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NHS Strike 1) Hunt’s final appeal to junior doctors

NHS‘Mr Hunt said: ‘…I wish to appeal directly to all junior doctors not to withdraw emergency cover which creates particular risks for A&Es, maternity units and intensive care units. The new contract offers junior doctors, who work frequently at weekends, more Saturday premium pay than nurses, paramedics and the assistants who work in their own operating theatres. More than police officers, more than fire fighters, and nearly every other worker in the public and private sectors. Regrettably over the course of this pay dispute 150,000 sick and vulnerable people have seen their care disrupted and the public will rightly question whether this is appropriate or proportionate action by professionals whose patients depend on them. Taking strike action is a choice.” – Daily Mail

  • The strike is on – FT
  • How services will be affected – FT
  • Ambulance staff ballot for strike action, too – Daily Mail
  • Thousands of operations are cancelled – The Sun (£)
  • The BMA has abandoned patients’ interests – The Times Leader (£)
  • Junior doctors cannot be allowed to dictate Government policy – Daily Telegraph Leader

>Today: Andrea Jenkyns on Comment: The BMA has put patients at risk and taken doctors for a ride

NHS Strike 2) It’s not your fault if people die, BMA tells strikers

‘Junior doctors have been told by union leaders that they cannot be held responsible for any lives lost as a result of Tuesday’s all-out strike and should ignore pleas to return to work. A letter from the British Medical Association to all junior doctors, published on the BMA website, assures them that patient safety is the responsibility of hospitals and NHS trusts, not individual doctors.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The doctors’ strike is still on. What choice do the Government have but to stick to their guns?

NHS Strike 3) Wollaston: Both sides have lost sight of patients’ best interests

Sarah Wollaston‘The Department of Health and the BMA have spent so long shouting at cross purposes that they have forgotten their common purpose. In using them as pawns, both sides have lost sight of patients, the very people both claim to want to protect. It was perfectly reasonable for the government to try to tackle the higher mortality at 30 days for those admitted to hospital at weekends, but entirely unreasonable to blunder on asserting that the new contract is the answer…Given the scale of concessions and protections on maximum hours and consecutive shifts, the BMA could have declared victory and moved on to focus on the deeper and longstanding causes of discontent.’ – Dr Sarah Wollaston, The Guardian

NHS Strike 4) Grayling: The dispute could be settled with a fortnight’s EU contributions

‘Two cabinet ministers helped to turn the first total walkout in NHS history into a dispute over the EU by backing claims that the money saved from Brexit could settle the protracted battle. The Vote Leave campaign, led by Michael Gove, the justice secretary, suggested that doctors would be given pay rises after an “out” vote in June…Vote Leave issued a statement declaring that the pay dispute “could be settled with just over two weeks of our EU contributions”. Chris Grayling, leader of the Commons, declared that the dispute revolved around 5 per cent of Britain’s overall annual contribution to the EU. The country “shouldn’t be spending billions on the EU that could make our NHS better and help deal with its current challenges,” he said.’ – The Times (£)

Referendum 1) May: Stay in the EU, but leave the ECHR

MAY EU T-shirt‘Theresa May last night plunged Tory plans to scrap the Human Rights Act into chaos by demanding that Britain should quit the European Court of Human Rights. The Home Secretary opened up a major split with No 10 by saying that if the UK wanted to boot out more terrorists and foreign criminals, it must quit the Strasbourg court altogether…Eurosceptics accused Mrs May of trying to distract attention from the fact she is campaigning to remain in the EU – despite having major reservations. And Brexit campaigners said Britain could not ditch the ECHR – which is operated by the separate Council of Europe – without breaching EU treaty obligations.’ – Daily Mail

Editorials

>Today: ToryDiary: Which side is to blame for dividing the party? Please take our monthly survey.

>Yesterday:

Referendum 2) Leave and Remain campaigns battle on Facebook

‘Both sides of the EU referendum campaign are pouring resources into advertising on Facebook as part of an increasingly fierce online propaganda war. The Leave and Remain camps are using sophisticated digital marketing tactics to influence voters, attract donations and mobilise activists ahead of the vote on June 23. “Facebook is a huge part of our operation with extraordinary reach,” said James McGrory, the chief campaign spokesperson for Britain Stronger in Europe.’ – FT

  • Pro-EU campaign seek apps to persuade the young to vote – FT
  • Paterson: Cameron is like Charles I – Daily Mail
  • Samantha Cameron and Sarah Vine cross swords – The Sun (£)
  • IDS doesn’t like Mandelson’s coat – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Who should represent Remain and Leave in the BBC’s big TV referendum debate?

