Cameron urged to block all benefits for migrants

MERKEL Angela Blue“Migrants from the European Union would no longer have their wages subsidised through tax credits, under plans being considered in Downing Street. No 10 is examining a further migrant benefit clampdown after a furious Angela Merkel forced a retreat on the imposition of quotas on EU arrivals. The German chancellor told David Cameron at last month’s EU summit that he was in danger of crossing a ‘point of no return’ with his promise to limit migration from other member nations” – The Times (£)

  • Spiegel says Merkel warned Cameron on freedom of movement – Guardian
  • There is a danger that the anti-immigration and EU minority tail, is wagging the majority British dog – Margot James MP, PoliticsHome
  • Cameron must now call Merkel’s bluff – Daily Express comment


ToryDiary – More party members believe students should be removed from immigration targets than retained

Comment – Ralph Buckle: We need more Commonwealth immigration

UK beats EU rivals for quality of life

“The UK is the most prosperous of all major EU countries, according to a global analysis that has been seized on as evidence that the country could be richer still if it left the union. The 2014 Prosperity Index, compiled by the Legatum Institute think-tank, placed Norway and Switzerland at the top of its rankings. The index combines economic indicators with quality of life measures such as education and health services, personal safety and freedom” – The Times (£)

Darling stands down in blow to Labour

Alistair Darling“Alistair Darling, the former chancellor, is to stand down as an MP at the next election, in a further blow to a Scottish Labour party which has collapsed in the opinion polls and now faces a leadership vacuum. But Mr Darling insisted the time was right for him to step aside while he was ‘still relatively young’ and threw his support behind Jim Murphy as the person best placed to restore the party’s fortunes north of the border” – Financial Times

  • Darling on why he and Gordon Brown need to move on – Financial Times
  • Darling quits and rounds on Labour, Cameron and SNP – Herald
  • Goodnight, Darling: Alistair Darling leaves Miliband’s sinking ship – Fraser Nelson, Spectator
  • Miliband’s malaise: Labour has a problem of leadership – The Times leading article (£)
  • Romanian beggar says Miliband was the only man in a suit to stop – Daily Mail
  • Labour tries to focus instead on the NHS – Guardian

>Yesterday: Tory Diary – We cannot – must not – rely on Labour’s problems to hand us re-election

Murphy gambles by rejecting full income tax devolution

“Jim Murphy took a major gamble in his attempt to become Scottish Labour leader by rejecting the prospect of full devolution of income tax yesterday, despite the majority of voters calling for the power to go to Holyrood. The MP said that by voting ‘no’ in the independence referendum, Scots had endorsed the Union and the cross-border tax system. His concerns about more powers echo those expressed by Gordon Brown — that full devolution of income tax would drive a wedge between Scotland and England” – The Times (£)

Child abuse inquiry may begin without a chairman

MAY Theresa menacing“The Government’s beleaguered inquiry into historic child abuse could be ordered to start work without a chairman following Fiona Woolf’s dramatic resignation last week, William Hague said…Mr Hague said the inquiry could start ‘temporarily even without a chairman’ while a replacement is found…The former Foreign Secretary added: ‘There are so many deeply disturbing things for it to look into. The Home Secretary will make a statement to Parliament tomorrow on how we are going to proceed now that Fiona Woolf has withdrawn from this’” – Daily Mail

  • Theresa May’s biggest blunder was to launch this inquiry at all – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • The inquiry is yet another expensive, time-consuming and cynical strategy – Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Independent
  • Brian Moore, ex-England Rugby star, offers to head child abuse inquiry – The Sun (£)
  • May accused of delaying Wanless report into child abuse – Guardian

Parliament shreds pre-2010 expenses claims

“MPs accused of abusing the unreformed expenses system will escape official investigation after the House of Commons authorities destroyed all record of their claims, the Daily Telegraph can reveal. John Bercow, the Speaker, faces accusations he has presided over a fresh cover-up of MPs’ expenses after tens of thousands of pieces of paperwork relating to claims made before 2010 under the scandal-hit regime were shredded” – Daily Telegraph

Taxpayers to see how their money is spent

Tax Take“Tax statements will be sent to millions of workers from today, spelling out where each hard-earned pound is spent. For the first time, Brits will get a personally-tailored ‘tax summary’ showing how the Government uses their cash. Tories hope the annual breakdowns will boost support for slashing bloated state spending, especially on benefits. More than 24 million people will find out where their 2013-14 income tax and national insurance was spent” – The Sun (£)

  • How the biggest chunk of your hard-earned tax goes on welfare – Daily Mail

Branson scrabbles to save what is left of his reputation

“Richard Branson has not yet publicly announced whether he will attend the funeral of Michael Alsbury, the 39-year-old test pilot killed when the spacecraft Virgin Galactic exploded over the Mojave Desert last Friday. Since the question now being asked is whether Branson’s determination to send tourists into space may have contributed to Alsbury’s fate, it might be the least Virgin’s founder could do. Branson knows he is fighting for his reputation and what remains of his fortune” – Tom Bower, Daily Mail

  • Investigators say fuel tanks and engines found intact – Guardian
  • Showmanship and business collide in Virgin’s space adventure – John Gapper, Financial Times
  • Richard Branson’s space tourism shows what today’s obscene inequality looks like – Zoe Williams, Guardian

London low pay stops being a left-wing cause

Boris Johnson event“Barclays, HSBC, PwC, KPMG, JPMorgan and Deloitte are just a handful of the big-names pledged to pay all their staff a wage calculated to allow a full-time employee an acceptable standard of living. And it will be a Conservative politician, London mayor Boris Johnson, who will on Monday announce the new London-specific wage in a sign of how the issue of low pay is no longer a cause simply of the left” – Financial Times

  • If we’ve got enough dosh to send the rich into space, we’ve got enough for a living wage – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • Bar staff and shop assistants among the worst paid – Guardian

>Today: The Deep End – Progressive London isn’t quite as capital as it’s cracked up to be

News in brief

  • ISIS executes 300 members of Sunni tribe – Daily Mail
  • British banker charged with killing two women in Hong Kong – Daily Mail
  • Middle–aged to be told “brain age” in war on dementia – Daily Telegraph
  • North Korea takes the world’s most draconian measures against Ebola – Guardian
  • Feminist T-shirt campaign in trouble – Guardian
  • Thousands queue to see Tower of London poppies – Daily Mail
  • Acker Bilk, bowler-hatted titan of Trad jazz, dies – Daily Telegraph
  • Sons of Sarkozy and Trierweiler abuse each other on Twitter – The Times (£)
  • Lewis Hamilton wins US Grand Prix and moves closer to title – Daily Telegraph
  • Winter on its way as temperatures nosedive from today – Daily Express

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