Prime Minister prepares for tour of continental capitals

EU Exit“David Cameron will embark on a whirlwind tour of Europe next month to drum up support for his bid to reform Britain’s relationship with the EU. Government sources said the Prime Minister plans to visit a string of European capitals in the coming weeks as he makes the case for a new deal for the UK. Downing Street yesterday denied Mr Cameron planned to stage a ‘rows’ with other European leaders in the run-up to the in/out referendum, which could come as early as next year.” – Daily Mail

Comment and Editorial:

  • We don’t yet appreciate how Cameron’s resignation will change politics – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
  • Don’t take us for fools in the EU debate – Daily Mail editorial

>Yesterday: John Baron MP in Comment: The litmus test for Cameron’s renegotiation: we should be able to strike down any EU law, tax, or rule we please

Cameron warned against new peerages

“The appointment of a new group of political donors, former MPs and party apparatchiks as peers will deal a fresh blow to the credibility and effectiveness of the House of Lords and leave the taxpayer more than £1m out of pocket, David Cameron has been warned. Up to 50 new peers are expected to be named within the next fortnight, boosting the membership of the Upper Chamber to around 830. The Lords is already the world’s second biggest legislative chamber after the Chinese National People’s Congress and on current trends its membership could be close to 1,000 by the next general election.” – The Independent

Government plans to revamp rail refund system

Network-Rail“Rail passengers will receive automatic refunds for late or cancelled trains, under new government plans. Ministers want to stop people being forced to “jump through hoops” to claim compensation amid fears that they are missing out on as much as £100 million a year. Up to nine in ten passengers fail to make regular claims for delays. Under the proposals, they could be compensated directly into their bank account or on to a smartcard as they leave the platform after taking a train that was delayed for as little as two minutes. The plan came as ministers were preparing to announce today that rail fares would rise by about one per cent next year.” – The Times (£)

  • Train commuters left ‘out of pocket’ by fare rises – Financial Times

Claire Perry: Passengers are getting a good deal, so why nationalise?

“To help customers we have to deal with the cost of commuting. So today we are stopping inflation-busting increases on regulated fares. For the entire parliament regulated fares, which represent most journeys, will be held at the rate of RPI inflation. This will save the average season ticket holder £425 over five years. We have also ended the “flex” mechanism that allowed train operators wriggle room for some fares to explode in cost while others remain static.” – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Damian Hind in Think Tanks: We must connect more people to our urban centres

Fallon joins those demanding Chilcot deliver report

Michael Fallon portrait“Defence Secretary Michael Fallon last night urged Sir John Chilcot to end the suffering of grieving families by finally publishing his long-overdue report into the Iraq war. He became the latest figure to call for an end to delays that the relatives of troops say is preventing them getting to the truth. Mr Fallon said the examination of the reasons why Britain took part in the disastrous 2003 invasion at the cost of 179 UK lives should be published ‘without further delay’.” – Daily Mail

Mercer calls for drug to be banned from British Army

“Ministers have been urged to bring in an immediate ban on a controversial anti-malaria drug linked to severe side effects but still given to British soldiers on tour. Conservative MP Johnny Mercer, a former Army officer, demanded that the Army stop using Lariam until a ‘proper study’ had been carried out. Lariam, which is also known as mefloquine, has been linked to severe depression and other mental illnesses and has been banned by US Special Forces because of its side effects.” – Daily Mail

Labour leadership 1) David Miliband warns of one-party rule if Corbyn leads…

David Miliband“Britain could become a one party state with the Tories always in power if Labour elect Jeremy Corbyn, David Miliband warned today. The former foreign secretary, who lost out on the leadership to his brother Ed in 2010, revealed he was backing Liz Kendall because of her ‘plain speaking, fresh thinking and political courage’. He said he would give Yvette Cooper his second choice after she spoke out against ‘the siren calls of the Corbyn campaign’. Mr Miliband, who now runs the refugee charity International Rescue Committee in New York, attacked Mr Corbyn’s calls for mass-re-nationalisations and hikes in national insurance for those earning more than £50,000. He said these were the same policies he learned were wrong when he first joined the Labour party in 1981.” – Daily Mail

  • David backs Kendall – The Sun (£)
  • Brothers take different positions on leadership contest – Daily Telegraph
  • Brown walked 1.3 miles during ‘prowling’ anti-Corbyn intervention – Daily Mail

