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Cameron responds to the shootings in Canada…

Canada Flag“A Canadian soldier has died after being shot at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, as one gunman was killed in parliament and police hunted for at least one other assailant. … A statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that he has ‘condemned this despicable attack’. … British Prime Minister David Cameron has offered his condolences, tweeting: ‘I’m appalled by today’s attack in Ottawa. I offer my full support to @pmharper and the Canadian people as they deal with this incident.'” – The Independent

  • “Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Muslim convert who fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old father, as he stood guard at the War Memorial on Wednesday morning before being shot dead himself was a man with numerous criminal charges over the past decade who has been called ‘mentally ill’ but those who knew him.” – Daily Mail
  • “Counter-terror police have arrested a man in London over Syria-related terrorist training.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter will be told to take action to curb the activities of extremists at a Downing Street summit.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Security experts fear terrorists could launch an attack in the UK using mini drones bought for £300.” – The Sun (£)

…welcomes a report on devolving power to cities…

GROWTH Krieg“The prime minister has welcomed an ambitious proposal to devolve power to UK city regions along the same brisk timetable as the Scottish devolution process, suggesting Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire could gain more autonomy in 2015. … The report from the City Growth Commission argues that devolution from Whitehall to city regions will boost economic output in the UK’s 15 largest metropolitan areas (“metros”) by £79bn per year – approaching 5% of current GDP.” – The Guardian

  • “Lord Smith of Kelvin, the peer appointed by David Cameron to forge consensus on new powers for Scotland, said all five parties taking part in the discussions had agreed to come up with a ‘substantial and cohesive’ devolution package.” – Financial Times
  • “The body which oversees elections is ‘not fit for purpose’, and the list of voters to be used at next May’s general election will contain at least 13m errors, a think tank has warned.” – The Independent

And comment

  • “The City Growth Commission’s argument on devolution should be heard.” – Financial Times editorial
  • “Devolving power to urban areas outside of London has a clear commercial and economic rationale.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “In Scotland the old politics have crumbled, as they once did in Ireland.” – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

> Yesterday: Henry Hill’s column – SNP drag Labour behind Tories in two Scots polls

…and uses PMQs to criticise Labour’s handling of the NHS in Wales…

Cameron in PMQs on 16th October 2013“As the Daily Mail’s investigation into allegations of appalling failings of Welsh patients dominated Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron accused Labour of causing the crisis by slashing NHS funding. … He told MPs that the British Medical Association and even some Labour MPs were now calling for a public inquiry in Wales into claims of neglect, long waiting lists and poor access to lifesaving treatments.” – Daily Mail

  • “A protester was bundled out of the House of Commons today after throwing a bag full of marbles at MPs from the public gallery. … The marbles hit a £600,000 glass screen which was installed in 2004 to protect MPs from an anthrax attack.” – Daily Mail
  • “David Cameron enjoyed a joke at John Bercow’s expense yesterday by congratulating a former Commons official who took early retirement after falling out with the Speaker.” – The Times (£)
  • “The Prime Minister is the last person you would expect to find honouring rogue political blogger Guido Fawkes, who has just brought down one of his ministers. … But David Cameron appeared as guest of honour via a video link at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the controversial website.” – Sebastian Shakespeare, Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “The NHS fight had ended without a clear conclusion. Labour’s NHS difficulties in Wales were much proclaimed. Mr Miliband accused the Tories of ‘smearing the NHS’.” – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • “The dirty secret that Labour wants to hide.” – Daily Mail editorial

> Yesterday:

…as the health service asks for an extra £8 billion over the next five years

NHS“The NHS is asking for an additional £8bn by 2020 to implement a radical plan, including switching funding from hospitals into other services including GP surgeries, which bosses say is vital to ensure the service can safeguard its future. … NHS bosses warn the Westminster parties to accept the need for the service’s funding to increase from just under £100bn this year to around £120bn by the end of the next parliament – an extra £8bn on top of planned increases in line with inflation – or risk patients suffering ‘severe’ consequences.” – The Guardian

  • “GPs and patients groups have opposed the National Health Service’s scheme to reward doctors for diagnosing people with dementia because it might ‘lead to inappropriate actions’.” – Financial Times
  • “NHS staff should not expect to be ‘nannied’ about how to protect themselves from Ebola and must take ‘personal responsibility’, the Chief Medical Officer has warned.” – Daily Telegraph

And comment:

