Brady: Beware - DevoManc could create overmighty mayors

BRADY Graham headshot‘ The theory is that an elected mayor will bring greater accountability: a single figurehead who can be booted out by the electorate. But what about the long years between elections? We give our Prime Ministers enormous power but subject every day to the ability of parliament to hold them in check. The new generation of elected mayors will have no assemblies to scrutinise their actions, just the leaders of the borough councils most of whom may well be of the same party. The elected mayor for a ‘city region’ like Greater Manchester will preside over very diverse communities, with competing and sometimes divergent interests. We need safeguards in place to stop the city dominating the suburbs and to protect the rural fringes from the rest.’ – Graham Brady MP, Daily Telegraph

Lloyds chairman: It’s unsustainable to stay in the EU without significant treaty change

‘The chairman of Lloyds Banking Group said yesterday that the European Union was becoming increasingly unsustainable and Britain must leave if there were no significant changes to the treaties. In a move that undermines pro-European unity of the financial services sector, Lord Blackwell, a former policy chief to John Major, has suggested that Britain would remain as attractive a destination outside the EU as in…“For the reasons I’ve set out, I don’t agree that remaining in the EU without a significant change in the current treaty arrangements is ultimately sustainable,” he said.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: How Theresa May led the Leave campaign…and became Prime Minister

Victory for Gove as Cameron cancels bid for Saudi prison contract

GOVE, Michael blue sky‘David Cameron has been forced to cancel a controversial £6million prisons deal with Saudi Arabia after a Cabinet row over the strict regime’s human rights record. Justice Secretary Michael Gove demanded the contract be torn up in protest at the country’s human rights record and criminal justice system which uses beheadings, lashings and crucifixions. It comes as the family of a cancer-ridden British pensioner have made a desperate plea to save him from being publicly flogged 350 times in Saudi Arabia after he was caught with home-made wine.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gove versus the House of Saud

Hague: Safe zones in Syria are a dangerous distraction

‘Recent history shows us that the greatest mistake of all is to declare the existence of safe areas and then fail to make them truly safe. In Bosnia in 1995, the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebenica took place inside a zone designated safe by the UN. This haunting tragedy is the reminder that people should only be invited to take refuge by forces with the means and authority, come what may, to protect them…All the easy or neat options on Syria disappeared long ago.’ – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Helen Whately MP on Comment: On Syrian refugees, Britain must show that we’re on the right side of the moral argument

Hunt caps NHS manager temps’ salaries

NHS_Logo‘NHS managers on temporary contracts will have their pay capped to stop taxpayers being “ripped off”, the health secretary announced yesterday. Stand-in bosses will be paid no more than 55 per cent above the salary of a permanent employee under rules to be brought in by next April, Jeremy Hunt said.’ – The Times (£)

  • Why is the NHS spending a fortune on cost-cutters? – The Sun Says (£)
  • Royal College of Physicians warns of Winter crisis – The Guardian
  • Tens of thousands more doctors required for a seven day service – Daily Telegraph 

Bacon urges legalisation of no-fault divorce

‘ Couples should be allowed to apply for an amiable “no fault divorce” if their marriage has broken down, a Conservative MP has said. Richard Bacon, the South Norfolk MP, has proposed an amendment to family law which would enable couples to say there was no fault for the break-up, if they both sign a declaration stating that the marriage had broken down “irretrievably.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

Goldsmith hits back against Khan’s business attack

‘The Richmond Park MP told City A.M. in an interview yesterday: “I don’t think we’ve ever had a Labour party that is more hostile to business, big or small, than the Labour party of today.” “As a candidate, as an MP, as a mayor I want London to be as open to business as it can be,” he added. Goldsmith was responding to comments made last week by former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, who called Goldsmith a “threat to London jobs and businesses” and cited Goldsmith’s previous comments on Heathrow airport and the European Union.’ – City AM

