Immigration Minister resigns over illegal cleaner

Border‘Mark Harper, the Immigration Minister, has resigned from the government after it emerged that he had employed a cleaner who was in the country illegally Mr Harper said he discovered last week that she did not have indefinite leave to remain in the UK and decided that his position leading the government’s immigration reforms was no longer tenable.’ – Sunday Telegraph


Environment Agency boasts of “success story”

Environment (Deep End)‘Flood victims in the Somerset Levels have reacted angrily after a senior official hailed the Environment Agency’s performance as a “success story”. It comes as the agency prepares to launch a major flood management plan to divert water away from areas already under water.  Director of operations David Jordan told a press briefing that the 5,000 homes flooded during the winter storms were “individual tragedies”.’ – Sky News

£200,000 in benefits for six-child families…and most of it goes abroad

‘Taxpayers are forking out £200,000 a year in child benefit to 61 EU migrants with six or more kids. And their children do not even LIVE in Britain. Forty of the claimants are from Poland — and all 61 pick up the handout in the UK despite their huge families being based abroad.’ – The Sun Says (£)

Might Boris return to Westminster to battle the unions?

BORIS angel devil‘Johnson wants strikes to be illegal without a turnout of at least 50%. Yet he has no power to push through such legislation. Nor does the prime minister, because the Liberal Democrats will not back it. “Unfortunately we have a coalition which does not have the requisite cojones to do it,” Johnson says bluntly. “We need a Tory majority”…He would be in a better position to do something about it himself if he were back at Westminster. “Well, if I could get bloody union laws through, that would be a good reason for doing it,” he agrees.’ – Sunday Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Boris should stop flirting and state his intentions

Burley was ‘forced out’ by Cameron

‘The Tory MP who lied about his role in a Nazi-themed stag party was forced to resign after David Cameron intervened, it was disclosed last night. Aidan Burley was summoned to a Downing Street showdown after The Mail on Sunday revealed he had failed to tell the truth to an official Tory Party inquiry into the matter.’ – Mail on Sunday

The Prime Minister enjoys his best ratings since the omnishambles Budget

Opinion Poll graphic‘41% think David Cameron is doing well as PM, 52% badly, a net figure of minus 11. This equals David Cameron’s best leader rating since the omnishambles budget in 2012 (the only other time he’s got this high was just after the Tory conference last year). He is still a way off from getting back to pre-omnishambles figures.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Crouch blasts Miliband’s ‘feeble stunt’ at PMQs

‘The Conservative Party is in a far better place with regard to recruiting and promoting women than we have ever been. It annoys me when I hear people say the trouble with Parliament is that it is still run like a boys’ public school or a gentlemen’s club in Pall Mall. Or that men are to blame for the yah-boo side of Prime Minister’s Questions and that women are too timid to hold their own in such a locker-room atmosphere. Or that being forced to spend weekdays in Westminster apart from your family makes it impossible for women with children to go into politics.’ – Mail on Sunday

TPA’s 10th birthday is marked with a plan to eliminate the deficit

cut taxes‘Britain’s £111 billion budget deficit could be eliminated if the Government curbed “excessive” pay for GPs, stopped “waste” in the NHS and cut spending on “unnecessary” projects, according to an analysis to be published this week. The TaxPayers’ Alliance, which will publish the figures, claims that cutting excessive pay for state employees, particularly in the health service, and tackling Government waste would save £120 billion annually – the equivalent of £4,553 for every household in the UK.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Economists call for Scottish currency row to be settled

‘THE UK government must end the uncertainty over an independent Scotland keeping the pound before the referendum is held, leading economists have warned. The outlook for Scotland after independence was put under the spotlight in a National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) paper published in Edinburgh yesterday.’ – Scotland on Sunday

>Yesterday: Andrew Gimson: For Scots to support the Union, there is no need to love Cameron

Gove may axe the rest of the Ofsted board

michael-gove‘Michael Gove is preparing to purge the board of the schools inspectorate, axing up to six members, despite facing a deepening political row over his removal of its chairwoman. Only days after it emerged that the Labour peer Sally Morgan, Ofsted’s head, had been ditched, a well-placed Ofsted source told The Sunday Times it was the start of a wider cull.’ – Sunday Times (£)

The Government controls the cost of living…for gun owners

‘The prime minister, who also enjoys pheasant shooting, is understood to have intervened to stop a rise in the cost of a gun licence, which has been frozen at £50 since 2001. It costs the police £196 to process each private gun licence, used by people who shoot for sport, farmers and competitive marksmen.’ – Sunday Times (£)

UKIP Wythenshawe candidate’s firm took £95,000 from the EU

UKIP glass‘In 2006, he took £95,000 from a special EU ‘seed fund’ for his software company Genemation, of which he was CEO. At the time he said: ‘The backing and support from the Liverpool seed fund was crucial and we are looking forward to working closely with the fund as we develop.’ The company went into liquidation in 2009, owing more than £450,000.’ – Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: Adrian Pepper: Britain’s next European Commissioner should be Peter Lilley

More snooper concerns over children’s health records

‘Children’s medical records will be automatically uploaded to the controversial new ‘Big Brother’ NHS database – but parents have not been told. The records of some ten million youngsters in England will be taken from GP surgery computers this spring to be part of the project. Leaflets about the scheme contain no mention that children’s records will be ‘extracted’.’ – Mail on Sunday

  • 40 per cent of NHS patients do not report complaints – Sunday Times (£)

News in brief