Tories hire Crosby to work full-time…

lynton-crosby“David Cameron has fired the starting gun for the run-up to the election by taking on his controversial Australian strategist full-time for £500,000 a year. The Conservative board signed off a deal with Lynton Crosby last week that will see him start working for the Tory party full-time from this week. The agreement is understood to include polling from Mark Textor, Crosby’s business partner”- Sunday Times (£)

…and Cameron gives MPs a manifesto role…

“David Cameron will this week…announce that the chosen representatives of Tory backbenchers will have a crucial role in drawing up the manifesto for the next election. Cameron will tell his MPs that he’s establishing a series of policy commissions to construct the Tory platform. Each of these will include the relevant Cabinet Minister, a member of the PM’s policy board – which is made up of MPs chosen by Cameron for their particular areas of expertise – and an MP selected by the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers” – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

…but four MPs say they will back Afriyie’s EU referendum plan

AFRIYIE Adam looking right“David Cameron suffered a blow last night after Tory Euro rebels vowed to back a plan for an EU referendum next year. Four Tory MPs said they will vote in favour of Conservative MP Adam Afriyie’s bid to stage an in/out EU referendum next October in a Commons vote on Friday – and others said they could join the revolt. They are Peter Bone, Andrew Bridgen, Philip Davies and Julian Lewis” – Mail on Sunday

>Today: Cameron’s 2014 nightmare

Grayling slams “unacceptable” interference by Strasbourg judges

“Abdulla Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of a suicide plot which could have killed 10,000 people, has gone to the European Court of Human Rights to claim his human rights were infringed by publicity before he was convicted of conspiracy to murder…Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said: ‘It is unacceptable to have a situation in which claims to the ECHR are actually being used to undermine our justice system’” – Sunday Telegraph

Hopkins condemns parents who demand council houses for huge families

HOPKINS Kris yellow jacket“Housing Minister Chris Hopkins, who grew up in a council house and is ex-leader of Bradford town hall, raged: ‘We could start giving the councils a bit of a kicking, but to be honest with you I start off with mums and dads. If you are having to knock through several houses to accommodate, what about the choices that they have made as individuals?’” – Sun on Sunday

Plebgate police told to apologise or face charge of contempt

“Police officers accused of lying in the Plebgate scandal involving Andrew Mitchell will be hauled back to the Commons this week and forced to apologise for misleading MPs – or face being found guilty of contempt of parliament. A report from the home affairs select committee savages the evidence of three Police Federation representatives who were called to answer claims they gave a false account of a meeting with Mitchell” – Observer

MPs demand profit figures from power companies

“Energy companies are facing demands from MPs to provide an unprecedented breakdown of commercially sensitive information about costs and profits – but the figures they provide are set to be kept from the public. The energy and climate change committee, which last week grilled representatives from power firms about their prices, has now written to suppliers to request the precise details of …the profit they make from a typical domestic customer” – Mail on Sunday

Revealed: Miliband’s dossier on union plot

MILIBAND Ed red background“Secret contents of the report on Labour’s vote-rigging scandal, which Ed Miliband refuses to publish, are revealed today by The Sunday Times. They lay bare the shocking conclusions of the party’s inquiry into alleged electoral corruption in the brutal battle by the Unite union to seize control of the safe Labour seat of Falkirk. Investigators saw indications of forgery, coercion, trickery, manipulation” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Lyrical Len McCluskey plays brutal power politics in Falkirk – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)
  • Tom Watson accused of trying to fix Falkirk selection – Mail on Sunday
  • Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt are Labour’s future – Matthew d’Ancona, Sunday Telegraph
  • Labour offers tax rebates to firms that pay living wage – interview with Ed Miliband, Independent on Sunday

News in brief

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