Cameron attacks the Lib Dems as a “threat” to prosperity…

CAMERON POINTING“David Cameron attacked the Liberal Democrats last night as being ‘all over the place’ on the economy and a ‘threat’ to prosperity, in a sign of a growing chasm between the coalition partners on tax and spending plans. In an email to all Conservative MPs, the prime minister bracketed the Lib Dems with Labour and pitched his own party against the pair, stating that the choice for the public was ‘between competence and chaos’ – The Times (£)

…but Alexander accuses the Tories of “pre-election panic”

“The Conservatives are in the grip of a ‘pre-election panic’ and have resorted to ‘pandering to Ukip’ and pursuing a policy of ‘austerity forever’, Danny Alexander says as the Coalition civil war reaches new heights. In an article for the Telegraph, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury claims that his Coalition partners want to ‘inflict unnecessary pain’ on Britain because they are ‘ideologically committed’ to ‘shrinking the state ever further’. His intervention will fuel calls from Tory backbenchers for David Cameron to break off the Coalition early” – Daily Telegraph

  • Lib Dems have no part in Tory plans for harsh cuts – Danny Alexander, Daily Telegraph
  • New light on Jeremy Thorpe’s lovers – Michael Bloch, Daily Mail

Tories want May as their future leader

MAY Theresa menacing“Theresa May has extended her lead over Boris Johnson as the choice among grassroots Conservatives to be a future leader of the party, according to a poll published yesterday. The survey by the Conservative Home website found that the home secretary received 29 per cent of the vote, up four points, compared with the mayor of London, who got 18 per cent. Mr Johnson’s total was down by four points while George Osborne moved into third spot with 13 per cent” – The Times (£)

  • Morgan likely to approve first new grammar school for 50 years – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron promises thousands more maths and science teachers – Guardian


Bank warns that middle classes will suffer most from interest rate rise

“Middle-class families who have benefited from an era of cheap borrowing will suffer the most when interest rates are increased, the Bank of England warns today. In its latest health check of household finances, the Bank says that those on middle to high incomes will suffer the biggest drop in spending power. Interest rates have been at a record low of 0.5 per cent since March 2009, but analysts have predicted that the first rise could arrive next October” – The Times (£)

  • Bank says vast majority of mortgage borrowers could cope with rate rise – Financial Times
  • Tyrie tells retail banks to come clean on fraud – Financial Times

Tories seek to avert food bank rift with Church of England

WELBY, Justin“The Conservative party is seeking to avert one of its biggest rifts with the Church of England for decades as an all-party report on food banks warns that Britain is stalked by hunger caused by low pay, growing inequality, a harsh benefits sanctions regime and social breakdown. The church-funded report says voluntary groups have been courageously fighting ‘a social Dunkirk’ without the assistance of the government, and calls for urgent action to ensure ministers do more to combat hunger…The initial Conservative reaction to leaks of the report – which is formally published today – was hostile” – Guardian

  • The Archbishop is right to encourage food banks – The Times Comment (£)
  • 4.3 million tonnes of edible food thrown away every year by supermarkets – Daily Mail
  • How can we have hunger as well as an obesity crisis? Peter McKay, Daily Mail


Daily Mail Comment: Greed, vanity and a Zombie Parliament

“Today comes yet more confirmation, as if it were needed, that Britain’s politicians are grasping, vain, self-interested and shamefully underemployed. As evidence of their greed, it emerges that more than a quarter of MPs – among them ministers and senior Labour members – now rake in extra money by employing relatives at our expense. Shockingly, the cost of family members on the public payroll has risen by 50 per cent since 2010 to almost £3.8million, while many of them enjoyed substantial salary increases when other state sector workers endured pay freezes” – Daily Mail Comment

  • Lords fear Commons champagne would be inferior – The Times (£)
  • Commons cameras are too candid for vain MPs – Daily Mail


Salmond plans to “rumble them up” in Westminster

SALMOND on Marr “Alex Salmond has announced he plans to return to Westminster because Scots must be ‘their own guardians’ of the nation’s future following Gordon Brown’s departure as ‘guarantor’ of more constitutional powers…He told supporters in the Aberdeenshire constituency of Gordon, where he plans to stand, that the Smith Commission on more devolved powers has not ‘lived up to what was promised’…Perhaps it’s time to use the Westminster elections to apply that pressure – to rumble them up in Westminster’” – Scotsman

  • Salmond is up to his old tricks – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph
  • Many happy returns for Salmond? – Lesley Riddoch, Scotsman
  • Salmond won’t rule out coalition with Labour – Daily Mail

Farage blames heavy M4 traffic on immigration

“The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has blamed his late arrival at an event on immigration. He was due to appear at a ‘meet the leader’ drinks reception as Ukip prepared to host its first Welsh conference. But he was running more than two hours late and failed to show. ‘It took me six hours and 15 minutes in the car to get here. It should have taken three and a half to four,’ he later said. ‘That has nothing to do with professionalism. What is does have to do with is a country in which the population is going through the roof, chiefly because of open-door immigration, and the fact the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be’” – Guardian

  • “Migrant benefits built my mansion” boasts Roma gypsy – Daily Express

Montgomerie: UKIP wants to take from the poorest to give to the rich

aidgraphic“Some of the Labour heartlands Nigel Farage hopes to storm might warm to his aid policy but they should have a close look at his tax policies first. Ukip simultaneously wants to help the rich in Britain while scrapping funding for drought-resistant crops, flood defences and malaria nets. Its policies would be devastating for millions of people in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Somalia — people who thought they could count on Britain. If this is what Ukip means by a new kind of politics, I prefer the old” – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

Johnson: Sending Putin an Elgin Marble is what makes Britain great

“The idea of sending a piece of the Elgin Marbles to the Hermitage did not need to be cleared by government. The British Museum did not obtain prior government approval – and in that simple fact you have the difference between Britain and so many other countries on earth, and especially Russia. This is not a tyranny. We do not have power located in one place. We have and we protect an idea of cultural, artistic and intellectual freedom – and that is of immense economic value to this country” – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Bones of first missing Mexican student identified – Financial Times
  • US defends failed Yemen rescue bid – Guardian
  • Portadown Orangemen mark 6,000 days of protest at Drumcree – Belfast Newsletter
  • Duke of Cambridge begins US tour by attacking illegal wildlife trade – Guardian
  • Nigel Mills MP plays Candy Crush during Commons committee – The Sun (£)
  • Francois Hollande ridiculed for wearing Kazakh hat and coat – Daily Mail
  • Mouse photographed eating luxury chocolates in Paris – The Times (£)
  • “Horrendous” weather to hit the UK – Independent

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