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Cameron lays into Labour over EVEL…

Labour England“David Cameron today tore into the Labour party for walking out on talks on English votes for English laws, accusing Ed Miliband of ‘not being interested in fairness’ for the whole of the UK. … Labour announced it would boycott talks on addressing the English problem, branding government plans ‘a closed shop stitch-up’. … It came as a Commons debate got underway on devolving more powers to Scotland in the wake of the independence referendum.” – Daily Mail

  • “The impasse means that it now looks likely that Labour MPs will be forced to vote against a Tory motion to ban Scots MPs from voting on English-only laws. Last night, it emerged the Conservatives were keen to push for a vote on English home rule before Christmas.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Growing dissatisfaction with how England is governed is laid bare in a new survey, as well as widespread backing for the establishment of an English parliament.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “Labour’s opposition to fair treatment for England is risking Britain’s integrity – Gordon Brown, its former leader, has missed the point.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “The partisan debate over ‘English votes for English laws’ brings out the worst in Westminster’s politicians.” – Sun editorial (£)
  • “Cameron’s demand that English MPs enjoy home rule is ill-judged.” – Financial Times editorial
  • “Gordon Brown’s approach to devolution is not beyond criticism, but it is far better than David Cameron’s partisanship.” – Guardian editorial

> Today: ToryDiary – EVEL is not enough

…signals that the Tories will cut inheritance tax…

Scissors“A pledge to lift everyone except millionaires out of inheritance tax is to be revived by the Tories, David Cameron signalled last night. … The Prime Minister said he believed the hated death duty should be paid by only the ‘very wealthy’. … Official forecasts suggest the number of families paying inheritance tax will double over the next five years unless the threshold of £325,000 is lifted.” – Daily Mail

  • “The annual Credit Suisse global wealth report, released yesterday, has revealed Britain as the only country in the G7 group to have increased inequality this century.” – Daily Mail

…woos women to defeat UKIP…

UKIP glass“Desperate David Cameron is wooing female voters as his secret weapon to derail the accelerating Ukip bandwagon. … The PM revealed a woman will take on Tory defector Mark Reckless in the now all-important Rochester and Strood by-election next month. … Launching his fight back against the rampaging anti-EU party, Mr Cameron wrote to every single constituent in the Kent seat to unveil the two local women activists vying for the Conservative nomination.” – The Sun (£)

  • “David Cameron has ordered Conservative cabinet ministers to visit Rochester and Strood at least five times during the by-election campaign in an effort to halt Ukip.” – The Times (£)
  • “Ukip has a chance of winning in at least 30 constituencies at the next election, although it is likely to win only in five, according to data compiled after the party’s byelection win in Clacton.” – The Guardian
  • “A senior Ukip spokesman has been exposed as claiming to hold a ‘fake’ degree and a professorship at an unaccredited academic institution.” – The Times (£)

And comment:

  • “Ukip is opening a second front in its war on the Conservatives by targeting the party’s neglected rural grass roots.” – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

> Today:

> Yesterday:

…and talks of Thatcher’s struggle with dementia

“An emotional David Cameron has spoken of the pain of seeing former PM Maggie Thatcher succumb to dementia. … The PM described how hard it was to see someone fall from ‘the height of her powers’ because of the disease. … He said: ‘Having seen her at the height of her powers, when I started working for the Conservative Party in 1988, you see what an effect this has on someone.'” – The Sun (£)

Osborne welcomes the decline in inflation, as well as his own pension reforms

Conference 4“George Osborne today hailed a surprise fall in inflation to a five-year low which means a rise in interest rates could be delayed until the middle of next year. … Cheaper travel, restaurants, books and gadgets like tablets and laptops meant the CPI rate of inflation was just 1.2 per cent in September, well below the Bank of England’s target of 2 per cent, and the lowest since September 2009. … Mr Osborne said: ‘We have a double-dose of good economic news for families and for pensioners. The increase in prices is much lower than expected. And that helps families. … And the pension next year will go up by more than double the rate of inflation thanks to the Government’s triple-lock.'” – Daily Mail

  • “The protracted squeeze on pay packets since the financial crisis means the average worker in Britain is £5,000 a year worse off, a leading labour market expert warns on Wednesday.” – The Guardian
  • “Handing people over 55 extra rights to dip into their pension pot risks a ‘horrendous retirement-income car crash’, experts have warned.” – The Times (£)
  • “Millions will be denied access to new pension freedoms because companies cannot keep up with the ‘reckless’ pace of the reforms.” – Daily Mail
  • “Workers could be forced to pay at least £5 a week into a personal ‘welfare account’ to get higher benefits if they lose their job, under a plan being considered by George Osborne.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “Now, Mr Osborne, do away with tax relief on pensions.” – Ross Clark, The Times (£)
  • “Pensions and welfare: credit is due to the Government.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “How the Left would ruin pension reform.” – Daily Mail editorial
  • “The Chancellor’s pensions offer carries big risks.” – Independent editorial

Will the Chancellor allow Scotland to take control of North Sea oil revenues?

