‘More than ten’ politicians on list held by police investigating paedophile ring

Boy DamagedMore than 10 current and former politicians are on a list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating claims of a Westminster paedophile ring. MPs or peers from all three main political parties are on the list, which includes former ministers and household names. Several, including Cyril Smith and Sir Peter Morrison, are no longer alive, but others are still active in Parliament.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron orders investigation into VIP child abuse claims– Daily Mail
  • Review launched into lost abuse dossier – The Times (£)
  • Pressure grows to probe claims surrounding a senior Tory – Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary – Why there should be an enquiry into historical child sex abuse

Coulson sentenced for phone hacking

“David Cameron said today justice has been done after his disgraced former spin doctor Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months at the Old Bailey. The 46-year-old was told he must ‘share the major blame’ for the hacking of the ‘rich, famous and powerful’ by the News of the World, which he transformed it into a ‘thoroughly criminal enterprise’.” – Daily Mail

  • Coulson turns down six-figure sum to provide information for Cameron biography – The Times (£)
  • Will £750k legal bill cost his wife the family home? – Daily Mail

PM in secret talks to support EU DNA database

CAMERON EU fence“David Cameron has secretly agreed to work towards the transfer of more policing powers to Europe despite worries over costs and the potential risk to innocent Britons. British ministers have told EU leaders that they will make a decision on whether to take part in a controversial Europe-wide DNA database by December 1 next year — six months after the next election.” – The Times (£)

Jobseekers who refused work experience could win £130m payout

“Thousands of benefit claimants who refused to do work experience could pocket £130 million of lost handouts. The High Court ruled that their human rights were breached by ministers’ emergency laws — which blocked any attempt to claw back refused benefits. But Tory MP Charlie Elphicke branded the ruling “ridiculous”.” – The Sun (£)

  • Ministers appeal after High Court rules work programme incompatible with EU human rights – Daily Telegraph
  • Slavish adherence to EU human rights law once again ‘trumps common sense and backs the idle’ – The Sun editorial (£)
  • Elite team of cheat-hunters to tackle £1.2bn welfare fraud bill – Daily Express

Keep your hands off the aid budget, Greening warns colleagues

Greening Justine Feb 2012“A row over Britain’s foreign aid will intensify today as Justine Greening warns off colleagues trying to raid her budget. The international development secretary said that calls to allow peacekeeping work to be supported with overseas aid money should be treated “with some caution”. Speaking on a visit to the Syrian border, where she saw projects funded by the UK, Ms Greening told The Times she believed that internationally agreed rules on what constituted aid spending needed to be updated.” – The Times (£)

Warship sails into battle to defend the UK

“HMS Queen Elizabeth was called into action for the first time on Friday, as the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier – a 65,000-tonne, four-acre floating military base – was thrust into the battle to save the UK. The Queen smashed a bottle of Bowmore whisky on to the hull of the vast ship at its dry dock in Rosyth on the Firth of Forth, in a naming ceremony that turned into an extended advertisement for British industrial co-operation and military muscle.” – Financial Times

Farage joins the fight for the Union with UKIP rally planned for Glasgow

UKIP glass“Ukip is aiming to boost the case for keeping the union by holding a rally in Scotland just days before the independence referendum in September. Nigel Farage elected to hold the event in Glasgow, rather than Edinburgh, perhaps wary of the capital after a run-in with student protesters last year. After being turned down by the official Better Together campaign, which is supported by the three main pro-union parties, Ukip is planning its own drive of anti-independence door-knocking and leafleting across the country.” – The Independent

Simon Heffer: Heads Scots win, tails English taxpayers lose

“Mr Cameron must think hard about what extra powers it is in the interests of all the inhabitants of the British Isles for the Scots to be granted. However magnanimous the PM wishes to be in victory, it would not be right for Mr Salmond, having lost the vote, to be able to be granted any favours or to dictate terms. Second, the English (who’ve disgracefully had no say in the decision whether Scotland becomes independent) must be properly consulted before any more powers are given to Scotland.” – Daily Mail

“Millionaire Tory donor” in line for OFTED job

BARRIE CHARACTER EDUCATION“A multi-millionaire Tory donor yesterday emerged as a front-runner to take over schools watchdog Ofsted. David Ross, 48, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and a friend of David Cameron, is understood to be a leading candidate. He has advised the Conservatives on education policy and used part of his £892million fortune to set up 25 academy schools. But any move by Education Secretary Michael Gove to install him as Ofsted chairman could prove highly controversial.” – Daily Mail

Cameron to promote women to cabinet ahead of tough general election

“David Cameron is to reshape his top team to fight the next election by promoting a number of female colleagues to the Cabinet and sacking some long-serving ministers. A large scale Cabinet reshuffle is being planned – most likely to take place the week after next – with several Tory women ministers being given permanent Cabinet berths. The shake-up will also allow Mr Cameron to answer critics who say his Cabinet is too male dominated. Mr Cameron has previously said that he wants one third of his ministers are women.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Supporting women in business: The Times profiles Nicky Morgan – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Profile – Will Liam Fox make it back to Cabinet in the reshuffle?

