Osborne: I wish we’d done more in our first year

OSBORNE SWORD‘The coalition should have taken more radical “big decisions” in its first year, George Osborne admitted yesterday. The chancellor made the candid admission when he was asked his “biggest regret” in an interview with a group of schoolchildren. “I wish we’d done more,” he said after pointing out that the first year of government was the best opportunity for radical action. “I think what is true is that when you get into office, that’s your best opportunity to take some really big decisions.”’ – The Times (£)


Pollard: Why do we let the aid lobby squander our cash?

‘The real idiots aren’t the aid lobby. They’re only doing what we let them do — spend our money. We’re the real idiots because we let our government stuff them with money like ducks being force fed for foie gras. What do we expect when DfID hands over £27 million for projects that haven’t even started?’ – Stephen Pollard, The Times (£)

  • Aid quango spends a fortune on flights – The Sun (£)
  • What a waste – The Sun Says (£)
  • Public debt rises by £4,000 a second – The Times (£)
  • HS2 boss wants to pay rule-busting salaries – BBC News

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Being pro-aid doesn’t mean putting a target into law

Burnham warns immigration could cost Labour the election

Labour holes‘In a frank intervention, the Shadow Health Secretary said immigration was repeatedly raised on the doorstep – with voters warning that Labour lacked a ‘clear position’…Commenting on the recent elections, he said: ‘I think there is a big hurdle in front of us that we’ve got to be honest about and that is the Labour position on Europe and immigration.  That did come up repeatedly on the doorsteps.’’ – Daily Mail

  • Miliband ‘absolutely convinced’ the EU is a good thing – Daily Mail
  • Unite members in tasteless suicide jibe – Daily Mail
  • Chuka struggles to pronounce ‘Worcester’ – Daily Mail
  • The last flight of Dennis Skinner – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Complaints about Tory attack operation’s recording of Cruddas – The Guardian


Tighter security checks due to new airport bomb threat

‘Al-Qaeda’s master bombmaker has trained European jihadists to become suicide bombers targeting their home countries, intelligence agencies have discovered. Ibrahim Hassan Tali al-Asiri’s alleged plans to develop “stealth” bombs triggered a worldwide airport security alert that is expected to spell misery for British holidaymakers and commuters flying to America. Yesterday they were facing more intrusive pat-downs, swab tests on shoes and stringent checks on electronic devices.’ – The Times (£)

Leadsom speaks out on post-natal depression

LEADSOM Andrea pink‘A Tory minister has described how she suffered from post-natal depression and endured two miscarriages following the birth of her first son. Andrea Leadsom, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said the period after the birth was ‘quite traumatic and unlike anything ever before’. And she called for more help for new mums to prevent post-natal depression.’ – Daily Mail

Tebbit adds to the pressure on Lord Brittan over missing dossier

‘Amid claims of an Establishment cover-up, the Home Office admits the dossier was either lost or destroyed. Lord Tebbit, a fellow member of Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet in the 1980s, said yesterday: ‘He should deal with the accusations which have been made. People will then have to assess for themselves.’ Asked whether he thought Lord Brittan had dealt with the dossier in a proper manner, he said: ‘It would depend on the relationship he had with his officials and also what he told them. I don’t know whether he said, “Christ you should go away and look at this stuff”, or whether he said, “This is nonsense, go and bin it”.’’ – Daily Mail

Speculation that Boris may seek to stand for Hertsmere

borisfringe‘James Clappison, who has served the Hertsmere constituency for 23 years and was a minister in John Major’s government in the 1990s, said “now is the time to move on” in his resignation letter to the prime minister. The news has renewed speculation that Mr Johnson will return to Parliament before his term as Mayor of London ends in 2016 and local Tories are understood to want a high-profile replacement.’ – The Times (£)

  • £160,000 to play tennis with the Mayor and the PM – The Sun (£)

>Today: Iain Dale’s Friday Diary: The real secret of party fund-raising – politicians hate donors

>Yesterday: MPsETC:

Lawson: Was Nicholas Ridley right about the Germans?

‘Ridley dragged hard on his cigarette between making his explosive points: ‘This is all a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe. It has to be thwarted. This rushed takeover by the Germans on the worst possible basis, with the French behaving like poodles to the Germans, is absolutely intolerable . . . I’m not against giving up sovereignty in principle, but not to this lot.’ – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Cameron makes emotional pitch to the Scots

Scottish flag‘David Cameron has taken on Alex Salmond in a battle for the emotions of the Scots, declaring: “It would break my heart to see the United Kingdom broken apart.” Mr Cameron’s speech in Perth signalled the start of a push to make the “patriotic” Scottish case for the union, anticipating that the final part of the campaign before September’s referendum on independence will be a fight for voters’ hearts.’ – FT

>Yesterday: Brian Monteith’s column: Salmond’s Kryptonite is his almighty over-confidence

Grieve puts The Times to rights

‘Sir, Contrary to your headline, I categorically did not say that more rape trials would be futile. In mentioning the conviction rate, I was merely highlighting that it is unwise to simply rely on one statistic in isolation to show progress, because we have to look at the full breadth of the work being done by the police, prosecutors and others.’ – Dominic Grieve, The Times (£)

School leavers lack aptitude and attitude for the workplace

FULL employment‘School leavers do not have a clue about the workplace, lacking both the right attitude and qualifications, employers have said. Many businesses see a youngster’s mindset and general aptitude for the workplace as more important than academic results, according to the CBI/Pearson annual education survey.’ – The Times (£)

News in brief