Sex allegations 1) May to make a “significant” statement in the Commons

MAY Home Office big“Home Secretary Theresa May is to make a ‘significant’ statement to MPs on claims of historical sex abuse linked to Westminster, the BBC understands. … A senior government source said Mrs May will go beyond merely announcing who is to head a review into the claims. … Labour has called for a ‘wide-ranging’ inquiry into how they were handled. … The home secretary is also also set to announce a review into public bodies and their duty of care towards children.” – BBC

  • “The Home Office has been accused of sitting on evidence of child abuse involving political figures for up to 35 years. … Details of four undisclosed cases were quietly handed to police last year after languishing in the department since as long ago as 1979.” – The Times (£)
  • “Fears over an establishment cover-up of an alleged Westminster paedophile ring in the 1980s deepened on Sunday night as it emerged that an ‘explosive’ dossier of evidence lost by the Home Office was also handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.” – The Independent
  • “Scotland Yard has tracked down a child at the centre of an alleged 1980s Westminster paedophile ring who has implicated a senior political figure, The Telegraph can disclose.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Lord Brittan, 74, was hired as a trade adviser by David Cameron in 2010. He was paid £500 a day for the full time role.” – Daily Telegraph

Sex allegations 2) Tebbit says that there may have been a cover-up

TEBBIT Lord“I am not given to conspiracy theories. It is not always a sign of conspiracy that we all sometimes avoid taking difficult decisions, hoping that they will somehow go away. But if there was a cover-up – which there may well have been – it was almost certainly not out of wickedness, but because the system was generally thought to be worth protecting. … That view was, of course, a mistake – even at the time. … only a thorough purge of those who have brought the democratic system into disrepute can clear the way to rebuild anew on sounder foundations, as was done in the 19th century. ” – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph

  • “A senior Tory urged me not to name living politicians over sex abuse” – Simon Danczuk MP, The Guardian
  • “We may be talking about events 30 years ago but child sex abuse did not stop in the 1980s.” – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)
  • “Growing scandal must merit a proper inquiry” – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • “Only a full inquiry can clear this stench” – Daily Mail editorial
  • “It is now obvious that the scale of child sex abuse has been greater and has gone on for longer than many people might have imagined.” – Guardian editorial
  • “The reputation of our entire political system depends on [an inquiry].” – Sun editorial (£)

The Home Secretary is prevented from deporting a criminal

BorderA judge has stopped the Home Secretary deporting a violent gangster — ruling that bungling social workers turned her into a criminal. … Home Secretary Theresa May wanted to send her back to Jamaica after her sentence but a tribunal overruled her. It said: ‘The state’s failure to look after her has greatly contributed to her involvement in crime and her mental illness.’ … Mrs May appealed but Judge Ken Craig upheld the decision, saying sending her back to Jamaica would be “unconscionable” and listing a host of blunders by North London councils Enfield and Haringey.” – The Sun (£)

  • “David Cameron’s proposals to limit EU immigration are unworkable, Romania’s prime minister said as he warned that Britain risked gaining a reputation as the ‘anti-everything’ country.” – The Times (£)

And comment:

  • “The story of the violent criminal who can’t be deported back to Jamaica shows the British state at its worst.” – Sun editorial (£)

> Yesterday:

The Government to announce a £6 billion fund for English regions

paint-map“Ministers are setting out plans for £6bn of investment in new homes, transport links and training across England … The coalition said the spending, to be allocated to local enterprise partnerships  of councils and businesses in a series of ‘growth deals’, would create thousands of jobs and help rebalance England’s over-centralised economy. … The investment from the £2bn-a-year local growth fund, covering six years from 2015-16, will finance work on more than 150 roads, 150 housing developments and 20 railway stations as well as providing skills training and small business support services.” – Financial Times

Miliband responds by pledging new powers for councils

“Councils will be given fresh powers devolved from the centre, but in return they will have to answer to new local spending watchdogs under Labour plans being revealed on Monday by Ed Miliband. … The Labour leader will require councils to introduce watchdogs based on parliament’s public accounts committee as part of a package of major reforms to be introduced by a Labour government.” – The Guardian

