Johnson allies accused of undermining Gove

borisfringe“Tory infighting broke out yesterday as allies of Boris Johnson were accused of undermining Michael Gove in an attempt to position the Mayor of London as a future leader. Mr Johnson’s camp reacted angrily to allegations that they were conducting a whispering campaign against the Education Secretary…It was reported last night that the Prime Minister had given Mr Gove free rein to attack Mr Johnson. The Spectator, a magazine once edited by Mr Johnson, quoted a minister as saying: ‘Michael is licensed to sink his teeth into Boris’s ankles in a way that neither the boss nor George can’” The Times (£)

  • Gove, Boris and the return of Tory wars – James Forsyth, Spectator

>Today: ToryDiary – Have Boris, Gove and Osborne written the next election off?

Cameron 1): Rejects calls for middle income tax cuts

“David Cameron brushed off pressure from Tory MPs to target tax cuts at the growing number of middle income earners being dragged into the 40p tax bracket. The prime minister argued that he was instead focusing on the low paid…An extra 1.1m people have been pulled into the higher tax bracket since 2010 because the threshold at which people start paying 40p tax has been lowered” Guardian


Cameron 2): Condemns “barbaric” attack on Israel

Israel flag“David Cameron condemned a ‘barbaric’ missile attack on Israel that struck on the first day of his visit to the country. Militants fired as many as 50 missiles from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, in the biggest single attack in two years. Israeli tanks responded by firing shells at a suspected launch site within Palestinian territory. The attack came on the day Mr Cameron told the Israeli Parliament he would offer ‘rock solid’ support to Israel in defending itself and condemned ‘despicable’ efforts by Iran to ship missiles to terrorist groups” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron backs kosher animal killing – Daily Mail

Hunt to veto one per cent pay rise for NHS workers

“The Health Secretary is expected to defy calls for a pay rise for more than 1.3 million NHS staff, warning that increases would jeopardise patient care and result in job cuts. Independent pay review bodies are expected to call for a 1 per cent rise for nurses, midwives, paramedics and auxiliary workers. But Jeremy Hunt is set to say that the NHS cannot afford such a rise, and will instead make a smaller award which does not keep pace with inflation – amounting to a cut in real terms” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sir David Nicholson says NHS needs billions to spend on reform – Guardian
  • Patients’ group condemns excessive pay of NHS manager – Daily Telegraph
  • NHS trust apologises for failing child heart patients in Leeds – Guardian
  • Lords report says pensioners forced into care homes – Daily Mail
  • Tagging scandal costs G4S £130 million – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiaryThe NHS winter crisis that never happened

MigrationWatch says immigrants cost £3,000 a year each

Britain shield“Immigrants have cost the taxpayer more than £22 million a day since the mid-1990s, totting up a bill of more than £140 billion, according to a new report. MigrationWatch UK, which campaigns against mass immigration, added that in 2011 the costs were equivalent to £3,000 for each of the eight million foreign-born people living in Britain. It compiled the figures in response to a study published by University College London last year which claimed immigrants made a ‘substantial’ contribution to public finances” – Daily Telegraph

Not all users of food banks need them

“Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has angrily accused the Trussell Trust of ‘political messaging’ and told it to ‘stop scare-mongering’, adding that the politically-motivated campaign linking welfare reform to food banks is not based on facts. Mr Duncan Smith’s claim is supported by the co-founder of one of the country’s leading food banks, who says that the soaring demand for free hand-outs is not principally to do with benefit cuts. Robin Aitken of the Oxford Food Bank, which is unconnected to the Trussell Trust, says: ‘The whole debate has become hopelessly politicised. Ten years ago there were no food banks, but if you provide a service, people will use it’” – Daily Mail

Soros: Scotland could not share the pound

Scottish flag“Alex Salmond’s claim that an independent Scotland would share the pound with the rest of the UK suffered another serious setback yesterday, when it was dismissed as unworkable by one of the world’s most influential financiers. George Soros, the billionaire investor, said that the monetary union was not practical. Mr Soros, who became known as ‘the man who broke Britain’ after profiting by selling sterling on Black Wednesday, also dismissed suggestions that Scotland could have its own currency after a ‘yes’ vote” – The Times (£)

  • Scotland’s cash from North Sea drops by £4.4 billion –  Scotsman
  • Are Scotland and England really so different? – Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph

Miliband’s “shoddy EU compromise” gets mixed reviews

“Ed Miliband’s move to all but rule out a referendum on EU membership until 2020 got a mixed response from British business yesterday. Many industry leaders gave at least partial support to his commitment not to hold an in/out vote except in the  ‘unlikely’ event that Brussels seeks more powers from Westminster. However, the Institute of Directors said that changes to Britain’s relationship were necessary and should be put to a vote. Mr Miliband’s move was described by one backbencher as a ‘shoddy compromise’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Miliband’s referendum non-pledge will win votes for Labour – if the Conservatives let it

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Five EU questions for Ed Miliband – and one for Nigel Farage

McLoughlin “said Evans could not resign”

McLOUGHLIN Patrick mouth“A senior Conservative ‘sighed with irritation’ at being told Nigel Evans had sexually assaulted a Parliamentary employee, and refused to demand his resignation, a court heard yesterday. Patrick McLoughlin, then Tory chief whip, told the alleged victim that with the General Election looming, ‘the timing wasn’t right’ to ask Evans to step down, concluding: ‘It can’t be done.’ Instead, Mr McLoughlin – now Transport Secretary – agreed the Conservative MP for Ribble Valley should seek help for his drinking and publicly come out as gay” – Daily Mail

Farage accused of affair with UKIP aide

“Nigel Farage was accused by a former colleague yesterday of having had an affair with his press officer. In an extraordinary exchange at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, an MEP accused the UKIP leader of employing both his wife and a ‘former mistress’ on the public purse. The allegation was made by Nikki Sinclaire, a former UKIP MEP who quit the party in 2010” – The Times (£)

News in brief