Scottish flag“Chancellor George Osborne confides privately to my source that he might now be prepared to give the Scottish Nationalist administration in Edinburgh full control of North Sea oil revenues – a bitterly contested issue in last month’s referendum. … SNP leader Alex Salmond valued them at £1.5trillion, while the Office for National Statistics came up with £120billion. … Yet Osborne thinks this might be a good deal, especially if it has the useful side-effect of wrecking Labour’s already dire prospects among nationalist Scots.” – Ephraim Hardcastle column in the Daily Mail

  • “Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, has warned that Scots could demand a second referendum on independence if Westminster parties fail to deliver on their promise of more powers for Holyrood.” – Financial Times
  • “The price of oil tumbled nearly three dollars a barrel on Tuesday after the west’s energy watchdog cut its forecast for oil demand growth in a sign of the darkening outlook for the global economy.” – Financial Times
  • “Motorists could see another 6p wiped off the cost of petrol, say experts as a price war breaks out among supermarkets.” – Daily Telegraph

And comment:

  • “Tumbling oil price hits Putin where it hurts.” – Roger Boyes, The Times (£)

> Today: Henry Hill’s column – Scottish Labour must dismount the nationalist tiger

> Yesterday: Alexander Temerko on Comment – Conventional gas. Interconnectors. More nuclear. How to join the UK energy security dots

May moves to limit the time that suspects can be held on bail…

MAY Commons Ellison“Police should face time limits on how long a person can languish on bail without being charged, the Home Secretary will say today. … Theresa May is demanding action amid mounting anger that police forces are abusing their powers by keeping people in a legal limbo for ‘months or even years’ – only to be told they would not face any action. … The issue has been highlighted by a number of high-profile cases, including celebrities and journalists, who have been left on bail for long periods – often with strict curbs to their freedom – without charges being pressed.” – Daily Mail

…and against the police officers spying on journalists

“Police will be banned from using anti-terrorism powers to monitor journalists’ telephones under plans to be detailed today by Theresa May. … Her intervention over police powers comes after it emerged that officers twice invoked the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) to access the phone logs of reporters to identify the sources of stories.” – The Independent

Duncan attacks Israeli “apartheid”

Sir Alan Duncan“A former Tory minister who still serves as an adviser to David Cameron has launched an outspoken attack on Israel for its construction of illegal settlements that he says have left some occupied Palestinian towns resembling South Africa under apartheid. … The intervention, from Sir Alan Duncan, comes after the Commons voted by 274 votes to 12 for a motion supporting Palestinian statehood.” – The Times (£)

  • “Britain’s ambassador to Israel has warned that the Jewish state is losing support in the UK, blaming the summer offensive in Gaza and increased settlement construction in the Occupied West Bank.” – The Independent

> Yesterday: Sir Alan Duncan MP on Comment – It’s time to take on Israel’s settlements – and those who endorse them

Paterson to highlight “exaggerated” climate studies

“The vast majority of scientists say climate change is happening and that it is man-made. … But Mr Paterson will argue that many climate models have proved inaccurate. … ‘Over the past 35 years, the earth’s atmosphere has warmed nothing like as fast as forecast, and over the last 18 years it has not warmed at all, according to some sources,’ he will say.” – Daily Mail

  • “Sacked Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will insist burning our own shale gas instead of Russian imports — which now make up 40% of our coal supply — is vital to ‘increase energy security’.” – The Sun (£)

Boris considers banning smoking at public landmarks

Boris Johnson event“Smoking will be banned in the royal parks and at major London landmarks, under radical plans being considered by Boris Johnson. … The London Mayor is weighing up proposals to make cigarettes illegal in the city’s most popular open spaces. … But critics urged the top Tory not to sign up to the “nanny state” move. … The smoke-free plan was recommended by ex-Labour minister Lord Darzi who wants London to be the healthiest major global city within 10 years.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Smoking should be outlawed in public parks, the chief medical officer said last night. … Sally Davies claimed a ban was needed to stop children being set a bad example.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “…banning cigarettes from London parks and outdoor attractions is an act of nanny-state interference Mayor Boris Johnson should rule out.” – Sun editorial (£)

