Jihadi John killed by US air strike

ISIS“Pentagon officials say they are ’99 per cent’ sure they have assassinated British Islamic State executioner Mohammed Emwazi in the terror group’s capital of Raqqa. The 27-year-old from London, who became the face of ISIS in their sickening beheading videos of Western hostages including two British aid workers, was ‘evaporated’ by a missile as he climbed into a vehicle.” – Daily Mail

Cameron gives Modi the tour as they announce £9bn in deals

“India’s Prime Narendra Modi was given a right royal welcome as David Cameron rolled out the red carpet for his arrival in London on Thursday. Mr Modi was given a tour of the Houses of Parliament and shown around the capital by the Prime Minister and London Mayor Boris Johnson.” – Daily Mail

  • The Prime Minister buys in to Modi mania – The Times (£)
  • Cameron claims relations have been too long “imprisoned by the past” – Financial Times
  • Corbyn snubs historic speech by Indian Prime Minister – The Sun (£)
  • Over 200 writers sign letter urging Prime Minister to raise subject of free speech – The Independent
  • UK trade blow as number of exporters falls – Financial Times


  • India is being ruled by a Hindu Taleban – Anish Kapoor, The Guardian
  • Why we’re protesting the Indian Prime Minister – Jenn Selby, Daily Telegraph

Phil Collins: Hold your nose and shake Modi by the hand

International shield“Which is the clue to why, despite the egregious figure of the prime minister, Britain is right to greet India with the full state panoply. All this and worse is said about Modi at home in the world’s largest democracy. There have been fewer people executed in India in all the time since independence in 1947 than are killed in a matter of weeks in China. The total value of trade in services between the UK and India was £47 billion in 2013. It should be an order of magnitude higher.” – The Times (£)

  • Indian premier denies having previously been barred from entering the UK – The Independent

Cameron accused of breaking Ministerial Code in dealings with council

“David Cameron has been accused of breaching the ministerial code after becoming embroiled in a bizarre row with his local council, when he complained about cuts to frontline services and offered help from Downing Street staff to reduce the impact. The Prime Minister wrote to Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire Council, as the MP for Witney, expressing “disappointment” at the way savings were being achieved.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Oxfordshire County Council holds the line against Prime Ministerial criticism – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Local Government: Cameron is right – Oxfordshire County Council does not need to cut services

Tusk warns Prime Minister that renegotiation won’t be easy

EU FLag“Britain’s renegotiation may fail, the president of the European Council warned last night, as he said David Cameron had embarked on a “very, very tough game”. Donald Tusk, to whom Mr Cameron sent his proposals in a letter on Tuesday, said that it will be “really difficult” to secure an agreement, and warned that hopes of a deal by December’s European Council summit may not be met.” – Daily Telegraph

Cameron calls on European countries to smash people traffickers

“David Cameron has called on European countries to step up efforts to “smash” the criminal gangs of human traffickers exploiting the migrant crisis. Speaking in Malta the Prime Minister committed almost half a billion of the UK’s overseas aid budget to stop the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Africa takes EU aid, but won’t take back migrants – The Sun (£)


  • The fatal flaw in the case for Brexit – Philip Stephens, Financial Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Europe. Cameron is ready to wave a piece of white paper declaring “An agreement for our time”


Liverpool joins Osborne’s devolution crusade…

OSBORNE of the north“George Osborne’s revolution in civic government is poised for a historic advance as Liverpool becomes the latest city region to agree to an elected mayor in return for greater control of spending. The area’s seven authorities have overcome historic rivalries — and suspicion of Conservative politicians — and are expected to sign up next week.” – Financial Times

  • Cities must scale up their ambitions for devolution to work – Mike Emmerich, The Guardian

…as he mulls sale of Government’s social housing stake

“Chancellor George Osborne is considering a radical multibillion-pound plan to privatise the government’s stake in housing associations in an attempt to take the sector’s debt off the public books and inject new life into Britain’s housing market. Officials privy to the government’s thinking hope that the more sweeping the changes, the more likely it is that large housing associations will reinvent themselves by borrowing more and taking more risks to build houses.” – Financial Times

  • Social housing shake up offers cash boon for Treasury – Financial Times
  • Chancellor under pressure to increase social care spending – The Independent

Jonathan Guthrie: A sell-off funded by a raid on housing would be monumentally wrong

