Wharton’s referendum Bill returns to Parliament – but will Afriyie wreck it?

EU Exit“Maverick Tory Adam Afriyie last night indicated he would defy the Prime Minister and force a Commons vote as he tries to make the PM hold a referendum before the 2015 general election. Mr Cameron has pledged to hold the referendum by the end of 2017…Senior Tories fear his intervention could reduce the chance of the legislation becoming law and fuel public perceptions that the Tories remain divided on Europe.” – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Why Adam Afriyie should withdraw his amendment to the James Wharton bill today



Govt bids to boost savings by allowing flexibility in private sector pensions

“The changes spell the end of annuities – the guaranteed income for life traditionally bought with a pension pot. These have been criticised for offering poor value for money and condemning many savers to a poverty-stricken old age. The Government wants to persuade employers not to abandon generous final salary pension schemes, many of which have been closed in recent years because they are too expensive.” – Daily Express

>Today: Nida Broughton on Comment: Why deciding to build more is so hard

Spy chiefs attack Snowden leaks in Parliament

Police helmet“Terrorists are ‘lapping up’ The Guardian’s reporting of stolen top-secret documents and using it to evade detection, Britain’s intelligence and security chiefs warned last night. In an unprecedented joint public appearance, the heads of domestic spy service MI5, overseas agency MI6 and the GCHQ listening post launched a devastating attack on the newspaper’s reporting of confidential files stolen by Edward Snowden.” – Daily Mail

Benefits cap gets 36,000 people back into the workforce

“More than 18,000 households have had their benefit capped including 300 claimants receiving more than £40,000 a year, according to figures released yesterday…Ministers claimed the analysis showed that the scheme had already encouraged almost 36,000 people to seek extra help in finding work.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour fail to force IDS statement on Universal Credit problems – The Times (£)
  • Civil servants should either be accountable or political appointees – The Times Leader (£)

Miliband defends Falkirk membership practices

“Labour is happy for people to be signed up to the party without their knowledge, Ed Miliband suggested yesterday as he responded to fresh allegations about vote-rigging in Falkirk…Mr Miliband’s extraordinary claim appeared to conflict with the party’s own rules on membership.” – The Times (£)

  • Ed adviser urges swing to the Left – Daily Mail

NHS weekend shortages harm newborns

“Babies born at the weekend are 13 per cent more likely to come to harm. Staff shortages mean maternity units are being left in the hands of junior doctors who have to rely on calling consultants at home.” – Daily Mail

  • A third of vulnerable patients get no help with NHS meals – Daily Mail
  • Why has no-one been punished for the Stafford scandal? – The Sun Says (£)

Former BBC boss calls for a smaller corporation

“On the BBC’s own admission, in recent years it did not, with the virtue of hindsight, give enough space to anti-immigration views or to EU-withdrawalists; and, though he may have exaggerated, the former Director-General Mark Thompson spoke of a “massive bias to the left” in the BBC he joined more than 30 years ago.” – Roger Mosey, The Times (£)

Spend more on defence, before disaster strikes

“The argument for rebuilding our defence capability needs to start now – before we suffer a major military defeat, have an embassy overrun or a patrol wiped out. Cameron has admirable instincts but, like Tony Blair, he feels unable to write the appropriate cheques. His Government’s plan for the military involves the utterly implausible idea of shrinking the Army until you could fit all of its combined ranks inside Wembley Stadium, while doubling the number of reservists.” – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

  •  Court martial hears recording of soldiers allegedly murdering wounded Taliban – Daily Mail

>Today: Andrew Gimson Interview: Philip Hammond declares war on lunch, and on regimental campaigners


Chief Inspector wants more discipline in schools

“Children cannot ‘thrive in a chaotic school where there is little authority’, Sir Michael said, adding: ‘Indeed, children who come from homes where there are few boundaries need more structure at school, not less.’…‘There is absolutely nothing wrong in my view in saying to youngsters “Do as I ask, because I am the adult, I am older than you, I know more than you and, by the way, I am in authority over you”.” – Daily Mail

  •  Grammar schools so popular parents shell out for prep school – Daily Mail

Boris: Stick press regulation in the privy

“The London Mayor urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator. Mr Johnson said he was pleased the magazine ‘has told the Privy Council to stick its charter in the privy’, and he urged ‘all other editors to follow suit’.” – Daily Mail

Cruddas: I want my job back, not “tombola prizes”

“Peter Cruddas, the former Conservative treasurer, has accused the party of trying to appease him with an “embarrassing tombola prize” rather than reinstate him after he cleared his name following false cash-for-access allegations. Mr Cruddas, who won a High Court libel action against The Sunday Times after it claimed he was offering access to David Cameron in exchange for six-figure donations, said it would be “just and equitable” for him to get his job back.” – Daily Telegraph

Ryanair’s O’Leary blasts environmentalists and green taxes

“If they are really worried why don’t they support nuclear power? Wind farms are mad. They only work if subsidised by fossil fuel energy…It’s ridiculous that we are paying higher prices to subsidise a political stunt which is renewable energy. And if insulating your home reduces your fuel bills then individual consumers will insulate their homes — let the market decide.”” – The Times (£)

News in brief

  • US offers short-term nuclear deal to Iran – Daily Telegraph
  • £1bn tax bonus for Osborne from foreign home buyers – The Times (£)
  • Blunkett tapes ‘ found in News of the World safe’ – Daily Mail
  • Clegg has harsh words for non-voting Paxman – Daily Mail
  • British doctor believes his family’s art is in Nazi collection – Daily Telegraph

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