Grayling launches clampdown on reoffending…

Police helmet“Justice Secretary Chris Grayling vowed ‘enough is enough’ as Ministry of Justice figures showed the scale of reoffending by those given short jail terms. In 2011, 356 adult offenders committed serious violent or sexual offences after release from a sentence of less than a year, while a further 2,482 committed serious ‘acquisitive’  crimes such as robbery within 12 months of being released.” – Mail on Sunday

…as May beefs up restrictions on terror suspects

“Home Secretary Theresa May was dismayed by the escapes of Mohamed and another suspect last year and is seeking to ‘significantly strengthen’ conditions placed on suspects. She has asked MI5 and Scotland Yard what measures are necessary but they are expected to include restricting access of TPIM suspects to specific mosques and limiting the time spent in those mosques they are permitted to attend.” – Mail on Sunday

>Today: May and Grayling, the dynamic duo, have an increasingly strong message on crime

Cutting green taxes could reduce bills by 7 per cent

gas-energy“Britain’s energy giants are to offer to cut bills by up to 7pc if the Government agrees to remove the cost of multi-billion-pound green schemes. In a move which could seize the initiative from critics of the rising cost of bills, leading members of the “Big Six” energy companies have laid out two options to the Government.” – Sunday Telegraph

Avoidable NHS deaths top 3,500

“More than 3,500 people died unnecessarily in NHS hospitals last year because of mistakes and blunders, shocking new figures reveal. The number of ‘avoidable’ deaths admitted by NHS trusts in England rose by 25 per cent in a year, while experts warned ‘toxic overcrowding’ could contribute to even more fatalities in overstretched hospitals this winter.” – Mail on Sunday

Backbench concerns over developers abusing planning reforms

“Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi, who is leading efforts to highlight the issue, said: “There’s no question that we need to build more houses in rural areas but in some areas we’re not getting decent developers who want to work with communities. We’re getting rapacious speculators who are exploiting a loophole in conflict with local communities.”” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Zahawi pledges to repay expenses used to heat stables – The Observer

Remember the forces’ dead – and celebrate the success of those who remain

Poppy“Liberal readers may not care to hear this but, if they can survive combat, a spell in the forces need not be a disaster for young working-class men and women. The army teaches them how to better themselves when they leave. It and the other services help men and women make the transition to civilian life, as do the military charities…Above all others, camaraderie provides the best reason for giving former servicemen and women their due. Despite everything you read, they are a part of us and all around us. And I am happy to say that the overwhelming majority of them are getting along just fine.” – Nick Cohen, The Observer

Shapps starts membership drive

“Tory Chairman Grant Shapps wants to increase the party’s membership sixfold to 800,000. In the average seat, less than one per cent of those who cast their votes for the Tories are members.

In a letter to every Tory MP, Shapps writes: ‘Colleagues have asked me what an ideal membership might look like, and as a rough guide I am setting a target for Associations to increase this percentage to a minimum of three per cent.’” – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

Now Len McCluskey’s own election is mired in controversy

Unite logo“The boss of Britain’s biggest union, involved in a voterigging inquiry in Falkirk, faces investigation over alleged irregularities in his own election. The allegations over the election of Len McCluskey as general secretary of the Unite union centre on claims that almost 160,000 of those balloted were not members. His rival for the job, Jerry Hicks, has complained that the election was unlawful because people who had left the union were included in the ballot.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Damning Falkirk emails published – Sunday Times (£)
  • Left wing takeover strategy revealed – Sunday Times (£)
  • Unite use tutors employed on zero hours contracts – Mail on Sunday
  • Co-op to review Labour donations – Sunday Times (£)
  • Did Prescott try to undermine miners’ compensation claims to protect union donors? – Mail on Sunday

MPs urge Cameron to toughen up EU negotiation position

“Senior MPs are privately drawing up a list of powers which must be “repatriated”, ranging from immigration to business regulations, before a referendum on EU membership is held. The influential Free Enterprise Group of Tory MPs, which includes a number of Mr Cameron’s most talented young ministers, is also demanding that the Prime Minister claw back business regulation powers from Brussels.” – Sunday Telegraph

Fox urges prosecution of the Guardian over Snowden leaks

“A senior Conservative politician has intensified pressure for theGuardian newspaper to be prosecuted over its role in disclosing secrets about Britain’s spying capabilities. Dr Liam Fox has written to Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), urging her to set out whether the newspaper breached counter-terrorism laws by publishing secrets which were stolen by the former US spy contractor Edward Snowden.” – Sunday Telegraph

Investigation starts into MPs’ office rent

PARLIAMENT“The Commons’ expenses watchdog is to investigate the practice of allowing MPs to rent offices from their constituency parties, thus boosting local party funds with taxpayers’ money. Sir Ian Kennedy, chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), will begin an inquiry this week into whether the rental deals should be allowed to continue.” – Sunday Times (£)

Russell Brand is wrong: vote or be ignored, reports IPPR

“People who do not vote are more likely to face public spending cuts and reduction in household incomes, a leading think tank reports today…The report gives a sobering focus to Russell Brand’s call for people not to vote because, he claims, it “changes nothing”. In fact, older and richer voters have “disproportionate influence at the ballot box”.” – Independent on Sunday

News in Brief

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