Nigel Evans cleared of all charges

Nigel-Evans_2859543b‘The Crown Prosecution Service’s pursuit of public figures accused of sex offences will result in an innocent man suffering a serious injustice, MPs have warned after Nigel Evans was cleared of all charges…Outside Preston Crown Court, Mr Evans said that he had endured “11 months of hell”. He added: “All I can say is that after the last 11 months, nothing will ever be the same again.”’ – Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: MPsETC: Nigel Evans MP cleared of sexual assaults

Cameron launches election campaign

‘At a launch event in Manchester, he said that the position of Nigel Farage, along with the Liberal Democrat “love” of the EU, meant “there are effectively two extremist camps”. He added: “One says ‘we love the European Union’. The other says ‘we hate the European Union’. One says ‘we want things to stay the same’. The other says ‘let’s just walk away from the EU’. But in all this, there are three words they are missing . . . three words that sum up everything we are about in Europe: Britain’s. National. Interest.”’ – The Times (£)


The Chancellor strikes an optimistic tone

Osborne Growth‘George Osborne will today mount a triumphant defence of his austerity policies, dismissing fears that the UK was doomed to the “secular stagnation” of persistently weak growth…“The pessimists are on the march again with their predictions of stagnation. We, the optimists, can prove them wrong again. Our nation’s best days lie ahead,” he will say in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Lewis Baston’s history column: Will Osborne succeed where Maudling failed? The Budget that almost won the Tories an election

Furore over Salmond’s hotel expenses

‘It emerged yesterday that the First Minister, pictured, was charged £2,956 for a four-night stay in a luxury suite at the five-star Peninsula Chicago hotel. Most of the Team Scotland delegation stayed at a more modest hotel costing about £60 a night and the trip has prompted angry clashes at Holyrood. The overall cost of Scottish participation was £468,580. Tourism quango Visitscotland was heavily represented to promoteScotland hosting the Ryder Cup this Summer in Gleneagles.’ – The Scotsman

  • Scottish independence would harm our credit rating – FT
  • Is Britain on the road to break up? – Philip Stephens, FT

Labour try to regain credibility on immigration

LABOUR dead rose‘Labour’s Yvette Cooper apologises for her party’s shameful record. She has little choice. Then she laughably tells us that now she would count every migrant in or out. Listen carefully… you’ll hear the stable door being slammed shut and hooves galloping down the street.’ – The Sun Says (£)

Sajid Javid, the radical Thatcherite

‘He was thrown out of the 1990 Conservative Party conference hall for distributing a pamphlet he had written, entitled The ERM: A Fatal Mistake. Its final words were: “this will all end in tears”. His father asked him why he was causing such trouble; didn’t he like Thatcher? “Dad, I love her,” he replied. “That’s why I’m doing it.” He was – and is – a Thatcherite first, and Conservative second.’ – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Government has a good record on women’s issues – but keeping a Minister for Women is silly

Boris wants monster department

borisfringe‘The Mayor of London, who has yet to formally declare that he will be a parliamentary candidate, was reported to be “itching” for a newly-created role of Infrastructure Secretary. According to the Evening Standard, Mr Johnson wants responsibility for transport, business and housing, in effect recreating John Prescott’s Whitehall empire in the former Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.’ – The Times (£)

  • No council tax for those flooded out of their homes – The Sun (£)

Omagh bombing suspect charged

‘Irish republican Seamus Daly was charged last night with murdering 29 people in the Omagh atrocity. No one has ever been convicted in the criminal courts of the bomb attack in the Northern Ireland border town carried out by the Real IRA in August 1998.’ – Daily Mail

  • The moment the Queen shook hands with Martin McGuinness – Daily Mail
  • New evidence Snowden harmed national security – Daily Mail

Warnings about Navy cuts

Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 08.11.38‘Britain could go hungry because we have so few ships left to protect supply routes from attack, a senior Tory MP has warned. Defence cuts have left the Royal Navy with not enough warships to guarantee key shipping lanes remain open. The alarming claim that there are only 23 ships was made by outgoing Commons Defence Committee chairman boss James Arbuthnot and will embarrass David Cameron.’ – The Sun (£)

>Today: Rory Stewart MP on Comment: Parliament needs to pose some difficult questions about our defence policy

Co-Op in chaos

‘A proposed modernisation of the troubled Co-operative Group looked doomed to failure last night after all seven of the organisation’s regional boards indicated that they opposed a shake-up put forward by Lord Myners. In a chaotic day for the 170-year-old mutual, a 48-hour board meeting ended with confirmation that three directors had been ejected by grassroots members and that Lord Myners, architect of a proposed governance shake-up, will stand down next month.’ – The Times (£)

  • Labour and Co-Op MPs pitch into the row – FT
  • The group needs saving from itself – The Times Leader (£)
  • Time to change – FT Leader

News in brief

  • Camerons go on holiday to Lanzarote – Daily Mail
  • Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole, dies – The Times (£)
  • Rupert Murdoch speaks about his divorce – Daily Mail
  • Australians ‘confident’ they’ve found MH370 black box – FT
  • Britons abandon pyjamas – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Warwick university has a racist swan – Daily Mail