David Miliband: Corbyn offers only angry defiance; we need Kendall’s clarity and courage

“British Labour in the 1980s went through a similar debate to that in France – but out of government. We tried proposing withdrawal from the EU, nationalisation of the top 200 monopolies, unilateral nuclear disarmament. The electorate sent us packing. We tried tempering the package, moderating its most fanciful elements, and lost again. And again. Only when we convinced ourselves, body and soul, that the programme was undesirable as well as unelectable could we convince the electorate to trust us again.” – The Guardian

Labour leadership 2) …as party rounds on Ed for ‘jetting off’ from the contest

MILIBAND Red Ed“Senior Labour figures rounded on Ed Miliband last night as he refused to wade into the leadership contest despite chaos surrounding rules that he introduced. The party’s former leader was on a family holiday in Australia as leaked data revealed that members of Britain’s biggest union, Unite, will cast one in six votes in the leadership ballot under changes brought in by Mr Miliband. The reforms were designed to reduce union influence. Pat McFadden, the shadow Europe minister, said that Mr Miliband’s team had ignored warnings that the new rules would backfire.” – The Times (£)

  • Union chief warned in June that ‘£3 votes’ would end in mayhem – The Times (£)
  • Kendall calls for probe into impact of new rules – The Independent


>Today: ToryDiary: A consequence of Labour’s self-destruction: weakness in the face of ISIS

>Yesterday: Paul Abbott’s column: We need to start selecting candidates now, whilst Labour is in chaos

Labour leadership 3) Burnham tacks left again to win over Corbynites…

“Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham this morning pledged to adopt swathes of Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left agenda in a desperate last-ditch bid to win over members who have swung behind his rival. Mr Burnham, who admitted Mr Corbyn was leading the race to succeed Ed Miliband as Labour leader, praised the Marxist throwback for drawing thousands of new supporters into the party. He insisted there was a ‘good deal of common ground’ between him and Mr Corbyn and promised to give him a senior position in his shadow leadership team ‘from the outset’.” – Daily Mail


  • Burnham, the radical who never rebels – Michael Deacon’s sketch, Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 4) …leading Cooper to demand he withdraw

Labour holes“Yvette Cooper has called for Andy Burnham to stand aside from the Labour leadership contest after she accused him of failing to provide an “effective alternative” to Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Cooper, the shadow home secretary, reacted with after Mr Burnham used a keynote speech to praise Mr Corbyn’s “energy” and “vision”. Mr Burnham has since hit back accusing Ms Cooper of a “panicked, desperate stunt” which his spokesman said was “straight out of the Ed Balls handbook”. Ms Cooper is married to Mr Balls, who lost his seat at the last election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Moderate rivals trade blows as contest intensifies – The Guardian
  • Watch Yvette try (and fail) to win over a Corbyn supporter – The Independent


  • Cooper and Kendall should quit, it’s all down to Burnham now – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 5) Corbyn supporters prevent Harman weeding out infiltrators

“Labour supporters described as “inflitrators’” by the party will get a vote in its leadership election after a climbdown in face of complaint from supporters of hard left candidate Jeremy Corbyn, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Harriet Harman, the party’s acting leader, warned senior party figures last week that nearly a fifth of supporters who have joined for just £3 could be Labour opponents. However her attempt to persuade the party to take action by weeding out these voters was blocked by Mr Corbyn’s union supporters, who feared it could damage his leadership chances.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Seven questions opponents say Islington MP must answer – The Independent


  • Why are Labour members putting up with the Corbyn cultists’ claptrap? – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • What will his supporters do if he doesn’t lead the party? – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Four reasons for Jeremy Corbyn’s resistable rise

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Hodges explains how Labour tried to block Corbyn

News in Brief:

  • Police who carry out excessive stop and search may need to apologise to victims – Daily Mail
  • Pushy parents blamed for rise of drug-resistant bugs – The Times (£)
  • Chinese currency devaluation could spark new crisis – Daily Telegraph
  • Killers win at the European Court of Human Rights – The Sun (£)
  • Shell wins go-ahead for Arctic drilling – Financial Times
  • Identity of Thailand shrine bombers ‘much clearer’ – The Guardian
  • BBC accused of breaking broadcast rules to show propaganda – Daily Mail

3 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 18th August 2015

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.