Ganesh: Number 10’s stately weakness on Iraq

CAMERON flag‘David Cameron wanted to intervene in Syria last year. His parliamentary defeat on the matter scuppered any British action and discouraged the US from going in, too. Those close to Mr Cameron say the present convulsions in Iraq are bringing out his impatience to act – but also his dread of another humiliation in the Commons.’ – Janan Ganesh, FT

  • The Pope backs the use of force against Islamists – Daily Mail
  • Backbench concerns over strategy – FT
  • How to avoid mission creep – David Blair, Daily Telegraph
  • Britain’s options – FT
  • Welsh imam quits over mosque’s pro-ISIS preacher – The Times (£)
  • Cameron heads to Cornwall – The Sun (£)



New rights and support for grandparents bringing up children

‘Hundreds of thousands of grandparents who look after their grandchildren could be given parental rights to paid leave and greater financial support, David Cameron has said. The Prime Minister highlighted how more than 200,000 grandparents are getting a “raw deal” after stepping in to look after children whose parents have died, fallen ill or are unable to provide adequate care themselves.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: How to start untangling the Government’s twisted families policy

Border IT failure bill for taxpayers

Border‘The taxpayer has been lumbered with a bill of nearly a quarter of a billion pounds after Theresa May, the home secretary, unlawfully sacked a US firm tasked with building an IT system to control immigration. An arbitration tribunal ruled yesterday that Raytheon, an American arms and electronic manufacturer contracted to provide the e-Borders computer system, is entitled to a payout of £224 million.’ – The Times (£)

  • 20 million travellers a year aren’t screened by crime or terror watch lists – Daily Mail
  • MPs propose stronger oversight powers for major projects – FT
  • How can we stop Tilbury’s desperate tide? – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
  • 700,000 migrants don’t try to learn English – Daily Mail
  • Business bosses turn down Whitehall top job – FT

>Yesterday: Amandeep Singh Bhogal on Comment: The Tilbury tragedy is a wake-up call for our rotten immigration system

Grayling: There is no crisis in prisons

‘Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has admitted to the BBC that prisons in England and Wales face problems with violence, suicides and staff shortages. But he maintained there was “not a crisis in our prisons”, saying the government was meeting the challenges of a rising prison population. It comes as the Isis Young Offenders Institution in London is criticised by inspectors in an official report.’ – BBC News

  • Rise in convicts escaping secure mental health units – The Sun (£)
  • Hundreds of police investigated for social media misbehaviour – BBC News
  • Officers’ shocking posts on Facebook and Twitter – WalesOnline

Clegg’s free school meals cause chaos

CURSE OF CLEGG one‘The Government’s pledge to provide free meals for all four- to seven-year-olds from next month is leaving schools without funds to improve their classrooms, council leaders warn today. Millions of pounds have been diverted to fund the policy, which headteachers condemned last night as a “reckless” failure in planning that critics warned will leave schools in an “invidious position”.’ – The Independent

Labour go on the attack over rail fares

‘Rail fares are on course to soar by a quarter over the next four years unless funding rules are torn up, Labour will warn today. Official figures released this morning are expected to show that rail fares will rise by up to 5.6 per cent next year.’ – Daily Mail

Independent Scotland has no guarantee of NATO membership

NATO‘An independent Scotland would have to apply to join Nato — with no guarantee of success, the head of the military alliance said yesterday. In words that will alarm wavering voters, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary-general, said that any decision on accepting a new country into Nato — the cornerstone of European defence and security — had to be unanimous among all 28 member states.’ – The Times (£)

  • Cameron accuses Salmond of desperation over NHS claims – Daily Mail
  • SNP deploys medieval history – FT
  • Now the pound may be a stopgap – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Jaber Jabbour on Comment: What a visit to Glasgow taught me about Scots, and the Conservatives’ role in saving the Union

‘Troubling’ intimidation of British Jews

‘The targeting of supermarkets over the sale of kosher foods risks importing Middle Eastern violence to the UK, leaders of Britain’s Jewish communities warned last night. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), which includes the heads of Britain’s main Jewish organisations, last night condemned boycotts and intimidation as ‘especially troubling’ for British Jews.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Julian Mann on Comment: Prosecuting Galloway for hate speech would be a threat to freedom in the UK

UKIP MEP recorded calling Thai supporter ‘a Ting Tong’

UKIP logo‘A UKIP MEP has been forced to apologise after calling a Thai woman “Ting Tong”. Janice Atkinson was caught on tape making the comments about a mobile food seller. She was overheard saying: “So that was good. We’ve got Fa who’s, I dunno, she’s a ting tong from somewhere.”’ – The Sun (£)

Assange might leave his embassy hideout soon, maybe, if anyone cares

‘WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has confirmed he will “soon” be leaving the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has sought refuge from prosecution for more than two years, admitting that his confinement had caused health problems. “I can confirm I am leaving the embassy soon, but perhaps not for the reasons that the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment.”’ – FT

Doctors boost superbugs by doling out antibiotics

NHS_Logo‘Nearly half of family doctors admit to prescribing antibiotics purely to get pushy patients out of their surgeries, it is revealed today. The most frank admission yet that GPs are doling out prescriptions to “get the patients off our backs” will add to mounting concern that doctors are helping to fuel the rise of superbugs.’ – The Times (£)

News in brief

  • Viewers complain to Ofcom about Pythons’ lack of swearing – Daily Mail
  • Hague to scrutinise Bercow’s Commons Clerk appointee – The Times (£)
  • Refugee convoy destroyed in Ukraine – The Guardian
  • Ferguson, militarised policing and the libertarian case on crime – Buzzfeed
  • James Alexander Gordon, voice of the football scores, dies – Daily Mail
  • Gender pay gap lives on – The Guardian
  • Concern for flights as Icelandic volcano rumbles – The Times (£)
  • Modi’s big opportunity to change India – FT Leader
  • The funniest jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe – Daily Telegraph
  • Sir Ian Botham is, er, stumped on Twitter – The Sun (£)