Osborne: On track to privatise more state assets than any Chancellor since 1979…

OSBORNE non-broken sword“George Osborne is on course to sell off more public assets than any Chancellor of the Exchequer for more than 30 years – including all those who served under Margaret Thatcher.  New figures from the House of Commons library reveal that in the five-and-a-half years Mr Osborne has been Chancellor he has made £37.7bn in privatisations – and intends to sell off another £20bn by the end of the next financial year.” – Independent on Sunday

…as Jenkin allies accuse him of undermining MP over Vote Leave role

“Allies of George Osborne have been accused of smearing a leading Eurosceptic MP – by reminding voters that he is a nudist. The Chancellor’s camp were blamed for ‘gratuitously dredging up’ the hippy-style habits of Bernard Jenkin, a leading light in the Vote Leave campaign group.” – Mail on Sunday

  • No limit on what Brussels can spend during the campaign – Sunday Telegraph
  • UKIP’s anti-EU campaign accused of spying on Vote Leave – Mail on Sunday
  • Bridgen claims to have been vilified after reporting a Labour MP to the police – Mail on Sunday

Daniel Johnson: Cameron and Merkel must find a cure for border anxiety

EU Exit“The veteran Labour MP Frank Field has claimed: “Defending our borders will become the dominant issue in British politics. It will be the defining issue in the forthcoming EU referendum — no matter how the prime minister ducks and weaves over our renegotiation terms.” Field is right. Compared with a year ago, it is striking how almost every domestic issue — the NHS, housing, welfare, education, crime or terrorism — has been overlaid by border anxiety.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • The EU referendum is too important for party politics – Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday
  • In 2016, we Britons must decide who we are – Nick Robinson, Mail on Sunday

Knighthood for Cameron’s election chief

“Lynton Crosby, David Cameron’s election guru, will receive a knighthood this week in an award that will provoke a fresh row over cronyism in the honours system. The honour for the Australian strategist credited with masterminding the Conservative party’s first outright win for more than 20 years will be announced in the New Year honours list on Thursday, a Whitehall source revealed.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Bishops warn Prime Minister that crackdown on madrasas threatens Sunday schools – Mail on Sunday

Ministers: Fallon calls for UK to suspend Human Rights Act to protect British troops

Michael Fallon portrait“British troops are being weakened in their fight against terrorists because they fear human rights lawyers will take them to court, the Defence Secretary has warned. Michael Fallon attacked “ambulance-chasing law firms” that have brought thousands of cases against the Ministry of Defence over the conduct of British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.” – Sunday Telegraph


Feldman faces fresh twist in Clarke row

“Embattled Conservative chairman Lord Feldman was rocked last night by claims of a ‘killer email’ that could drag him further into the Tatler Tory row. It is said to prove that alleged Tory bully Mark Clarke played a key role in the election of Rob Semple, chairman of the Conservatives’ National Convention.” – Mail on Sunday

Nick Cohen: With no credible Opposition, Britain is at the Tories’ mercy

CONSERVATIVE tree“If you want to change the world or just nudge it in the right direction, you have to win or at least be an opposition that can keep the government in a healthy state of fear by looking as if you might win. No such opposition exists in England.” – The Observer

  • Blair’s secret victory was taking over the Tory Party – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

Labour leader soaks up Maltese sun as party faces washout

“Corbyn would have been well advised to take advantage of a chance to relax because an analysis carried out for The Sunday Times suggests he is facing a drubbing at the local elections in May. The analysis — the most detailed since he became leader — reveals his party is poised to lose 200 of its 1,200 seats and control of up to six councils.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Corbyn mulls standing no candidate against Lucas in bid to ‘unite the left’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Plan to purge ‘disloyal’ shadow ministers in the New Year – Independent on Sunday



Farron sets out why he broke with his MPs on Syria

Lib Dem Logo“Tim Farron has argued that the Liberal Democrats are “not a pacifist party”, following grassroots criticism of his decision to back Syrian air-strikes – a move opposed by two-thirds of members. The Independent on Sunday can reveal that the Lib Dem leader was rebuked at a meeting of a senior party committee this month for failing to consult properly on the controversial vote.” – Independent on Sunday

News in Brief:

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