EU 1) Baron: Cameron refuses to meet MPs who want a tougher renegotiation

Cameron1‘His refusal to meet 40 of his backbenchers – who signed my letter last November requesting a meeting to discuss our concerns – signals No 10 has no intention of pitching for a “fundamental change” in our relationship with the EU…The refusal to engage with his own backbenchers contradicts those of us who campaigned in the last parliament for a referendum in this – believing time was needed for a meaningful discussion and renegotiation and then for the subsequent debate. Instead, No 10 ignores contributions – what could it be afraid of?’ – John Baron, Sunday Telegraph

  • MPs fear ‘Flashman’ attitude will divide the party – Sunday Telegraph
  • Osborne seeks ‘brake’ clause to block EU rules – Sunday Times (£)
  • Baker’s concerns about pro-EU campaign using CCHQ’s favourite printer – Mail on Sunday
  • Majority of FTSE 100 refuse to speak publicly on the referendum – Mail on Sunday
  • Verhofstadt calls for the renegotiation to be suspended – The Independent on Sunday


>Today: ToryDiary: If Conservative MPs want real EU change, they must now back Brexit

EU 2) Cologne sex attackers could come here, warns Fox

At the launch of a cross-party campaign on Britain’s future in the 28-strong bloc, Dr Fox told the meeting: ‘Insecurity for our country comes from open borders and uncontrolled migration. ‘I do not want the mistakes made by Angela Merkel in opening the doors to migration in Germany to be reflected in Britain’s security…Within a short time…they will have the right to enter the United Kingdom if we remain a member of the European Union. That for me is the real security issue at risk in this referendum.’ – Mail on Sunday


EU 3) Norwegians urge us to go for Brexit

EU Exit brexit‘Today some of Norway’s leading politicians and anti-EU campaigners call for Brits to step out of Brussels’ shadow, saying: “You won’t regret it — we haven’t.” Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, leader of the Centre Party, one of the country’s opposition parties, told The Sun on Sunday: “My message to Brits would be to believe in yourselves and take the plunge. Norway is proof it can work on your own. We rejected EU membership and we’ve never looked back. Many people thought it would be a disaster, thought we would be isolated in business and left behind by the rest of Europe — but that hasn’t been the case. In fact we are better for it.”‘ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

Warsi launches competition to find a ‘quintessentially English’ mosque design

‘New mosques should be built without minarets to make them look ‘quintessentially English’ and fit in with the landscape, according to former Tory chairman Baroness Warsi. Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim Cabinet Minister, is to launch a nationwide competition to design a new mosque as part of a campaign to boost religious tolerance. She claimed many of those in Britain are ‘ugly’, and that if new ones were built without minarets they could even look like a traditional village church. She also said the aim of her idea was to develop an ‘authentic British Islamic brand’.’ – Mail on Sunday

Littlewood: Osborne is the least conservative Tory Chancellor for generations

Osborne‘Aspiring middle classes, savers and property owners – all are suffering under George Osborne’s stewardship of the Treasury. He may well be the least Conservative Tory Chancellor for several generations. Take tax: we now seem permanently stuck with a top rate of 45p – higher than for almost all of the time of the last Labour Government. At the same time there has been apparent indifference to the millions of ordinary people being steadily dragged into the 40p in the pound income tax bracket…The Government is intervening more and more, and right across the economy. It could prove the most Socialist Conservative government of our lives. Enterprising, hard working, aspirational, determined and ambitious voters are unlikely to thank them for being so.’ – Mark Littlewood, Mail on Sunday

Questions for the Chancellor over Google tax deal

‘George Osborne faces being hauled before MPs this week to explain a “sweetheart deal” with Google that will let the internet giant carry on avoiding tax by treating Britain as a “branch office”. Google, which racked up sales of £4.5bn in Britain during 2014 alone, will pay just £130m in backdated taxes in a deal that was widely condemned and provoked demands for a public inquiry. Controversially, the company’s complex structure, which funnels British revenues through Ireland and Amsterdam to its Bermuda tax haven, will also remain intact.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Javid plans assault on unions’ ‘jobs for the boys’

JAVID Sajid black background‘Ministers are launching an assault on the unions by pledging to ban cosy deals for plum jobs such as £60,000 a year for driving a Tube train. Business Secretary Sajid Javid identified the ‘jobs for the boys’ culture on the London Underground as a prime target. Although ‘closed shops’ were made illegal by Margaret Thatcher in 1990 – when the practice of employers agreeing to hire only union members was outlawed – Mr Javid said restrictive recruitment deals still ‘linger’ in the public sector.’ – Mail on Sunday

>Today: Philip Booth on Comment: End the strikes by privatising the Tube

Laing fights back against ‘nonsense’ racism smear

‘The Deputy Speaker has hit back at a Labour MP’s claims that she is a ‘racist’ who picked on ethnic minority MPs. Conservative Eleanor Laing told friends that Dawn Butler had told a ‘tissue of lies’ about her. Her comments were disclosed after signs that the race row is growing…Epping MP Ms Laing has been backed by Speaker John Bercow, and told friends: ‘These allegations are nonsense. To claim I am racist or anti-women is false and offensive. I initiated a Commons debate on International Women’s Day and have worked flat out to help minorities in my constituency.’ Tory MP James Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone, said: ‘Ms Butler should apologise to Eleanor for her crass claims.’’ – Mail on Sunday

After Beckett’s soft soap, another leaked report reveals Labour’s real election problems

LABOUR holes‘A separate report, entitled What Happened?, also commissioned by party chiefs – the key contents of which The Mail on Sunday can disclose – blows Beckett’s report out of the water and reveals the truth. It says voters never trusted Miliband, and that they thought he would be ‘bossed around’ by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon if he became Prime Minister. Labour also ‘struggled to prove economic credibility’, Tory Election guru Lynton Crosby ran the best campaign, the middle classes turned on Labour, and the rise of Ukip hurt the party more than the Tories.’ – Mail on Sunday


Psychiatrists fear being an MP could ruin your life

‘Psychiatrists working with the Home Office have advised that MPs need greater protection after a groundbreaking study found that four out of five had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour, and 36 even fear going out in public. Marriages have been left on the brink, MPs have felt forced to take time off from work, a dozen have seen health professionals and several have resorted to seeing therapists or are on medication for anxiety or depression due to their experiences at the hands of members of the public, according to the study.’ – The Observer

Litvinenko’s killers left polonium trail while denying the crime

Putin hunting‘A senior diplomat stationed at the British embassy in Moscow has told for the first time how Alexander Litvinenko’s assassins left a trail of polonium in the building. Paul Knott, a former Foreign Office mandarin, said he oversaw a secret sweep of the embassy by a specialist radiation detection team after the two killers, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun, made a surprise visit to protest their innocence.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Fifty-eight ‘tank-chasing’ legal claims dropped

‘Nearly 60 allegations of unlawful killing against hero British troops in Iraq have now been dropped. Investigators found there was “no criminality established” in 57 cases. Another case was referred to the Ministry of Defence’s Service Prosecuting Authority, but was then subsequently dropped. Tory MP Richard Benyon, a member of the Defence Select Committee, said the £57.2million inquiry was putting an “intolerable burden” on war veterans.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

News in Brief

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