Plebgate trio defiant on “lies” that cost Mitchell his job…

MITCHELL Andrew “Three senior police officers accused of lying to blacken Andrew Mitchell’s name yesterday refused to apologise – telling MPs they had ‘done nothing wrong’. In angry exchanges with MPs, Inspector Ken MacKaill, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton and Sergeant Chris Jones said they stood by their controversial account of a meeting with the former Chief Whip at the height of the Plebgate scandal” – Daily Mail

…but every police officer must accept new ethics code

“A code of ethics binding every police officer will be published today as part of an attempt to regain public trust after the Plebgate affair. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will praise the new code as policing’s equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath and a cornerstone of the Government’s drive to reform and professionalise the service” – The Times (£)

Under-fire Cameron pledges review of green taxes in about turn

CAMERON PMQs“David Cameron promised yesterday to cut green levies that have increased energy bills to ‘a completely unacceptable level’, in a move that stunned his coalition partners. The Prime Minister told Nick Clegg half an hour before revealing that he was committed to reducing the burden of environmental levies on household gas and electricity bills” – The Times (£)

>Today: Windfall taxes. A bad idea then. And a bad idea now

>Yesterday: Will the Lib Dems buckle on green taxes?

Major has broken his silence – the Tories must listen

Major calls for windfall tax“Sir John wants his party to talk less about Europe and more about public services, less about what he calls ‘ideology’ and more about matters that appeal to ordinary people… Mr Cameron plans to refight the famous Tory victory of 1992, even though his strategy has come under fire from the man who won it” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

  • Three cheers for Sir John Major – Alison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron should listen to Major – Philip Stephens, Financial Times
  • Sir John’s snide attack was as flawed as his six disastrous years in Number Ten – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail

Europe: British business leaders call for cut in red tape

EU Flag“In a letter to the European Council ahead of a summit in Brussels today, more than 100 company chiefs demand acceptance of British plans to cut red tape. They said: ‘We are now calling on you, as EU leaders, to ensure that EU regulation is focused on securing the competitiveness of European business’” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron must stop Europe’s latest assault on Britain – Rohan Silva, The Times (£)
  • Europe already has one foot in Japanese deflation grave – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

More good news on the “robust recovery”

“Britain is enjoying a ‘robust recovery’ more than five years after the financial crisis struck, the Bank of England said yesterday. Stronger-than-expected growth means unemployment is falling faster than anticipated as private companies hire new staff to keep up with demand, it said. The bullish comments came amid a wave of economic good news as figures showed the number of private businesses now trading in Britain has soared to a record of nearly five million” – Daily Mail

  • We’re open to fracking on our land, says National Trust – The Times (£)

Osborne is best when he’s most unpopular

OSBORNE red and blue“Mr Osborne needs to make a decision. Cloning him is not going to happen, but he does need to decide whether he’s going to be Good Osbo or Bad Osbo. Bad Osbo obsesses with short-term political positioning. Good Osbo worries about Britain’s long-term competitiveness” – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

Cameron faces battle with Tory rebels over HS2

“David Cameron faces a major rebellion over the controversial High Speed Two rail network next week as Labour considers withdrawing its support in order to fund its pledge to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020. As many as 60 Conservative MPs are prepared to vote against legislation paving the way for HS2 when it returns to the Commons next Thursday, according to sources organising the opposition to the £50 billion proposed line” – The Times (£)

British post-graduate students outnumbered by foreigners

“Foreign students have outnumbered their UK counterparts in postgraduate education at British universities for the past five years, it is revealed today. A major study warns of a future crisis if universities equip the UK’s economic rivals with the skills they need to compete against Britain, which will suffer from a dearth of highly skilled professionals” – Independent

Chief Medical Officer “ashamed” as rickets makes a comeback

Dame Sally Davies“The Victorian-era disease rickets has returned to England, the country’s Chief Medical Officer has said, and should be fought off through a universal handout of vitamin supplements to all children under five. In a damning report on the state of children’s health, Dame Sally Davies said that the country should be ‘profoundly ashamed’ that child mortality rates in some of the poorest parts of England were three times higher than rich regions” – Independent

News in brief

  • Prince George on his best behaviour as he is christened – Daily Telegraph
  • Merkel’s call to Obama: are you bugging my phone? – Guardian
  • Daughter returned to Roma parents after DNA test proves she is theirs – Daily Telegraph
  • Royal Marines “murdered man live on camera” – Independent
  • Italian student murdered ten days after arriving in UK to improve his English – Daily Mail
  • Australian bush fire caused by military test explosion – The Times (£)
  • Pope exiles “bishop of bling” – The Times (£)
  • Stray cat “attacked man in his sleep” – Daily Mail

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