Cameron accused of fomenting sectarianism…

Snip20140421_2“David Cameron is sowing sectarianism and division by insisting that Britain is still a ‘Christian country’ an alliance of writers, scientists, philosophers and politicians has claimed. In a letter to the Telegraph, 55 public figures from a range of political backgrounds accuse him of fostering ‘alienation’ and actively harming society by repeatedly emphasising Christianity” – Daily Telegraph

  • Full text of the anti-Cameron letter – Daily Telegraph
  • Ideology was Thatcher’s backbone: Cameron’s is religion – Andrew Gimson, Financial Times

…but Church leaders accused of playing politics

“Tories accused church leaders of playing politics last night for using their Easter messages to attack the Government over poverty and ‘sinful’ cuts…Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes, chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, said: ‘I don’t remember church leaders in years gone by talking about the huge debt mountain this Government inherited, or talking positively about the number of people now back in work’” – Daily Mail

  • Iain Duncan Smith and Church leaders are not so far apart – The Times leader (£)
  • The value of glory, sin, salvation, patience and sacrifice – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Village churches need their own resurrection – Barney White-Spunner, Daily Telegraph

Scots “are driven to vote Yes by Tory success”

Scottish flag“The outcome of the independence referendum could hinge on whether Scots fear a surge in support for the Conservatives south of the Border and a victory for David Cameron’s party in next year’s General Election, a new poll has found. The ICM survey for The Scotsman revealed 41 per cent of Scots would vote Yes to leaving the UK if they thought the Tories would defeat Labour in 2015 – just one per cent behind the No camp” – Scotsman

Economy boosted by rise in consumer spending

“Britain received a further boost to its economic prospects today with research showing that consumer spending power is expected to rise by 1.5 per cent, helping growth to reach its highest point since 2007. George Osborne will be buoyed by figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) showing that real household disposable income will reverse the 0.6 per cent fall of last year” – The Times (£)

  • Virtuous circle means Osborne can cut taxes – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)
  • Field’s idea of an NHS tax could be popular – Nick Pearce, The Times (£)
  • Cable tackles “the darker side of capitalism” – Guardian
  • Osborne loses 20lbs on 5:2 diet – The Sun (£)

>Today: Priti Patel MP – The Great British jobs growth story – under the Conservatives

Grayling: stop foreigners and lawyers abusing legal aid

GRAYLING Chris blue“Foreigners must be banned from fighting British court cases using legal aid to stop the justice system being brought into disrepute, the Justice Secretary has said. Chris Grayling warns that court cases brought by foreign citizens using British taxpayers’ money risk undermining faith in the justice system. Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Grayling attacks pressure groups and law firms, accusing them of profiting from legal cases aimed at blocking Government decisions” – Daily Telegraph

Wilshaw takes charge of probe into alleged Islamic school plot

“The head of Ofsted will take personal charge of the watchdog’s investigation into an alleged Islamic take over of schools in Birmingham after it emerged at least six will be branded as failing. Sir Michael Wilshaw is to visit the city this week to finalise a high-level probe into the plot to ‘Islamise’ secular state schools, it emerged. He will finalise reports into 18 schools following claims pressure has been placed on head teachers to illegally segregate pupils by gender and marginalise non-Muslims” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: John Bald – We must end appeasement if Islamist appeasement in Birmingham is to end

Yesterday: Paul Goodman – “Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils”

Farage among MEPs benefiting from EU second pension scheme

Farage Nigel Eating Cakes“MEPs including Nigel Farage and senior Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats benefit from a secretive, heavily subsidised EU second pension scheme that will cost the taxpayer an extra €227.7 million (£187 million), it can be revealed. Thirty-eight of Britain’s 73 serving MEPs are members of the European Parliament’s ‘Additional Voluntary Pension Scheme’ meaning they could receive over £41,000 a year extra above and beyond their main EU pension” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • South Korean President compares ferry captain’s actions to “murder” – Guardian
  • Ukraine shootout threatens to bury Geneva peace deal – Guardian
  • Retired Army officer charged with murdering his wife – Daily Telegraph
  • Mother finds dead body during Easter egg hunt – Independent
  • Rise in skin cancer blamed on package holidays – Daily Mail