Major to join Blair and Brown in campaigning for Yes in EU referendum…

sundaytimesthreepms“BRITAIN’S three living former prime ministers, the ex-head of the army and a panellist on Loose Women will be unveiled today as the faces of the campaign to keep Britain in the EU. The “in” campaign, to be called Britain Stronger in Europe, has the backing of Sir John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and has recruited Sir Peter Wall, the former chief of the general staff, as a member of its board. It will be chaired by Lord Rose, the former boss of Marks & Spencer.” – The Sunday Times(£)

…as Cameron draws up four point plan

“David Cameron and his closest Cabinet allies have drawn up a four-point plan of key demands as the price for keeping Britain in the European Union…Critics, including Cabinet ministers on the Right of the Tory party, are unlikely to be satisfied by this plan because it does not include legally binding changes to the EU’s governing treaties. But government figures say there is not enough time to deliver treaty changes before the referendum is held, by the end of 2017.” – The Sunday Telegraph

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Geoffrey Howe has died…

HOWE Geoffrey“Former Conservative chancellor Geoffrey Howe has died at the age of 88 after suffering a suspected heart attack, his family has announced. Lord Howe, Margaret Thatcher’s longest serving cabinet minister and chancellor from 1979 to 1983, died on Friday. His resignation speech in 1990 is widely seen as a key factor in Baroness Thatcher’s downfall as prime minister. Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes, saying: “The Conservative family has lost one of its greats.”- BBC


…Lawson among those to pay tribute

“Political lives should be remembered not by their ends, but by what they achieved along the way. And by that criterion Geoffrey Howe will always stand tall.” – Nigel Lawson The Sunday Times

Osborne: There’s no alternative to tax credits cuts

Osborne“The reforms we make come as a single, thought-through, coherent plan. It involves a new National Living Wage, reformed tax credits and lower taxes. They go hand-in-hand as a new settlement. You can’t pick and choose between its elements. It’s simply not credible to impose higher wages and leave tax credits unreformed, condemning taxpayers to ever-higher welfare bills. That’s a classic socialist approach of thinking you can have everything, and in the end achieving nothing.” – George Osborne and Priti Patel The Sunday Telegraph

Adonis appointment “undermines Boris”

“Senior Tories say David Cameron promised to hand Johnson a cabinet job overseeing infrastructure spending when his time in City Hall expires next May. The prime minister told friends last week that he would hand Johnson “a big job” in his cabinet in 2016. But Johnson’s team believes Osborne’s decision to announce Adonis’s role — taken without consultation with the rest of the cabinet — reduces Johnson’s options when he returns. “This was a power grab by George designed to shaft Boris,” said one Johnson ally.” - The Sunday Times(£)

Thatcher was urged to soften her image

THATCHER black and white“Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was urged to soften her image, newly released personal documents reveal. The warning came in a memo from chief press secretary Bernard Ingham setting out her strengths and weaknesses. Other papers from 1985 contain reports of a Commons “scuffle” between Labour MP Robert Kilroy-Silk and future party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Plans to exclude Mrs Thatcher from the unveiling of a Falklands War memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral also feature.” – BBC

NHS Trust Chairman attacks Hunt

“One of Britain’s leading hospital chiefs has accused Jeremy Hunt of misleading Britain by claiming he can deliver more round-the-clock NHS services despite the organisation’s crippling financial crisis. Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, who leads the group of chairmen running England’s top teaching hospitals, said there wasn’t a ‘cat’s chance’ of successfully putting on more seven-day services when the NHS was ‘struggling’ so badly.” – The Mail on Sunday

Gove looks to alternative to jail for offenders

GOVE Legatum“Persistent criminals convicted of serious assault, burglary and domestic violence may evade prison under plans being prepared by the Justice Secretary to cut the cost of crime and reduce reoffending. Michael Gove will ask judges to set up specialist courts that focus on reforming criminals with drink, drug and mental health problems as an alternative to jail. He has already begun discussions with the judiciary about the radical step.” – The Mail on Sunday

Trident vote could be before Christmas

“The future of Britain’s nuclear weapons is set to be decided within weeks as ministers plan to call an early Commons vote on Trident. The government wants the question to be settled “by Christmas” to stop Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn turning next year’s Scottish parliament elections into a referendum on Britain’s nuclear deterrent, senior sources said.” – The Sunday Telegraph

More than 50 Labour MPs to defy Corbyn on Syria

“At least 50 Labour MPs are prepared to defy Jeremy Corbyn by backing military action to protect civilians in Syria, it has emerged, as cross-party support grows for a new and comprehensive strategy to end the crisis. In a clear challenge to the Labour leader’s authority, a group of MPs and peers is ready to work with Conservative colleagues to promote a three-pronged strategy in which military intervention by UK forces would complement fresh humanitarian and diplomatic initiatives.” – The Observer

“String ‘em up” threat by Corbynistas to Shadow Cabinet moderates

Corbyn speech“One of Jeremy Corbyn’s leading supporters has threatened to ‘string up’ Shadow Cabinet Ministers who defy the new leader. The warning was issued at a secret meeting of ‘Corbynistas’ in London, details of which were leaked to The Mail on Sunday. Left-wing allies of the new Labour leader backed moves to silence Shadow Ministers who have criticised him, and Labour MPs opposed to Corbyn’s plan to scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons.” – The Mail on Sunday

Further IRA links with Coryn and McDonnell exposed

“The true extent of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s links with the IRA is revealed by a Telegraph investigation. It can be disclosed that for seven years running, while the IRA “armed struggle” was at its height, Mr Corbyn attended and spoke at official republican commemorations to honour dead IRA terrorists, IRA “prisoners of war” and the active “soldiers of the IRA.”- Andrew Gilligan The Sunday Telegraph

Tom Watson’s uncle is a child abuser

Tom Watson“Tom Watson, the Labour deputy leader accused of leading a child abuse ‘witch hunt’, is related to a paedophile scoutmaster, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The politician’s uncle was last year jailed for indecently assaulting a nine-year-old Cub Scout five decades ago, in what was described as a ‘gross abuse of his position of trust’. Watson is under fire for making ‘unfounded’ sex crime allegations about Lord Brittan during a campaign to expose an alleged VIP child abuse ring and Establishment cover-up. But he has chosen never to speak of the crimes of his uncle, Peter Halliwell, who abused the boy ‘for his own gratification’.” – The Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Tories circle as Watson starts to fail the smell test

Burnham attacks landlord checks on illegal immigrants

“The aim of the Immigration Bill is to make Britain a “hostile environment” for illegal migrants. In practice, it could end up making Britain a more hostile place for anyone with a foreign-sounding name – worsening the very problem that Cameron said he wanted to challenge. At the heart of the Bill is ‘Right to Rent’ – a new scheme to make private landlords check the immigration status of new tenants. If they fail to do so, they could be fined or even sent to jail.” – The Independent on Sunday

Ayan Hirsi Ali: Cameron is right to take on Islamic extremism

ISIS“Shortly before the election, Cameron called Islamic extremism “a poisonous ideology” that justified “the most sickening barbarism and brutality”, and pledged to come down hard on organisations that “stay just within the law but still spread poisonous hatred”. By contrast Ed Miliband promised to make “Islamophobia” an “aggravated crime” — as if that were the more serious problem. The fact that Cameron won the general election, even if the issue was not a dominant one in the campaign, suggests that when an establishment leader addresses Islamic extremism with courage and clarity, voters respond favourably.” – Ayan Hirsi Ali The Sunday Times(£)

News in brief


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