Osborne echoes Cameron’s economic warnings…

OSBORNE red and blue“Mr Osborne said: ‘We’ve discovered Japan has gone into recession, Europe remains very weak, and although the British economy is performing well we’re not immune to these things. … ‘It’s all the more reason why we’ve got to go on working through our long-term economic plan.’” – Daily Mail

  • “David Cameron is guilty of getting his excuses in early, Ed Miliband claimed on Monday, as he mocked the prime minister for asserting in a Guardian article that ‘red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy’.” – The Guardian
  • “Controversial cuts aimed at reducing the welfare bill have failed to save taxpayers the sums promised by ministers, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said. … This is partly due to more generous pension benefits introduced at the same time as the cuts.” – Daily Mail
  • “Some 1.4 million Brits will turn to payday loan companies to help fund their Christmas this year, according to a new study.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • Newspaper mastheads“Britain has no alternative but to plough on, trying to balance the books.” – Sun editorial (£)
  • “Cameron is right that global growth is fragile. Germany can do more to strengthen it.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “David Cameron’s warning about the world economy is politically motivated but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.” – Independent editorial
  • “The bad news from Europe is real enough, but it only underlines the folly of austerity.” – Guardian editorial
  • “Don’t cling to Nurse Cameron, there’s a fair way to fix our economy.” – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • “We’ll all pay the price for China’s slowdown.” – Robert Peston, The Times (£)
  • “Can Britain survive another European crash?” – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • “Arts and culture can go a long way to help revive Britain’s cities.” – Peter Bazalgette, Financial Times

> Today: Joseph Henson and Alex Burghart on Comment – Breaking out of the bottom: how we can help people out of poverty

> Yesterday:

…as he joins the Tories’ last-minute push in Rochester

FARAGE eating“Voting UKIP could wipe thousands of pounds of house prices, the Tories have claimed ahead of Thursday’s crunch Rochester by-election. … The warning, following claims house prices slumped in parts of east London after the BNP won a swathe of council seats, came as George Osborne led a last-ditch push for the Tories to cling on in the crucial contest.” – Daily Mail

  • “Middle-income university graduates face being turned down for mortgages in their 30s because £9,000-a-year tuition fees saddle them with high debt repayments, a report warned today.” – Daily Mail
  • “Record numbers of British students are choosing American universities amid concerns over rising fees and the quality of degree courses.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne yesterday visited a factory called Masterhitch and focused on apprenticeships: cue hi-viz orange jackets and some ministerial pointing at machinery.” – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • “At a recent political cabinet meeting, several ministers expressed their anxiety that the Tories are becoming ‘Ukip-lite’ — focusing on immigration and Europe rather than the economy and jobs.” – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • “Mr Cameron did not cause the rise of Ukip, and he cannot stop it. If the party recedes, it will not be due to any anti-Ukip ‘strategy’, and the prime minister’s team should call off their increasingly frenzied search for one.” – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
  • “Firing Patrick O’Flynn would signal the start of Ukip’s slide back into fringe insignificance.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
  • “UKIP’s rise reflects a growing willingness to complain.” – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary – “If you vote UKIP, the value of your house will go down.” Seriously?

> Yesterday: UKIP Watch – The knives are out for UKIP’s O’Flynn

The Prime Minister brands returning jihadists as “enemies of the state”…

CAMERON straight at you“David Cameron has branded returning jihadists ‘enemies of the State’ and said Britain would not be cowed by extremists. … The Prime Minister even appeared to suggest those returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria could be prosecuted for treason.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “The President and Commander-in-Chief was adamant that ground troops would be necessary if the United States were to discover the terror group had nuclear capabilities.” – Daily Mail
  • “The father of a British medical student believed to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with ‘Jihadi John’ in a new beheading video said today he should be executed if he is involved.” – Daily Mail
  • “The parents of murdered U.S. hostage Abdul-Rahman Kassig said today that they would forgive his ISIS terrorist killers.” – Daily Mail
  • “A truck bomb hit a base for foreign forces in Afghanistan’s capital early on Tuesday, killing two Afghan security guards, police said.” – The Guardian
  • “Terrorism is on the rise, with an almost fivefold increase in fatalities since 9/11, in spite of US-led efforts to combat it in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world, according to a report published on Tuesday.” – The Guardian
  • “Britain is the most vulnerable country in Europe to terrorist attacks, a new report has warned.” – Daily Mail
  • “A charity that receives millions of pounds of British aid money has been branded a terrorist organisation by the United Arab Emirates.” – The Times (£)

