Labour chaos 1) This is what a blunder looks like: workers who make Miliband feminist t-shirt paid 62p an hour

Miliband coffee‘They are the T-shirts designed to make a political statement about women’s rights – but the female workers making them are paid just 62p an hour in an Indian Ocean ‘sweatshop’. Between shifts women making garments emblazoned with the slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ sleep in spartan dormitories, 16 to a room.’ – Mail on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary: We cannot – must not – rely on Labour’s problems to hand us re-election

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Greens should be included in the TV election debates

Labour chaos 2) Red Ed now less popular than Clegg

‘Ed Miliband’s approval rating has plunged to an all-time low and he is now even less popular than Nick Clegg, according to a new poll. The YouGov survey for The Sunday Times found that just 18% of voters thought the Labour leader was doing a good job, while 73% said he was doing badly. The overall rating of minus 55 is one point worse than that of Clegg.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Labour chaos 3) Scottish Labour infighting intensifies

MURPHY Jim headshot‘Jim Murphy, tipped to lead Labour’s fightback against the Scottish Nationalists, has told Ed Miliband he will refuse to work with fellow Scots-born Shadow Cabinet heavyweight Douglas Alexander. Allies of Mr Murphy say Mr Alexander is a ‘campaigns flop’ and want him to ‘stop meddling in the Labour Party in Scotland’.’ – Mail on Sunday

Labour chaos 4) Attempt to deselect Ann Clwyd for daring to criticise the NHS

‘Ed Miliband was criticised last night for failing to stop a ‘petty and spiteful’ bid by Labour chiefs to sack veteran MP Ann Clwyd after she spoke out against the Labour-run Welsh health service. Party officials secretly decided last week to force 75-year-old Ms Clwyd to take part in a ‘Labour beauty contest’ merely to win the right to stand at next year’s General Election in the South Wales seat she has held for 30 years.’ – Mail on Sunday

Tensions rise between UKIP and its Italian allies

UKIP logo‘Eleonora Bechis does not hold Nigel Farage in high regard. She calls him ‘a misogynist, homophobe and xenophobe,’ adding that he thinks ‘like a financial speculator’ who has adopted the ideas of the far-Right. ‘His only gift is that he is a great speaker, full of hot air.’ Harsh words. But what makes them so shocking is that this Italian MP and her Five Star party are allies of UKIP in the European Parliament.’ – Mail on Sunday

  • Police investigate claims Bridgen was falsely accused – Mail on Sunday
  • UKIP allege push-polling underway in Rochester and Strood – Sunday Times (£)
  • Inside Young Independence – The Observer

EU red tape costs British business £5.9 billion a year

‘Barmy EU rules are said to have cost British firms £18.3billion in five years. The crippling bill has been racked up since the Lisbon Treaty gave more power to Brussels. A new report accuses Eurocrats strangling businesses with red tape — costing every UK household £700.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A big cut in our membership sub must be part of Cameron’s EU renegotiation

Jim Messina’s strategy pitch to Tory MPs

paint-map‘In a sign of the American strategist’s importance, his presentation was introduced by Cameron himself. Many MPs were in the mood to be sceptical, regarding Messina as an over-paid hired gun. But his analysis persuaded all but the most negative MPs. He told them that the average person thinks about politics for just four minutes a week and there are 26 weeks to the General Election, meaning just 104 minutes to get re-elected. He said that they need voters to think three things in this time: that Cameron is fixing Britain, that he and his team are creating jobs for you and your family and that only the Tories will keep this going. He warned them that if you campaign on things that your opponent is strong on, you’ll lose.’ – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

Morgan: British values for schools include gay rights

‘The education secretary is to take on Britain’s faith schools by ordering them to teach pupils to be tolerant of other religions and respect lesbian, gay and transgender relationships. The schools have been warned that those that fail to follow new rules on British values will be judged inadequate and could face closure. The move follows snap inspections by Ofsted at 40 schools, including those for Christian and Jewish pupils. They were launched in the wake of the Trojan Horse affair.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Government plans to tackle mobile ‘not-spots’

Shield‘A fifth of the UK, and around a million people, has dodgy reception or only one provider, mostly in the country. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid is said to be “frustrated” at the lack of progress on so-called not-spots. And PM David Cameron has moaned about patchy coverage during his holidays in Cornwall. A Whitehall source said: “We’ve been pushing the mobile companies to come up with other ideas. They have given us nothing.”’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

Charity Commission investigates aid organisations over ISIS smuggling fears

‘The government’s charity watchdog has launched a series of formal investigations into British aid organisations, amid concerns that they are at risk of being hijacked by terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The head of the Charity Commission told The Telegraph he fears that groups distributing money and supplies donated by the public in Britain could be exploited by Islamists to smuggle cash, equipment and fighters to terrorists.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Boris and Hammond to rebel over Heathrow third runway

BORIS blue and red‘The foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, and the London mayor, Boris Johnson, will refuse to support their own party’s policy on airport expansion at the next election, potentially opening a rift at the top of the Conservative party. Ahead of a final round of public consultations on how to meet demand for extra capacity, which will begin within days, both Hammond and Johnson have told constituents they will strongly oppose the building of a third runway at Heathrow.’ – The Observer

Baroness Stowell on working for Major and Hague

‘Her horizons widened with a stint at the British Embassy in Washington, and she joined Downing Street when John Major was Prime Minister. She recalls her rage when she overheard a plummy-voiced Tory sneer at ‘ignorant’ Major, unaware his loyal PA was listening. ‘The very things people criticised him for like his humble background are why I admired him. I don’t like snobs,’ she says. She formed the same bond with the next Tory leader William Hague, adding: ‘When he stepped down, I sobbed my heart out.’’ – Mail on Sunday

Sex-selective abortion to be outlawed

Baby shield‘Abortion on grounds of gender is expected to be declared illegal by Parliament this week, as a cross-party alliance of MPs steps in hoping to end uncertainty over whether doctors can be prosecuted for the practice…Fiona Bruce, the Tory MP, who tabled the bill, said she was confident of “huge” support for the clarification, across party lines and on both sides of the abortion debate.’ – Sunday Telegraph

>Wednesday: Fiona Bruce MP on Comment: Sex-selective abortion is unacceptable – we must make the law clear

News in brief

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