Finkelstein: Chamberlain’s spirit still stalks the Tories

“Now, scepticism about involvement in police actions abroad has become a standard position on the right. Thatcherite inter-nationalism has not completely survived Lady Thatcher. It was notable that, in his last act as a Conservative MP, Mark Reckless, knowing he was joining Ukip within a few hours, voted against even the limited action proposed against Isis.” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Union bullying laid bare

FIST Red“Trade unions are using Facebook bullying, violence, inflatable rats and even IRA-style dirty protests to intimidate employers and strike-breakers, an official report warns today. … The Carr report on industrial relations lays bare the shocking tactics deployed by some unions to bully opponents into submission. … The Government-sponsored report, which was boycotted by the trade unions, said it received evidence of ‘violent, intimidatory or clearly unlawful behaviour’ during industrial disputes.” – Daily Mail

  • “Union hardliners smeared excrement on factory walls in a campaign of hate against bosses, it is revealed today.” – The Sun (£)

Miliband tries to ease his party’s concerns about immigration….

MILIBAND soulful“Ed Miliband has urged Labour MPs not to panic about public concern over immigration – despite polls showing the party’s reputation on the issue slumping to a six year low amid a surge in support for Ukip. … The embattled Labour leader told a private meeting of MPs that the party could not ‘out-Ukip Ukip’. He insisted Labour had the right policies on immigration and told MPs they needed to just ‘keep going on at it’, a source told MailOnline.” – Daily Mail

  • “Ed Miliband’s failure to acknowledge deep-seated concerns about immigration presents a threat to Labour on the same scale as the attempted infiltration by Militant in the 1980s and the divisive tactics of the late Tony Benn, the former minister Frank Field has said.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “Britain gains economically, financially and culturally from cross-border movement of labour. Politicians should confront the populism that denies this.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “Wilson’s moral crusade can still be a rallying call for Labour.” – Roy Hattersley, The Guardian
  • “Ed Miliband won’t be ousted, but his party remains uninspired.” – Rafael Behr, The Guardian
  • “If Ed Miliband is to survive, he must show less fear and more honesty.” – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

> Today: Jon Cruddas MP on Comment – Home, family, community, Roger Scruton’s new book – and why Labour is conservative

> Yesterday: LeftWatch – Miliband begs his MPs not to bump him off

…as the Greens add to Labour’s worries

“Labour has acknowledged the threat posed to its election chances by the Greens in as many as 17 of its target seats by asking Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, to lead a fightback. … Douglas Alexander, Labour’s campaign manager, asked Khan to counter the perceived threat in the face of polling showing the Greens picking up between 5% and 8% nationally.” – The Guardian

Balls aims for 200,000 houses a year

BALLS Ed looking left“Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has promised a boost in capital spending on social and council housing to make it possible to reach Labour’s target of 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 – the centrepiece of Labour’s long-awaited Lyons review into the future of housing due to be published on Thursday. … He insisted the plans would be politically popular because even homeowners know their children cannot afford to get on to the housing ladder and are increasingly having to stay within the private rental sector.” – The Guardian

  • “The gap between house prices in London and the north-east of England is the widest it has ever been, official figures show.” – Daily Mail
  • “More than half a million new homes will need to be built in London to cope with soaring immigration, experts claimed last night.” – The Sun (£)

Blair’s address among terror suspect’s effects

“A terror suspect was caught carrying bombmaking instructions and Tony Blair’s address, a court was told yesterday. … Erol Incedal, 26, was arrested at gunpoint after a bug that police planted in his car recorded his rants against the West. Officers allegedly then found a micro memory card hidden in his iPhone case with a step-by-step guide on making an improvised explosive device.” – Daily Mail

  • “Downing Street has revealed that British troops may train Syrian rebels in a major expansion of the war against Islamic State.” – The Sun (£)
  • “The Treasury has lifted the financial sanctions on the former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg two weeks after he walked free from Belmarsh prison when the terror case against him collapsed.” – The Guardian
  • “A jihadist’s mum and dad were yesterday arrested on suspicion of plotting to send three more of their kids to fight with Islamic State.” – The Sun (£)

> Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column – Obsessed with our own Iraq selfies, we’ll let Kobane be sacked

Birmingham schools still “not fit for purpose”

