Election campaign 1) Osborne to publish analysis of Labour’s ‘black hole’ spending plans

OSBORNE non-broken sword‘The Chancellor will today publish a ‘dossier’ on Labour’s spending commitments for 2015/6. Sources say it will show Labour will run up a black hole of ‘many billions of pounds’ within months of taking office. And David Cameron yesterday said the recovery was ‘at risk from politicians who learned nothing from the last five years and who would borrow, spend and tax all over again, taking us right back to square one’.’ – Daily Mail



Election campaign 2) Montgomerie: Challenge Miliband’s scaremongering

‘The public should know that, even after deficit reduction is complete and inflation is accounted for, total government spending will still be nine or ten times higher than in the 1930s — and half of that spending will be on health, pensions and welfare. This is not a Dickensian Scrooge state but a Lady Bountiful welfare state.’ – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

  • The party that oversaw Mid Staffs cannot lecture us on the NHS – Daily Mail Leader
  • NHS boss demands more money – FT
  • Public sector picks up the tab for 6,000 private patients’ problems – The Sun (£)
  • New towns will be testbeds for new health approaches – FT
  • Mann tells Mili: get in a white van – The Sun (£)
  • Labour hope to win on the doorstep – The Independent

>Today: Charlotte Leslie MP’s column: The case for hospital managers who risk patient safety paying a penalty themselves

Election campaign 3) 1.5 million foreign citizens could have the deciding vote

ballot_box‘More than 1.5 million people who are not British citizens will have the power to swing the general election. Senior Tories called for an emergency change in the law last night as official figures revealed the scale of foreigners who will be free to cast a vote in May. This could result in them being able to decide the outcome of what is set to be the closest and most unpredictable election result in decades.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Owen Paterson MP on Comment: Why UKIP is wrong about immigration

EU referendum 1) Cameron open to an early vote

‘David Cameron is willing to fast-track an EU referendum to win over Ukip supporters at the general election. In an intervention that may even help to secure a deal with Nigel Farage’s party, the prime minister said that he would be “delighted” to be able to hold an early vote on British membership. Ukip has signalled that an early vote would be its key demand in any coalition talks.’ – The Times (£)

EU referendum 2) No free vote for Cabinet ministers

EU Exit‘David Cameron today warned anti-EU Cabinet ministers they face the sack if they do not back him on staying in a reformed Europe. The Prime Minister signalled that all senior Tories will have to support his stance on voting to stay in the European Union if he secures a deal on clawing powers back from Brussels.’ – Daily Mail

EU referendum 3) CBI received £5.4m in taxpayers’ money over the last five years

‘The CBI has received more than £5.4 million from taxpayer-funded organisations in the past five years, including dozens of universities, NHS trusts, the BBC and Channel 4. The revelation will trigger a renewed debate about the CBI’s claim to be “the voice of UK business” and will increase pressure on the lobby group to be more transparent about its funding and membership.’ – The Times (£)

Sir Alan Duncan: Repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act

Sir Alan Duncan‘It is in every party’s interests and every voter’s interests to have strong, accountable government. To do so, all parties should now combine to repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, making the change effective from the day after next May’s election. If we don’t do this we will all regret having to live with a law suitable for holding together one term of Parliament, but wholly inappropriate for all of those which follow.’ – Sir Alan Duncan MP, Daily Mail

  • Labour MP joins campaign to scrap the Act – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Downing Street should clarify what will happen in the event of another Hung Parliament

Ruth Davidson: Vote Tory to save the Union for an SNP-Labour pact

‘Voting Conservative in the general election is the only sure way of preserving the United Kingdom, the party’s Scottish leader has said after David Cameron warned of the “chaos” that could result from the SNP propping up a Labour government. Ruth Davidson wrote to party members and supporters about the consequences of the SNP’s plans to get Alex Salmond elected to Westminster then negotiate a pact with Labour if there is a hung parliament.’ – Daily Telegraph

Farage calls for English tests for doctors…which already happen

NHS_Logo‘Doctors who cannot speak ‘very good English’ should be banned from practising in the UK, Nigel Farage said today…But he appeared unaware that two years ago the General Medical Council announced new checks to be carried out on the language skills of medical staff. All NHS doctors have to pass a language test.’ – Daily Mail

Alexander urges petrol price cuts

‘Petrol firms were last night urged to slash prices even further after an industry boss forecast low-cost oil was here to stay. Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander spoke out after Oil and Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb said the current low barrel price was not a “blip”.’ – The Sun (£)

News in Brief

  • Prince Andrew flies home to fight allegations – Daily Mail
  • The Prime Minister’s New Year’s Eve ‘dad dancing’ – The Sun (£)
  • Films are twisting our history – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)
  • Cargo ship deliberately run aground off the Isle of Wight – Daily Mail
  • Nancy Cameron to attend state secondary school – The Times (£)
  • Ed Sheeran: The Thatcherite poster boy – Daily Mail
  • Three million British adults are on anti-depressants – The Sun (£)