Eastern reproaches 1) Cameron urges France to stop selling arms to Russia

Russian flag‘David Cameron yesterday urged France to abandon a contract to sell warships to Vladimir Putin. Calling for an economic cold war, the Prime Minister urged other EU leaders to agree tough sanctions against Moscow. He insisted there should be an embargo on commercial dealings with Russian defence, banking, energy and aviation firms.’ – Daily Mail

  • Russian billionaires fear sanctions – Daily Mail
  • Osborne: short term loss is a price worth paying for security – FT
  • Football oligarchs to feel the pinch – The Sun (£)
  • Black boxes handed over to Malaysia – The Times (£)
  • Colin Brazier: Why I messed up at the crash site – The Guardian

Editorial and comment: 

Eastern reproaches 2) May: We’ll investigate Litvinenko’s murder

‘A public inquiry will be held into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who was poisoned at a London hotel, Theresa May will announce today. The home secretary will tell parliament that a public inquiry will take over from the inquest into Mr Litvinenko, enabling investigators to examine whether the Russian state was involved in the dissident agent’s death.’ – The Times (£)

Eastern reproaches 3) Grieve compares breaking the ECHR to behaving like Putin

Vladimir Putin‘Dominic Grieve, removed from the cabinet as the government’s chief legal adviser last week, is to begin an offensive today to avert a “legal road crash”. In his first newspaper interview after the reshuffle he said that Britain would suffer “serious international reputational damage” if it evaded standards it urged on others…In a withering comparison, the highly regarded lawyer and MP added: “It’s not dissimilar from Putin using the Duma to ratify his annexation of the Crimea. Putin will say, well it’s now lawful; the Duma has said so.”’ – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Grieve suggests that we can’t both be in and out of the ECHR at the same time. He’s right.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Paterson, Clarke, Green, Grieve and Fox: The frustrated five making post-reshuffle waves

Trojan Horse report to be published today

‘A report into allegations that hardline conservative Muslims conspired to take over several Birmingham schools found a “constant undercurrent” of “anti-western, anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment”. The investigation, by a former senior officer of the Metropolitan police, Peter Clarke, was commissioned by Michael Gove but its findings will be presented to the Commons today by Nicky Morgan, the new education secretary.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Interview: Michael Howard criticises the reshuffle – “I do think it’s a great pity that Michael Gove was moved.”

Only 3 per cent of house buyers are aged 18-30

Homes For All Big‘The number of young homebuyers has plunged to a record low. A tiny 3 per cent of house sales last month were to those aged 18 to 30, down from 12 per cent last August. The stark figure shows how stagnant wages, rising property prices and tougher rules for borrowers are squeezing the young out of the market.’ – Daily Mail

Osborne’s pension reforms roll ahead

‘George Osborne’s decision to scrap the rule that effectively forced pensioners to buy annuities in retirement has rightly been hailed as perhaps the biggest reform of the pensions system since its introduction a century ago…There are reasons to support what Mr Osborne is trying to do. While annuities are in principle a good way for retirees to insure themselves against the risk of outliving their savings, the market has in practice failed to provide savers with a good enough deal.’ – FT Leader

Leaked immigration report shows impact on schools and housing

Border‘Soaring numbers of EU immigrants have put a big squeeze on primary school places and council homes and pushed up house prices, a landmark government report reveals. And it may well also have hit low paid British workers’ wages hard. The findings come in a long awaited Home Office report into how the EU’s Freedom of Movement principle has affected the UK.’ – The Sun (£)

Parents will be prosecuted if girls suffer FGM

‘Parents will be prosecuted if they allow their daughters to be subjected to female genital mutilation, David Cameron will announce today. A new law will be introduced by the Government as part of efforts to stamp out the barbaric practice. Police who fail to prosecute cases of FGM could also be rapped under tough new rules.’ – The Sun (£)

When Ed met Barack

MILIBAND soulful‘Ed Miliband attempted to boost his prime ministerial credentials yesterday when he met Barack Obama at the White House – albeit for just 25 minutes. In the high-stakes meeting, known as a ‘brush-by’, the two men discussed the situations in Ukraine, Gaza, the Scottish referendum and the cost of living crisis, said Labour officials.’ – Daily Mail

  • His own councillors see Miliband as a hindrance – The Times (£)
  • Lib Dem minister predicts coalition with Labour – Daily Mail
  • I’m only worth £20m, laments Blair – Daily Mail
  • Don’t accept Tony as a role model – Daily Mail Leader
  • His legacy was electoral domination, not policy – Janan Ganesh, FT
  • Ed wants spending restraint – FT

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Labour’s lead rises in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll

Lib Dem voters prefer Cameron to Clegg

‘An extraordinary poll revealed the latest setback for the gaffe prone Lib Dem chief. Asked who would make a better PM, 35 per cent of Lib Dem voters picked the TORY leader. Only 34 per cent chose Nick Clegg.’ – The Sun (£)

EU rules mean junior doctors lack hands on experience

NHS‘Junior doctors will be encouraged to work longer hours by opting out of the European Working Time Directive, the Government has announced. It says greater flexibility is needed to boost training time for young doctors – some of whom spend almost six fewer working weeks in training than in the past.’ – Daily Mail

McVey talks children

‘Employment Minister Esther McVey has revealed that she has never had children because she has not found someone to ‘wind up’ her biological clock.  The 46-year-old former GMTV presenter, who was promoted to attend the Cabinet last week, said that despite ‘loving’ children, she has not met the right person to have them with.’ – Daily Mail

Student loans system in trouble

money‘The student loans system is on the brink of collapse because taxpayers get back barely HALF the money which is borrowed, MPs have warned. In a damning report, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee said it “threatens the continued existence” of the scheme.’ – The Sun (£)

News in brief

  • Happy Birthday, Prince George – Daily Mail
  • Ian McKellen: I’m not a northerner any more – Daily Telegraph
  • Nick Griffin out on his ear, replaced by banned teacher – The Times (£)
  • Further blood spilled in Gaza, but it isn’t Israel’s fault – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Evan Davis takes over from Paxman at Newsnight – Daily Mail
  • Convert or die, ISIS tell Christians – The Times (£)
  • Cybernats are ‘frightening’, says Nicola Benedetti – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron, Brooks and the horse that won’t go away – The Independent