St George’s Day: The Prime Minister makes an appeal to Scotland

Saint George‘In a specially recorded message to mark St George’s Day, Cameron will say: “I want us to reflect on one of England’s greatest achievements: its role in the world’s greatest family of nations – the United Kingdom. In just five months, the people of Scotland will go to the polls and decide whether they want to remain a part of this global success story. So let’s prove that we can be proud of our individual nations and be committed to our union of nations. Because no matter how great we are alone, we will always be greater together.”’ – The Sun (£)


>Today: Andrew Rosindell MP on Comment: It’s time for St George’s Day to be a national holiday

Growth brings Cameron and Osborne’s first joint appearance in four years

‘In government they have only been seen side-by-side when Mr Osborne has delivered Budget statements in the Commons, or at events involving other ministers. Yesterday they claimed more than 150,000 jobs could be created by £36 billion of infrastructure projects being started in the UK this year…The two men have avoided appearing in public together since the coalition was formed, to avoid the much-mocked impression that they are two ‘arrogant posh boys’ running the country together. However, the dramatic return to economic growth and tumbling unemployment numbers has given the Conservative duo confidence to share a platform in front of the cameras.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: WATCH: Cameron – We’ve made some big improvements to the jobs market

The Times: Tories must engage with ethnic minority voters

Majority‘The Conservative party should review some of its policies, notably the police’s stop and search powers, as Theresa May has proposed. However, Conservatives will only identify the ideal policy response to its lack of support among ethnic minority Britons if it really understands them. The lack of intensity in engaging partly reflects the way the Tories are organised. The election machine is always focused on winning the next election. The time frame is never more than two or three years in advance.’ – The Times Leader (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: The case for splitting up CCHQ


Boris set to return to Parliament

‘Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign. Friends of the London Mayor say he accepts he must make his intentions to return to national politics known well before the Conservative conference in October or risk becoming a distraction at the party’s last major event before the general election next May. Allies also fear that his public dithering over the issue is damaging his reputation among the Tory MPs whose support he will need if he eventually launches a leadership bid.’ – Daily Mail

Violent crime rate collapses

Police shield‘Serious violent crime has halved in a decade as Britons cut down on binge-drinking and move towards a less macho culture, research has found. Attacks that left victims in hospital fell by 12 per cent last year, a study of accident-and-emergency departments showed, with figures down for the sixth year in a row in England and Wales.’ – The Times (£)

  • 1000 pupils in three years caught with deadly weapons in school – Daily Mail
  • Convict breaks out of prison to escape rap music and drugs – Daily Mail

Immigration statistics will come out on the morning of the Euro elections

‘Bombshell new immigration figures come out the very morning Brits go to the Euro polls – leading Tory bosses to fear an even bigger ballot box meltdown. In an extraordinary twist of luck, the Office of National Statistics will issue their next quarterly migration numbers on May 22. That is polling day for both the European Parliament and council elections.’ – The Sun (£)

  • Border guards told not to ask migrants how long they’re staying – Daily Mail

Whose job is your wife taking, Mr Farage?

UKIP glass‘Nigel Farage was accused of hypocrisy yesterday over Ukip’s ‘racist’ EU immigration campaign posters because he employs his German wife as his secretary. But as senior figures from the three main parties attacked his party’s latest publicity drive, the Ukip leader insisted that no British person could do the taxpayer-funded job taken by his second wife, Kirsten.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Henry Hill’s Red, White and Blue column: Tories could lose Scottish MEP to UKIP

>Yesterday: WATCH: The Conservative European elections broadcast

Grieve: The rise of extremism makes Christians fearful of speaking out

‘Moderate Christians are afraid to declare their religion publicly because of the rise of fundamentalism, a minister said last night. Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, said the rise of religious fundamentalists had made Christians reluctant to express their beliefs.’ – Daily Mail

Blair: The West must ally with Putin to support Egyptian dictatorship

tony-blair‘Tony Blair will urge the West today to reach out to Vladimir Putin in the fight against radical Islam, despite the Russian president’s militant stance over Ukraine. Europe and the United States should make common cause with Russia, “whatever our other differences”, to persuade Mr Putin to back Egypt’s military-backed regime, Mr Blair will say.’ – The Times (£)

  • Ukrainian politician tortured to death – The Sun (£)
  • The Syrian election is a fraud – The Times (£)
  • ‘Piles of bodies’ left by gunmen in South Sudan – Daily Mail

Lib Dems push ahead with wind farms

‘The number of onshore wind turbines will almost double over the next five years despite attempts by leading Conservatives to impose a moratorium on new projects, according to the energy secretary. Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat, said the Conservatives would not succeed in blocking his department’s plan to increase the total capacity from onshore wind farms from seven gigawatts to 13GW by 2020.’ – The Times (£)

  • Calls for Clegg to launch inquiry into Cyril Smith – Daily Mail

Quango blocks ‘too expensive’ breast cancer drug

NHS_Logo‘Breast cancer sufferers are to be denied a new ‘wonder’ drug that has been proven to extend life by six months. Rationing watchdog NICE is set to block routine use of the medicine on the NHS for those with the most aggressive form of the disease on the grounds of cost. Known as Kadcyla or T-DM1, it is the first treatment that can destroy cancerous cells while sparing healthy tissue.’ – Daily Mail

  • BMA warns of ‘crisis’ in NHS beds – WalesOnline

News in brief