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The Prime Minister wants to boost rehabilitation schemes to cut reoffending

Prison bars“David Cameron will tomorrow announce a major Government drive to cut the number of offenders who return to jail shortly after release, as experts warn that a rocketing prison population is creating ’18th Century conditions’. … The Prime Minister wants to boost rehabilitation schemes and education programmes within jails to shift stubbornly high reoffending rates. Currently, almost 60 per cent of prisoners released after sentences of less than 12 months go back to crime within a year.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Criminals will be banned from drinking alcohol when they are released from prison as part of a hi-tech revolution in Britain’s jails to be unveiled by David Cameron tomorrow.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “About 70% of Muslim prison chaplains espouse a hardline interpretation of Islam that runs contrary to British values and human rights, an independent review has discovered.” – Sunday Times (£)

Europe 1) Ministerial ructions over Cameron’s EU deal…

CAMERON EU fence“Tory tensions were inflamed by claims by Eurosceptic Cabinet Ministers that Mr Cameron and pro-Europe Ministers had broken a promise to stay silent until the deal is confirmed. They claimed the Prime Minister and his allies were openly campaigning to stay in the EU – while rebels had been gagged. … It led to a confrontation in Mr Cameron’s Commons study on Wednesday with leading Cabinet rebel Mr Duncan Smith.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Margaret Thatcher’s closest adviser has made a dramatic intervention in the debate on Europe, declaring that the former prime minister would have backed David Cameron’s new deal with Brussels.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “…twice as many Tory MPs now back the Brexit campaign than was expected a week ago before the deal was unveiled.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Boris Johnson has given David Cameron a week to come up with concrete plans to ‘safeguard British sovereignty’ before Parliament breaks up for half-term ahead of the EU summit in Brussels.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “Rising Cabinet star Priti Patel is set to demand a meeting with David Cameron to tell him she will fight tooth and nail against his bid to keep Britain in the EU.” – Mail on Sunday

> Today:

Europe 2) …as Gove is “begged” to stay In

GOVE, Michael blue sky“David Cameron has begged Justice Secretary Michael Gove: Don’t lead Britain out of the EU. … The Prime Minister is concerned that his pal will front the Leave campaign. … So he is asking Mr Gove to put their long-standing friendship first and join him in persuading us to vote Stay.” – Sun on Sunday

  • “Anti-EU Tories say David Cameron and George Osborne are using Godfather-style tactics — by making MPs ‘offers they can’t refuse’ to back the campaign to keep Britain in Europe.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “George Osborne is using the full power of his political machine to try to win the referendum vote for ‘In’. … In recent weeks, he has hosted soirees at No 11 for MPs who he thinks are wobbling over the EU referendum.” – The Black Dog column, Mail on Sunday
  • “Former Conservative cabinet member Sir Eric Pickles will be unveiled on 9 February as the latest heavyweight Eurosceptic who, despite their doubts, has joined the campaign to remain in the EU.” – Independent on Sunday

Europe 3) May urged to resist EU plans that could criminalise charities helping refugees

Border“Theresa May is under pressure to oppose plans by EU member states that could criminalise individuals and charities who help Syrian refugees when they arrive on Greek islands. … A draft of conclusions reached last month by the Council of the European Union showed that Eurocrats could equate the smuggling of refugees with the far more serious crime of trafficking.” – Independent on Sunday

  • “The European Union has urged Turkey to open its borders to thousands of Syrians fleeing an onslaught by government forces and intense Russian airstrikes.” – The Observer
  • “Supporters of the anti-Islam group Pegida staged a silent march in Birmingham standing against what they called ‘the most dreadful, subversive, violent ideology’ as clashes broke out at twin rallies in France and the Netherlands.” – The Observer
  • “ISIS operatives have entered Britain after leaving Syria with the ringleader of the Paris attacks and using the migrant crisis as cover to travel across Europe, according to counterterrorism officials.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “The parents of a white British Muslim convert dubbed ‘Jihadi Jack’ were arrested for attempting to send him £1,000 in Syria after being warned by police not to do so.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “The fat cat boss of a company given vast amounts of taxpayers’ money to house asylum seekers is on a salary of almost £1million a year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.” – Mail on Sunday