Matthew Parris: Women need more swagger to become MPs

PARRIS Mathhew“The problem is the template. Women don’t easily fit it. The problem is swagger. Women often lack it. Unconsciously, too many of us — Tories and non-Tories alike — have a subliminal idea of a leading and successful politician, and, let’s face it, he struts. The female hopeful I encountered who best managed to strut was Anna Soubry, and she made it through the process — not at my selection but at a later one. Already she’s a minister.” – The Times (£)

New ‘right to be forgotten’ hides the Islamic marriage of Osborne’s brother from Google

“A news report about the conversion of George Osborne’s brother to Islam has been hidden by Google. The article, published five years ago and detailing the marriage of Dr Adam Osborne to Islam in preparation for his marriage to a Bangladeshi-born plastic surgeon, was removed from search listings by the internet giant. The original story, on a British newspaper website, remains online.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour accused of ‘soft corruption’ over cash-for-access gala dinner

LABOUR dead rose“Labour have been accused of “soft corruption” and engaging in “cash for access” as it emerged that the party is allowing wealth donors to attend a £15,000 gala dinner without having to publicly register their names. Despite premier tables at the event costing £15,000, the Labour Party has set the “donation” contribution of the ticket at £7,000 – just below the level at which financial gifts must be officially declared. Those who pay for the most expensive premier tables will have a “political host” and will receive a “signed commemorative memento photo of the event”. – Daily Telegraph

  • Tennis and politics? Tories revive New Labour fundraising methods – Matthew Norman, Daily Telegraph
  • Key Conservative benefactor forced to cut links with party – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary – The Conservatives should set a limit on donations

>Yesterday: Columnist Iain Dale – The secret of party fund-raising – politicians hate donors

Party claims ‘dirty trick’ was used to record Cruddas’ attack on Labour’s ‘dead hand’

“Labour is considering making a formal complaint after Conservative researchers posed as students to secretly record comments by the party’s policy chief Jon Cruddas. In a foretaste of what both parties expect to be one of the “dirtiest” election campaigns in recent years the Tory press office passed a tape of the conversation to The Daily Telegraph and the BBC… A note from the Conservatives accompanying the transcript made clear that the recording had been made by researchers posing as students.” – The Independent

  • Tories plan to see off Red Ed with same ‘nasty tactics’ they used on Kinnock – Andrew Grice, The Independent

Labour has policies but not vision, say its own strategists

MILIBAND Red Ed“Deborah Mattinson, from Britain Thinks, argues that if people do not trust the party in the first place, or understand its values, they just see policy offers as populist attempts to win their votes. The Conservatives, by contrast, can at least trade on their overall economic or governing competence. The task of setting out the bigger message is the one handed to David Axelrod, the former Obama adviser. “His job is to see the wood from the trees,” says one election chief. At least he will soon have many trees through which to peer.” – Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

  • Tories confident they can resist Labour’s ‘summer offensive’ on the NHS – Macer Hall, Daily Express
  • Our ‘dagger ratings’ show who has knives out for Ed – The Sun (£)
  • It’s time to revive public ownership for the common good – The Guardian
  • The ‘British Obama’ tries to mend fences with businesses – The Times (£)

Send in fraud squad over ‘menacing and misleading’ false legal threats, calls Labour MP

“The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that Barclays, Lloyds, Halifax, RBS and HSBC are among organisations that have masqueraded as independent law firms and debt collectors in a bid to get customers to pay up. John Mann, a Labour member of the Commons Treasury committee, last night said the police should be called in to investigate the ‘contemptible’ practice. – Daily Mail

Lamb warns of £30bn NHS funding gap at Lib Dem Orange Book Conference

NHS“The NHS is about to run out of cash and ‘absolutely vital services’ will have to be slashed unless billions can be saved, a health minister has claimed. In a recording obtained by the Daily Mail, Norman Lamb warned of a looming £30billion-a-year black hole in the Health Service’s finances. By 2021, he said, the scale of the funding gap threatens ‘dire’ consequences for patients. It is the first time a minister at the Department for Health has admitted the financial problems facing the NHS.” – Daily Mail

  • TUC claims NHS could be £25.5bn better off under Labour – The Sun (£)

News in Brief

  • Germany arrests ‘double agent’ on its committee investigating NSA spying – The Guardian
  • Jihadist video Britons hit by asset freezes – The Times (£)
  • Israeli defence forces claim report of ‘nuclear leak’ was result of a Twitter hack – The Independent
  • Guns, high kicks and crossbows: Chinese police reveal ‘action move’ recruitment campaign – Daily Mail
  • Northern Ireland boosted by Game of Thrones fandom – Financial Times
  • Redheads could be ‘wiped out’ by global warming – The Sun (£)
  • 16 year old sets new record from Land’s End to John O’Groats – Daily Telegraph