Osborne 1) Accusations of “smoke and mirrors” as Chancellor claims to have halved Brussels bill

OSBORNE penknife“George Osborne last night claimed a qualified victory over the European Union as he declared Britain will only have to pay half of its controversial £1.7billion budget surcharge. But the Chancellor faced an immediate backlash from critics who said he was taking credit for a discount that would always have been offered.” – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Osborne was right to settle this EU bill as soon as he could

Osborne 2) TUC complains to watchdog about claims over women in work

“Chancellor George Osborne faces an investigation by the statistics watchdog over claims that numbers of women with jobs are soaring. He was accused last night of resorting to “smoke and mirrors” to put the best possible gloss on female employment figures. The row centres on an analysis by the Treasury that concluded that a record number of women are in work, with increases in every major sector of the economy.” – The Independent

Osborne 3) Chancellor further loosens control over pensions

OSBORNE red and blue“Families will soon be able to hand their pension pots down tax-free for multiple generations, the Government announced yesterday. Chancellor George Osborne has already said that the 55 per cent tax on pension pots bequeathed directly to children will be scrapped.” – Daily Mail

  • HMRC accused of ‘brainwashing’ with new children’ DVD – Daily Mail
  • Will the next Government be able to repeat the Coalition’s tax tactics? – Paul Johnson, Daily Telegraph

Osborne 4) Janice Turner’s two days with the Chancellor

“Does George Osborne want to be liked? I had always thought he relished his pantomime villain role in British political life, his eyes glinting on budget day as he freezes some benefit or scores a deft tactical victory over Labour. Indeed, he seems fuelled by opprobrium: the more rabid the opposition roars, the more his countenance cries, “Bring it on!” That he was booed by the 80,000-seat London Paralympics stadium bespoke his unpopularity, but also his dark power.” – The Times (£)

US advisor “helps Tories bypass spending limits”

MANIFESTO money“A consultancy founded by Jim Messina, a former White House official, has surveyed voters in key marginal seats, by-election contests and the Scottish referendum. The Conservatives insist that they have not commissioned the work by Messina Quantitative Research, describing it as an independent company. However, a party spokesman refused to deny that the business was sharing its findings with Tory strategists.” – The Times (£)

Universal Credit will bar EU migrants from jobless benefits…

“Migrants from the EU will be banned from claiming jobless benefits under plans being drawn up by the Tories, it emerged last night. Ministers believe the restriction, in the Whitehall blueprint for the new Universal Credit welfare system, is the best way to stop jobless migrants being attracted to Britain. They also hope the policy will signal to voters that immigration from other EU countries can be cut following growing concerns that anger at the influx from Eastern Europe is driving Tory supporters into the arms of Ukip.” – Daily Express

  • Finnish PM: UK struggling to cope with EU migration – The Sun (£)

…while Cameron faces legal challenge over the European Arrest Warrant

“David Cameron looked to have contained a political rebellion over legislation to keep Britain in the European Arrest Warrant – but he is now facing a legal challenge over the plans. Stuart Wheeler, the former UK Independence party treasurer, is preparing to spend up to £150,000 of his own money to use the courts to try to prevent the government from opting back into the warrant, which facilitates cross-border extradition within the EU.” – Financial Times

>Yesterday: Christopher Howarth on Comment: The EAW. We should cooperate with our EU neighbours. But why should we join a EU criminal justice system?

Michael Portillo: UK has the best of both worlds on the fringes of Europe

“David Cameron, Ms Merkel and Nigel Farage all believe that if the Conservatives win an overall majority and hold a referendum, it will result in a vote to remain in the EU. That is why the prime minister is happy to talk of holding one, why the German chancellor need make no concessions to Britain, and why the Ukip leader wants to prevent a Conservative majority. A vote to remain in would be a game changer. The great British establishment, shamed and silenced during the euro fiasco, would re-emerge to claim that Britain had asserted its European destiny.” – Financial Times

>Today: John Stevens on Comment: A last word on the Metropolitan Party, and a first on a New Unionist Party

Military widows will be allowed to remarry with pensions intact

Armed Forces“Thousands of military widows will be able to remarry without losing their pensions from next year, under plans announced by David Cameron. The prime minister has ordered the closure of a legal loophole which can mean the bereaved are hit financially if they find another partner. The move, unveiled on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, follows a long-running campaign by service charities.” – The Guardian

  • Millions of veterans could miss out on benefits – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Judy Terry on Local Government: Councils should do more for the families of our heroes