  • “Simon Stevens has set out the choices. Now it is up to the politicians to deliver, or say why not.” – Guardian editorial
  • “The only answer is serious reform.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “The NHS needs to adapt to survive. We must have the courage to make it happen.” – Nigel Edwards, The Independent
  • “If I’ve got dementia, I’d expect my GP to identify it without being paid extra.” – Jane Merrick, The Independent
  • “Paying doctors to diagnose dementia won’t help sufferers.” – Ross Clark, The Times (£)
  • “Money alone won’t buy us better treatment.” – Andrew Haldenby, Daily Telegraph

EU 1) Cameron travels to Brussels for Council meeting

EU Exit“The prime minister will read the riot act to the president of the European parliament today over a bid to raise the European Union’s annual budget. … David Cameron, who is travelling to Brussels for a meeting of the European Council, will demand ‘downward pressure’ on the overall budget for the European institutions. … Mr Cameron will tell Martin Schulz, the newly re-elected European parliament president, that ‘we should be looking more ruthlessly at how we can prioritise and re-allocate’, according to British government sources.” – The Times (£)

  • “David Cameron was urged to ditch EU green energy targets last night, amid warnings they will add £150 to the average family’s bills over the next five years.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “The scandal of Europe’s ever-expanding budget.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “How Cameron could make the EU a winning issue (and why he won’t).” – Daniel Hannan, The Spectator

> Today: Sir Bill Cash MP on Comment – We must face down the EU establishment

EU 2) IDS speaks out against migrant benefits

IDS on Marr“European migrants would never get British benefits until they find a job, under proposals from Work secretary Iain Duncan Smith yesterday. … He said, ideally, EU jobseekers would not be ‘eligible to claim’ for Universal Credit – his reform where six existing benefits are paid out in one single payment to claimants. … Speaking yesterday he said: ‘We have already introduced a series of measures to tighten up access to benefits: no longer can people come here from abroad and expect to get something for nothing.'” – The Sun (£)

  • “Iain Duncan Smith has abandoned targets for moving people on to his troubled welfare reform programme, saying only that he ‘hoped’ the rollout of universal credit would be complete by the end of the next parliament in 2020.” – Financial Times
  • “More than a third of people with degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis are having their benefits slashed because the Department for Work and Pensions deems they will recover enough to look for work.” – The Independent
  • “More than a million people over 50 have been pushed out of work, costing the UK economy billions, according to a new report to be launched by Prince Charles on Thursday.” – The Guardian

EU 3) Juncker warns against destroying the principle of free movement

Juncker“Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming president of the European commission, has rejected out of hand any attempt by David Cameron to ‘destroy’ the fundamental rules of the EU on free movement of people. … In an echo of the remarks by the outgoing president José Manuel Barroso, who warned that the prime minister is making a ‘historic mistake’ on the EU, Juncker said on Wednesday that he would not compromise in an ‘irresponsible way’ on rights that date back to foundation of the EEC.” – The Guardian

  • “The UK accepts almost three times more migrants from outside the EU than any other member state, as applications to enter Britain last year surged to their highest level since 2010.” – Financial Times

And comment:

  • “Barroso could learn a lesson from Britain.” – David Charter, The Times (£)
  • “Miliband is making the same mistake as Wilson – apologising for immigration and losing support to the right.” – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Tory MEPs to disobey Downing Street over Juncker vote

EU 4) Support for membership of the Union rises to a new high

“Ukip’s recent clean-up at the European Elections, the swipes it seems to be making on the foundations of the Conservative Party and its clear populist style has, it appears, not made a dent in the level of support Britons have for EU membership. … In fact, new research by IpsosMori suggests that support for the European Union (EU) has grown and is at its highest since 1991, shattering perceptions that the UK is edging closer towards a swift exit from the single market.” – The Independent

UKIP on course to win in Rochester

FARAGE big laugh“UKIP are on course to win next month’s crunch Rochester and Strood by-election, according to a new poll. … The ComRes survey for ITV News gave the anti-EU party a 43-30 per cent lead over the Conservatives. … Labour are on 21 per cent, with the Lib Dems and Greens both on 3 per cent. … Voters in the Kent seat will go to the polls on November 20.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read has pulled his controversial ‘UKIP Calypso’ from the charts after sparking a race row.” – The Sun (£)

And comment:

  • “Nigel Farage needs a Polish rightwinger in his Euro group because money talks.” – Mark Wallace, The Guardian
  • “It’s not just Ukip that’s changing Cameron’s mind about immigration.” – James Forsyth, The Spectator