School“Schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse scandal have taken ‘very little action’ to improve their performance, watchdogs have found. … In a damning report, Ofsted said the five Birmingham schools taken over by Muslim hardliners were still ‘not fit for purpose’. … Officials carried out snap inspections at those schools last month to see if any progress had been made since the scandal broke. … But in his report to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said little had changed.” – The Sun (£)

Ebola checks come into question on their first day

“Britain’s Ebola screening plans descended into chaos on its first day today after people flying to the UK from high risk countries revealed the checks are not compulsory. … [Jeremy Hunt] warned Britain should expect up to ten cases by Christmas as screening of passengers from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where 4,000 have died from Ebola, started at Heathrow. … But travellers at Terminal One this morning said the system is a ‘complete joke’ because they were either not checked at all, told it was optional or had to seek out medical staff themselves.” – Daily Mail

  • Ebola virus“The Ebola epidemic in west Africa is set to reach a peak of between 5,000 and 10,000 cases a week by early December – up to 10 times the current official figure – before international action is likely to reverse the rise, the World Health Organisation has predicted.” – Financial Times
  • “Britain will soon have more troops tackling Ebola than battling Isil or the Taliban, as the military campaign to help defeat the deadly disease outbreak becomes the Armed Forces’ biggest overseas deployment.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Leading scientist Lord Robert Winston warned today that the risk of Ebola spreading could dramatically increase if it becomes airborne.” – Daily Mail
  • “A terrified man who feared he had contracted Ebola after returning from an Africa trip last night told how an NHS call centre advised him to drive himself to hospital.” – Daily Mail
  • “Newsreader Fiona Bruce claims BBC make-up artists are terrified of catching Ebola from guests.” – The Sun (£)

And comment:

  • “The Government must calm Britain’s nerves by ensuring our borders, and our NHS, are ready for whatever comes.” – Sun editorial (£)

2.8 billion: the cost of drinking to the NHS

NHS“Heavy drinking was the cause of ten million visits to English hospitals last year, figures have revealed. … In the first all-encompassing analysis of the toll of alcohol on the health service, experts put the total cost of treatment at £2.8billion. … Charities last night said that the country’s booze culture is putting an ‘intolerable strain’ on the NHS.” – Daily Mail

  • “Hundreds of GP surgeries are not good enough and many will have to close, the chief inspector of family doctors has said.” – The Times (£)

And comment:

  • “Unless they receive more money from UK central coffers, the Welsh are likely to wait longer for treatment and die earlier than their counterparts in England, regardless of who is in power in Cardiff.” – Alice Thomson and Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

100,000 people were abused by their carers last year

“Around 104,000 elderly or vulnerable people suffered abusive treatment in care homes or their own homes last year, according to complaints made by their families and friends. … The most serious cases led to 46 deaths, the majority of them older people. … The record of investigations was collected from all councils in England for the first, annual Safeguarding Adults Return produced by the Government’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).” – Daily Mail

News in brief

And finally 1) Bercow’s bounty

John Bercow“John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, may have attracted a degree of opprobrium for all of his junkets at the taxpayers’ expense, but he has at least not come back empty-handed. … The official register reveals he accepted a “medal and two bottles of wine” from his Romanian counterpart; a metal model of a harp from the Burmese president; and a “wooden picture” and photograph album from the South Korean Speaker.” – Daily Telegraph

And finally 2) Vaizey’s listening tastes

“But Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, has admitted he never listens to the broadcaster’s high-brow classical music station Radio 3. … The Tory MP, who serves under culture secretary Sajid Javid, revealed he listens to independent rival Classic FM instead because it ‘plays lovely music’ and is ‘accessible and informal’.” – Daily Mail

  • “Loyal fans of Desert Island Discs may have long suspected political guests choose their records very carefully. … The show’s host, Kirsty Young, has now confirmed their doubts could be well-founded, as she admits the lists proposed by political leaders could indeed be ‘compromised’.” – Daily Telegraph

And finally 3) Miliband slips on a soap

Miliband coffee“Hapless Ed Miliband was caught out trying to impress EastEnders star Danny Dyer with his knowledge of the show — when he admitted he never watches it. … The Labour leader reeled off two detailed facts about characters from the hit BBC drama at a showbiz bash. … But when pressed by the actor if he ever tunes into the soap, a red-faced Ed was forced to admit he did not and had been researching it online.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Lord Sugar wants Gordon Brown back as leader of the Labour party.” – The Sun (£)

27 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 15th October 2015

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