Borders 1) Cameron: Give me a tough deal on immigration, or I’ll campaign to leave the EU

Cameron1‘David Cameron will pledge a tough crackdown on welfare payments to make Britain a less attractive destination today, but will resist calls to fight the election on a pledge to cap EU immigrants. The prime minister will leave open the option of campaigning for a British exit from Brussels if demands for action to reduce immigration “fall on deaf ears”. “If we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out,” he will say.’ – The Times (£)


>Today: ToryDiary: Cameron’s immigration speech – a struggle in a trap of his own devising

Borders 2) Net migration target torn to shreds

‘Immigration is pushing the population up faster now than when David Cameron came to power in 2010, official figures showed yesterday. It added 260,000 people to numbers in the country in the year up to June – a jump of 78,000 on the previous year that means the end of the Prime Minister’s promise to cut back net migration to ‘tens of thousands’ a year. In 2010 net migration stood at 244,000.’ – Daily Mail


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The death of the net immigration pledge

Mitchell loses plebgate libel trial – and faces £3 million bill

Andrew Mitchell‘Andrew Mitchell faces a legal bill of up to £3m after a High Court judge threw out the “childish” claim by the Tory former minister that he had been libelled over “Plebgate”. The one-time chief whip and international development secretary, who will have to pay interim legal costs of £300,000, said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the decision. The 58-year-old MP for Sutton Coldfield had probably – “on the balance of probabilities” – called police officers “plebs”, Mr Justice Mitting ruled.’ – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: If Mitchell hadn’t sued…

MPs want home rule for England

‘MPs are demanding full ‘home rule’ for England once new powers over tax and benefits are handed to Scotland in the biggest constitutional shake-up for decades. The Tories and Lib Dems appear determined to force a Commons vote on the issue within months, leaving Labour out in the cold by opposing the move. David Cameron vowed to publish proposals on English votes for English laws before Christmas.’ – Daily Mail


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The end of the Union?

Paxman approached to be Tory candidate for London Mayor

Jeremy Paxman‘The former Newsnight anchorman has been approached for the role after Mr Paxman labelled himself a One Nation Tory early in the year. Tory MPs believe that he could be a great successor to Boris Johnson when the current mayor stands down in 2016. An approach by a senior party figure has the backing of the Commons tea rooms, but not Conservative HQ. Mr Paxman is mulling the option and, while it is not likely, he has not ruled it out.’ – The Times (£)

  • Boris brags of the capital’s billionaires – The Times (£)

Farage lags behind in Thanet South

‘Ukip leader Nigel Farage is facing defeat in his bid to become an MP in next year’s general election, a new poll has suggested. The survey, carried out for former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft, found that Mr Farage is trailing the Conservatives by five points in Thanet South – on 29 per cent, to 34 per cent for David Cameron’s party and 26 per cent for Labour.’ – Daily Mail

  • Tactical voting by Tories could cost Miliband his seat – The Sun (£)
  • UKIPers are more loyal to their party than other voters – The Times (£)
  • MPs complain Bercow is biased towards rebels – The Times (£)
  • Juncker survives no-confidence vote – Daily Mail
  • The EU wants to break up Google – Daily Mail
  • Europhile lobbyist quits after less than a year – FT

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Some surprises in my latest constituency polling – and a look at the leaders’ backyards

Autumn Statement: Osborne plans pension tax cut for widows

money‘George Osborne is expected to abolish tax on pension payments which are passed to spouses when their partner dies, it emerged last night. Widows could receive a huge boost if the Treasury announces changes to annuities in the Autumn Statement next week.’ – Daily Mail

  • £15 billion in road improvements, too – FT

>Yesterday: Alex Burghart on Comment: Osborne as Chancellor 3) Social justice, not just fiscal prudence

Virgin and Stagecoach win the East Coast main line contract

‘Stagecoach and Virgin Group are set to make hundreds of millions of pounds in the reprivatisation of the main railway line between London and Edinburgh in which the Treasury is also hoping to scoop back £3.3 billion. The East Coast main line into and out of King’s Cross, the main rail artery for Yorkshire and the northeast, is from next March to be run by a company badged Virgin Trains.’ – The Times (£)

Morgan seeks to move on from ‘ideological’ Gove

MORGAN Nicky headshot‘In a sign of the Tories’ determination to overcome what is seen as a toxic legacy after Gove lost the trust of teachers’ leaders, Morgan said education should be about a partnership rather than a war of ideas. “My request is that we tone down the rhetoric and let’s have a reasoned debate based on what works,” the education secretary said. “For those looking for an ideological sparring partner to do battle with, quite simply I’m not your woman.” Morgan insisted that she remained committed to Gove’s reforms.’ – The Guardian

BBC fatcats accused of ‘scare tactics’ over cuts warnings

‘Two of the BBC’s top executives have claimed salary cuts cannot go much further…despite the fact they are paid a combined £690,000-a-year. Strategy chief James Purnell, who earns £295,000, and finance director Anne Bulford, on £395,000, were accused of ‘scare tactics’ as they threatened to slash the programming budget to save more money.’ – Daily Mail

Tyranny and economic disaster in Putin’s Crimea

Vladimir Putin‘Murdered for speaking their mother tongue, kidnapped for their religion, harassed for daring to question Vladimir Putin – and money so tight even the strippers can’t get paid: welcome to the tourist jewel of Crimea almost nine months on from Russia’s military annexation. The Black Sea peninsula has some of the most stunning mountain and sea scenery in Europe yet has suffered a catastrophic summer after the Moscow invasion in February.’ – Daily Mail

Judge slams social worker bias

‘A couple say a local authority set out to adopt their grandson even though they wanted to care for him and his brother who already lived with them. They told the BBC social worker Neil Swaby, of North East Lincolnshire Council, refused to explain why he did not support their case for adoption. A judge said Mr Swaby, fellow social worker Rachel Olley and another colleague were “biased” against them.’ – BBC News

  • Danczuk alleges Garnier warned him over Brittan claims – Daily Telegraph
  • 13 men guilty of child abuse in Bristol – The Guardian
  • Outdated police failing to solve crimes – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • PD James, novelist and Tory peer, dies – Daily Telegraph
  • Fights break out as shops import ‘Black Friday’ from America – Daily Mail
  • Conservative MP favourites ‘revealing’ tweet – The Sun (£)
  • Welsh councils fail to protect listed buildings – WalesOnline
  • Hughes family console Sean Abbott – Daily Mail
  • MPs attack bewildering social media terms and conditions – Daily Telegraph
  • Big pharma saves lives – Ross Clark, The Times (£)
  • Two children in Newcastle tested for Ebola – The Guardian