IDS: My anger at those who will take money but not help

DUNCAN SMITH white background‘In an exclusive interview, he declared: “It makes me furious. I can feel my blood boil when I read about people refusing help, support or treatment to make themselves fit for work. “What infuriates your readers — including me — is when somebody isn’t trying and living off the rest of us who are trying.” New figures show reforms have saved taxpayers £50billion since he stepped into the job five years ago.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Those on sickness benefit should accept treatment

Ministers battle each other for ‘gold stars’

‘Shapps outlined how Ministers’ performance during the campaign would be monitored. They would be given a point for every phone canvassing session at party HQ, and extra points for visits to marginal seats – but they would only receive half points if the candidate or MP they were there to support was not present. They would also be given a point for ‘Super Saturday’ campaigning…Those there say it was clear that their future promotion prospects depend on where in the league table they finish.’ – Mail on Sunday 

Miliband’s business adviser invests in a ‘tax avoidance’ scheme

MILIBAND Ed red background‘Bill Thomas joined Invicta Film Partnership in 2001…It is not known how much Mr Thomas, 55, invested in Invicta. Nor is there any suggestion he acted illegally. But our revelation is a blow to Red Ed who has sought political capital out of Tory links to tax dodging in the wake of the HSBC scandal. Just yesterday he announced he would hold a review to “shine a light” on tax avoidance if elected.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)


>Today: ToryDiary: There’s only one way to escape the endless, pointless battle over political donors

Channel 4 to air ‘poppycock’ anti-UKIP drama

‘Ukip has accused Channel 4 of peddling ‘liberal-Left poppycock’ over an apocalyptic portrayal of what British life would be like if Nigel Farage became Prime Minister. The row has blown up over a drama-documentary to be screened at tomorrow which imagines life under a Farage government. In Ukip: The First Hundred Days – which mixes acted scenes with real news footage – border guards are seen forcibly repatriating illegal immigrants amid race riots, as the UK prepares to pull out of the European Union. The film shows Ukip winning a slim majority in May’s Election, but within three months, society is on the brink of collapse under Mr Farage’s Right-wing policies.’ – Mail on Sunday

>Today: Dominic Raab MP on Comment: Farage himself says that UKIP “isn’t passing the credibility test”. Here’s why he’s right.

Ceasefire? Russian-backed offensive underway in Ukraine

Ukraine flag‘Several thousand Ukrainian government troops were trapped under heavy artillery fire in the town of Debaltseve last night as pro-Moscow rebels, armed with heavy Russian weaponry, vowed “not to let a single soldier leave alive”. Debaltseve came under constant bombardment as separatist forces — including many Russian nationals — pounded it with hundreds of rocket launchers, tanks, artillery guns and mortars.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Boris to give up his American passport

‘Boris Johnson is to renounce his American citizenship, at last putting a limit on his ambition. However, in compensation for renouncing the right to become a future US president he has cleared the way to become prime minister after David Cameron leaves No 10. The London mayor has revealed that he wants to give up his dual nationality.’ – Sunday Times (£)

Kellner: The SNP threaten to sink Miliband’s campaign

Opinion Poll graphic‘Few Scots seem troubled by warnings that a strong SNP performance would help the Tories retain power at Westminster. Like the English, though perhaps more surprisingly, Scots favour David Cameron over Miliband by two to one. I have therefore reduced my prediction for Labour’s Scottish seat tally from 31 to 24. If Murphy cannot trim the SNP’s lead from 20 points to 6-8 points, Labour could end up with as few as 10-15 seats.’ – Peter Kellner, Sunday Times (£)

Concerns about school impact of EU migration

‘A huge wave of migration from Eastern Europe means 100 new foreign children are turning up for lessons in England every day. Teachers have to find space for the equivalent of 15 extra classes of kids with little grasp of English each week. The figures show the strain the EU’s open border policy is putting on Britain’s education system and taxpayers.’ – The Sun on Sunday (£)

Hitchens: The police have forgotten what their job is

Police helmet‘Their job, the reason we hired them in 1829, was to prevent crime and disorder. That’s what the constable’s oath says, and they successfully did prevent huge amounts of crime and disorder for more than a century, by patrolling on foot. And so it continued until the country went mad 50 years ago.’ – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

Shootings at free speech event and Synagogue in Copenhagen

‘Denmark was on high alert early today after two shootings left at least one person dead and five policemen wounded. In the first attack a gunman opened fire on a Copenhagen cafe, killing one passer-by and injuring three policemen, in an attack that echoed last month’s terrorist assault on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Then about nine hours later, at 1am local time, a man was shot in the head and two policemen were wounded at the Copenhagen Synagogue.’ – Sunday Times (£)

News in Brief