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Cameron to stay PM even if voters back Brexit, says Grayling

EU Exit“David Cameron will stay on as prime minister to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU if he loses his European referendum this year, according to Tory cabinet minister Chris Grayling. Mr Grayling, the Eurosceptic leader of the House of Commons, is expected to campaign for a Brexit but suggested Mr Cameron would have a duty to stay on in Number 10 if the country voted to leave” – Financial Times

  • Toxic infighting leaves rival Brexit groups in disarray – The Times (£)
  • Will the Stronger In campaign alienate swing voters? – Sebastian Payne, Financial Times
  • Labour donor calls on Corbyn to give shadow ministers a free vote on Brexit – The Sun
  • Pro-EU campaign will say anything to get your vote – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
  • It was a punishing time, listening to Fifty Shades of Grayling – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)

>Today:

Poland gets troops after backing migrant curbs

“Britain will announce additional military assistance for Poland today, weeks after the country’s foreign minister suggested that it could drop its opposition to a ban on migrants benefits in return for a beefed-up Nato presence. Warships and 1,000 troops will be sent to Poland this year… A Foreign and Commonwealth Office source denied that there was any link with the EU deal: ‘We’ve been steadily increasing our support for Poland and this is part of that’” – The Times (£)

  • Top Tories warn Cameron that his immigration demands are too weak – The Sun

EU to shift refugee burden to northern states

IMMIGRATION mat“Brussels is to scrap rules that make the first country a refugee enters responsible for any asylum claim, revolutionizing the bloc’s migration policy and shifting the burden from its southern flank to its wealthier northern members. The ‘first-country’ requirement is the linchpin of the EU refugee system. But it has become politically toxic for EU leaders as Germany and other states criticise frontier countries such as Greece and Italy” – Financial Times

  • Britain will be blocked from deporting asylum seekers unless it signs up to EU refugee quotas – Daily Mail
  • Britain under pressure to accept more migrants – The Sun
  • Tusk warns that EU has two months to get crisis under control – Daily Mail

“Tighten the noose” on ISIS, urges Fallon

“Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, will call on Wednesday for a shift in coalition strategy against Isis, with a new focus on ‘tightening the noose’ around the extremist group’s stronghold in Raqqa… The new strategy will focus on more elusive Isis targets and could bring the risk of higher civilian casualties, but Mr Fallon told the Financial Times the time was right to bring more pressure to bear on ‘the head of the snake’” – Financial Times

  • Nusrat Ghani MP breaks down in tears as she challenges sister of ISIS executioner – Daily Mail
  • ISIS confirms death of “Jihadi John” with bizarre obituary – Daily Mail
  • Gunmen storm campus near Peshawar – Independent
  • UK was aware that Libyan rebels included “extremist elements” – Financial Times
  • Lamont made UK’s trade envoy to Iran – Financial Times

Soames: Stop this vile witch-hunt against our brave troops

soames“Over the past few years, I have been watching the disturbing growth of an insidious enemy, an enemy that represents a very real danger to the fighting capability and morale of our Armed Forces… an enemy that carries neither bombs nor bullets — but bundles. These bundles consist of legal documents and supposed evidence gathered by an army of ambulance-chasing lawyers… Just yesterday, we learned of a new and particularly fatuous example of this vile and unpatriotic witch-hunt” – Nicholas Soames, Daily Mail

  • British soldier threatened with arrest for not answering Iraq War questions – Daily Mail
  • MPs defend Freedom of Information Act – Daily Mail

Hunt promises GPs more money

“Jeremy Hunt has promised an extra £2billion a year for GPs in a desperate attempt to stave off a revolt. The Health Secretary is also pledging to reduce doctors’ paperwork, ease their workload and potentially even scale back surgery inspections. His announcement came days before a crisis meeting of senior GPs who will demand an end to carrying out routine home visits” – Daily Mail

  • Dementia diagnoses soared after GPs given £55 “bribe” – The Times (£)

Morgan warns students not to “shut down” Rhodes debate

MORGAN Nicky officiall version“Nicky Morgan has waded into the row over Oxford’s Cecil Rhodes statue, warning students campaigning to have it removed that they should not ‘shut down debate’. The Education Secretary is the most senior public figure to become involved in the dispute after the university’s chancellor Lord Patten said students who weren’t prepared to engage with controversial moments in history should ‘think about being educated elsewhere’” – Daily Mail

  • It’s right to chisel away at Rhodes’ reputation – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)
  • Oxford University is right to let extremists preach – Fergus Kelly, Daily Express

Apartheid on streets of Britain

“A secret apartheid policy brands hundreds of asylum seekers in Middlesbrough by housing them in properties with red front doors, it can be revealed. The doors make asylum homes easy to identify and are blamed for numerous attacks in which people were victims of harassment and abuse… James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, said that he was deeply concerned by the Times investigation and announced an urgent audit of asylum-seeker housing in the northeast” – The Times (£)

Tory MPs warn Osborne against pensions raid

Osborne“Senior Tories are warning George Osborne that he faces a backbench revolt if he goes ahead with sweeping plans for a stealth raid on the pension pots of higher-income taxpayers to help pay off the deficit. Under proposals being drawn up in the Treasury, ahead of the Budget in March, all workers paying into a pension would receive a flat rate of tax relief of between 20 and 30 per cent” – Independent

>Today:

Britain not strong enough for rate rise, says Carney

“Britain may still be sitting close to the top of the international growth table for advanced economies, but in a speech on Tuesday Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, was clear the economy is too weak for him to contemplate raising interest rates from crisis-era lows. The discrepancy is a reminder that even seven years on from the crash, there is still a long way to go before normal service is resumed” – Financial Times

  • World faces wave of epic debt defaults – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

Goldsmith: I will build homes for Londoners

Zac Goldsmith“If I’m Mayor, I will set a simple rule that any homes built on mayoral land – as many as 30,000 – will only be sold to Londoners – people who have lived or worked in London for at least three years and don’t already own a home. My ‘Londoners First’ rule will be in force for the entire first year that the houses are on sale. It can be delivered because on mayoral land the Mayor sets the rules” – Zac Goldsmith, Daily Telegraph

Labour’s election review blames everyone but Miliband

“Ed Miliband has ducked most of the responsibility for Labour’s crushing election defeat in an official report that instead blames the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, Scottish nationalists and the media. The party’s long-awaited review, overseen by Dame Margaret Beckett, said that Mr Miliband performed well during the campaign, and put his lack of credibility with voters down to a concerted attempt by the press ‘to destroy him’” – The Times (£)

  • Beckett says Labour faces huge battle to win in 2020 – Guardian
  • Maybe Corbyn’s right about scrapping Trident – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)
  • The pollsters got it wrong, but they are still crucial for politicians – Ian Birrell, Daily Telegraph

Scotland’s top mandarin issues cannon fodder warning

STURGEON debate“Scotland’s most senior civil servant has warned the First Minister’s spin doctors against issuing offensive comments to the media after a senior figure in the SNP administration briefed that a school cadet scheme provides ‘cannon fodder’ for the Armed Forces. The Telegraph can disclose that Leslie Evans, the Scottish Government’s Permanent Secretary, has reminded “all those who speak on ministers’ behalf” that they not permitted to make over-the-top remarks that misrepresent Nicola Sturgeon’s views” – Daily Telegraph

  • Scottish Government to make 50 changes to land reform bill – Scotsman

News in brief

  • Palin endorses Trump for White House – Financial Times
  • Ninety-five per cent of diesel cars break emissions limits – Daily Telegraph
  • BBC has too many managers, Trust Chairman admits – Daily Mail

 

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