Floods: Cameron suggests climate change is to blame

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 07.34.01“Interviewed by the BBC yesterday, the Prime Minister said: ‘What has happened – the level of the rivers, plus the level of rainfall – has created an unprecedented effect and so some very serious flooding.’  Asked what needed to be done to stop floods causing so much damage in the future, he said: ‘We do seem to face more of these extreme weather events and problems of floods. People are told that things that are one in 50, or one in 100, or one in 200 years, they seem to be happening more often.” – Daily Mail

Gove sends for Peter Clarke as new Chief Inspector of Prisons while his predecessor warns of extremist threat

“Mr Hardwick’s alert about the danger posed by some Muslim inmates coincides with grave concern among prison governors and officers about the influence wielded by Muslim gangs and that they may be radicalising vulnerable inmates and intimidating others to convert to Islam.  The outgoing chief inspector of prisons, who retires in the new year, said that officers should not be deterred from tackling gang-related activity in jails if offenders are Muslim.” – The Times (£)

> Today: Justice Secretary is ConHome readers’ Minister of the Year

Morgan: schools will not be compelled to teach atheism in religious education lessons

MORGAN Nicky headshot“New guidance from the Department for Education insists non-religious beliefs need not be given “equal parity” with religious beliefs. They confirm non-faith schools have to reflect the fact British religious traditions “are, in the main, Christian” – while taking account of the practices of other major religions…Ms Morgan said: “This Government is determined to protect schools’ freedom to set their own religious studies curriculum, in line with the wishes of parents and the local community. The guidance I have issued today makes absolutely clear that the recent judicial review will have no impact on what is currently being taught in religious education.” – Daily Express

  • Pope wrong about shopping – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Altmann: Workers should have a right to time off so they can care for sick or elderly relatives

“Baroness Altmann warned that businesses that failed to accommodate the caring responsibilities of older employees risked making them feel ‘forced to leave and never come back’. She said companies and the Government needed to be ‘sympathetic’ to staff who cared for relatives by offering flexible working. She added that women over 50 were more likely to take on caring responsibilities for elderly parents, relatives or grandchildren so needed particular support to keep working if they wanted to.” - Daily Mail

  • Those leaving care need help for the long haul – Clare Foges, The Times (£)
  • Age UK says older people becoming more isolated – BBC

Let ministers campaign to leave Europe, says Howard

HOWARD Michael“Lord Howard…told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “I think it’s extremely important, if the Conservative government is to come together after the referendum and continue to give the country the good government [it] needs, that both sides of the argument treat each other’s proponents with respect, with courtesy and with recognition that it is possible to have deeply held views on both sides…When it comes to the campaign, if there are cabinet ministers who feel strongly that we should vote to leave the European Union, they should certainly be allowed to do so without losing their seat.” – The Times (£)

Charles Moore: Stewart good, Crouch bad

“I come back to Rory Stewart’s warning about the danger of mocking our ancestors. It may seem self-evident to Tracey Crouch that foxhunting, being “a pursuit from the past”, should therefore be banned, but that is not a conservative way of looking at the world. The pursuit of lots of things – money, sex, glory, alcohol, seats in Parliament – is as old as the hills, but that does not mean such quests should be banned…Ms Crouch is not a fox, knowing many things, nor yet a hedgehog, knowing one big thing. She seems to know nothing at all. As I am opposed to cruelty to animals, I shall not single out any species for comparison with her.” – Daily Telegraph

The Corbyn factor: Labour’s membership rises most in London

Woolfie Corbyn“Many big increases in membership have been in conurbations with large student populations, reflecting Mr Corbyn’s appeal to left-wing young adults. There has also been a surge in the south west, albeit from a low base.
Yet the biggest rises have been in London, where he has struck a chord with his stance on issues such as housing, immigration and welfare. But in most of the shires, marginal seats and northern non-university towns, the increases have generally been more subdued.” - Financial Times

  • Corbyn poised to sack a third of Shadow Cabinet – The Sun
  • Anonymous Shadow Cabinet member: Grinch Corbyn trashed my Christmas – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn not trusted to safeguard national security by 71% of Britons – The Independent
  • Labour could lose six councils in next year’s elections – The Times (£)
  • Milburn warns Osborne over tax credits – The Independent
  • Labour MPs oppose Crosby’s knighthood-to-be – The Guardian
  • Balls to be Norwich City’s new chairman – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Isis suffers worst defeat as Iraqis take Ramadi – The Times (£)
  • Ethnic cleansing by Sunni and Shia jihadis is leading to a partition of the Middle East – The Independent
  • Prince of Wales’s Christmas message: he says Paris-style terror attacks are a reminder of how vital our armed forces are - Daily Mail
  • Prince of Wales entitled by law to detonate nuclear bomb - The Independent
  • Former MPs describe life after defeat – Daily Telegraph
  • Children from broken homes are ‘three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems’ - Daily Mail
  • Number of young homeowners under 30 hits a record low – The Sun
  • Resolution Foundation on ethnic minority employment rates – Financial Times
  • Scotland Office v SNP press officers arms race – Scotsman
  • Policing by phone means PSNI crime scene attendance hits record low – Irish News
  • Scotland Yard spent nearly £5m on three child abuse inquiries in 2015 – The Guardian
  • Rhodes scholar who wants Rhodes statue removed says Tricolour is comparable with swastika and should be banned – Daily Telegraph
  • Soames finds bar in Parliament after 30 years – Daily Express

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