EVEL 1) Hague to present “English Votes for English Laws” proposals..

HAGUE William looking right“The government is expected to set out proposals for introducing “English votes for English laws” later. Commons Leader William Hague is to present MPs with a range of options after the parties failed to reach agreement on the way forward. There have been increased calls for English MPs to have greater power over matters that only apply in England. It follows the promise of more power for the Scottish Parliament made ahead of the “No” vote to independence.” – BBC

  • “Mr Hague’s proposals, drawn up by a committee of senior ministers, will set out three options: A full-scale ban on Scottish MPs voting on any stage of English-only legislation; A new ‘veto’ for English MPs before any English-only laws take effect; A committee of English MPs able to consider early stages of legislation but not to have the final say. ” – Daily Mail
  • “He told The Sun last night: “Under our plans, Parliament will not be able to pass legislation for England without the consent of a majority of English MPs.”- The Sun(£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Will EVEL triumph?

EVEL 2) But will it be enough for Redwood?

“David Cameron is heading for a confrontation with his own party within days when he announces proposals to limit the power of Scottish MPs….John Redwood, the former cabinet minister, said that a majority of Conservative MPs were taking Mr Cameron at his word and would resist anything that fell short of a total veto.” – The Times(£)

EVEL 3) Darling rang Cameron at 5am to argue against the idea

Alistair Darling“David Cameron ignored a 5am plea from Alistair Darling in the immediate aftermath of the Scottish referendum to avoid throwing the Scottish National party a lifeline by announcing plans to restrict the voting rights of Scottish MPs, the Guardian can reveal. In a prophetic warning, as he waited with colleagues from Better Together at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow for the formal declaration, the former chancellor told Cameron in a telephone call that his planned announcement would allow the SNP a route back from defeat.” – The Guardian

May says child abuse inquiry should have statutory powers

“An inquiry into historical child abuse should be able to compel witnesses to give evidence, Home Secretary Theresa May has said. Mrs May told MPs she was “very clear” the investigation “should have the powers of a statutory inquiry”. The panel, which has started work, still has nobody to chair it after the first two nominations stood down.” – BBC

  • In yellow and black May had the look of a Queen hornet – Quentin Letts Daily Mail
  • Vaz oozes polite contempt – The Guardian

Cameron attacks Labour’s “gamble” on the economy..

CAMERON straight at you“David Cameron has sought to draw the economic battle lines with Labour ahead of May’s general election, accusing Ed Miliband of a “massive gamble”. He said Conservative plans to eliminate the total budget deficit by 2018-9 were “responsible”. Labour says Mr Cameron has borrowed billions more than planned since 2010. The government also set out its Charter for Budget Responsibility, prompting a row between the two main parties over their deficit-cutting timetables.” – BBC

  • Balls says Labour will vote for new law on deficit – The Times(£)

…while Osborne says Labour have a “manana” approach to debt reduction

“The Chancellor said that a Tory government would start paying down Britain’s towering debts by 2019 – a pledge that Labour and the Lib Dems have refused to match.  He added: ‘If after seven years of growth we don’t start reducing our debt, round the world people will ask, ‘if not now, then when?’ Manana is not a credible fiscal plan.’ ” – Daily Mail

  • Oil price collapse is good news for Britain says Osborne – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne’s promise is pretty much meaningless – Allister Heath Daily Telegraph

Fallon: Troops return to Iraq “small scale”

Michael Fallon portrait“Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has insisted British combat troops are not returning to Iraq despite the UK considering sending more personnel. Mr Fallon told MPs that the UK was weighing up a “relatively small-scale” contribution of extra troops, on top of the 60 already training Iraqi forces. On Saturday, he said hundreds could be sent but he told Parliament that no decision had been taken on numbers.” – BBC

Pickles wants a Council Tax rises over one per cent to trigger a referendum

“Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, is facing opposition from the home secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrats over plans to force all councils and police authorities to hold a council-wide referendum if they propose a council tax rise of more than 1%. At present, councils are free to raise council tax by up to 2% without being required to stage a referendum. No council has taken the option, although the Green party in Brighton was planning to do so at one point.” – The Guardian

Grieve warns against upheaval

Dominic Grieve portrait“Some of the coalition’s leading policies risk “eroding” Britain’s legal framework for the sake of populism and short-term political gain, a former attorney- general has warned. Dominic Grieve, QC, who was removed from the cabinet in July, questioned the wisdom of cuts to the legal aid budget and proposals for English home rule in one of the most comprehensive critiques of government policy by a former minister under David Cameron’s leadership.” – The Times(£)

Miliband claims Labour is taking immigration seriously…

“Ed Miliband has said there can be “no doubting” how seriously Labour is taking immigration as an issue. He spoke after setting out the second of the party’s key election pledges, to “control immigration fairly”. Earlier, a leaked document obtained by the Daily Telegraph suggested Labour wanted its MPs to “move the conversation” away from immigration. But Mr Miliband dismissed that as “not very well drafted language, out of context, in a briefing document”.” – BBC

  • Speech only lasted seven minutes – Daily Mail
  • Leaked guide leaves Labour a laughing stock – The Sun(£)
  • What should Labour’s message be – Diane Abbott and Simon Danczuk The Guardian

