British Border Staff have approved every single Bulgarian worker

“The Home Office has failed to reject a single request from British employers to hire Bulgarian immigrants since 2007, the country’s ambassador said on Sunday. Konstantin Dimitrov said he had never heard of a work permit application being turned down, though Border Agency staff are told to refuse requests if British workers can fill the role.” – Daily Telegraph

Gove delays plans for grammar school expansion

“Plans for the most significant addition to the grammar school sector in 50 years are being stalled by Education Secretary Michael Gove because he is concerned they are illegal…The vast site in Sevenoaks, Kent, will have its own staff, although it will share a headteacher, department heads and answer to the same governing body. Kent council approved the applications which were then sent to the Department for Education five months ago.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Joe Baron on Comment: Is Michael Gove playing into the hands of ‘The Blob’?

Labour prepares for cuts in Co-Op funding

LABOUR dead rose“Labour MPs bankrolled by the Co-operative Group have been put on notice that they will have their funding slashed by up to a third partly as a consequence of the Paul Flowers scandal. Ed Miliband stepped up his attacks yesterday on Conservative attempts to use the disgrace of the former Co-op Bank chairman to undermine Labour’s long-standing relationship with the mutual movement.” – The Times (£)

  • Ed Balls secured cheap loans with his constituency office – Daily Telegraph
  • Yvette Cooper says Labour are proud of Co-Op donations – Daily Mail
  • Now Karie Murphy’s son turns up in the Falkirk scandal – Daily Mail
  • Labour MSP joined Unite protesting outside Ineos director’s family home – The Sun (£)
  • Miliband won’t face his party’s moral shortcomings – Daily Mail Leader

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Three reasons for the Conservatives to be careful with their Co-op campaigning

Osborne caps payday loan charges

“The government is to introduce a new law to cap the cost of payday loans…The Treasury says there is “growing evidence” in support of the move, including the effects of a cap already in place in Australia. The cap will be included in the Banking Reform Bill, which is already going through Parliament.” – BBC News

  • Bank report alleges RBS and Lloyds forced firms out of business for profit – Daily Mail
  • London’s zombie firms to face the pain – Ed Conway, The Times (£)


Hannan: Be proud of being English – we invented freedom

“We, the English-speaking peoples, invented freedom. We gave the world the glorious concept that the law was something bigger than the wishes of the king or the strongest man in the tribe. We taught other nations that the state could be the servant of the citizen, rather than the other way around. So why do we now shy away from the uniqueness of our achievement?” – Daily Mail

Boris warns that Scottish independence would be a costly divorce

“What both sides are forgetting – and they have this in common with divorcing couples – is that it may look OK on day one, but on day two the lawyers come in. There is the division of property to work out, the rights of access to be determined. The longer the marriage has lasted, the more there is to unpick.” – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

  • SNP prepare “Independence Day” – FT
  • Parliament takes a week off for the referendum – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: WATCH: Carmichael – A currency union with an independent Scotland wouldn’t work

>Friday: ToryDiary: Would it really be so bad if Scotland left the Union?

‘Clare’s law’ introduced to protect against domestic violence

Police helmet“Parliament will announce the national introduction today of “Clare’s law” to protect women at risk of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme allows women or their friends and family to ask the police if a man has a history of abuse. The system was piloted successfully in four areas last year, and is expected to be introduced in March to every police force in the country.” – The Times (£)

Time for a register of police officers?

“Police officers accused of corruption and other forms of serious misconduct should be hauled before public disciplinary hearings, Lord Stevens’s report will conclude. Those found guilty should be ‘struck off’ a register of officers in the way incompetent doctors are.” – Daily Mail

HS2 bill published: work to begin in four months

“Work on the HS2 railway will begin in just four months, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin promised yesterday. A Bill paving the way for the £50billion link to be built is to be published today and the Cabinet Minister pledged to face down the scheme’s critics.” – Daily Mail

  • Government braces for mass opposition – FT
  • Ingham: Coalition uses policy as PR – The Independent

Debate rages over the Iran deal

OBAMA headshot blue“Reaching a final deal will be hard. The US Congress may yet make the mistake of scuppering the accord by imposing more sanctions. At the same time the US, which was deceived by North Korea over nuclear weapons, must remain vigilant over Iran…Diplomacy has enjoyed few breakthroughs. The world must give this one a chance.” – FT

>Yesterday: WATCH: Obama – “We have halted the progress of the Iranian programme”

22,000 troubled families have been turned around

“The government makes the bold claim on Monday that it has turned around the lives of 22,000 problem families, and says it has now identified 92,000 out of the 120,000 such families said to exist in England…Pickles said: “I am delighted that our programme is already helping half of our target of 120,000 troubled families at its midway stage. Councils are making great strides in a very short space of time.” – The Guardian

A quarter of council tax goes on town hall pensions

“One in every four pounds collected in council tax in the last year has gone to funding local government pensions in England. Of the £22.4billion handed over by families in council tax in England in 2012-13, some £5.7billion went towards paying for council workers’ pensions.” – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Maude speaks out on civil service failings – FT
  • Student loan book sold off – Daily Mail
  • Controversy over Farage-Sykes relationship – The Times (£)
  • Couple who allegedly held Brixton slaves led a Marxist fringe group – Daily Mail
  • Blair/Murdoch relations collapse – The Independent
  • French spies plotted to assassinate Abu Hamza – Daily Mail
  • One man accidentally given a fortune by an energy giant – Daily Mail

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