Costs spiral as Cameron defies EU…

EU FLag“Brussels could levy a penalty charge of £42.5 million a month on Britain after David Cameron refused yesterday to pay an extra £1.7 billion contribution demanded by the EU. Speaking at the close of a two-day meeting of the European Council, a flushed prime minister described the levy as ‘completely unacceptable’. ‘I am not paying that bill on December 1,’ he declared. ‘If people think I am, they have got another think coming’ – The Times (£)

…but is asked why the Treasury didn’t warn him

“David Cameron admitted that he had been left in the dark by George Osborne for two days as he complained that he had been hijacked by Brussels over an unexpected demand to pay £1.7bn (€2.1bn) to the EU…Asked to explain why he had been left in the dark by the Treasury, Cameron replied: ‘You want to know the “who knew what whens” and all the rest of it but actually, frankly, you don’t need a Cluedo set to know that someone has been clubbed with the lead piping in the library’” – Guardian

>Today: Comment – Dr Lee Rotherham: The question is not Brexit, but Brentry

>Yesterday: ToryDiary – Sex, drugs and Brussels law (and Cameron)

Blair: Why Cameron will win the general election

tony-blair“The Conservatives will win the next general election because of Ed Miliband’s failure to connect with voters, Tony Blair has said. David Cameron will remain in power next year because Labour has not persuaded Britain it is ready to govern, the former Labour prime minister has apparently told friends. Mr Blair’s verdict on Mr Miliband follows criticism of the Labour leader’s performance from several MPs and will increase concern within the party about his ability to win in May” – Daily Telegraph

Scottish Labour leader Lamont resigns

“Johann Lamont tonight announced her immediate resignation as leader of the Scottish Labour Party. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Record, the mother-of-two said she had no choice but to resign after her attempts to reform the Scottish party were thwarted by Labour’s Westminster leadership…She hit out at internal Labour sniping about her leadership and criticised party bosses in London for not allowing the Scottish party more autonomy” – Daily Record

  • Labour in turmoil as Lamont resigns – Herald
  • Lamont’s departure was far from amicable – Financial Times

Tories woo voters in North with HS3 railway promise

train“George Osborne will make a major pitch for northern votes next week by announcing a multibillion-pound high-speed railway line linking some of the biggest cities across the Pennines. On Monday the chancellor will try to wrong-foot Labour in its heartlands with a pledge for a ‘northern powerhouse’ based on a fast-speed railway link stretching from Hull to Liverpool. The investment will start with a new line between Leeds and Manchester, dubbed HS3, The Times has learnt. Mr Osborne will reveal the package in Leeds with David Cameron and David Higgins, the chairman of HS2” – The Times (£)

Green: Doing a deal with UKIP would be catastrophic

“Although UKIP already has one MP, and another by-election is imminent, it would in Damian Green’s view be a monumental mistake for the Tories to do a deal with them. ‘I can think of about ten good reasons why we shouldn’t do it but the best one is that it would absolutely ensure that we wouldn’t have a Conservative government after the next election. It’s a myth that you can simply add the UKIP vote to the Conservative vote and produce a majority. We would haemorrhage support to other parties” – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

  • Porter at Oriel College, Oxford, quits to run for UKIP – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Comment – Richard Benyon MP: A pact with UKIP? Time for some facts

Parris: this war will make us less safe

parris“Civilians here in our own country are being put in harm’s way by the government’s military policy in the Middle East. Maybe this can be justified but ministers should level with us on the cause. I hope their apparent reluctance to do this has nothing to do with their wish in due course to win a second Commons vote to authorise our deeper involvement in this conflict. I could be wrong but recently I’ve sensed a distinct hush on the issue of homeland security. The gunfire in Ottawa this week must surely break that silence” – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

  • Kurds fear ISIS use of chemical weapon in Kobani – Guardian
  • Canadian PM hid in store cupboard – Guardian

Moore: Our Establishment is running scared about historic sex abuse

“This inquiry involves, to use Fiona Woolf’s own phrase, ‘hundreds of institutions and thousands of failures’. Even with the genuinely expert panel which the Home Office has belatedly assembled, the remit is dangerously wide. How can it get a grip on all government departments, police procedures, schools, hospitals, children’s homes, churches, youth clubs, Scout groups, mental institutions etc over the past 40 years and more? The whole thing is driven by the main emotion that nowadays dominates our enfeebled Establishment – fear: in this case, the fear of being accused of ignoring or covering up child abuse” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Putin accuses US of undermining world peace – Financial Times
  • American schoolboy kills one classmate, wounds four – Daily Mail
  • New York and New Jersey impose tough new Ebola rule – Guardian
  • Javid says nuisance calls more likely to attract fines – Daily Telegraph
  • Eleven members of Brazilian family paralysed by eating pufferfish – Independent
  • Homeowners who fail to control Japanese knotweed face prosecution – Daily Telegraph
  • Mirror admits it may have hacked phones while Morgan was editor – Independent
  • UK driving licence fees fall – Guardian
  • Queen makes Twitter debut – Financial Times
  • Google executive makes record parachute jump – Daily Mail