…and defends his Government’s aid pay-outs

Aid shield“Defiant David Cameron insisted Britain was doing the ‘right thing’ by giving up to £650million to fight climate change in the Third World. … The PM hit back at critics who said the handout was inexcusable at a time when the Government is imposing spending cuts at home. … Full details of Britain’s contribution to the international Green Climate Fund will be announced on Thursday – the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Mediaeval towns and Brazilian favelas could hold the secrets to better urban living and should be studied by architects and planners designing Britain’s new green cities, according to a leading environmental scientist.” – The Independent

Lord Browne to stand down as Cameron’s businessman on Whitehall

“Lord Browne is standing down as the government’s most senior business person in Whitehall halfway through his second term. The former BP chief acknowledged that there were limits to how much business discipline could be injected into the civil service. … The crossbench peer told the Financial Times that he would leave government in January after deciding he had ‘achieved what I wanted to achieve’ during his four years as the prime minister’s lead non-executive.” – Financial Times

  • “HM Revenue and Customs is ‘unacceptably slow’ at taking action against tax avoiders, which in turn is reducing the government’s ability to raise revenue, MPs have concluded.” – The Guardian
  • “Plans to force top public sector administrators to hand back redundancy payouts if they return to similar jobs within a year will not be implemented in this Parliament despite a promise by ministers.” – The Times (£)
  • “Ministers have been slammed for blowing hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash sprucing up Whitehall cafeterias.” – The Sun (£)

Russia 1) Hammond sends armoured vehicles to Ukraine

Philip Hammond looking left“Britain is sending 10 armoured vehicles to eastern Ukraine as tensions with Russia rise. … Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said £1.2million-worth of communications equipment will also be sent to help international monitors. … A further eight British monitors will also be sent. … The move comes as global pressure grows on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his support for pro-Russian separatists in the region.” – The Sun (£)

  • “British troops are to be permitted to use their own smartphones in the line of duty for the first time, while pilots will carry iPads as part of a shake-up of digital security measures by defence chiefs.” – Financial Times

And comment:

  • “Female soldiers just lack the killer instinct.” – Richard Kemp, The Times (£)

Russia 2) Putin talks of a new Cold War

Russian flag“Vladimir Putin has suggested to a German interviewer that the west is provoking Russia into a new cold war. The airing of the interview, which was recorded by the German channel ARD in Vladivostok last week, followed Russia’s tit-for-tat expulsions of German and Polish diplomats, as well as the deportation of a Latvian accused of spying.” – The Guardian

  • “Both in private and in public, the Russians are now making increasingly explicit references to their country’s nuclear arsenal.” – Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
  • “The west must be tough on Putin – but it may take a generation to bring Russia back.” – John Kampfner, The Guardian

May looks at the law around sexting

“Sending a single ‘sext’ or sexual online message to an under-16 could become illegal, Theresa May said today. … The Home Secretary has asked officials to carry out an ‘urgent’ review on whether the law needs to be tightened. … At present there is no specific offence against an adult sexual messaging with under-16s, except when it contains graphic images, or if an adult attempts to meet up with their victim to engage them in a sexual act.” – Daily Mail

But will the law act?

Police shield“Police are failing to record a staggering one in five crimes, including victims’ reports of sexual offences and violence. … Almost a million 999 calls are ignored every year due to an obsession with hitting targets. … The scale of the problem is revealed today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, which describes it as ‘inexcusably poor and indefensible’.” – Daily Mail

  • “A Tory MP has made nearly £500,000 after spending more than a thousand hours in 13 months working as a barrister, provoking allegations that he is not serious about his political career.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “How can a million crimes a year disappear from police statistics?” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “Our crime figures are no more than a political charade.” – Gary Copson, The Guardian