> Today:

Osborne plans to hand out more childcare grants

OSBORNE ConHome“Ministers are set to offer £2million more in childcare grants to make Britain the female employment capital of Europe. … Almost half a million women are expected to enter the labour market by the start of 2016 – largely thanks to government tax breaks. … George Osborne welcomed the surge but said there was ‘more we can do to support women into work’. … He revealed he was considering boosting a scheme to help those who want to set themselves up as childminders.” – Daily Mail

  • “Savers who cash in pensions next year face ’emergency’ tax charges worth up to a third of their funds, which they will need to claim back, The Telegraph can disclose.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “The three main political parties are not being honest with voters about the spending cuts and tax rises needed after the general election, a think tank has warned.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “British business has never been luckier. Now it must start to share the proceeds of growth by tackling low pay.” – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)
  • “To win, the Tories need to make the economy the defining issue – and a crisis could help them.” – George Eaton, New Statesman

> Today:

May orders review of police taser use

Police shield“Theresa May will today order a sweeping review of Police use of tasers – amid fears cops are focusing on ethnic minorities. … The Home Secretary said far more ‘transparency’ was needed. … She claimed research showed 50 per cent of those tasered by the Met were from black or ethnic minority backgrounds. … The review – led by police chiefs and Home Office officials – will also study the use of physical restraint by cops.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Police were furious last night over the planned release of Britain’s most notorious cop killer. … They echoed the 1966 trial judge who said that Harry Roberts should never be allowed out of jail.” – The Sun (£)
  • “Overstretched prison wardens are failing to prevent a massive surge in legal highs behind bars, new stats reveal.” – The Sun (£)
  • “A shocking photo released by cops shows a British couple lying dead on their bed — surrounded by powerful prescription drugs.” – The Sun (£)
  • “The extraordinary number of foreign criminals hiding in Britain was dramatically revealed yesterday after police arrested more than 700 suspects travelling on our roads in just 48 hours.” – Daily Mail
  • “The prime minister has told the Commons the buck stops with him, over tackling foreign criminals, following the publication of a highly critical report that has exposed governmental failure to get to grips with the issue.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “What madness possessed the Parole Board to free monstrous cop-killer Harry Roberts?” – Sun editorial (£)

Gibb: Why a drop in the core GCSE pass rate is a good thing

School“Today’s results are the first since these new rules were introduced. For some schools, still adjusting to the more rigorous and demanding approach to the curriculum that the Government has introduced, their performance table figures may represent a fall or be lower than they expected. But we remain committed to improving our education system, raising academic standards and ensuring that school leavers have the knowledge and skills for life in modern Britain.” – Nick Gibb, Daily Telegraph

Doyle-Price among the MPs calling for Libor fines to go towards Gurkhas’ pensions

“Millions in Libor fines levied on sinning bankers should be used to pay penniless Gurkhas pensions, MPs have demanded. … As many as 7,000 of the fiercely loyal Nepalese ex-soldiers are still without any old age support, an alarming new Commons report reveals. … Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price: ‘Gurkha veterans are part of the British Military family. … We owe it to them to put right any wrongs and ensure that we continue to treat them fairly and with dignity.'” – The Sun (£)

Elphicke: Make Twitter users reveal their identities

ELPHICKE Charlie blue“Social media users should be forced to reveal their identities to Twitter in a bid to stamp out web trolls, an MP has said. … Charlie Elphicke said the move would end ‘hate tweeting’ by forcing sick online bullies out of the shadows. … The Tory MP for Dover hit out just days after it was announced that jail terms for those who abuse people online were being quadrupled to two years.” – The Sun (£)

Lord Tebbit: Young, unemployed people should dig up weeds

“Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit, 83, made the proposal to combat the rampant weed in a letter to an insect charity. … Tebbit said ragwort was a major problem in his part of East Anglia and proposed it could be weeded out by ‘Neets’ – young people who are not in education, work or training – and ‘low level criminals’.” – Daily Mail

The Bank warns of slowing growth

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“A rise in interest rates is unlikely until next year as it could leave the UK ‘vulnerable to shocks’, the Bank of England signalled yesterday. … Bank officials also warned that the UK’s recovering economy was showing ‘signs that the pace of growth was beginning to ease’ as it struggled in the face of a deepening economic crisis in the eurozone. … The downbeat comments, published yesterday in the minutes of this month’s meeting of the monetary policy committee, suggested there will be no increase in official borrowing costs until after the General Election in May.” – Daily Mail

