Majority required to hold public sector strikes

On strike‘Plans intended to ban teachers and other public sector workers from going on strike are being drawn up by the Conservatives in the biggest crack-down on unions for 30 years. If David Cameron wins next year’s General Election, workers will be prevented from triggering industrial action based on the votes of just a small hard core of union activists. Instead, union leaders will have to prove that half of their membership supports the walkout – or that a large proportion of members have voted. Otherwise it will be illegal.’ – Mail on Sunday

Independent on Sunday: The Tories should clean up party funding

‘British government will continue to be plagued by such questions for as long as our funding of political parties remains dominated by the generosity of rich individuals, most of whom have active business interests. In the broader view, it is in the Conservative Party’s own interest to bring in limits on the amount that any one can donate to a political party. Given that one of the Tories’ greatest weaknesses is that they are seen as the party of the rich, the scale of its funding by the rich is an embarrassment.’ – The Independent on Sunday Leader

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Conservatives should set a limit for donations

Sex allegations 1) Home Office ‘lost or destroyed’ 114 files relevant to paedophile scandal

Home Office logo‘The paedophile scandal engulfing Westminster deepened after the Home Office confessed to losing or destroying 114 “potentially relevant” files. The lost files are part of an investigation into the handling of a dossier about child abuse allegations presented to Leon Brittan, the former home secretary.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Sex allegations 2) Leon Brittain questioned over rape allegation

‘The former cabinet minister Leon Brittan has been questioned by police under caution in connection with an alleged rape, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. It is understood that the former Conservative home secretary has been accused of raping a 19-year-old student at his London flat in 1967 before he became an MP.’ – The Independent on Sunday

Sex allegations 3) Labour peer investigated over 12 allegations of child abuse

Police‘A Labour peer is being investigated by police after 12 men made allegations of historical child abuse against him, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Sources close to the investigation last night said that the ‘horrific’ allegations include rape and serious sexual assault.’ – Mail on Sunday

Green bills 1) A £200 smart meter in every home

‘A Government plan to put ‘smart meters’ into every British home – costing households £200 each – will be launched this week despite fears they will not work and that they pose a security risk to power supplies. The £11 billion project, introduced to meet EU green targets, is supposed to cut down energy consumption and reduce bills.’ – Mail on Sunday

Green bills 2) EU plans to make petrol more expensive

money‘Motorists face being hit by a 3p-a-litre fuel hike under a European crusade to make petrol greener. Pump prices will soar if a controversial plan to cut greenhouse gases comes into effect. The impact was revealed in a leaked assessment of threats to the industry, seen by senior ministers and passed to The Sun on Sunday.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

Plans to restrict EU immigration

‘Top Tories have drawn up a plan to cap immigration from poor EU nations — in a major boost for The Sun’s “red line” campaign. The move would limit the number of people coming here from countries like Romania and Bulgaria, where wages and benefits are far lower than in the UK. A senior Government source said: “We would want a limit on the numbers we take from countries with different GDPs while continuing to trade within the EU.”’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Spain gives Cameron a(nother) EU headache

Wollaston: We are training the wrong workforce for the NHS

NHS‘The NHS has “the wrong workforce” to cope with the future health needs of the country, with medical schools training too many hospital specialists and not enough GPs to cope with overwhelming patient demand, the new chair of the influential Health Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, has said. Dr Wollaston also warned that the health service faces a crisis in the GP sector and that more should be done to encourage those who have left the profession, particularly women, to return to help relieve the pressure.’ – The Independent on Sunday

Free wifi on commuter trains

‘Commuters will be given free access to high speed wireless internet services under plans to be announced by ministers. The new on-board wi-fi sytems will be fitted to trains running into London, the south-east and services to Manchester and Leeds, under the plans.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Heseltine: Unleash the regions

growth flag‘There is a plan. It is to restore to the economic powerhouses of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and their neighbouring communities the initiative that made them. Economic growth is not something set out as pay and rations in tiny packages or neatly designed formulae from departments in Whitehall. It is the product of countless men and women inventing, performing, driving, creating, imagining, seizing. We need to rekindle the flames of that adventurism.’ – Michael Heseltine, Sunday Telegraph

£1m bill for civil servants to listen to the radio at work

‘Taxpayers are footing a bill of nearly £1 million so that civil servants can listen to the radio at work. Government departments and quangos have been using public money to pay music royalties to allow staff to listen to music in the office.’ – Mail on Sunday

Ending re-sits might put children off maths

michael-gove‘Major reforms to GCSE and  A-level maths might not boost the numbers of teenagers studying the subject and could instead  turn youngsters off, a new report claims. The changes risk undermining Government efforts to improve numeracy levels amid fears that Britain is lagging behind other developed nations.’ – Mail on Sunday

ISIS leader makes public address

‘Dressed in black from head to toe, and wearing a flowing robe, this is the first image seen in years of the world’s most wanted man, whose terrorist group has butchered thousands and stolen more than a billion pounds in gold and cash. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the elusive leader of the Al Qaeda splinter group Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Isis), walked out of the shadows and delivered a sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.’ – Mail on Sunday

George Osborne MC, hero of the Great War

OSBORNE blue tie‘The German advance ground to a halt – and it was the furthest point that the spring offensive reached. The man who helped to command those troops in that final defensive was Derrick’s brother, Major George Osborne – my grandfather. Sadly, I never met my grandfather. Born in 1894, he was a quiet professional soldier from East Sussex who, before Aveluy Wood, had already been wounded twice in action and mentioned in dispatches.’ – George Osborne MP, Mail on Sunday

News in brief