Adam Afriyie tries to force a 2014 EU referendum

EU Exit

“I believe there should be an EU referendum before the next General Election. It’s in our national interest to resolve this issue as soon as possible to create the certainty and stability our country needs for the future. Only by setting an early date can we kick-start EU renegotiation talks and give the British people what they so clearly want – a say on our country’s future with Europe.” – Adam Afriyie, Mail on Sunday


Reshuffle rumours tip Sajid Javid for the Cabinet

“The Muslim former banker, who is politically close to George Osborne, has impressed colleagues as a junior Treasury Minister and is seen as a safe pair of hands both in the Commons and in media interviews. One of five sons, Mr Javid was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, but brought up in a crime-ridden area of Bristol.”  – Mail on Sunday

Osborne considering scrapping green taxes in energy price fightback

“The Tory leadership has decided how to respond. In George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, it wants to remove some of the seven green taxes and levies that are pushing up energy bills.  Not only would this reduce the appeal of Miliband’s price freeze, but it would put the Labour leader in a difficult position. As Energy Secretary, he imposed some of these charges.” – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday


Are the Conservatives returning to the white male stereotype?

“The Conservative party has been accused of turning back the clock by so far failing to select a single black person to fight the next general election. Of the 48 aspiring MPs chosen to fight the election to date, just one is from an ethnic minority background, a Sunday Times study has found.” – Sunday Times (£)

Labour run to the lawyers over Hunt’s Burnham allegations

Jeremy Hunt by Carla Millar“In a dramatic move, Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, is preparing libel proceedings against Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, over remarks made on Twitter. Labour party lawyers yesterday wrote to Hunt demanding that he remove the comments from the social networking site or face further action. Hunt last night insisted he would not back down, raising the spectre of a court case.” – Sunday Times (£)

Will the Miliband/Mail row affect press regulation?

“On Wednesday, a privy council committee of four Conservatives and four Liberal Democrats under the joint chairmanship of Maria Miller, the culture secretary, and Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, is expected to reject the press proposals. John Whittingdale, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, said Miliband’s intervention would have little effect, although the Labour leader had “clearly cranked up the dispute between his party and the press”” – Sunday Times (£)

Attempt to scrap oaths on the Bible in Court

Police helmet“Defendants and witnesses in British courts will no longer swear on the Bible to tell the truth under controversial plans being considered by a powerful body of judges. The traditional religious oath could be scrapped amid concerns that many giving evidence in criminal cases no longer take it seriously. Instead, all witnesses and defendants would promise to tell the truth without mentioning God.” – Mail on Sunday

  • If we lose the Bible, we lose our conscience – Mail on Sunday Leader
  • May plans to expel thousands of foreign criminals – Sunday Times (£)
  • 1300 suspected violent criminals walk free due to blunders – Mail on Sunday
  • Ten convicted murderers killed again after being released on licence – Mail on Sunday

First timers will still pay more under Help To Buy

“As part of the £12bn mortgage guarantee plan the Treasury will charge lenders about £1,000 to insure loans to borrowers with the smallest deposits. Those costs are expected to be passed on to borrowers. By contrast, lenders will be charged far less by the Treasury for loans to those with bigger deposits. George Osborne, the chancellor, will unveil details of the scheme on Tuesday.” – Sunday Times (£)

News in Brief

And finally…

Conservative Party caught photoshopping MPs into Commons “family photo”

“The photo, taken shortly before this summer’s recess and unveiled ahead of last week’s Conservative Party Conference, was thought to be the first such picture of the parliamentary party in the Chamber. But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that several of the MPs apparently proudly posing with the Prime Minister were not actually present when the photograph was taken.” – Mail on Sunday

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