May tells Cameron: We must pull out of European human rights rules to deport criminals

MAY Warhol“Theresa May is to insist Britain must pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights, to deport dangerous foreign criminals. The Home Secretary is advising David Cameron that complete withdrawal, freeing Britain from Strasbourg judges’ edicts, is the only credible option, say Government sources. The move came as it emerged the number of foreign criminals avoiding deportation rose by 50 per cent last year despite government efforts to clamp down on the problem.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour attacks government over fall in deportations – Daily Telegraph
  • Human Rights Act a blank cheque to overrule Parliament, claims top judge – Daily Mail
  • A perversity that undermines real human rights – Philip Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • Britain has been made a laughing stock by our ridiculous courts – Peter Hill, Daily Express

Hammond to ‘mind the shop’ whilst Prime Minister is abroad

“Civil servants have been left to chair key meetings about the Iraq crisis as David Cameron and Nick Clegg resist attempts to curtail their foreign holidays. Downing Street insisted that Mr Cameron had no plans to return early from his holiday, despite the departure of two ministers and escalating crises in Iraq, Gaza and Russia. The prime minister will be back from the coastal town of Cascais in Portugal tomorrow night, returning to work on Thursday. Ministers appear determined to resist a recall of parliament at the moment.” – The Times (£)

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Arm the Kurds – before it’s too late


Tory MP hits out at HMRC’s plans to levy death duty before you die

Tax Take“Under so-called ‘accelerated payment’ laws, people thought to be using aggressive schemes to avoid inheritance tax could be forced to pay the levy up front, according to an HMRC consultation document. Officials insisted the powers would only be used to stop very wealthy people abusing the system. But critics have raised concerns that taxpayers will be ‘guilty until proven innocent’ and that the move could lead to a tax grab by HMRC.” – Daily Mail

‘White Dee’ to address event at Conservative Conference

“Last year saw Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith debate with former editor of ConservativeHome Tim Montgomerie. But this year, the Policy Exchange has decided to pair a representative with 47-year-old Ms Kelly in a debate chaired by Newsnight presenter Allegra Stratton. Ms Kelly insists she has been waiting for an opportunity to lend her own voice to the serious arena of policy-making. She hopes to take David Cameron out for a drink afterwards.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The work ethic of Iain Duncan Smith

Tobacco giant threatens government with £11 billion lawsuit over plain packs

Plain-packaging_0“The threat to sue was made in PMI’s official submission to the government’s consultation on the plan. “Standardised packaging is a euphemism for government-mandated destruction of property,” the submission states. “It is unlawful, disproportionate, and at odds with the most basic requirements of the rule of law.” PMI argues that the measure “would be unlawful because it fails to provide any compensation for the value of the tobacco companies’ property”.” – The Times (£)

  • MPs suggest ‘fag-style’ health warnings for alcohol – The Sun (£)

Peter Oborne: Bossy health chiefs, drunk on their own power

“Mr Hunt has, however, utterly failed in one respect. He has not sought to challenge the air of invincible bossiness that has long been the most obtrusive characteristic of the Department of Health. Its officials are convinced that they know better than the rest of us what we should eat, drink and how we should behave, not just in public, but also in private. For some reason Mr Hunt has chosen to sanction this state-sponsored bossiness, and this August has seen an epidemic of edicts from government bodies telling us what and what not to do.” – Daily Telegraph

Chief Inspector of Prisons blames Grayling’s policies for rise in prison suicides

GRAYLING collarless“In an interview with The Independent, Nick Hardwick said it was “not credible” for the Government to deny a link between pressures on the prison system and a big increase in the number of self-inflicted deaths. His intervention comes as the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, faces increasing criticism over his handling of the prison system, amid claims that jails have become “death traps” as a result of steep budget cuts.” – The Independent

  • Interview with Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons – The Independent

‘Trojan Horse’ counter-measures could see private schools and academies forced to drop Christmas

“Following the Trojan Horse scandal, in which Birmingham schools came under the sway of Islamic extremists, the Education Department proposed that independent schools must ‘actively promote’ British values – said to include respect for legally ‘protected characteristics’. Critics warn the rules will bring a series of unintended consequences, including preventing teachers from using words like husband or wife when discussing marriage; making teachers inflate the reputation of politicians in their lessons, and dictating the curriculum and exams schools must use.” – Daily Mail