And comment:

  • “By blurring the distinction between genuine refugees and economic migrants, liberals let their governments off the hook.” – Nick Cohen, The Observer

Europe 4) Fabricant says that he won’t be silenced

Fabricant“My fear is that the tactics used by Downing Street to try to force Conservative MPs to support the PM may backfire. It is already leading to friction between Tory MPs who had believed, perhaps naively, that they would be free to follow their conscience on an issue concerning the nation’s destiny. … Apparently not. I am sure Chief Whip Mark Harper is only following orders. But using the Whips in this way runs the risk of building up bad blood.” – Michael Fabricant, Mail on Sunday

  • “Calm for now, Europhobe Tories could yet ruin Cameron’s schemes.” – Isabel Hardman, The Observer
  • “The benefits brake is dodgy, and Cameron isn’t even in the driving seat.” – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)
  • “In, out: dithering Boris has to stop shaking all about.” – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Theresa May is the only one with the balls to lead the Out campaign.” – Toby Young, Sun on Sunday
  • “For all the waffle, Cameron offers us nothing that will even remotely change our relationship with Brussels.” – Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday
  • “Go ahead and vote Out… but we’ll never leave the EU.” – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • “The pollsters were wrong about the election – why believe them on the EU?” – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • “Tories must start new civil war and take on David Cameron over Europe.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “Three good reasons why the Out campaign might win.” – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • “[Cameron] has created conditions in which the opposite of what he said he wanted in 2013 may now occur: Brexit, with all the deeply negative and harmful consequences.” – Observer editorial
  • “The glum faces on the Tory back benches when Mr Cameron made it to parliament to explain the deal told their own story.” – Sunday Times editorial (£)

Europe 5) Grassroots Conservatives accuse Cameron of “disrespect”

Rosette shield“David Cameron is facing a growing revolt from grassroots Tories who are outraged that he has ordered MPs to ignore their views on Europe. … In a dramatic intervention, representatives of more than 40 Conservative associations accused the Prime Minister of showing ‘disrespect’ to those who campaigned tirelessly last year to deliver him a majority at the general election.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Farage challenges Mr Cameron to a live debate with the Leave campaign leader – a role he says he would gladly take on.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “The campaign to pull Britain out of the European Union is run by people who are spreading ‘lies’ about fellow activists and who will never win the referendum, a senior MP has warned.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “The multi-million-pound business run by a key donor to Vote Leave has warned potential investors that its profits and ability to move workers and capital around the world could suffer from a British exit from the European Union.” – The Observer
  • “The battle to remain in the European Union lacks emotional punch, according to one of the ‘in’ campaign’s top donors.” – Independent on Sunday

‘One last parliament as a cavalier, maverick backbencher.’ Clarke speaks to the Independent on Sunday.

“Mr Clarke says Mr Corbyn’s ‘populist, 1960s socialism’ could be ‘an attractive message’ if there is another recession, and warns Tory MPs not to ‘imitate the tabloid press by treating this man with ridicule’. ‘Do not believe you have a God-given right to office and you can expect to be re-elected whatever you do,’ he says.” – Independent on Sunday

Shapps launches a new group to secure better housing for veterans

SHAPPS Grant favourite“A new campaign – the Homes for Heroes Foundation – will be launched on Tuesday, with the backing of the former Nato Secretary General, Lord Robertson, and Lord Richards, the former Chief of Defence Staff. … The group, founded by the Conservative MP and former Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, will aim to ensure Britain delivers the best housing for veterans of any country in the world within the next four years.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “The devastating figures – in a report commissioned by the Local Government Association – show that almost 60,000 households in England will be unable to afford to remain in their council properties from April next year, as a result of George Osborne’s reform, called ‘pay to stay’.” – The Observer
  • “Staff shortages at the police force responsible for guarding the UK’s nuclear weapons bases and other key military facilities are now so severe that the Ministry of Defence is considering whether to use serving soldiers to plug the gaps.” – Independent on Sunday