>Today: Local Government: Councils must do more to promote electric cars

Corbyn faces a rebellion on the fiscal charter

Woolfie Corbyn‘Jeremy Corbyn faces a damaging Commons rebellion on Wednesday as dozens of his backbenchers consider defying the new Labour leader after a “clumsy” policy reversal. Labour MPs on Tuesday openly mocked the leadership for lacking credibility and displaying “student union” politics as the party descended into infighting over a key economic policy. Former shadow cabinet ministers publicly declared they may not vote with the party on Tory proposals to balance the books.’ – Daily Telegraph


Watson urged police action against other political opponents

‘The Labour MP, now deputy leader of the party, told Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, that a minister should be questioned by police over claims he had drugged and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old schoolboy. The minister categorically denied the claims. In a separate development it also emerged that Mr Watson used parliamentary privilege to make an unfounded allegation of sexual abuse involving a troubled special needs school. Mr Watson will be questioned by MPs on October 21 over his pursuit of sex abuse allegations against Lord Brittan, the former Conservative home secretary. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has also been asked to attend.’ – Daily Telegraph

UKIP loses its majority in the only council it controls

Nigel Farage‘The UK Independence Party has lost overall control of its only council. The party won 33 seats on Thanet District Council, Kent, in May, making it the first authority in the UK to have a UKIP majority. UKIP councillor Jeff Elenor announced on Tuesday he was defecting to join the Democratic Independent Group. He joins four other UKIP councillors who defected last month saying they were unhappy with the council’s lack of action over Manston Airport.’ – BBC News

Deflation returns

‘Many benefit recipients, including those with attendance allowances, will receive no increase in their payments next year, after Britain slipped back into deflation in September. Pensioners will be protected by the triple lock that guarantees to increase the state pension every year by the higher figure of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5 per cent. The annual rate of consumer prices inflation fell to -0.1 per cent in September.’- The Times (£)

  • It’s no substitute for rising productivity – The Times (£)
  • Charity calls for Osborne to cancel cuts for families with disabled children – The Sun (£)
  • Solid growth is hard to find – Martin Wolf, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Tax credits – and why it’s time to raise property taxes on high-end owners from abroad

BBC anti-cuts lobbyist resigns

BBC logo‘The BBC’s director of television, who resigned yesterday, has not been pushed out because of a controversial bid to protect the corporation from cuts, insiders insisted. Danny Cohen, who commissioned hit dramas such as Wolf Hall and Call the Midwife, announced he was leaving his £320,000-a-year post with no new job to go but “a number of exciting opportunities”. In recent months he has been dogged by controversy after presiding over the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, and being forced to defend his role in drafting a “luvvies letter” praising the BBC ahead of its charter renewal next year.’ – The Times (£)

Russian-made missile downed MH17

‘The grieving families of the 298 passengers and crew murdered aboard flight MH17 can draw little comfort from the final report into the tragedy. The Dutch Safety Board has confirmed what most had suspected: that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-built Buk surface-to-air missile launched from eastern Ukraine. But the 279-page report does not address who fired the weapon.’ – The Independent

News in Brief

  • Possible site of Sodom discovered – Daily Mail
  • Green campaigners face a challenge to their anti-shale gas claims – The Sun (£)
  • Murdered teenager was failed by police – BBC News
  • Clinton delivers dominant debate performance – Daily Telegraph
  • London is the heir to Ancient Athens – Harry Mount, FT
  • Migrants are ferried round in a stretch hummer – Daily Mail
  • Watchdogs slam water company profits – The Sun (£)
  • Violent upsurge in East Jerusalem continues – FT
  • Sue Lloyd-Roberts has died – BBC News

And finally…

Norman considers the Tory leadership (in the bath)

‘Of course in politics, you do from time to time sit in the bath and speculate on what it would be like to be running the shop. But it’s not something I’ve given serious thought to. And of course it isn’t a decision for one person. It’s something that would have to be widely endorsed and supported by one’s family.’ – Jesse Norman MP, Total Politics

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