Downing Street pins blame for downed jet on pro-Russian separatists…

timesukraine“The British government has joined the United States in indicating that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine. Downing Street said it appeared “increasingly likely” that the catastrophe, which claimed the lives of at least ten Britons, was the result of a surface-to-air missile fired from near Torez, in territory controlled by rebels seeking closer ties to Moscow. David Cameron said that those responsible for the atrocity “must be brought to account”.” – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Four options to respond to the shooting down of Flight MH17

…whilst relations remain damaged with Poland after Cameron is revealed to have opposed his Polish counterpart’s EU job

Britain’s relations with Poland have worsened after it emerged that David Cameron has opposed the appointment of Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, to a key Brussels job. Mr Tusk was a contender for president of the European Council, a role currently held by Herman van Rompuy, and which will play a big role determining Britain’s renegotiation with the European Union. There were already growing strains on the relationship between Poland and Britain in recent months over the number of Poles who have entered Britain.” – The Times (£)

The ‘Right to die’ will put Britain on the ‘road to hell’, claims Lord Tebbit

TEBBIT Lord“Lord Tebbit, whose wife was left paralysed by an IRA bomb, made a moving intervention against assisted dying yesterday, warning that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. The Tory former cabinet minister was addressing a marathon 10-hour debate in the House of Lords on whether terminally ill patients should be helped to die if they wish. Since his wife Margaret was seriously injured by the Brighton bomb in 1984, he said he had come to know the ‘moments of black despair which prompt those words: “I would be better dead so that you could get on with your life”.’” – Daily Mail

Charles Moore: Cameron has reshuffled the Tories out of their best claim for re-election

“The way government is supposed to work is this. Departments run individual areas – health, schools, defence etc. The Cabinet brings the heads of department together for the common purposes of governing. The Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet, chooses the departmental heads and makes sure that the important things are pursued. This week, Mr Cameron identified the two departmental ministers who had been most actively pursuing the important things, and then sacked one and demoted the other.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Simon Heffer: This week Dave put his interests before Britain’s – Daily Mail
  • The PM’s ‘female-friendly’ reshuffle backfires – Financial Times editorial
  • Lord Hill in line for £25,000 payoff as he heads for Brussels – Daily Mail
  • Paterson to deliver keynote address to Nigel Lawson’s climate think-tank – Daily Telegraph
  • Liz Truss, conqueror of the Turnip Taleban – The Independent
  • The idea that Gove wanted to move continues to entertain Westminster – The Times (£)
  • Gove: A Coriolanus for our times – Howard Jacobson, The Independent
  • A radical reformer felled by his imaginary blob – John McDermott, Financial Times
  • Report into Birmingham extremism ‘shows why Michael Gove had to go’ – Hugh Muir, The Guardian
  • Pity every pale and stale male – Jennifer Selway, Daily Express

>Today: Andrew Allison on Comment: The aim of the reshuffle was to divert our gaze from contempt for Parliament

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Full list of government posts after the reshuffle

I’ll be even more radical than Michael Foot, declares Miliband

MILIBAND Red Ed“Ed Miliband will today pledge that his Labour Party manifesto will be even more radical than Michael Foot’s. He will declare that he wants to go further than both Tony Blair’s New Labour and the ‘Old’ Labour personified by the likes of Mr Foot, Ken Livingstone and Tony Benn. Mr Miliband will argue that the challenges facing Britain are so serious that only sweeping changes will do.” – Daily Mail

  • Watchdog prepares to investigate four major banks after Miliband calls for break-up – The Sun (£)
  • Miliband: Labour can implement big reforms without big spending – The Independent
  • Ed knifes Gordon Brown in bid to win back economy credibility – The Sun (£)
  • Balancing the books key to Labour election victory – The Guardian

Labour’s rail plan flawed, industry claims

“Labour is to unveil proposals that will allow public and non-profit bodies to bid to run rail franchises. The measure, which has been devised to head off demands from unions for the entire rail network to be state-run, emerged ahead of the party’s major policy summit this weekend. The industry said that the system could be unworkable because it would lead to the government serving as “both referee and player in the competition” to run rail services.” – The Times (£)

Miliband’s US trip will be not just pointless, but humiliating

US flag“Never in the field of political posturing will so much frantic effort have been expended for so little return. While Mr Miliband is in Washington to give a speech of no conceivable interest to his audience, or indeed himself, all the media’s attention will be focused on whether he can wangle a stage-door-Johnny chat with his hero, the President. Labour’s current refusal to confirm whether such a meeting will happen suggests that negotiations with top-level Obama staffers… continue to rage.” – Matthew Norman, Daily Telegraph

Labour and Tories round on Clegg over spare room subsidy u-turn

“But Labour condemned the move, pointing out that the Tories were only able to introduce the subsidy, dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’ by critics, thanks to Lib Dem votes in the Commons. Tories said they were baffled by the change of heart, saying the Lib Dems had never argued against the measure in private. And it emerged last night that the Lib Dems had been given the chance in March to soften the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’.” – Daily Mail

Cable accuses Tories of ‘propagandist’ amendments to European migration report

CABLE Marr purple shirt“The department of Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was accused by Vince Cable,the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, of being ”propagandist” in the changes it made to the report. The report was due out in December but was delayed because of a row about its contents and publication was postponed again in the spring until after the European elections in May, BBC Newsnight reported.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Public Health England want obesity warnings on your shopping receipts – Daily Mail
  • Memory of Dunblane evoked to justify arming the Scottish police – Daily Telegraph
  • The Queen’s first 100th birthday message in Welsh – Daily Mail
  • 40-per-minute to call council’s premium-rate homeless line – The Sun (£)
  • Fear of Islamophobia gave extremists a free hand in Birmingham – The Guardian
  • Google threatened by privacy lobby – The Times (£)