Councils aren’t doing enough to prevent abuse, warn MPs

“Thousands of vulnerable children are still being abused because local councils aren’t doing enough to protect them, according to MPs. … A report by the communities and local government committee into the Rotherham scandal – in which 1400 youngsters were preyed upon – said it was ‘prevalent across England’. … Committee chairman Clive Betts also praised the Press for lifting the lid on the abuse, which took place between 1997 and 2013.” – The Sun (£)

  • “If there’s nothing in the Westminster paedophile ring stories, then prove it.” – Grace Dent, The Independent

British poultry is safe to eat, despite the bird flu outbreak, says Truss

s216_Elizabeth-Truss“Liz Truss, the Environment Secretary, assured consumers that turkey, duck and other poultry is completely safe to eat as Britain suffered its first outbreak of bird flu in six years. … Six thousand Pekin ducks being reared at a farm in East Yorkshire where the outbreak occurred are being slaughtered and incinerated as investigators try to establish how the virus got to the UK.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “The European Commission has introduced emergency measures to contain outbreaks of bird flu in the UK and the Netherlands.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “Why Avian Flu is nothing to worry about. Yet.” – Tom Chivers, Daily Telegraph

Boris steps into rental row

“The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has asked his deputy to intervene in the increasingly bitter row involving tenants fighting a battle to stay in their homes after a US investment company bought the estate with plans to refurbish it and charge market rents. … Johnson’s intervention is a boost to the residents’ campaign, which has already attracted support from the likes of Russell Brand.” – The Guardian

Will Alexander lose his seat in 2015?

“Danny Alexander will lose his seat at the next general election unless there is a radical turnaround in fortunes, a senior Liberal Democrat strategist has privately warned. … The source believes the Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s closeness to the austerity cuts and George Osborne will create an ‘anti-Danny’ backlash among constituents that could topple him.” – Daily Telegraph

> Today: Stephen Tall’s column – How did it come to this? The Lib Dems’ seven key Coalition moments

Ed versus Myleene

Miliband coffee“After some of the worst weeks of his leadership, he may have hoped that taking on a former pop singer in a TV debate would provide a welcome boost. … But Ed Miliband was left humiliated last night after he was unceremoniously taken to task by Myleene Klass over Labour’s proposed mansion tax. … The party leader looked lost and bewildered as the singer tore strips out of his pledge to impose a tax on homes worth more than £2million.” – Daily Mail

The Labour leader takes over his party’s selections

“Ed Miliband has seized control of the selection process for Labour MPs, boosting hopes of those in his inner circle who want a seat and allowing him greater scope to do deals with unions. … The party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) has agreed that from today a ‘special selection panel’ will determine what happens in plum seats where sitting MPs announce they are standing down.” – The Times (£)

Cooper’s plans for more border guards

COOPER Yvette looking right“One thousand extra border guards will be recruited under new Labour plans to tackle illegal immigration. … To fund the move, visitors from the US and New Zealand will be charged £10 each time they visit Britain. … Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the extra staff would ensure visa rules are being properly enforced. … In a speech today, she will claim Labour is the only party to promise ‘practical and workable policies’ on immigration.” – The Sun (£)

  • “Labour has been accused of ‘catastrophically misunderstanding’ the immigration system, after the Home Office attacked a flagship strategy before it was even announced by Yvette Cooper.” – Daily Telegraph

Darling stands up for our EU membership

“It’s not easy to win a referendum. I know. You need to be absolutely clear about not just the question but also who and what you are fighting against. As we drift – and drifting is what we are doing – towards another referendum, this time on Europe, there is a real risk the fight will be lost before it begins.” – Alistair Darling, The Guardian

Blair has been informed of Chilcot’s findings

BLAIR Europe“Letters containing the detailed conclusions of the public inquiry into the Iraq War have been sent to the main participants, the Daily Mail understands. … The revelation will increase speculation that the conclusions of the long-delayed inquiry could be made public in the coming months. … Tony Blair and Jack Straw are among those thought to have received letters in recent weeks warning them of any criticisms to be made by Sir John Chilcot.” – Daily Mail

The Greens’ new all-time high

“The Green Party has soared to a record high in a landmark poll. … A YouGov survey for The Sun puts the party on eight per cent, the highest ever for the pollster. .. Nick Clegg’s party has been beaten back into fifth place with seven per cent. … The Tories are first with 33%, Labour second on 32% and Ukip third on 15%.” – The Sun (£)

> Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment – Labour and the Conservatives are still within a point of each other in this week’s poll

1,200 GP surgeries could be failing

NHS“One in six GP surgeries could be putting tens of thousands of patients at risk, according to the NHS watchdog. … The Care Quality Commission has identified 1,200 practices in England which may not be providing safe care, including 864 it has categorised as of ‘highest concern’. … Failings include misdiagnosing cancer, inadequate care of the elderly and making patients wait too long for appointments.” – Daily Mail

  • “Patients are able to compare the quality of GPs’ surgeries for the first time after the health watchdog published online rankings of every doctor’s practice in England.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Bed-blocking is bringing the NHS ‘to its knees’ with doctors unable to discharge more than 1,000 patients each day, a study reveals today.” – Daily Mail
  • “The national speed limit in built-up areas should be cut to 20mph to reduce the death toll of children on the roads, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has said.” – The Guardian
  • “Almost 100 suspected Ebola victims have been tested by the NHS for the deadly virus.” – The Sun (£)

And comment:

  • “The Colchester hospital crisis shows the NHS is still in need of major surgery.” – Steve Richards, The Independent

HS2 chairman threatens walkout if political support wanes

“The man credited with getting the UK’s proposed high-speed rail line back on track threatened to walk away in 15 months’ time if the next government failed to back his vision. … Sir David Higgins made clear he would not sign a contract extension as chairman of HS2 beyond 2015 unless his demands for funding and political support were met.” – Financial Times

Carney speaks out against bankers’ pay

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“Bankers’ salaries, not just their bonuses, should be threatened if they break the rules, the Bank of England governor has said. … Speaking in the wake of the $4.3bn fines for foreign exchange manipulation, Mark Carney said new pay structures were needed to rebuild trust in the banking system, and reduce risk-taking and short-term thinking.” – Financial Times

  • “Six years on, it’s time to end our mad fixation with bankers’ pay.” – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • “How bankers are paid is now everyone’s business.” – Financial Times editorial

> Today: The Deep End – Popular support for capitalism can’t be taken for granted

> Yesterday: Nadhim Zahawi MP’s column – Labour’s bungled City regulation helped cause the Great Recession. Here’s how we’re putting it right.

The first women bishops could be appointed before Christmas

“The Church of England has finally cleared the last obstacle to appointing women as bishops, overwhelmingly approving legislation at the General Synod bringing to an end 20 years of wrangling. … In a show of hands, about 30 people voted against the motion, out of about 480 present. The first women could be appointed before Christmas and arrangements are in place to fast-track anyone eligible into the House of Lords.” – The Guardian

  • “Church of England leaders will attack the Government on Tuesday over its introduction of the bedroom tax, which they claim shows ‘almost a cultural disregard for the lives of the poor’.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “The ordination of women bishops will be welcomed by the faithful and by society at large.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “Hallelujah, the long wait for female bishops is over at last.” – Giles Fraser, The Guardian

News in brief

  • The first day of Mitchell’s “Plebgate” trial – Daily Mail
  • Coulson to leave prison on Friday – Daily Mail
  • Killer’s house torn down in central Wales – The Sun (£)
  • More than 35 million people worldwide are being held as slaves – The Independent
  • Missouri governor declares state of emergency in Ferguson – The Guardian
  • “Up to five” die in Jerusalem axe attack – Daily Telegraph

And finally 1) Rory Stewart, man of action

STEWART, Rory headshot“A top Tory MP and former adventurer has dramatically delivered his first son. … Rory Stewart, chair of the Commons Defence Committee, was forced to play midwife to baby Alexander Wolf. … His wife Shoshana went into labour on their bathroom floor at 5.30am last Wednesday, it emerged last night.” – The Sun (£)

And finally 2) Mood music

“Those who admire David Cameron are likely to be fans of Cliff Richard, Dolly Parton and Kylie Minogue, according to a survey. … Supporters of Ed Miliband, on the other hand, probably listen to John Lennon or Leonard Cohen – while those who favour Nick Clegg are keen on Norah Jones, and Nigel Farage’s followers like Kate Bush.” – Daily Mail