  • “The future is local – if Labour is elected” – Ed Miliband, The Guardian

Gove: Birmingham council has questions to answer

gove“Birmingham City Council has questions to answer about claims it ignored warnings about a Trojan Horse takeover of schools by Islamic extremists, Michael Gove said [yester]day. … The Education Secretary said that it was essential that extremists were denied a platform in schools and other public institutions to push their agenda. … A major report by former top counter-terror police officer Peter Clarke is expected to criticise officials in Birmingham and Whitehall for failing to act on concerns about teaching in some schools.” – Daily Mail

  • “New rules banning parents from taking their children out of school during term time are damaging Britain’s tourist trade and costing jobs, experts have warned” – Daily Telegraph

> Today: Charlotte Leslie MP’s column – We are failing to offer young men the muscular moderation they need

Ministers prepare to introduce emergency powers to monitor phone-calls

“Ministers are poised to pass emergency laws to require phone companies to log records of phone calls, texts and internet usage, but Labour and Liberal Democrats are warning that they will not allow any new law to become a backdoor route to reinstating a wider ‘snooper’s charter’. … Inter-party talks, likely to bear fruit this week, are being held against the backdrop of an increased terrorist threat posed by British Muslims being radicalised by travelling to fight in Syria, and by the continuing controversy over the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.” – The Guardian

Osborne visits India; tries to ingratiate himself with his hosts

OSBORNE ConHome“George Osborne has welcomed the ‘ambition, drive and pace’ of Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, as the chancellor joins William Hague, the foreign secretary, on Monday on a two-day visit to the country. … The chancellor lavished praise on Mr Modi and his administration even though Britain ended its boycott of Mr Modi’s regional government in Gujarat only two years ago. That boycott was called because of suspicions that Mr Modi was complicit in 2002’s bloody interfaith riots in the state he controlled.” – Financial Times

  • “George Osborne’s pension reforms have been motivated by a desire to bring forward tax revenues for the Exchequer and could worsen poverty among pensioners, says a former senior adviser to the government.” – Financial Times

> Today:

Mandarins clash with ministers over Whitehall reform

Whitehall“Three of Britain’s most powerful civil servants have clashed with ministers on Whitehall reforms, exposing simmering tensions over attempts to inject more business-style rigour into the way government operates. … Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the civil service, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Treasury permanent secretary, and Richard Heaton, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office, appeared to reject further moves towards a more centralised approach in a letter – seen by the Financial Times – to Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Commons public accounts committee.” – Financial Times

  • “The amount spent on outsourcing services in the UK has doubled to £88bn since the coalition government came to power in 2010, according to new figures that reveal the accelerating pace of privatisation of justice, healthcare and welfare.” – Financial Times
  • “The Government is using taxpayers’ money to underwrite £140m-worth of deals for a company whose ultimate ownership is based in a notorious tax haven.” – The Independent

Willetts on the death of the lazy student

“The image of the lazy student should be consigned to the history books, according to the minister in charge of the nation’s universities. … Instead of ‘dossing around’ fantasising about revolution in Latin America, the new crop of undergraduates work for longer hours, miss fewer lectures and complain about homework not being marked on time. … Tory minister David Willetts told MailOnline students are now ‘more-serious minded’, and willing to complain if their university is not giving them the £9,000 education they are paying through fees.” – Daily Mail

  • “Britain’s baby-boomer generation is claiming up to £67million in student loans every year to undertake degrees – despite knowing they will never repay the money.” – Daily Mail

The UK is over-governed, says Fox

FOX Liam blue background“Britain is ‘over-governed’, with so many layers of councils and bureaucracy that people struggle to understand how politics works, the MP Liam Fox has said. … Dr Fox, the Conservative MP and former Defence Secretary, said he believed there should be a ‘reduction’ in levels of government. … Arguing the number of councillors and politicians made government ‘confusing’, he added members of the public now find it difficult to determine ‘which bits matter’.” – Daily Telegraph

Bruce Anderson: The Tories are set to write a radical, optimistic manifesto

“Because of the circumstances in which he finds himself, David Cameron has never been able to give full expression to his generosity of spirit. Although both tasks are important, he did not go into politics solely to control public spending and repel the threats from the EU. His Big Society was an attempt to expound a vision of Britain: a country which would provide economic opportunities for all, plus outstanding public services; a country which really would be at ease with itself. The Big Society fell under the shadow of the big deficit, but Mr Cameron would like to return to the theme and craft some new rhetoric.” – Bruce Anderson, Daily Telegraph

Could the Greens help the Tories to take Lib Dem seats?

