliband could try to persuade Mr Balls to take a different shadow cabinet job. However, this was vigorously denied yesterday by the Labour leader’s office. Over the past few weeks, figures close to Mr Balls have been sounding the alarm over a possible putsch. “People around Ed [Balls] are genuinely worried about whether he might get moved,” said one senior Labour source.” – The Times(£)

  • Things are bad for Labour – but they could get a lot worse – Dan Hodges Daily Telegraph

Bronze statue of Cameron on a bike sold at Tory fundraiser

“A bronze statue of David Cameron on a bicycle has been sold for about £25,000 at a black-tie gala run by a secretive organisation that raises money for Conservative candidates. As preparations for next year’s general election began in earnest, the United & Cecil club held its annual gala dinner at the Jumeirah Tower hotel in Knightsbridge, central London, with George Osborne as the guest of honour.” – The Guardian

Cut the state pension propose the IEA

institute_economic_affairs“The state pension should be cut in half and taxes lowered so savers can invest more money privately, a report has suggested. The Institute of Economic Affairs, a right-leaning think tank, said the Government was “overstretched” in trying to fund “unsustainable” retirement payouts for Britain’s ageing population. It said the Government should abandon its plan to pay around £155 a week “flat-rate” amount to future pensioners who have a full national insurance record. The payout should be cut in half, it said, to around £75, and workers given annual tax rebates that vary according to age. A worker aged 40 would receive around £3,000 a year as a result of paying lower national insurance, the think thank said.” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Prince of Wales “makes up” with Alex Salmond – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour want elected supporter reps on football club boards – The Guardian
  • Housing Benefit fraud and error costs taxpayer £1.4 billion a year – BBC
  • £34 billion in tax left unpaid – The Sun(£)
  • Police too busy with CRB checks to pursue sex offenders – Daily Mail
  • Combined poll rating for main two parties at record low – YouGov
  • Lyons review says force council to approve more house building – The Guardian

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