HOMES Manifesto“Usually, there is much to like about privatisations. They bring new capital and vigour to sclerotic organisations. But this sell-off would be as questionable as deck shoes worn with a pinstripe suit if the proceeds merely funded the chancellor’s doctrinaire public-sector debt-reduction programme. The associations would be unable to build as many new homes without the repayments they were previously allowed to recycle.” – Financial Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Why Osborne is right to aim for a surplus

Ministers 1) Crouch accused of insulting the poor

“Tory minister Tracey Crouch was tonight forced to apologise after claiming poor families who face having their tax credits cut must ‘go without’ to make ends meet. The Sports Minister was accused of insulting working people after said she comes across families who still have expensive pay-TV deals despite ‘struggling’ financially.” – Daily Mail

  • Cut luxuries such as paid-for TV, urges minister – The Times (£)
  • Miscarriage ‘changed my priorities’, claims Minister for Sport – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) Hunt condemns doctors’ strike

HUNT Jeremy“Junior doctors were preparing last night to hold their first ever all-out strike within weeks amid warnings that patient safety would be put at risk. A walkout on December 1 would exclude emergency care staff, but doctors in A&E would join further strikes on December 8 and 16. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said that the action was totally unwarranted and would harm vulnerable patients.” – The Times (£)

  • Junior doctors prepare for first ‘all-out strike’ in NHS history – Daily Telegraph
  • Action will harm vulnerable patients, warns Health Secretary – The Independent
  • Key targets missed in the run-up to Christmas – The Sun (£)

MPs claim ministers’ ‘obsession’ with Kids Co denied vital help to poor children

“Poor children across Britain were denied potentially vital help as at least £42 million of taxpayers’ money was being pumped into Kids Company, a “favourite charity of ministers and prime ministers”, a committee of MPs has concluded. In a withering report, the Commons Public Accounts Committee, described as “staggering” the way in which the charity, headed by the flamboyant campaigner Camila Batmanghelidjh, was, they said, given Government handouts for 13 years without the scrutiny other organisations would face.” – Daily Telegraph

Corbyn plans to change Labour rules to forestall rebellion

Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)“Jeremy Corbyn plans to force through a change to Labour Party rules in an attempt to head off a plot by his internal critics to oust him before the 2020 general election. Some Labour moderates who fear that the party is heading for another crushing defeat under the left-winger, are now resigned to him leading it into the next election.” – The Independent

  • Unison boss claims Labour more focused on infighting than fighting the Tories – The Guardian

Row as Liberal Democrat peers elect Rennard to party executive

“Lord Rennard, who was accused of being a sex pest by women activists, has been voted back into Liberal Democrat’s ruling body. The married peer was elected on to the party’s Federal Executive by other Lib Dem lords. He was suspended from the party in January last year after he initially refused to apologise to women activists for his alleged advances.” – Daily Mail

SNP 1) BBC and STV attack Sturgeon’s ‘outdated’ demand for new TV channel

SNP logo white background“Senior BBC and STV executives have attacked as “outdated” Nicola Sturgeon’s demands for a new Scottish TV channel and a ‘Scottish Six’ evening news programme. Bobby Hain, STV’s director of channels, said creating a new channel was a “slightly old-fashioned” way to increase the number of Scottish programmes being broadcast.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cash spent on Scots rose by eight per cent in referendum year – Daily Mail

SNP 2) MSP apologises for anti-Semitic tweet

“A Scottish Nationalist MSP was at the centre of a race-hate storm last night after sharing an anti-Semitic image online which was compared to the ‘very worst of Nazi propaganda’. Sandra White made a humiliating apology to a Jewish group which condemned the ‘bizarre and hateful’ image she circulated to her thousands of followers on social media website Twitter.” – Daily Mail

  • Sturgeon says sorry for MSP’s sharing ‘Nazi’ image – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • TfL faces £700m per annum fall in grant by decade’s end – Financial Times
  • EU races to save free movement as mass migration talks fail – The Times (£)
  • Review of age restrictions could see mortgages for 90-year-olds – Daily Telegraph
  • Sweden reintroduces border checks – The Sun (£)
  • Aung San Suu Kyi’s party wins historic Burmese election – Financial Times
  • College of Policing wants every officer to have a degree – Daily Mail

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