Help for Heroes is being investigated by the Charity Commission

“Britain’s biggest veterans’ charity is being investigated amid claims it failed some of the heroes it cares for – leaving at least one soldier on the brink of suicide. … The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Help for Heroes is at the centre of an on-going ten-month probe by the Charity Commission following claims that it jeopardised the welfare of vulnerable veterans.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Britain’s top military officer costs taxpayers £2,000 a week for ‘domestic assistance’ at his freebie home.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “More than 20 leading UK charities have been paid £40m to promote credit cards and savings accounts to their supporters even though they are not the cheapest or best deals.” – Sunday Times (£)

And comment:

  • “A vibrant voluntary sector is critical to the health of our society. It needs to be held to account, but without being picked apart.” – Observer editorial

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Hancock needs a plan to enforce spirit of new charity rules

A Cabinet row over crisps and chocolate

WHITTINGDALE John“David Cameron has triggered a Cabinet row by drawing up plans to ban junk food adverts during programmes such as The X Factor. … The proposals to stop food giants advertising chocolate, crisps, sweets and pizza during peak television slots is understood to have infuriated Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, who believes that the move could seriously harm broadcasters.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “David Cameron’s former obesity tsar has slammed the Government’s forthcoming strategy to tackle Britain’s weight crisis as a ‘mistake’.” – Independent on Sunday

And comment:

  • “The PM must stand up to big food and save our kids from sugar.” – Jamie Oliver, Sunday Times (£)

Five MPs referred to police during the past year over expenses

“The expenses watchdog has been accused of eroding public trust after it emerged that five MPs have been secretly referred to the police for investigation over the past year. … Ipsa, the expenses watchdog, has refused to name any of the MPs despite admitting that there is ‘reason to suspect a criminal offence has been committed’.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “A controversial proposal to hide the identities of MPs who have been arrested has been tabled by the Government, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “John Hayes, the Home Office security minister, has claimed £4,850 on top of his annual rent allowance to cover the cost of providing accommodation for his two children at the small, one-bedroom flat he uses in the capital.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “A top American cop who could be in line to run the Metropolitan Police has vowed to import US-style zero-tolerance methods to cut crime in London.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Criminals are stealing money by hacking into people’s online tax returns on the website of HM Revenue & Customs and hijacking their self-assessment records, The Sunday Times can reveal.” – Sunday Times (£)

Met chief to apologise to those falsely accused of child abuse

Police shield“Britain’s top policeman, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, is to apologise to figures falsely accused in the VIP child sex abuse scandal in a desperate attempt to save his career. … The Metropolitan police commissioner has been described as a ‘dead man walking’ after he refused to say sorry in the face of mounting criticism over the way allegations about an establishment paedophile ring were handled.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • “Scotland Yard failed to tape-record its only interview with Leon Brittan concerning a rape allegation, according to a review that reveals yet more blunders in the controversial investigation.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “Troubled Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe risks tarnishing the force’s reputation over his bungled handling of the Lord Bramall scandal, a former top cop warned last night.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Police have been accused of putting children at risk after it emerged that paedophiles who look at indecent images of children online are being let off with just a warning – by officers who turn up on their doorsteps.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “Rape claims linked to dating websites have soared sixfold in five years – sparking a warning from Britain’s top crime-fighting body that a ‘new breed’ of sex attacker could be emerging.” – Mail on Sunday

Labour criticise Goldsmith for his friendships…

“Tory MP Zac Goldsmith’s private views came under the spotlight last night after it emerged that one of his closest allies believes that big business should be held responsible for terrorist outrages. … The London mayoral candidate was criticised by Labour for his long association with Helena Norberg-Hodge, a Swedish-born academic whose core belief is that the global race for economic growth is feeding the ‘desperation and fanaticism’ that drives extremism.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “There was more war than peace when Tory and Labour MPs clashed over Vladimir Putin at a banquet hosted by the Russian president’s London envoy.” – Mail on Sunday

…but what about Khan’s?

