Baker warns Cameron he risks revolt if Eurosceptics aren’t allowed to campaign…

CAMERON EU fence“Cabinet resignations are inevitable unless David Cameron backs down and allows Eurosceptic ministers to campaign to quit the EU, a senior Tory MP warned yesterday. Steve Baker, co-chairman of Conservatives for Britain, said that ‘more than half’ of Tory MPs – including a string of leading frontbenchers – want to leave.” – Daily Mail


  • If Miliband had offered a referendum he’d have deprived Cameron of a majority – The Independent

Matthew D’Ancona: The war drums are beating – the Tories have begun their battle of Brexit

“The diplomatic process to which Cameron is committed is symbolic before it is substantial. The trouble is that, all too often, symbols become grittily real, weighed down with emotion, ambition and reanimated rivalry. Fox has taken the abstractions of EU jurisprudence and diplomatic conversations and turned them into flesh and blood. And this the prime minister emphatically does not want to happen – at least, not yet.” – The Guardian

  • Fighting Brexit with fear will backfire – Wolfgang Münchau, Financial Times
  • In Brussels, you can hardly hear the negotiations for the noise – Peter Preston, The Guardian


>Today: ToryDiary: 15 lessons from 2015


…as former officers speak out against his putting women in combat roles

Army“A former military chief said last night he was ‘nervous’ about the prospect of women soldiers on the front line and wanted ‘forces that can win’. Admiral Lord West spoke out after David Cameron revealed yesterday that women are to be allowed to fight in combat roles within months.” – Daily Mail

  • This will make Britain weaker – Colonel Richard Kemp, Daily Mail

Firms’ anger at Osborne’s ‘meddling’

“Customers will be faced with higher prices because of George Osborne’s ‘interventions’ into business, companies have warned. Firms are ‘deeply concerned’ about the Chancellor’s ‘significant’ changes to regulation including the introduction of a new National Living Wage and a levy to pay for apprentices.” – Daily Mail

MPs 1) Claims mount against Allan

Lucy Allan MP“Lucy Allan, the MP for Telford, is facing questions about her conduct over a series of angry voicemail messages in which she called a member of her staff “pathetic” and accused her of “p*ssed around on my life”. In a separate claim this week, another former aide told The Sunday Times that she “systematically chipped away at people, making them feel inadequate and constantly complained they weren’t pulling their weight”.” – The Times (£)

Libby Purves: Stop whingeing and get on with your job

“Ms Allan, who has sat on employment tribunals, has a case: the walkout occurred before the doctor’s sign-off; a junior employee can’t unilaterally “work from home” if parliamentary email is involved. The call does neither credit, but this isn’t Scrooge oppressing Bob Cratchit: more like a headmistress cracking up. The younger woman’s tone is that of a modern kid, never taught about hierarchy but expecting “respect”.” – The Times (£)

MPs 2) Donelan ordered to pull out of Conservative Future event

“Michelle Donelan, the new MP for Chippenham, was on Sunday told to pull out of the curry night, which took place in David Cameron’s Witney constituency. It will intensify speculation that the Tory Party is considering disbanding Conservative Future following the scandal over the death of Elliott Johnson, who apparently killed himself earlier this year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson’s father claims cocaine was taken at CWF meeting – The Sun
  • Jenkyns and Lopresti having an affair – The Sun

Eagle refuses to back Corbyn on Marr

Jeremy Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn’s Commons’ deputy refused to back him yesterday as he signalled plans for a ‘revenge reshuffle’ aimed at rooting out Labour moderates. Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle, who deputises for Mr Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions, declined to answer questions about whether he should lead Labour into the next election.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader says he’s in for the long haul – Financial Times
  • Ex-Blair adviser warns Labour may split by 2020 – Daily Mail

Hundred Days:

Hard Left:

  • Private school background on the rise amongst Labour ranks – The Times (£)
  • Hard left’s drug shame as we find coke in loos at Corbyn’s Christmas bash – The Sun


  • Leader hints at online Trident ballot – The Times (£)
  • Polling party members to shape policy is here to stay, leadership claims – The Guardian
  • Corbyn attacks ‘jingoistic’ response to Benn’s Syria speech – The Guardian


  • This is an existential moment for Labour which it may not survive – Peter Hyman, The Guardian
  • A hundred days in and Corbyn, if not Labour, is stronger than ever – Isabel Hardman, The Times (£)
  • Labour’s leader has shown he’s no Dave Spart. What now? – Hugh Muir, The Guardian
  • The Eagle has landed her claws into Corbyn – Peter McKay, Daily Mail

Farage threatens to ‘sort out’ Carswell

“Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, yesterday sought to isolate its only MP, pledging to “sort” the problems that remarks about his leadership had caused. On Friday, Douglas Carswell had called for a “fresh face” to take control and demanded Mr Farage stand down. The internecine conflict escalated after the MP claimed that supporters of Mr Farage had tried to blackmail him.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • Young Britons’ Foundation may close – The Times (£)
  • Former Met chief’s fury at police gunman’s arrest – Daily Mail
  • Learners to be allowed to drive on motorways – Daily Telegraph
  • Markets brace for turmoil as Spain turns left – The Times (£)
  • Star Wars smashes US box office record – Financial Times
  • Student campaigning against Rhodes statue branded ‘hypocrite’ over trust funding – Daily Telegraph
  • Driver ‘intentionally’ mounts Las Vegas pavement, injuring dozens and killing one – The Independent

And finally… Balls lends voice to Marley in puppet panto

Balls Ed Don't Disturb“If Jeremy Corbyn is lacking entertainment this Christmas, he could do worse than to pay a visit to the Young Actors Theatre in his Islington constituency… The theatre’s current production of A Christmas Carol features the former shadow chancellor giving voice to the puppet of Marley, Scrooge’s former business partner.” – The Times (£)

  • Pantomime is the entry drug for theatre goers – Melanie Reid, The Times (£)

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