…but the leader writers are not impressed

Miliband coffee“Labour’s default answer to a squeeze on real incomes is to propose more regulation — such as an energy prize freeze or controls on rents. Mr Miliband’s plan for new controls in the labour market is yet one more example. It is unclear what Labour considers would be a sufficient discrepancy in wage levels to trigger legal sanction against employers. Either way it is the wrong approach. Employment levels have increased because businesses have created jobs.” – Leader The Times(£)

Labour in revolt with demand for torture inquiry

mailtortureheat“Ed Miliband was facing a backbench revolt last night over Labour’s failure to support a judge-led inquiry into British complicity in torture. The party’s high command still insists a Westminster committee should investigate even though it presided over an alleged whitewash in the extraordinary rendition affair. A string of Mr Miliband’s MPs yesterday declared that disturbing questions raised by a US Senate report on the barbaric treatment of detainees by the CIA should be answered once and for all. Paul Flynn, David Winnick and Yasmin Qureshi all said only a judge-led process would do.” – Daily Mail

Keep law out of the bedroom says Clegg

“Nick Clegg made an impassioned defence of pornography and the freedom of consenting adults to engage in “deeply unappetising” sex acts yesterday, as he backed MPs opposing restrictive new laws. The deputy prime minister said that he shared the concerns of some of his MPs that the new laws on British online porn, which came into force this month, amount to state censorship. Speaking at his monthly press conference, Mr Clegg said: ‘It is not a prurient judgment of whether we approve or not of someone’s behaviour in the privacy of their bedroom.’ ” – The Times(£)

Solidarity with Australia after the Sydney Siege

timessydney“A radical Muslim cleric subjected Australia to 16 hours of terror yesterday, taking the customers of a Sydney café hostage and leaving two innocent people dead in the country’s worst such attack for 36 years. Man Haron Monis, a self-styled sheikh born in Iran, armed himself with a pump-action shotgun and trapped 17 people in the Lindt Cafe, in the financial centre of the city. Customers who minutes earlier had been eating breakfast watched with dread as he raised a black Islamic flag in the window.” – The Times(£)

  • “The Sydney hostage crisis is a reminded of “threat we face” from Islamist terrorism, David Cameron has said. The Prime Minister said Britain “very much stand with the Australians in their time of need” as hostages made a dramatic run from the Sydney cafe they had bene held in by suspected Islamist terrorists for 16 hours. “It’s an extremely worrying situation. It demonstrates the challenge we face of Islamist extremist violence all over the World,” he told LBC radio.” – Daily Telegraph
  • Why was “hate sheikh” at large? – Daily Telegraph

MPs attack allowing offices to be turned into homes

“The government’s flagship planning policy has seen “inappropriate and unwanted” housing development spring up across England, MPs have said. Rules allowing shops and offices to be converted without planning permission should be scrapped, the Communities and Local Government Committee urged. It said the National Planning Policy Framework left High Streets unprotected against out-of-town store developments.” – BBC

>Yesterday: Brandon Lewis MP on Comment: Our plan to create thousands of new home owners and get the country building

Changes to firemen’s pensions backed

mordaunt“Government plans to make firefighters in England work until they are 60 and to increase their pension contributions have been backed by MPs. The measure, which has led to a series of strikes by union members, was passed by 313 votes to 261 – despite a Labour attempt to throw out the scheme. Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt said the pension scheme needed to be “fair to both firefighters and to the taxpayer”.” – BBC

Lifeline for Post Offices with pensions contract

“Thousands of post offices have been granted a lifeline with a new seven year contract to process pensions and benefits through a post office card. Steve Webb, the Pensions minister, will announce that post offices will provide the Post Office Card Account until 2022. The card is used by 2.7million customers visiting post offices 3.1 million times every week who for receiving pension, benefits and tax credits. George Thomson, the general secretary of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, said: “This will give a bit of stability to the post office network.”- Daily Telegraph

Hannan: Enoch Powell was not a monster

HANNAN Dan white background“Hardly anyone now recalls the issue where he first made his name as an MP, namely his championing of the right of Kenyan insurgents to the full protection of the British laws that they were fighting to throw off. Fifty-five years on, his speech about the Mau Mau terrorists who had been tortured seems uncannily apt to our present discontent.” – Daniel Hannan Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Labour lead at two – YouGov
  • Labour councils buying back homes sold under Right to Buy – The Times(£)
  • £1.5 million EU funds for UKIP after it registers as a pan-European party – BBC
  • Elderly worst hit by price rises – Daily Mail
  • Murphy to name Scots Labour front bench team – BBC
  • Can painkillers make you homophobic and racist? – The Guardian
  • Scrapping Trident key to Labour/SNP deal – BBC
  • Trevor Kavanagh visits St Austell and Newquay – The Sun(£)
  • Russian interest rates at 17 per cent – Daily Telegraph

And finally…Sol Campbell signs up with the Conservatives

“SOL Campbell has begun talks about signing up with the Tory party for the 2020 Election. The former England and Arsenal defender was snapped with Conservative chairman Grant Shapps in central London yesterday. The ex-footballer wants to join as an ambassador — paving the way for a seat in Parliament.” – The Sun(£)


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