Cameron backs “reshoring” and hails recovery

CAMERON EU flag“The British prime minister will on Friday throw his weight behind a drive to capitalise on the small but growing trend of “reshoring”, the return of production to the UK from overseas. David Cameron, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, will announce the creation of a government advisory service to help companies that want to reshore” – Financial Times

  • Cameron hails the start of “recovery for all” – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne calls on business leaders to beat up Miliband – Robert Peston, BBC
  • UK bosses attack Red Ed – Daily Mail
  • Ed’s 100-year-old recipe won’t work today – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • West’s 30-year vendetta with Iran is finally buried in Davos – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Stuart Coster on Comment: The EU referendum bill – dodgy arguments from devious peers

Matt Hancock: We’re better off than a year ago

growth flag‘Last year take-home pay grew faster than inflation for every group of earners except the top 10 per cent. For those in the middle, squeezed by the great recession, take home pay rose by 4 percent. The top tenth were the only group who saw their take home pay grow by less than prices. So the bottom 90 per cent of earners saw the wages they took home rise faster than consumer inflation last year. The geography is interesting too. Take-home pay has grown fastest in the North and Midlands.’ – Matt Hancock MP, The Times (£)

Carney scraps unemployment link

“Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, has signalled that his policy of linking interest rates to the unemployment rate will be buried less than six months after its birth. He said the British economy was ‘in a different place’ from last summer. Mr Carney flagged the U-turn at the World Economic Forum in Davos, letting the news emerge in a series of television interviews” – Financial Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The question about forward guidance is this: how long can Carney stand the embarrassment?

Pressure grows on PM to accept Syrian refugees

Syria“The pressure on David Cameron to allow hundreds of Syrian refugees to come to Britain is increasing, with 55 members of the House of Lords urging him to sign up to a United Nations programme. In an open letter…a cross-party alliance of peers urges the Prime Minister to ‘heed the call’ for Britain to accept its share of Syria’s most vulnerable refugees” – Independent

  • The plight of Syria’s refugees transcends politics – Andreas Whittam Smith, Independent
  • Cameron seeks to head off Tory revolt on migrants – Daily Mail
  • Most Romanians in UK have jobs – Financial Times

>Yesterday: Tom Tugendhat on Comment: If Ban Ki-moon wants peace in Syria, he should remove all the other countries from these talks

Gove: our school reforms are working

“The league tables, published today, show that the changes we have made to the education system are starting to work. The figures show that almost 250,000 fewer children are now being taught in underperforming secondary schools compared to when this government came to office. Unlike previous improvements, this has been achieved at a time when grade inflation has been checked and pass rates at GCSE have stabilized” – Michael Gove, Daily Telegraph

  • Girls’ schools top GCSE league tables – Guardian

Duncan Smith: welfare cuts are not about bashing the poor

DUNCAN SMITH AITW“Iain Duncan Smith has said that the Tories need to stop their ‘finger-wagging’ and be more positive about what they stand for. The Work and Pensions Secretary went on to say he agreed with Treasury minister Nicky Morgan who has argued that the Conservatives should be less ‘hateful’ and more ‘aspirational’ when speaking to voters. And he insisted his benefits cuts were not about bashing the poor, but prompting a ‘positive life change’” – Daily Mail

  • Iain Duncan Smith is unfairly demonised – Steve Richards, The Times (£)
  • Social reform is the moral mission that will define the Tories – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: “Our welfare system has become distorted,” says IDS

Jenkins: let Brighton defy Pickles

“I carry no flag for the Green party. It is the Ukip of the left, pawn of the tycoons of Big Renewables. But it runs a minority administration in Brighton, and wants to hold a ballot on a council tax rise of 4.75 per cent… Someone, somewhere, must stand up to the bullying, hectoring hypocrisy of Cameron’s ‘localism’ act and his henchman, Pickles, in full ‘screw democracy’ mode” – Simon Jenkins, Guardian

NHS accused of abandoning elderly cancer patients

“Pensioners with cancer are being written off as too old to treat, campaigners said yesterday. They cited figures showing survival rates for British patients aged 75 and over are among the worst in Europe. Young lung cancer sufferers are only 10 per cent more likely to die within five years than their continental counterparts. But pensioners with the disease have 44 per cent less chance of survival” – Daily Mail

Census figures show marriage in decline

“The number of married couples with children has reached a record low, official figures show. There are around four million such families, census data for the whole of the UK shows. That is 15.2 per cent of families, or 300,000 fewer than a decade ago” – Daily Mail

Johnson attacked on garden bridge funding

BORIS angel devil“Boris Johnson has agreed to put £30m towards construction of a garden bridge across the Thames, sparking criticism that the public money would be better spent on conventional river crossings east of Tower Bridge. Transport for London…confirmed this week that it would put £30m towards the £150m estimated cost” – Financial Times

Lib Dems fight to hide MP sex claims

“A Liberal Democrat council will go to court today in an attempt to suppress a report detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against an MP. Mike Hancock was suspended by the Lib Dems yesterday, but there was evidence that the party had been warned years ago about the MP’s alleged advances towards a vulnerable constituent” – The Times (£)

  • Woman considered suicide after Hancock’s “sex attack” – Sun (£)
  • Sex scandals and the goody-goody Lib Dems – Susie Boniface, Daily Express

Farage disowns UKIP’s 2010 manifesto

FARAGE eating“Nigel Farage has said that he will not commit UKIP to any policies until after the European elections in May. During a blundering television interview…he disowned past party pledges, including a flat tax, compulsory uniforms for taxi drivers, repainting British trains in ‘traditional’ colours  and regular deployment of the Army on the streets” – The Times (£)



Labour wins Scottish Parliament by-election

“Labour scored a thumping victory in the Cowdenbeath by-election early today, easily defending the Fife seat held by the late Helen Eadie with an 11% swing from the SNP. They claimed the scale of the victory dealt a serious blow to the Nationalists’ cause in the first major contest of a momentous political year which builds towards the independence referendum in September” – Glasgow Herald

News in brief

  • Huge bomb rocks Cairo security headquarters – Guardian
  • Argentine peso in freefall as economic crisis deepens – Guardian
  • Escalating violence could tear Ukraine apart – Wall Street Journal
  • Washington hints at plea bargain with Snowden – Guardian
  • Trierweiler allegedly smashed up Hollande’s office – Daily Mail
  • Belgian who skipped restaurant bills stabbed to death – Independent
  • Rat-infested ghost ship drifts towards Britain – Daily Express
  • Justin Bieber released on bail in Miami – Daily Mail