LibDemDead“The Green Party is building support in Liberal Democrat strongholds as it sucks up the protest vote and threatens to disrupt Nick Clegg’s general election battle across the southwest. … An analysis of the European election results shows the Green vote strengthening and consolidating in the southwest and parts of Scotland while Lib Dem votes drain away. … While there is little chance of the Greens taking any additional seats beyond their existing one, there are fears of a Ukip-style effect where they take enough votes from the Lib Dems to hand the seat to the challenger — often the Conservatives in the southwest.” – The Times (£)

  • “Nigel Farage must decide whether to run against one of the founding members of Ukip after Craig Mackinlay was selected as the Tory candidate in a key parliamentary seat.” – The Times (£)

> Today:

Clegg’s “free school meals” plan suffers another blow

“Tens of thousands of pupils in primary schools will be served reheated meals or cold sandwiches as a result of Nick Clegg’s controversial free lunches policy. … Under the plan, all primaries will need to provide free lunches to all four- to seven-year-olds from September. … But half say they are not ready and still need kitchen upgrades, serving or dining facilities in order to meet the pledge. … Some renovations will over-run, forcing schools to use stop-gap measures such as bussed-in packed lunches, councils admit.” – Daily Mail

Labour declines to condemn the latest teachers’ strike

Miliband Labour Left“Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt refused three times yesterday to condemn the planned National Union of Teachers strike on Thursday, which is expected to bring chaos to thousands of schools. … The strike is backed by Labour’s three biggest donors – the Unite, Unison and GMB unions – which are planning  co-ordinated walkouts.” – Daily Mail

  • “Police forces have spent almost £470,000 on training courses run by a group dubbed a ‘left-wing Freemasons’.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “Make it harder to strike. Even union members will benefit” – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)
  • “Celebrate the strikers this week – they are fighting for us all” – Owen Jones, The Guardian
  • “Unite’s mob rule just adds to Ed’s woes” – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • “If Labour was serious about the challenges facing this country, it would have dissociated itself from such behaviour” – Daily Telegraph editorial

What will Mandelson think? He wants his party to stride the centre-ground…

MANDELSON Peter Sky“In a challenge to the Labour leader, the former business secretary, who was one of the founders of New Labour, said that those who believe the country has moved to the left following the financial crisis are wrong. … ‘Those who don’t give their political loyalty automatically to left or right – whose votes, therefore, are up for grabs – are a greater segment of the electorate now than they were when New Labour was being created in the 1990s,’ he said. … ‘Therefore, it is even more important now to win the centre ground to win electoral victory.’” – Daily Mail

  • “Many of Mr Miliband’s business policies are ill-conceived.” – Financial Times editorial

…but voters want Labour to be tougher on immigration

“Under-fire Ed Miliband has been told to vow to cut immigration to win next year’s General Election. … A YouGov poll for The Sun shows 45 per cent of swing voters would consider backing Labour if its leader can finally stop the tide of new arrivals coming to Britain. … Reducing immigration is the number one concern among floating voters, ahead of stopping benefits going to the wrong people and tackling Britain’s debts.” – The Sun (£)

Smith accuses Cameron of waging a “war on Wales”

Wales flag“A ‘war on Wales’ led by Conservatives in the UK Government is harming the nation’s reputation across Britain and around the world, according to Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith. … The Labour Pontypridd MP is writing to David Cameron to express his concerns about the impact of high-profile criticism of Welsh infrastructure and health services.” – WalesOnline

Labour plan to tighten the rules surrounding rape cases

“Police would lose the power to unilaterally ‘drop’ rape investigations, even if they think there is insufficient evidence to proceed, under Labour plans to revolutionise the way sexual crimes are handled. … At present there is no obligation for police to refer cases to the prosecutors before a decision is made to drop a case. But under proposals to be put forward by the shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry on Monday, officers would have to get the agreement of the Crown Prosecution Service to end an investigation.” – The Independent