Ian Austin breaks ranks and demands tougher Labour line on migration

“Ian Austin, one of former prime minister Gordon Brown’s closest allies, said senior figures in his party had told him he ‘sounded like the BNP’ when he complained that too many people were coming to Britain. He said the Labour leadership should embrace tough policies including a ban on benefit payments to new migrants who have paid nothing into the system, fingerprinting at the Calais border, and up-front payments by foreigners for NHS care.” – Daily Mail

  • “Work hard and pay your way, obey the law and speak English” – Ian Austin MP, Daily Mail
  • Loyal Johnson tells plotters to “get a grip” – The Times (£)
  • The elite still don’t get it on immigration – Daily Mail editorial
  • Ultra-loyalists rewarded in bonfire night reshuffle – The Times (£)
  • Shadow Cabinet show of loyalty fails to deter agitators – The Independent

Matthew Parris: Miliband is only a symptom of Labour’s real problem

MILIBAND Red Ed“Nobody can lead a 21st-century British Labour party well, because there isn’t anywhere for a 21st-century British Labour party to go. The personal attacks on Mr Miliband are lazy, evasive and rather cowardly: a kind of displacement activity for people stumped for ideas as to what their dream leader would actually do, and falling back on shin-kicking an inexperienced and somewhat maladroit leader for a gap that he is powerless to fill.” – The Times (£)

  • Revolt has shadowy origins – but the discontent is genuine – Patrick Wintour, The Guardian
  • Why Dave should pray Miliband doesn’t quit – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
  • Ed needs to fight and lose in 2015 – it’s the only way Labour will learn – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour in crisis as one hundred MPs sick of Miliband – The Sun (£)
  • Is Labour capable of regicide? – Financial Times
  • Top Labour figures claim “revolt” could cost Labour the election – The Independent
  • If Labour is stuck with Miliband, here’s a way out – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian
  • Miliband’s most awkward moments, on video – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Useless, embattled but nigh-on impossible to sack, Miliband is the best possible opponent

Fresh horror stories from the Welsh NHS

“Yesterday it emerged that health bosses have formally apologised for not providing the level of care Mrs Kinsey ‘had the right to expect’ before her death. Her case is the latest in a series of patient horror stories reported to the Daily Mail about services under the Labour-run NHS in Wales.” – Daily Mail

Danny Alexander’s seat in his sights as Salmond seeks a scalp

Alexander Danny Jan 12“Sources claim the outgoing SNP leader could launch an audacious bid to steal the LibDem minister’s seat and claim a senior coalition ‘scalp’. The challenge would trigger a UK-wide media frenzy, force the LibDems to throw everything at the constituency and give Mr Salmond a chance to resurrect his political career after his defeat in the independence referendum.” – Daily Mail

Farage accused of making Cenotaph ceremony “all about him”

“Nigel Farage faced criticism tonight after demanding to be allowed to join other party leaders at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph this weekend. The Ukip leader claimed millions of Ukip voters had been snubbed while leaders of smaller parties were allowed to attend.” – Daily Mail

  • London poppy display connects us to a generation of heroes – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail
  • An irresistible urge to remember – The Independent
  • Future sacrifices will swell this sea of poppies – Richard Kemp, The Times (£)
  • Top brass support campaign to extend poppy display – Daily Mail
  • Tower poppies to be made a permanent exhibition – The Sun (£)
  • Give me the Royal and British Legion over ‘Legion Scotland’ – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore: Remembering my fallen great uncle, a century on

British soldier“It is impossible, visiting Ypres, not to feel something approaching envy, as well as loss. Very few people seriously want to die young, but many who grow old without having had to submit to the test of war ask themselves painful questions about their own value.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Only one year since 1945 has seen no British servicemen lost – The Independent

Return of non-voters could see UKIP to its second seat

“Ukip is on course to secure a second elected MP because three out of five people who failed to vote in 2010 now support the party, according to a leading academic. Matthew Goodwin, an associate professor of politics at the University of Nottingham, said that their return to the polling stations in the Rochester and Strood by-election on November 20 would be a crucial factor in the party’s likely triumph.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • UK road signs set to go metric – Daily Mail
  • Poppy plot smashed by anti-terror raids – The Times (£)
  • Horse brought to hospital to bid farewell to dying owner – Daily Telegraph
  • Motorists and MP demand investigation into petrol price-fixing – The Sun (£)
  • Austerity sees huge increase in unpaid special constables as forces make cuts – Financial Times
  • Lidl provokes outrage with ‘ban’ on Welsh language – The Independent
  • Striking teacher collects £500,000 in wages but hasn’t taught for 14 years – Daily Mail

22 comments for: Newslinks for Saturday 8th November 2014

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