Referendum 3) Crosby: Pro-EU campaigners shouldn’t hang out the victory bunting just yet

Opinion Poll graphic‘I wouldn’t be hanging out the victory bunting just yet. The marathon has barely begun. Some will ask how can Leave show a marginal improvement when so many commentators said the Remain campaign had a great week, boosted by the American president’s visit and his rallying cry for Remain. However, the effect of the president’s visit may not yet be felt in the numbers as sometimes it take a while for factors to wash through. Also, people may not take much notice of what an outsider has to say.’ – Lynton Crosby, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Andrew Kennedy’s column: As elections loom, why campaigning matters – and why it’s never over till the fat lady sings

Hague: We can’t abandon the Middle East now

‘If European countries, including Britain, think they can get by without intervention in that region over the next few decades they face being overwhelmed by a movement of humanity that they have never before contemplated or experienced. Intervention – to try to prevent conflict, end wars, stabilise governments and create economic improvements – will be a completely unavoidable necessity for many western nations…To those who say we know what intervention looks like, and that’s Iraq and Libya, there is a good answer: we know what non-intervention looks like, and that is Syria.’ – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

  • We must take more child refugees – Heidi Allen, The Sun (£)
  • Government defeats immigration bill amendment – The Guardian
  • Obama urges the EU to do more to combat ISIS – The Sun (£)
  • ISIS fighters seek fake sick notes to avoid fighting – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Gary Kent on Comment: How we can help our allies, the Kurds

Morgan plans academies u-turn

MORGAN Nicky officiall version‘Councils will be allowed to run their own academy chains in a dramatic U-turn by Nicky Morgan on controversial plans to force all schools to become academies. The significant departure from the plan announced by George Osborne in his budget speech last month will seek to appease up to 40 Tory rebels who risked defeating the Government’s bid to make the change. Ms Morgan, the Education Secretary, will consider permitting the best-performing local authorities to manage their own academy chains. Some councils may also be allowed to retain their powers to force academies to take vulnerable pupils or those with special needs.’ – Daily Telegraph

Corbyn is on course for Labour’s worst local election result since 1982

‘Jeremy Corbyn faces the prospect of leading Labour to its worst local election defeats in opposition in 34 years, a polling expert warned today. The Labour leader is behind in the polls and is expected to lose scores of seats – with professor John Curtice warning being behind by four points nationally would suggest 220 losses. A ComRes poll published earlier this month suggested the Tories were on 35 per cent compared to Labour on 30 per cent.’ – Daily Mail

  • By backing the EU, he is writing the second longest suicide note in history, says Field – Daily Telegraph

Sturgeon steals a Thatcher slogan for SNP posters

Scottish flag‘Nicola Sturgeon was accused of ‘stealing’ one of Margaret Thatcher’s slogans for a new SNP billboard advert today as the election campaign for the Scottish parliament enters its final days. The billboard bares the face of the First Minister alongside the words: ‘Don’t just hope for a better Scotland, vote for one.’ The slogan echoes the 1979 Conservative party poster featuring Mrs Thatcher, which told voters: ‘Don’t just hope for a better life. Vote for one.” – Daily Mail

>Today: Ruth Davidson’s column: Sturgeon’s manifesto rests on a squalid compromise

Kasich and Cruz team up to try to stop Trump

‘Donald Trump’s two remaining Republican rivals have forged an unprecedented 11th-hour pact to try to deny him the presidential nomination. John Kasich will step aside in Indiana, which votes next Tuesday, to give Ted Cruz a clean shot at the billionaire in a state that many believe could prove pivotal. In return, Mr Cruz — a doctrinaire conservative whose political brand had, until now, been anchored to his unwillingness to forge deals — will not compete in Oregon and New Mexico, clearing a path there for Mr Kasich. Mr Trump reacted furiously to news of the Cruz-Kasich pact.’ – The Times (£)

News in Brief

20 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 26th April 2016

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