Sadiq Khan“Sadiq Khan was accused of being unfit to be mayor of London last night, after it emerged that Labour’s candidate had repeatedly shared a platform with a group backed by an extremist imam who acted as an al-Qaeda recruiter. … a former aide to Theresa May said Khan lacked ‘judgment’ for attending at least four meetings organised by Stop Political Terror, a group supported by Anwar al-Awlaki.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • “A ‘key member’ of Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team and national leader of Momentum, the controversial Corbyn supporters’ group, has a criminal conviction for election fraud.” – Sunday Telegraph

Corbyn demands to know the Government’s thinking about Libya

“Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that David Cameron reveal the extent of Britain’s growing military preparations for war in Libya, amid concern that British ‘seek and destroy’ drones may already be operating over the country. … The opposition leader intervened to demand the Prime Minister give MPs an ‘unequivocal assurance that no decision has been taken to use drones in support of military operations in Libya’.” – Independent on Sunday

  • “Moderate Labour MPs are preparing to fight the next election on a separate, pro-Trident manifesto if Jeremy Corbyn changes party policy to oppose renewal of the nuclear deterrent.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “The security service MI5 has agreed to allow a former intelligence officer to give evidence to a parliamentary committee and to reveal that the agency knew detainees were being tortured at Guantanamo Bay.” – Sunday Times (£)

Peer reveals that the Queen was opposed to voting reform

Queen's Speech“The Queen was opposed to changing the voting system, according to a Labour peer who breaches protocol to reveal a political opinion expressed in a 20-minute conversation. … Joyce Gould, Baroness Gould of Potternewton, says in her memoir that in 1997: ‘We discussed her views on proportional representation; I will not disclose her words but they were not supportive.'” – Independent on Sunday

  • “Peers have been blocked from moving to the Foreign Office as part of the £7bn refurbishment of Parliament because of bugging equipment, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.” – Independent on Sunday

The Lib Dems could become the first party to introduce minority-only shortlists

“The Liberal Democrats could become the first party to introduce all-ethnic minority, all-gay, and all-disabled candidate shortlists at the next general election. … Criticised for a lack of diversity in the House of Commons, the Lib Dems will also impose all-women shortlists on seats currently held by their eight MPs should they choose to step down in 2020.” – Independent on Sunday

State schools outperforming many of their private counterparts

School“A-Level standards at top state schools have risen so dramatically that the sector is challenging the best private schools where fees are more than £20,000 a year, according to a new Sunday Times analysis of the best schools in Britain. … Queen Elizabeth’s School, a boys’ grammar in Barnet … is ranked eighth overall, with A-level results that put it behind only a handful of top private schools.” – Sunday Times (£)

Councils call for an end to Sunday trading

“Fresh plans to scrap Sunday trading hours will provide a lifeline to struggling High Street shops, civic leaders have declared. … At least 150 local councils believe the move will create jobs and revitalise towns and communities. … It comes as The Sun on Sunday today launches a campaign to axe limits on Sunday trading.” – Sun on Sunday

News in brief

  • “A hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” Last night’s Republican debate – The Observer
  • North Korea defies sanctions to test a long-range rocket – The Observer
  • Lord Lucan did get away, claims his younger brother – Mail on Sunday
  • More than 3,500 babies are stillborn in Britain every year, more per head than in Poland, Croatia and Estonia – Sunday Times (£)
  • Pro-Assange UN panel helped child rapist fight deportation – Sunday Times (£)

And finally 1) Craig Brown reviews a new biography of Corbyn

CORBYN Jeremy“His has been the least thrilling of all political lives, largely because there has been so little character development: it is almost as though when young Jeremy first popped his little head out of his mother’s womb he was already sporting a peaked cap and a beard. … ‘It’s an activist!’ declared the midwife.” – Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

And finally 2) The case of the disappearing Soames

“Soames, the MP for Mid Sussex, has noticeably slimmed down following a spell away from the Commons last month. … Has he gone on a crash diet or taken up vigorous exercise? His colleagues think not. Regulars in the House of Commons tearoom have their own theory: that Soames has been fitted with a gastric band to aid his weight loss.” – Sunday Times (£)

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