  • “Differences between crime figures for London and the rest of the country point to urgent lessons for regional forces” – Times editorial (£)

Brown appeals to Scottish pensioners’ pocketbooks, with £500 windfall claim…

“Scottish pensioners gain nearly £500-a-year by Scotland remaining in the Union, a study has found. … The report by Gordon Brown reveals that retired Scots receive a better share of pensions and benefits than the rest of the UK. … The former Labour Prime Minister argues that Scotland gets £9.6billion in pensions and old-age benefits annually, which is £500million more than the amount it would get if money was divided on the size on of its population.” – Daily Mail

  • “Independence supporters have carved a 25-metre yes into a Scottish hillside.” – The Guardian

…as Salmond attacks the Tories’ EU Referendum pledge

SALMOND on Marr “Alex Salmond opens up a new front in the Scottish referendum campaign today as he accuses David Cameron of playing a game of ‘European roulette’ with Scotland’s future in the EU. … In an article for The Independent Mr Salmond warns that the Tories’ referendum pledge has put the UK on a ‘fast track out of Europe’ which would also ‘drag’ Scotland ‘to the exit door’ unless voters back independence.” – The Independent

Read Salmond’s article for the Independent in full

  • “Political uncertainty around next year’s election and the prospect of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU have become the biggest risks to business, according to a survey of executives at big companies.” – The Guardian
  • “The SNP’s Westminster leader is at the centre of claims he put direct pressure on businesses to stop them from speaking out against independence in the referendum debate.” – The Scotsman

And comment:

  • “The Union is good for business, good for Scotland and good for Britain. There should be no shame – or fear – in saying so.” – Daily Telegraph editorial

MPs want quicker action over antibiotics

NHS“In a wide-ranging report published on Monday, the Commons science and technology committee welcomes the prime minister’s appointment of Jim O’Neill, former Goldman Sachs chief economist, to lead a team to spur the development of new drugs to prevent a return to ‘the dark ages of medicine’. … But the all-party committee points out that the review will take almost two years to report back. This must not delay work on financial incentives for research and development that could be agreed with drug companies over a shorter timescale, it says.” – Financial Times

  • “Government plans to name and shame doctors with poor cancer referral rates will cause huge queues in surgeries, hundreds of GPs warn today.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “More female GPs need to be persuaded to return to work after having children, the new chairwoman of the Commons health select committee has said.” – The Times (£)
  • “The NHS will have to start charging patients unless taxes are increased or major cuts are made to the service, leading health figures have warned.” – The Independent
  • “Diabetes is becoming a national health emergency, a charity has warned. … Figures show that hundreds of people are diagnosed with the condition every day in Britain.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “Assisted dying transforms doctors into killers” – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)

Huhne slams Coulson’s “pointless” jail term

COULSON Andy“Those prosecutions needed to happen, but that does not mean Andy Coulson or his journalist colleagues should now be in prison. … The custodial sentences are ridiculous; they serve no public purpose. The conviction itself will be the most severe part of Coulson’s punishment. If he should make amends, it would surely have been better to work for a worthy cause than cost the taxpayer nearly £40,000 a year to bang him up. Community service or teaching adult literacy somehow seem right.” – Chris Huhne, The Guardian

  • “We all know the ex-editor of News of the World was sought out because he was master of  the dark arts.” – Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent

News in brief

  • 60 women and girls abducted by Boko Haram have escaped, according to reports – The Independent
  • Egyptian President “wishes” that imprisoned journalists had been deported instead – Daily Mail
  • “Not very good at keeping secrets.” The KGB’s take on the Cambridge Five – Daily Mail
  • Israeli authorities arrest six over killing of Palestinian teenager – The Sun (£)
  • Was the ISIS chief wearing a £4,000 watch? – The Sun (£)
  • French finance minister calls for a “rebalancing” of global currencies – Financial Times
  • Berlin demands swift answers over US double agent claims – Financial Times
  • Benefit reforms could violate disabled people’s human rights, claim charities – The Guardian
  • Djokovic beats Federer in men’s Wimbledon final – The Guardian