Bercow under fire for £1,300 expense claim to attend MP’s funeral

John Bercow“Commons Speaker John Bercow has been criticised after it emerged he charged taxpayers £1,300 to attend an MP’s funeral. Mr Bercow was one of a host of MPs at the Manchester service for popular Labour backbencher Paul Goggins who collapsed and died while out running in January. He charged £239.10 for a return train journey to Manchester for him and two staff, plus £112.50 for a car from Parliament to Euston station and back the next day.” – Daily Mail

  • Mark Simmonds attacks expenses rules as he resigns ministerial position citing cost of living – The Times (£)
  • Foreign Office deny crisis as third minister quits – Daily Express
  • Fresh blow to department after Warsi exit – The Independent
  • Talk of a new era of transparency over expenses was just that: talk – The Sun editorial (£)

Janan Ganesh: In losing London today, the Tories are losing Britain tomorrow

“So if the Conservatives do not want to end up strewn on the margins of the 21st century, they must appeal to the kind of people who live in the capital. At the moment the party’s London strategy starts and ends with Mr Johnson. But he is a politician of freakish magnetism with an almost unscriptably cosmopolitan backstory. He is not, as they say in the City of London, a scalable model.” – Financial Times

>Today: Stephen Tall’s column: Boris – an effective future Prime Minister? Sorry, but I just can’t see it

Labour members savage Miliband on website set up to gather their views

MILIBAND Red Ed“Some of Ed Miliband’s flagship policies have been derided as catastrophic, pathetic and “wishy-washy” by Labour’s own grass roots. Party branches criticised policies on the economy, housing, welfare reform and education, as part of the party’s agenda review on the Your Britain website. The concerns echo remarks by Jon Cruddas, who is overseeing Labour’s policy review, who said this year that the party was focusing on “cynical” policies that “chime with focus groups”.” – The Times (£)

Labour vow to review A-Level reforms

“Labour says it will overhaul the A-level reforms of the Michael Gove era if it wins power next year, accusing Conservatives of “turning the clock back on social mobility” as hundreds of thousands of sixth formers in England anxiously await their exam results on Thursday. The shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, is poised to announce that Labour would put on hold all A-level reforms due to be introduced next year and scrap the central plan to abolish AS-levels. Gove’s reforms were designed to toughen up the A-levels, moving away from coursework towards end-of-course examinations.” – The Guardian

  • Record numbers set to appeal A-Level results as reforms kick in – Daily Mail

Pay debt or lose UK hardware, Glasgow MP warns Salmond

Scottish flag“An independent Scotland should be denied access to fighter aircraft, warships and any other physical government assets if it refuses to take on a share of UK debt after separation, according to the chairman of the influential Scottish affairs committee. Ian Davidson has entered the debate on Scotland’s currency, urging ministers to tell Scottish voters that they should not expect to receive crucial pieces of kit if their government does not agree to help repay British debt.” – Financial Times

  • Number of Scots identifying as British increases in fresh blow for Salmond – Daily Mail
  • UK government boosts ‘No’ momentum with fresh defence contract – The Guardian

Liberal Democrats call for body cameras on stop-and-search police

“Armed police and officers carrying out stop and search in certain areas would be forced to wear body cameras under Liberal Democrat proposals announced yesterday. The reforms are being brought forward by Home Office minister Norman Baker in the party’s pre-manifesto which will be published next month. Their aim is to tighten up the laws on stop and search in an effort to transform community relations and increase the public’s trust in the police.” – Daily Mail

Abuse enquiry opened at second school linked to Cyril Smith

cyrilSmith_2398434b“Former pupils at Underley Hall, a boarding school opened by John Turner in Cumbria in 1976, claim that boys were physically assaulted by staff and sexually abused by a fellow pupil. Mr Turner, a former headmaster at the notorious Knowl View School in Rochdale where Smith targeted vulnerable young boys, is accused of beating a pupil who complained about being indecently touched by the politician.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • DEFRA attacked for redacting key report 63 times in 13 pages – Daily Mail
  • Pubs are closing at a rate of 31 a week – The Guardian
  • Terrifying CCTV images of child blown onto tube tracks… and last-second rescue – The Independent
  • German trucker fired on ‘bad drivers’ 726 times over five years – The Times (£)
  • EDF shuts down two UK nuclear plants over safety fears – Daily Telegraph
  • Gladstone, Churchill, Attlee and Thatcher (but no Blair): Royal Mail’s new ‘influential Prime Ministers’ stamp set – Daily Mail