  • “The near collapse of the Co-operative bank blew the chance to create a full blown challenger bank to shake up the high street, according to a parliamentary report which calls for further inquiries into the roles of the bank’s auditors and regulators in the scandal.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “The case for the 0.5 per cent interest rate is weakening.” – Chris Giles, Financial Times

Continued pressure on Woolf to resign from child abuse inquiry

“This is the picture which last night intensified pressure on the head of the Government’s child abuse inquiry to resign. … It shows Fiona Woolf with Lady Brittan, the wife of former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, at an awards ceremony in October 2013. This is despite Mrs Woolf telling MPs that she had had no social contact with the Brittans since April 2013. … Last night a Home Office source insisted it was a ‘minor omission’, but Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs queued up to demand her resignation.” – Daily Mail

  • “A schoolfriend of Nick Clegg who was sexually abused by teachers at their preparatory school is behind a high court bid to remove the chairwoman of the national child abuse inquiry.” – The Times (£)
  • “A Church of England Archbishop covered up the crimes of a serial child sex abuser, a damning report by a judge said yesterday.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “How could the Government have allowed its appointments to the child abuse inquiry to prove so contentious?” – Independent editorial
  • “The witch-hunt against Fiona Woolf’s role investigating child abuse should stop.” – Times editorial (£)

HS2 chief “struggling” to keep the project within its budget

high-speed railSir David Higgins is expected to rule out big changes to the UK’s proposed north-south high-speed rail line as he battles to keep the project within a £50bn budget. … Sir David, chairman of HS2 and a former London Olympics executive, will next week unveil his analysis of the impact of the line north of Birmingham. … ‘He is struggling to keep it within the spending envelope he has,’ said one person briefed on the plans.” – Financial Times 

British armed forces weren’t equipped for fighting two wars, claim former military leaders

“The British military was led into a ‘perfect storm’ by trying to fight conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time, Britain’s former military leaders have admitted in a damning assessment of military policy. … General Sir Peter Wall, who stood down as Chief of the General Staff last month, said that the British plan for the Afghanistan conflict was based on a ‘wrong’ calculation, with commanders saying that the Armed Forces were left ‘under prepared and under-resourced.'” – Daily Telegraph

  • “Britain is under pressure to suspend aid to Pakistan as the country prepares to resume executions.” – Daily Telegraph

And comment:

  • “Brave as lions but poorly led – the British heroes of Helmand.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: The Deep End – No, the Iraq disaster was not caused by us leaving too early

News in brief

  • IKEA gives more cash to fight Ebola than 40 European countries – The Sun (£)
  • Rapist footballer Ched Evans: I have learned painful lesson – The Sun (£)
  • Lloyds to unveil 9,000 job cuts – Financial Times
  • Tesco reports 92 per cent fall in pre-tax profits; chairman to stand down – Daily Telegraph
  • Found: two long-lost comedies featuring Monty Pythons – Daily Telegraph
  • Baby killed and eight wounded in suspected terror attack in Jerusalem – The Guardian
  • US jury convicts Blackwater guards in 2007 killing of Iraqi civilians – The Guardian
  • Cumbrian village is the “best place to raise a family in the UK” – The Independent
  • Barclay brothers lose legal fight over the future of Sark – The Independent
  • Ben Bradlee remembered – Washington Post

And finally 1) Davies versus Snow

Davies Philip NEW“And as Jon Snow became embroiled in a furious shouting match with Philip Davies, the Channel 4 newsroom turned into their unlikely sparring arena. … They traded insults for ten minutes – with Mr Davies saying Mr Snow was ‘past it’ – before fellow presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy waded in and told their visitor to ‘clear off’.” – Daily Mail

And finally 2) Johnsons united

“It was a real family affair last night as Boris Johnson was joined by his brother, sister and parents for the launch of his latest book. … The Mayor of London has written a biography about Sir Winston Churchill – called The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History – and launched it at Dartmouth House in Mayfair.” – Daily Mail

  • “The Queen should share the wealth generated from fracking with homeowners, Boris Johnson has said.” – Daily Telegraph

And finally 3) The Price of a new house

Francis Maude“Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude recently sold his West Sussex home to glamour model Katie Price, aka Jordan, pictured, for £1.3million. … They had been neighbours since 2011. More-fun-than-he-looks Maude says: ‘She’s very nice. She has invited us to her Halloween party. I think we’ll go.’” – the Ephraim Hardcastle column in the Daily Mail

10 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 23rd October 2014

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