May’s immigration cap “would force Britain to leave EU”

MAY Home Office big“Britain would have to leave the European Union or attempt to renegotiate agreements struck in the Treaty of Rome if it were to implement plans floated yesterday by Theresa May. The Home Secretary was accused by Conservative colleagues of burnishing her eurosceptic credentials after a leaked Home Office report suggested that she wants to introduce a cap on migration from the EU” – The Times (£)

  • Poll shows young people want UK to stay in EU – Independent

>Today in ToryDiary: Trouble at t’Mills

Hague: now is the time to build democracy in Ukraine

“Now is the time to build the real democracy that the people of Ukraine are calling for. We want to see a stable and prosperous Ukraine, secure in its neighbourhood. The EU will remain committed to building stronger relationships not only with Ukraine but also with other countries in the region” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

  • Pro-EU protesters return to central Kiev – Guardian

Cameron rejects two-child benefit cap

CAMERON looking right“David Cameron has rejected a proposal from a senior Conservative MP to limit child benefit to two children for every family. Nadhim Zahawi, a member of the No 10 Policy Board, called for child benefit and child tax credits to be available only for a family’s first two children… ‘This is not Government policy and is not supported by the PM,’ said a No 10 source” – Daily Telegraph

Arbuthnot casts doubt on replacing Trident

“James Arbuthnot , the veteran chairman of the defence select committee and a former defence minister, told the Guardian: ‘Yes, there has been a steady decline in my certainty that we are doing the right thing by replacing Trident. Nuclear deterrence does not provide the certainty that it seemed to in the past. It’s not an insurance policy, it is a potential booby trap’” – Guardian

How Britain can lead the fight on modern slaveryFIELD Frank grey

“In a report commissioned by the Home Secretary and published today, I, alongside Baroness Butler-Sloss and Sir John Randall, the Tory MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip, set out how a Modern Slavery Act could establish Britain as a world leader in this fight. The Government must put the needs of victims centre stage. There is an overwhelming moral case for doing so” – Frank Field, The Times (£)

BBC payoffs prompted by “culture of cronyism”

“BBC executives were paid millions of pounds in ‘sweeteners’ because of leadership failures at the highest level and a culture of cronyism, an influential committee of MPs has found. The Public Accounts Committee accuses the corporation today of a ‘liberal use of other people’s money’ by allowing senior managers to leave with huge severance packages, which in many cases exceeded their already generous contractual entitlements” – The Times (£)

“Cut taxes for families hit by airport expansion”

Screen shot 2013-12-16 at 08.58.00“Residents living near airports should be given tax cuts to allow them to share in the benefits of extra runways, a think tank says. The Institute of Economic Affairs says that communities near airports should become ‘tax havens’ able to use the money generated by the aviation sector to reduce local tax rates. The group made the proposal on the eve of a Government report which will say that a third runway at Heathrow should be considered” – Daily Telegraph

Tories must throw the kitchen sink at Miliband

“Britain is on course to get a Left-wing, high tax Labour government and Mr Miliband as prime minister, almost by accident…The Tories have two options left. They might pursue a pact with Mr Farage…Or the Tories can go it alone and summon up the most deadly, clear-sighted campaign they can – to ‘throw the kitchen sink at Miliband’ in the words of one Westminster veteran” – Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph

Miliband promises to double rate of house-building

MILIBAND Red Ed“Profiteering property developers that hoard land and councils that block developments will be swept aside in a “non-stop drive” to more than double the number of homes being built each year in England, Ed Miliband will promise on Monday. Attacking ‘stick-in-the-mud councils’, the Labour leader will say he would order a national planning inspectorate to give priority to local authorities that want to expand” – Guardian

Labour says pensioners face care bill of £150,000

“Pensioners could have to spend £150,000 on care in old age before the Government foots the bill, figures show. The sum is more than double the £72,000 cap ministers have promised to set on care costs for the elderly. The Labour Party calculations have led to warnings that tens of thousands of pensioners will die before the Government steps in with financial help” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Thirty-six people including many children killed by Syrian army in Aleppo – Guardian
  • Fourteen people shot dead by Chinese police in riot near Kashgar – Daily Telegraph
  • Pope Francis rejects charge of being a Marxist – Guardian
  • Thatcher tried to reschedule weekly talks with Queen – The Times (£)
  • Nelson Mandela buried in Qunu – Daily Telegraph
  • Peter O’Toole dies at the age of 81 – Daily Telegraph
  • Joan Fontaine dies at the age of 96 – Guardian
  • Andy Murray voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year – BBC

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